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Page 3 Profile: Romola Garai, Actress

She looks familiar?

You may recognise her as Emma Woodhouse. In 2009 Garai was cast in the lead role in the BBC’s adaptation Jane Austen’s Emma, with Michael Gambon and Johnny Lee Miller, and won a Golden Globe nomination for her efforts.

Oh, she’s an actress then?

You got it. She landed her first film role at the age of 18 in The Last of the Blonde Bombshells, playing a younger version of Judi Dench’s lead character Elizabeth, and also played TV news producer Bel Rowley in the 50s newsroom drama The Hour.

What’s she up to now? Publicising her latest role with another photoshoot?

No chance. Garia, whose surname is of Hungarian origin, may have once posed for risque photos, but now she has given her backing to the “Lose the Lads’ Mags” campaign, asking retailers to stop selling magazines such as Zoo and Nuts, which the Hong Kong-born actress has described as “fanzines for misogyny”.

Strong words.

She has taken up the cause after admitting she was “part of the problem”, helping to drive along what she sees as the media’s inherent sexism. “Zoo and Nuts are not just pornographic magazines,” she said yesterday. “They also have a culture that makes it permissible to hate women.”

So how’s the campaign going?

Garai has made a film to promote a ‘day of action’ organised by the activist groups UK Feminista and Object to help pressure Tesco to drop such Lad’s Mags from their shelves. The Co-op has already opted to ban the sale of the magazines unless they’re stocked in “modesty bags”.

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