The actresses star alongside Meryl Streep in the new movie, which charts the early struggles of the battle for women's rights.

The issue was thrust to the fore when a dozen demonstrators stormed the London unveiling on Wednesday and sprawled on the red carpet to express their anger over a U.K government plan to cut funding for domestic violence services.

Carey and Helena missed the big moment as they were not outside the cinema at the time, but they spoke out after the drama to praise the women for their bravery.

Helena insisted the protest was a perfect tribute to Suffragette, telling Sky News, "I'm glad that our film has done something. I think that is exactly what it's there for - if you feel strongly enough about something and there's an injustice there, you can speak out. You can try and get something changed. It's the perfect response to our film."

Carey added, "I wish I'd seen it. I am so annoyed I missed it. It's awesome. Great. That's so exciting... I wish I could (do that). I would like to be as brave as that. So for these women tonight I think that's awesome."