Sienna Miller was honoured at the Deauville Film Festival on Wednesday night, taking the festival's talent award for her role in the indie drama American Woman.
The actress said this film is already the “one she is most proud of," and that despite being a movie star for over a decade, American Woman feels like her first leading role.
Miller's acting resume features high-profile roles in box office films such as Foxcatcher and American Sniper but has always played the wife or girlfriend of the male hero throughout. Even in the star-making Factory Girl, her Edie Sedgwick was an adjunct to Andy Warhol.
“In many cases, I still fantasize about going and retelling the entire movie from my character's perspective,” she said of her previous roles.
American Woman, which is released in the UK and Ireland on 11 October, 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.
“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,” Miller said of opportunities of the #MeToo era.
“Studios are being much more cautious in how they value women, how they treat women," she added.
Still, the actress believes that there's a gender gap with viewers.
“Men who have seen the film are really shocked by this slutty, messy woman and really loved her by the end” of the stoic single-mom story, Miller noted.
“Not one of them asked where the father [of her child] is.”
Next up for Miller is 21 Bridges, where she spent weeks working in the “really male world” of NYPD homicide detectives, spending time on a gun range.
“The first time I had to shoot a gun, I was dreadful at it and I couldn't do it without blinking, and I got better," she said. "There's a little more grit in me.”