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an up-to-date and in-depth fan resource for the talented actress. Serving fans since 2004, we are now the longest running fansite dedicated to Keira. Nominated for two Academy Awards, Keira is recogised worldwide for her memorable big screen roles that include 'Pride & Prejudice', 'Atonement', 'The Imitation Game' and Disney's 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise. Our aim is to bring you all the latest news, articles, and photos relating to Keira's career, and strive to remain 100% gossip-and-paparazzi-free. Thank you for visiting!.
Quoting Keira
"All through my life what I've loved doing is watching movies. I love the escapism of film, I love stories. So it is incredible to be able to be in them as much as I am, to see them from the first stitch in a costume to the end product."
The Jacket
Home » Career » Filmography | 2000-2009

Tagline: I was 27 years old the first time I died.
Keira as: Jackie Price
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Duration: 103 minutes
Written by: Massy Tadjedin, Marc Rocco (story), Tom Bleecker (story)
Directed by: John Maybury
Other cast: Adrien Brody, Kris Kristofferson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kelly Lynch
Release date: March 4, 2005
Production budget: $29m
Total worldwide gross: $21.1m
Filming locations: Montréal, Québec, Canada and Scotland, UK

1992: Jack Starks, a USA Marine Sergeant serving in the Persian Gulf War, receives a near-fatal gunshot wound to the head. Although he recovers, the incident leaves him with shock-related amnesia. After his release, with nowhere to go, Starks, who has no relatives, returns to his native Vermont.

Nine months later, hitchhiking along a snowbound Vermont highway, Starks encounters a broken down pick-up truck. The driver, a drunken, disoriented mother named Jean, and her 8-year-old daughter, Jackie, are stranded at the roadside. With Jean too drunk to speak with him, Starks approaches Jackie and offers his help and gets the truck started.

Starks continues hitchhiking, and is picked up by a station wagon driven by a young man headed for the Canadian border. Shortly afterward, the car is pulled over by the police and Starks blacks out. When he awakens, he finds himself on trial for murder in a small town court.

Found not guilty by reason of insanity, Starks is committed to Alpine Grove, a state institution for the criminally insane. There a staff physician, Dr Becker subjects Starks to a jarring experimental treatment involving mind-altering drugs and claustrophobic physical restraint. Once medicated, Starks is wrapped in jacket-like restraints and left alone for hours at a time in a corpse drawer located in the hospital’s basement morgue.

And in the drawer, in the dark and under the influence, Starks initially experiences flickers of memory from the war and the shooting of the police officer. Under this regimen, he begins putting together bits of his past and tries to make sense of his circumstances.

The past gives way to the future when he is suddenly transported to a diner in Vermont where he meets Jackie, a waitress who takes pity on him and tries to help him find a place to sleep for the night. It is Christmas Eve, and all of the local homeless shelters are full, so Jackie allows Starks to sleep on her couch. In these hours, Starks begins to realise that the drawer he’s been confined to is the secret to his recovery and that his future and well-being lie in the hands of the girl he’s just met.

