"maybe it would have done me some favours"
Jemima Goldsmith has revealed that she wishes she had an arranged marriage like the one at the centre of her new film.
The screenwriter said she believed she was searching for a “moral certainty” when she married Imran Khan at just 21.
Her film, What’s Love Got To Do With It?, was inspired by her time in Pakistan during her nine-year marriage to Khan and centres around the parallel worlds of modern dating and arranged marriages.
She said: “Part of me thinks that if my parents had been sane and functional and able to agree, maybe it would have done me some favours to have had an arranged marriage.”
Jemima Goldsmith and Imran Khan divorced in 2004.
Despite the divorce, she is still close to the former Pakistan Prime Minister.
She and their two sons were left shaken by an assassination attempt on him in 2022.
Although her new film – starring Shazad Latif, Lily James and Emma Thompson – is about marriage, it is not something on the cards for Jemima.
She said: “I am not against it.”
But she describes it as “high investment, low yield which I think is self-explanatory”.
Speaking about the parallels between What’s Love Got To Do With It? and her own life, Jemima explained:
“I guess the film kind of charts my own personal change of opinion over a period of 10 years, from cynicism about arranged marriage to the merits of a consensual arrangement involving introductions by parents or by people who kind of know you best.
“At that point, I was living with my ex-husband’s entire extended family – with his sisters and their husbands and his father and all the nephews and nieces. I saw arranged marriages up close.
”Ours was the only non-arranged marriage in the entire history of quite a conservative Pathan family.”
“And, I saw some really happy, successful long-term arranged marriages. I also saw some new arrangements taking place and was kind of almost part of that selection process.”
The lead character Zoe (Lily James) has parallels with Jemima as a documentary filmmaker who experiences a similar journey when her childhood British Pakistani friend says he is opting for an arranged marriage.
Jemima added: “I came away from Pakistan after 10 years of seeing arranged marriage in a completely different light.
“I think if you live in the West and you don’t experience that and see it up close, there’s a tendency to just see arranged marriage either as outdated or just plain bad because here in the West it’s very much conflated with forced marriage and there’s such a difference.”