TIFF 2015: Actresses talk about playing strong female characters

At this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), it was impossible to ignore one major theme – powerful women. From Natalie Portman making her directorial debut in A Tale of Love and Darkness to Sandra Bullock taking on the formerly male lead role in Our Brand Is Crisis and Dame Helen Mirren channeling a fearless soldier in Eye in the Sky, women owned the TIFF circuit, delivering powerful performances in a wide range of memorable flicks.

Emily Blunt presented her action-packed drama Sicario, in which the British actress plays the sole female FBI agent taking on Mexico’s drug cartels. “She’s a tough chick,” the mom of one told City on the red carpet. “It was an interesting role because she’s strong, yet vulnerable.” Sharing those sentiments is the character Penélope Cruz plays in the Spanish film Ma Ma. The actress opened up about Magda, saying that she admires her “optimism and strength” in the face of tragedy.

Fresh off her appointment as a jury member at the Venice Film Festival, Diane Kruger debuted two projects, Sky and Disorder, during the 10-day festival. Sky is a riveting look at the life of a woman stuck in a tumultuous marriage who goes on a soul-searching road trip across in America. “The point of departure for her comes out of violence,” Diane told Entertainment Tonight, “I love the idea of not knowing what she’s going to do, where’s she’s going and that openness.”

Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz, Emily Blunt and Salma Hayek opened up about playing strong female characters on the TIFF red carpet. Photo: © Getty Images

Here, The Dressmaker’s Kate Winslet and Salma Hayek join Emily and Penélope in talking about their inspirational on-screen counterparts and the joys of bringing their characters to life.

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