Production Info
  • The shots of Adrien Brody sobbing in the body drawer were real. Brody had asked Director John Maybury to keep him locked in, even when they weren’t filming, so he could get the feel of the character’s despair. Eventually, Brody lost it during filming, and Maybury caught it on tape.
  • Keira Knightley read the script while on location in Dublin, filming the role of Guinevere in King Arthur. On a rare day off from the shoot, Knightley, despite a debilitating case of food poisoning at the time, traveled to London to discuss The Jacket with Maybury and the producers, only to arrive at what turned out to be a lunch meeting. Maybury didn’t initially want her for the role, but Knightley was desperate to convince him.
  • The film is based on the story The Star Rover by Jack London, which in turn, was based on his interviews with Ed Morrell, who, while in prison at San Quentin, was tortured, often with a very tight straitjacket, which constricted his chest, breathing, and blood flow. In order to cope with this, he quickly learned self-hypnosis, similar to what Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) goes through.
  • After she was cast, Maybury supplied Keira Knightley with examples of the influences he wanted her character to reflect, including Edie Sedgwick, a fixture of Andy Warhol’s Factory and star of his film Ciao Manhattan, who eventually self-destructed through alcohol and drugs. Aspects of Courtney Love are reflected in Jackie’s low, lazy voice, as well as a bit of Marlene Dietrich’s languidity. Maybury also gave her a tape of Laura Marano, who plays Jackie as a child, so that Knightley could connect in attitude and gesture with her younger self. To reinforce Jackie’s isolation, Maybury encouraged Knightley to spend time alone when she was not working on set.
  • Adrien Brody did sessions in an isolation tank, performed prison exercises, and went on a protein diet for his role as war vet Jack Starks.
  • The scenes in the mental hospital were shot in the former Bangour Village Hospital, an unused insane asylum, in West Lothian, Scotland, near Edinburgh. As this movie was released, several other film scouts expressed an interest in the hospital building as a location, but the area had already been earmarked for housing development. Since then, the housing development has been scrapped, and Bangour Village Hospital still stands, as it did at the time of filming, and continues to attract ghost hunters, as certain patient villas are believed to be haunted.
  • According to John Maybury, the love scene between Adrien Brody (Jack Starks) and Keira Knightley (Jackie Price) was longer, but was cut, because American test audiences did not like the scene, which included nudity.
  • During filming of the key flashback scene, where Angelo Andreo (Babak the Iraqi boy) shoots Adrien Brody (Jack Starks) in the head, the boy is actually aiming at extra Tom Burke, who played the Humvee gunner. Adrian Brody, realizing he wouldn’t actually be on-camera for that shot, had escaped to his trailer for a break.
  • Lady Anne Lambton was originally cast as Nurse Harding. During principal photography, she fell ill with pancreatitis and was unable to continue filming.
  • A coincidental “time travel paradox”. The soldiers in the flashback sequence were Royal Marines Commandos, reservists from Scotland. Many of them had not long returned from Iraq, Op Telic, a.k.a. the Gulf War II, January to June 2003. The action sequence, to which these Marines contributed, in this movie, would have been set in Iraq sometime between 1990 and 1991.
  • The film takes place in 1992, in 2007, and on January 1, 1993.
  • Character Quotes
  • You know what? It’s Christmas Eve and… And I have a couch, so you can stay on it. I’m gonna go take a bath. Fix yourself something to eat if you’re hungry or anything. There’s nothing to steal, but don’t be a jerk and take something anyway.
  • I hate Christmas.
  • Listen, listen. I don’t care who or where you think you are you’re not Jack Starks. So whoever you are, I did a nice thing… I did a really nice thing, and you’ve really… God, you’ve really made me regret it, so please, please, would you? Would you just leave? Okay?
  • (Closing line) How much time do we have?
  • Jackie: In case you hadn’t figured, it’s Christmas Eve. You’re never gonna catch a cab here.
    Jack: Thanks.
    Jackie: You got somewhere you need to go?
    Jack: I’m not sure.
    Jackie: Well, let me ask you that again. This time, look around and consider your options.
  • Jack: Listen, thanks for bringing me this far.
    Jackie: Where are you going? You’ll freeze out there. You don’t even have a coat.
    I’ll manage.
    Jackie: No, you won’t. You’ll die of cold, and then I’ll have to feel guilty. And I’ve already got more guilt than I know what to do with.
  • Jack: My name is Jack.
    Jackie: No. Let’s not do the name thing, because it’s… I don’t wanna meet you. I may wanna help you tonight, but I don’t wanna know you, really.
  • Jackie: Okay, here goes. Jack Starks died from a wound to the head, January 1st, 1993.
    Jack: How? I mean, how do I die?
    Jackie: It didn’t say.
    Jack: Does that mean you believe me?
    Jackie: I don’t know what I believe.
  • Jack: Thanks for doing this.
    Jackie: Well, I must be the crazy one, right?
  • Jackie: You have to come back. I didn’t ask for you, but now… you just have to come back.
    Jack: It’s not like that. I don’t have control over it.
    Jackie: Well… get control.
  • Quoting: Keira Knightley

