Sienna Miller has had enough of playing “the girlfriend or wife” – so she’s doing things differently

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Hollie Richardson
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Sienna Miller

Sienna Miller’s role in American Woman is being hailed as a career-defining moment. 

Sienna Miller put in a lot of work to detach herself from the “boho chic” and “Jude Law’s girlfriend” labels that the press tarred her with at the start of her 15-year acting career.

Since her first big screen role in Layer Cake, she went on to star in Factory Girl, Stardust, The Edge of Love, Foxcatcher and American Sniper. She also recently starred on the stage in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Cabaret on Broadway.

But, let’s be honest: Miller has never been given the full recognition she deserves in the industry.

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However, it looks like her career is about to take a turn, after she was honoured at the Deauville Film Festival on Wednesday (11 September), taking the festival’s talent award for her role in the indie drama American Woman.

American Woman, which is released in the UK on 11 October 2019, follows a woman through several stages of her life and the tragic events that shape her – including the disappearance of her teenage daughter. Christina Hendricks and Aaron Paul also star alongside Miller, who has called it the role she is “most proud of”.

Watch the trailer for Sienna Miller’s American Woman

This might be because she has played the “wife” or “girlfriend” in many of her previous roles. Take her character Nikki in Alfie, which she starred in alongside ex-fiance Law. And, in both Foxcatcher and American Sniper, she played the wife of the male hero.

Speaking about these previous roles, Miller told Hollywood Reporter: “In many cases, I still fantasise about going and retelling the entire movie from my character’s perspective.”

Sienna Miller stars in a career-defining role in American Woman.
Sienna Miller stars in a career-defining role in American Woman.

Continuing to talk about American Woman, she added: “It’s the kind of film that is being made today, I think, because of a shift in our industry to focus on telling female stories.

Reflecting on the industry before the #MeToo era, she added: “I wonder whether people would have been interested in looking at that kind of story. [And] studios are [now] being much more cautious in how they value women, how they treat women.”

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Last year, Miller delivered a powerful speech when she spoke out about the #MeToo movement for the first time

Addressing the United Nation’s annual meeting on gender equality in New York City, convened by The Guardian, U.N. Women and the Norwegian government, Miller said: “I have really just had enough. Enough of being undervalued, enough of being undermined, enough of being disrespected, because of my gender.”

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“A few years ago I was offered a gutsy, powerful role in a play that was close to my heart. It was a two-hander on Broadway, but I was offered less than half what my male co-star was being paid,” she added. “The decision to turn down this particular role was difficult and lonely. I was forced to choose between making a concession on my self-worth and dignity and a role that I was in love with. It turned out to be a pivotal moment in my life. Not because I did it. But because I didn’t.”

“For me, the strongest significance of the Time’s Up movement is that, by bringing to light the darkest moments of some of the most powerful women in Hollywood, it sends a message to those who admire and listen to them … This message is that sexual harassment happens to everyone, even those who we think are untouchable because of their fame or celebrity status. It sends the message that being treated unfairly cannot be an intrinsic part of being a woman.”

She continued: “The revolution is really here.”

We couldn’t agree more. 

Images: Getty


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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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