If you've seen Rosamund Pike's Oscar-nominated performance in Gone Girl, you'll know she's brilliant at bringing a multi-layered character to life.
In her latest film Radioactive, the versatile actress is taking on another fascinating real-life figure: Marie Curie, the groundbreaking physicist who conducted pioneering research into radioactivity and became, in 1903, the first woman ever to win the Nobel Prize.
In an interview to promote the film, Pike revealed that test screenings had highlighted a sexist double standard – namely, that audiences still expect female characters in films to have "likeability", even when they're an iconic figure like Curie, who conducted world-changing research at a time when female scientists weren't widely accepted.
“It’s odd, you know — we fought for this vision of her,” Pike told The Sunday Times. “I mean, everyone says that, since #MeToo, it’s OK for women not to be likeable. Then you start showing the film and ‘Oh, Marie’s not very likeable’ starts coming out.”
Pike continued: “We were, like, ‘Yes, if she was likeable, she could be your sister or your mother or your wife, but she wouldn’t be Mme Curie, right?’”
While conceding that "likeability is still the thing", Pike said she has no doubt that audiences will eventually warm to Curie because of her exceptional achievements – to this day, she remains the only woman to have won the Nobel Prize twice.
"I don’t really care at what point someone comes around to her," she said. "I know they will come around to her because of what she does.”
Well said, we think you'll agree. Radioactive opens in UK cinemas on 20th March. In the meantime, you can check out the trailer below.