    on her character: She is stuck in her past, carrying a huge amount of guilt from the death of her mother. Even as a child, she felt responsible for Jean, trying to protect her from her problems, looking after her. And when we first see Jackie, she is becoming her mother – stuck in a small town, drinking too much, in a dead-end job. When she meets Starks she has nothing to lose, and she has no self-protection instinct. She picks up a stranger in a car park, offers him a ride, then lets him stay at her apartment, while she drinks and takes a bath. She is almost inviting harm in a reckless way. She chooses to take a chance; to let something happen to her.

    on Jackie’s lifestyle: Jackie doesn’t look after herself, and uses her makeup as a mask – dark circles around her eyes, smudged mascara, messy hair.

    on her attraction to the role: It was an exciting, imaginative script, and a role I wanted to play immediately. The other eight scripts on my pile were variations of the same pretty, uptight British girl, but Jackie was this damaged character who meets a guy going through trauma. It’s very rare that a film will show people who are in the process of self-destructing.

    on fighting for the role: He (Director John Maybury) told me that he did not think I was right for the role, and he didn’t want me. At that moment, I had nothing to lose. I declared that if I didn’t get the part of Jackie I could be stuck in corsets for the next 20 years, and asked him to let me read. He agreed, and promised if he was convinced, then he would hire me. We shook on it. I read the part, he gave me some notes, then gave me his phone number and offered me the job.

    on filming nude scenes: It wasn’t the first time I’ve done it. You have to make a decision very early on in your career about what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not comfortable with, and nudity is something that’s never phased me. That’s not to say I’m happy with my body and rather embarrassed by it, because I am. But I do think that if it’s necessary to the story – and sometimes it is – I really don’t have a problem with it.

    Quoting: Cast and Crew

    Director John Maybury: I didn’t want Keira Knightley for the role. I’d met 15 to 20 young American actresses, and there were at least two or three that I thought would be terrific as Jackie, so very reluctantly I met with her. I knew she was an interesting, pretty girl, but that was it as far as I was concerned. The fact that she had food poisoning at the audition actually served to make her act and look even more Jackie like. Then, when she read, she was excellent, and I realised that she was a very intelligent girl and a very good actor. She comes across almost like a young Jane Fonda.

    Co-star Jennifer Jason Leigh: I really like Keira. Aside from just being beautiful, she’s obviously just so not jaded, unguarded. She knows who she is. She has incredible confidence without arrogance. There was a lot of heat on her at that time. Even in Glasgow, it was hard for her to walk around and she took it which such grace and generosity. I think she’s a really smart girl.

    Critical Response

    Dana Stevens, New York Times:

    For a while, I thought the whole picture was going to be reflected in Mr. Brody’s eyeballs, and at another point I wondered if the audience was being directed to admire the work of Mr. Kristofferson’s dentist. At its less hectic moments, though — scenes in which the camera pulls back far enough to allow Mr. Brody and Ms. Knightley to occupy the frame together — the movie achieves a nice mixture of tenderness and foreboding.

    Ty Burr, Boston Globe:

    The acting makes the difference, and in The Jacket it rises above the needs of the material. Kristofferson is a greasy old hoot as the villain, while art-film heartthrob Daniel Craig (Enduring Love) plays against type as a dithery fellow inmate of Jack’s. Lynch, as the alky mom, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, as a doctor, don’t have much to do, but Knightley convincingly moves into emotionally sexy/surly adult territory, even if her character buys Jack’s story a lot faster than you or I ever would.

    Scott Foundas, Variety:

    Among the principals, only Knightley, doing a spot-on American accent and projecting sensitivity and warmth beneath her steely exterior, seems to be playing a character with an inner life.