Keira Knightley wants a lesbian sequel of Bend It Like Beckham
Keira Knightley has said Bend It Like Beckham should have had a lesbian ending – and wants there to be a sequel to make this dream a reality.
The hit 2002 film saw Knightley – who kissed her female date at prom, only to be told by teachers that it was “disgusting” – star as Jules Paxton opposite Parminder Nagra’s main character Jess Bhamra, a teenage footballer going against her Sikh family’s wishes by playing football.
Their friendship blossoms until Jess kisses their coach, Joe, resulting in Jules becoming furious and insisting that she told Jess about her crush on Joe.
Jules’s mother also develops a theory that the two girls are in a lesbian relationship, which leads her to call Jess a lesbian as a slur.
Not to spoil the ending of this 16-year-old gem, but it features Jess and Jules combining for the equalising goal in the final of their team’s league tournament, before Jess follows the film title’s instruction to score the winner.
In the wake of Bend It Like Beckham becoming an international success and grossing more than £50 million, fans voiced their frustrations that it didn’t conclude with Jess and Jules getting together.
There were even unconfirmed rumours that the story was originally intended to finish in this way, and speaking to Pride Source, Knightley gave her approval to this reading.
When told that a lot of LGBT+ people had wanted her character and Nagra’s to become a couple, she said: “F**k yeah! That would’ve been amazing. I think they should’ve been too.
“I think that would’ve been great. We need a sequel.”
The actress – who will star in Wash Westmoreland’s upcoming Colette as the film’s titular character, a bisexual writer who challenges gender norms – also suggested gay directors like Westmoreland have the edge on their straight counterparts in terms of emotional intelligence.
“Possibly gay men, because of their fight for their identity and to be accepted and accepting of themselves, understand that there’s a level of emotional intelligence, which often – not always – a heterosexual man will simply try to shut down,” she said.
“So I think that helps if you’re dealing with emotions, which you are when you’re making a film. It helps to have an emotional vocabulary and intelligence and openness.
“And look, I’m a heterosexual woman, so maybe I’m completely talking out of turn, but I do feel, because there is still a process of acceptance that gay men go through, that emotionally they can be very, very intelligent and open and accepting.”
Another straight actress using her platform to speak out in favour of LGBT+ representation and rights is Chloë Grace Moretz, who PinkNews revealed last month is making a docuseries to expose gay conversion therapy.
She made the announcement after starring in The Miseducation of Cameron Post, a film tackling the practice of gay ‘cure’ therapy which is directed by Desiree Akhavan, a queer filmmaker.