"It's all sorted! It's all sorted!" Angie yells out at one point during an argument in It's a Free World, the new film from Ken Loach. What she really seems to be saying, however, is 'It's all sordid,' which it is. Angie, played by newcomer Kierston Wareing, is a 33 year-old wrangler of day laborers for the
Cinematical: I was reading over the press notes, and in the Q&A someone asked you 'Why hasn't Kierston been discovered until now?' That's the question I had about Angie, though. This is a character that's talented, hard-working, ambitious -- why would she have to resort to an illegal business? Why hasn't the workforce embraced her?
Ken Loach: I think there's a number of answers to that. First of all, nobody knows she's good at it until she does it. She's obviously a working-class girl. You can tell by the way she ... everything about her. Her speech, the way she talks. Men have very stereotypical views of her. She's obviously had a few disasterous relationships in her life, you know. Impetuous. She puts people's backs up sometimes because she speaks her mind. So you can see why she doesn't get on. And she's very kind of flirty, so men, again, they tend to put somebody who, when they want to pat her bottom, that's not the girl they think of promoting. And she plays into it. There's a lot of come-ons from Angie. She looks as though she puts it about a bit. So that's how men will treat her.
Cinematical: Is it realistic to have a woman as the main character? Is that a reality in today's
KL: I think it's very realistic that she does it. I mean, there are people recruiting at all levels. Gang masters, small agencies, big and medium-sized agencies. We met several run by women. So that's nothing new at all. It's the kind of job women are good at. No, I withdraw that. That's a terrible sexist comment. That kind of attention to detail -- a lot of it is secretarial organization. Getting people's registers and finding them work, making sure they're there. A lot of it is just very careful detail, the kind that women traditionally do in offices. So it's quite reasonable and normal that a woman would run her own agency.