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Jaime Winstone talks about women in the 60’s

Made in Dagenham
27 September 2010

Rising British Actress Jaime Winstone was in London last week to promote her new film Made in Dagenham which hits UK Cinemas October 1st. Jaime stars as factory worker, Sandra an aspiring model in new feel-good British comedy, based on the true story of the Ford factory workers, whose pay strike in 1968 lead to the Equal Pay Act.

Made in Dagenham Film Page


Did you do any research for your role?

I know a lot more about the story now but in terms of research for the role, not really, just because Sandra is a twenty one year old girl that is wrapped up in something she doesn’t really know, she gets in so deep and I wanted to stay as blissfully unaware as she was. I had to learn how to use the sewing machine, which my nan taught me since she used to work in the factories. I was actually rubbish at it, but so is Sandra, so that worked perfectly (laughs).

The beauty about these women is that they were just doing something they believed in, that was rightfully theirs. There’s a great line where Daniel Mays’ character (Eddie) says “I’ve never once raised my hand to you” and it’s like, do you want a medal, it should be a given and that’s where the penny drops. So when I read the script, I just thought, yeah, this is something that should be standard.


Statistically men are still paid a quarter more than women, do you think today, we have reached the point as far as women can go?

I don’t think so, times are changing and we are in a modern age. I know my grandads way was that women should stay at home, do what a lady should do, the old school mentality. In the industry I’m in, there aren’t a lot of women producers and directors but times are changing. If you look at the Marlyn Monroe generation, you have a starlet and you need one of them to make a film and a famous director and that was the nature of our business. We should all be equal but life doesn’t always go that way.

Can you talk about the 60’s fashion, did you get to keep anything?

I desperately wanted to keep my hot pants but it was all archive stuff. Louise did such an amazing job with the look of the film, she effortlessly made it look like the sixties and that working class lifestyle. I loved the little dress for my birthday too, it helped me become Sandra, I felt I slipped into an era that I always wanted to do, I got up very caught up in it all.


Are you wearing a 60’s outfit for the premiere tonight?

I’m not sure, I have two dresses for tonight. Long and amazing and short and sassy. I’m sure I will come to some sort of decision.


How was it riding a bike and looking sexy at the same time?

Well you know, Boris would be proud. The big scenes with all the women had so much warmth so we all blended well. We are come from such different backgrounds and became a unit and felt we were doing something quite important. I got lost in it, it was a great film to be a part of.


How was it working with this amazing cast?

To see myself working with Bob Hoskins and Geraldine James is like woah. When I curtsy and see Barbara Castle – that’s a real curtsy. I feel I lost myself in Sandra and that’s what the characters deserve.


Did you have much help with the accent?

Mine was quite close to it, but a bit more Dagenham, (posh accent) one can’t talk like this all the time. Yes, all of us had it down, we are all Londoners. Andrea was a fantastic cockney in the film.

What’s up next for you?

Hopefully a bit of theatre. I am doing a BBC documentary at the moment about cancer. I recently lost a friend and I think a lot of people should be educated about vaccination’s that are out there. Maybe an 80’s film. It’s the time now that major things happen, so hopefully something great will come along.

How do you think foreign audiences will receive the film?

I think Americans will love it. It will make you cry, laugh, it’s warm, it’s a hard film not to like. There are so many lovable characters.


What’s the biggest lesson you took away as an actress?

Be true to your character. When you’re improving, you want to stand your ground but you don’t want to over act, trust in your fellow actors. It’s not every day you get to work with people as amazing like this. I learnt to believe in myself as an actress, not to let the insecurities creep in. Every job I have done seems to get better and I feel lucky for that but I think it’s because I have always kept my eyes and ears open.


Where you apprehensive about taking on the role of Sandra?

More excited. I don’t really like fear. That’s not a way to approach anything. If you’re going to do it, take it in and be excited. Nerves can really crumble you sometimes and it’s important to channel it into excitement.


What’s your favorite song from the 60’s?

The Doors – Break on through!