There's a dramatic moment around the middle of Rosamund Pike's new film, A United Kingdom: Pike, playing a British woman who falls in love with an African king (based on a true story!), faints in the middle of a dusty road, collapsing after driving through the heat while heavily pregnant. Her husband, thanks to the machinations of a racist government determined to end their interracial union, is stranded on the other side of the world, and she's about to give birth to their first child, while knowing she might never see her man again. Suffice to say: It's a tense, emotional scene in a movie that's not lacking in heart-wrenching, gut-punching moments.
But when Rosamund lets us in on a little secret about how that scene was filmed, well...it certainly changes how you'll re-watch it.
"I had to fall down," explains Pike, over the phone from her London home. "We were in a terrible rush, and there weren't any knee pads or elbow protectors. Since nobody else was coming up with anything else, my dresser and I came up with the best possible use for panty liners with wings—I put them all over my body! I finally understand their purpose."
Here are four other surprising things we learned from the 38 year old actress about her new film, in theatres today.
Rosamund Pike as Ruth Williams, a real life Londoner who married the King of Botswana (David Oyelowo).
1. They shot in the exact house that the real life couple the movie is based on lived in
"We shot on location in Botswana, and we used the first house they lived in. The feeling inside there is pretty powerful. There was something magical in there. It gave me goosebumps at the time. It's rare that something like that happens, but it's great when it does."
2. Towards the end of the film, Rosamund's character steps out of her house to find the women of her husband's kingdom singing for her. Turns out, that was entirely spontaneous:
"When I came out of the house and they were singing like that, it was the most mind-blowing thing that happened to me on set. I just dropped because they were not asked to sing that song, and yet they were caught up in the moment enough to be playing the moment for real, singing that song about how the king's wife is bright like the morning star."
3. She finally got to work with long-time pal David Oyelowo, who plays her husband
"His laugh is the best thing. It's the most generous, big-hearted, sexy thing. I mean, it’s amazing. We’ve been friends for some time and I never knew we’d have this magical chemistry. I mean we could both play the part, but I didn’t know we’d find something so magical, which I think comes from our passion for the project."
4. Rosamund took away a very valuable personal lesson from making A United Kingdom
"Just being around the director Amma Asante and David, they’re both political, they’re both passionate about the place of people of colour in the film industry and just being around that dialogue all the time was very inspiring to me."
Hana Tajima for UNIQLO spring 2017 Image by: UNIQLO
Designed in collaboration with Hana Tajima, UNIQLO’s inclusive offering launches on February 24.
Hana Tajima, a multi-disciplinary artist and designer, has been producing a line of modest wear with UNIQLO since 2015. This season, the collection arrives at UNIQLO stores in Canada for the first time. The line includes drapey tunics with ties to change the fit, crisp collarless linen blouses and softly pleated trousers in a pleasing palette of navy, white, rust and olive green along with a range of hijabs and abayas. It’s all part of the Japanese basics purveyor’s “Life Wear” concept, which promises clothing for all. Indeed, the lavender duster coat and striped cropped trousers could seamlessly blend into anyone’s wardrobe—something Tajima says is intentional. Here’s how New York-based, London-raised Tajima is pushing back against homogeny in fashion through her empowering designs.
What’s your design process like?
"I design by draping on a form, a lot of the time I don’t know what the collection is going to be before I start. The draping process helps define it. A lot of asymmetry was coming out in my work, which accentuates the feeling of movement in these pieces."
How has the line evolved since it began?
"We started off just in South East Asia, and for those countries it was a about bringing a different aesthetic to mainstream fashion. Because we were dealing with a hotter climate we were using really lightweight fabrics. The more we introduced the collection to other places around the world, the more we had to differentiate between seasons. The essence of it stayed the same, but the colours and fabrics have been adapted. The colours that sell the best in South East Asia very vibrant pinks and yellows, but here of course it’s black, navy and white. It’s really interesting to see those dynamics."
What is it like to work with UNIQLO? Are you flying to Tokyo a lot?
"Oh, there’s a lot of travel to Tokyo, which on a personal level is really fantastic. They’re so dedicated to the perfection of an item and my approach has always been to refine and redefine what a shirt means, or what an individual item means."
How does it feel to see a global brand take on this line?
"It’s really fantastic. I think it’s not just for Muslim women but for any sort of minority. Having a voice on a global platform is really inspiring and empowering. It’s indicative of a push back against a homogenous identity and what it means to be a woman."
Was there a need that you heard women express that wasn’t being met before this collection?
"There’s definitely a correlation between the androgynous look and modest wear. And I think that where they intersect is this idea of redefining femininity. There are demands from both sides. From women who want to wear modest clothing for either religious or cultural reasons to women who want to redefine what it means to be feminine. For me, the process ends but the design gets transferred to the person wearing it. I want to provide details and different ways to wear a piece to allow people to interpret these designs in their own way."
Hana Tajima for UNIQLO
When you’re talking to someone who is perhaps not the core customer for this line, are there misconceptions about modest wear?
"The term modest wear as a concept is tied to a certain cultural background. But it’s opening up. The name itself is sort of awkward and there’s still judgement about the person wearing it. But I think that the more we open that term up to mean something more inclusive, the better it’s going to be. And weirdly, fashion is considered something less weighty..."
"Exactly. But it allows people to connect because it gives us something to relate to. It lets people drop their guard and really connect with each other on a human level."
Hana Tajima for UNIQLO
Gather your friends, put on your favourite dress and join us for an exclusive evening for the official launch of the new feminine fragrance by Guerlain. Be the first to experience the fragrance inspired by Angelina Jolie. Indulge in hors d’oeuvres and cocktails as you wander the exquisite Guerlain boutique and receive an exclusive appreciation gift with your purchase. PLUS, all guests will receive an exclusive parting favour.
110 Bloor St. W, Toronto.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Tickets: $25* (for two guests)
Space is limited
Click here to RSVP and confirm your donation of $25*.
*Partial proceeds will be donated to the UN Refugee Agency
Image by: Instagram.com/toneitup
Your summer-prep jump-start.
Looking to see results a few weeks before you’re beachside? Start now, as there is no joy in the 24-hour cleanse or Kourt/Khloé K-esque training sessions. (The Snapchatting alone would be exhausting.) Make compound exercises (those that involve two muscle groups at once) your go-to. “These burn extra calories while sculpting your legs, booty, shoulders, core, arms and back,” says Katrina Scott, one half (with partner Karena Dawn) of the extremely fit duo behind the fitness website and program Tone It Up. Do three to four circuits three times a week and you’ll see major results in a few months. Use a five-pound weight and shift up to eight once you’re feeling strong.
Tones butt, hamstrings and upper back.
Begin by holding a dumbbell in each hand and maintaining a slight bend at the knees and elbows. Hinge forward from the hip as you lift your right leg back and open your arms out to the sides. Engage your core to help maintain your balance and keep your spine neutral. Slowly return to start. Complete three sets of 15 reps on each side, alternating with each rep.
Tones core, shoulders, biceps and upper back.
Begin in a plank position with hands directly below your shoulders. Grab a dumbbell with one hand and pull it up by your chest, keeping your elbow tucked by your side. Slowly lower your arm. Complete three sets of 15 reps and then switch sides.
Tones lower abs with a cardio boost.
Begin in a standing position with your knees bent. Jump high into the air, bringing your knees up to meet your elbows. Land softly on your feet. Complete three sets of 15 reps.