Suffragette

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Sometimes real life imitates fiction...which imitates real life...

The London premiere of the pro-feminism film Suffragette, starring Carey MulliganHelena Bonham Carter and Meryl Steep, was interrupted by a group of modern day suffragettes, who plopped down to lay right on the red carpet to protest domestic violence. Some 100 women took part in the demonstration, held in front of scores of people who had gathered at the popular tourist spot to watch the actress and her co-stars at the event, which also marked the opening night of the BFI London Film Festival.

About a dozen activists from the Sisters Uncut group jumped the barriers to lay down, mostly on their backs, on the red carpet. They wore black outfits with signs reading "dead women don't vote" in green and purple and chanted those words. Some were dragged away by security guards, while green and purple smoke bombs went off nearby. The protest lasted about 10 minutes, Reuters reported.

"I think it's marvelous," the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph quoted Helena Bonham Carter as saying about the demonstrators. "That is exactly what the suffragettes were about. Hopefully the film will inspire anybody who feels an injustice has been done, to be bold enough to protest."

"I haven't spoken to them or seen their demands but I'm happy to see the suffrage movement is alive and happening," said co-star Romola Garai, 33, (who you may remember from Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights).

Suffragette is inspired by real events. Suffragettes, or members of women's rights organization, helped secure the vote for women in the United Kingdom in 1918 following years of activism. This included participation in protests, even hunger strikes, many of which led to imprisonment.

In the movie Suffragette, Streep, 66, plays Emmeline Pankhurst, one of the real-life founders of the Women's Social and Political Union, which has launched a campaign of civil disobedience. Mulligan, 30, plays Maud, and Bonham Carter, 49, plays Edith Ellyn, two of its members. (Watch the trailer for Suffragette.)

Romola Garai, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff and Carey Mulligan, Suffragette

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Mulligan, who recently gave birth to her first child, said becoming a parent made the film "more poignant."

"I think it hopefully inspires everyone in terms of the way that they view the world," she said interview with TV station ITN, as seen on The Telegraph website. "I think we're an imbalanced society at the moment and films like this that inspire conversations of how we can correct that balance is a great thing."

Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Suffragette

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Director Sarah Gavron and screenwriter Abi Morgan also weighed in on the red carpet protests.

"It does feel very fitting that on the opening night of Suffragette, people are protesting for their own cause," Gavron said in on-camera comments posted by The Daily Mail.

Morgan told the outlet she thinks the protest was "rather wonderful.

"I thought it was in the spirit of Suffragette. It's obviously an incredibly important movement...what they're trying to do. I think she would have approved, Emmeline Pankhurst, actually."

Suffragette is set for release in the U.K. on Oct. 12 and in the United States on Oct. 23.

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