If you were an immense fan of both Sally Hawkins and her first starring movie 'Happy-Go-Lucky,' you could mistake her for Poppy, the effusive schoolteacher with the wide smile and warm nature. She's quick to laugh, she's generous with compliments, and even hugged a near stranger -- or, worse, a journalist -- good-bye. Even with a voice hoarse from promoting her new movie, 'Made in Dagenham,' her wit and intelligence doesn't waver. It's hard not to be enamored of her.

Hawkins's latest role showcases all those talents and more, including but not limited to political savvy and the big brass ovaries her character Rita pulls out of seemingly nowhere to become an advocate for her fellow underpaid and overworked seamstresses. As Rita, Hawkins transforms herself from a housewife who happens to also work in a Ford factory to a firebrand speaking up to union bosses and Ford employees while the women's strike brings work at the factory to a standstill. Culturally relevant, touching, and funny (and, yes, full of cool '60s styles, including a very swanky Biba dress), 'Made in Dagenham' could be the key to Hawkins's first Oscar nod.

She sat down to talk with Cinematical in New York City earlier this week to discuss feminism, being a soothsayer of sorts, and her roles in the upcoming films 'Jane Eyre' and 'Submarine.'