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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 Imitation Game
Home » Career » Filmography | 2010-2019

Tagline: The true enigma was the man who cracked the code.
Keira as: Joan Clarke
Genre: Drama
Duration: 114 minutes
Written by: Graham Moore
Directed by: Morten Tyldum
Other cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech, Charles Dance
Release date: November 28, 2014
Production budget: $14m
Total worldwide gross: $233.5m
Filming locations: Sherborne, Dorset, England, UK and Buckinghamshire, England, UK

During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of ‘gross indecency’, an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality – little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany’s World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, The Imitation Game follows a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save millions of lives. Directed by Morten Tyldum with a screenplay by Graham Moore, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance and Mark Strong.

Production Info
  • Alan Turing runs in various scenes. It’s never mentioned in the movie, but he was a world-class distance runner. In 1946, he ran a marathon in 2:46:03.
  • Winston Churchill stated that the Bletchley Park codebreakers made the single greatest contribution in Britain’s war effort.
  • On November 27, 2014, ahead of the film’s US release, The New York Times reprinted the original 1942 crossword puzzle from The Daily Telegraph used to recruiting code breakers at Bletchley Park during World War II. Entrants who solved the puzzle could mail in their results for a chance to win a trip for two to London and a tour of the famous Bletchley Park facilities.
  • In an interview with USA Today, Benedict Cumberbatch said of Turing’s Royal Pardon, “The only person who should be pardoning anybody is him (Turing). Hopefully, the film will bring to the fore what an extraordinary human being he was and how appalling (his treatment by the government was). It’s a really shameful, disgraceful part of our history.”
  • The ‘bombe’ machine ‘Christopher’ seen in the film, is based on a replica of Alan Turing’s original machine, which is housed in the museum at Bletchley Park. Production designer Maria Djurkovic admitted, however, that it was made a little more cinematic by making it larger and having more of its inside mechanisms visible. It is neither a Turing Machine, which is the imaginary subject of his 1937 paper “On Computable Numbers,” nor is it a computer. The ‘bombes’ were not physically built by Turing, or at Bletchley Park. They ran at twenty “clicks” per second, not the much slower rate in the film.
  • Commander Dennison says that he has just “rejected one of our great nation’s top linguists, knows German better than Bertolt Brecht.” That linguist was likely J.R.R. Tolkien, writer of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, who learned German from his mother. In January 1939, Tolkien was asked whether, in the event of a national emergency, he would be prepared to work in the cryptographical department of the Foreign Office. He agreed, and apparently attended a four-day course of instruction at the Foreign Office beginning on March 27. In October 1939, he was told that his services would not be required, and never worked as a cryptographer.
  • At the interrogatory scene, Turing describes the famous “Turing Test”. In the original illustrative example, a human judge engages in natural language conversations with a human and a machine designed to generate performance indistinguishable from that of a human being. The conversation is limited to a text-only channel such as a computer keyboard and screen so that the result is not dependent on the machine’s ability to render words into audio. All participants are separated from one another. If the judge cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine is said to have passed the test. The test does not check the ability to give the correct answer to questions; it checks how closely each answer resembles the answer a human would give. The test was introduced by Alan Turing in his 1950 paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” which he asks, “Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?” This question, Turing believed, is one that can actually be answered. More than 50 years later, no computer could pass the test.
  • Despite earlier reservations, Turing’s niece Inagh Payne told Allan Beswick of BBC Radio Manchester that “the film really did honor my uncle,” after Payne watched the film at the London Film Festival in October 2014. In the same interview, Turing’s nephew Dermont Turing stated that Benedict Cumberbatch is “perfect casting. I couldn’t think of anyone better.” James Turing, a great nephew of the codebreaker, said Cumberbatch “knows things that I never knew before. The amount of knowledge he has about Alan is amazing.”
  • Alex Lawther, who plays the young Turing, and Benedict Cumberbatch have each worn dentures in the film which were exact copies of Alan Turing’s own 60-year old set of false teeth.
  • Mark Strong’s character, Stewart Menzies, is the basis for James Bond’s boss, M (for Menzies). Ian Fleming’s WWII espionage work at the very least made him aware of the man who ran MI6.
  • TIME ranked Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Turing as the top of its ‘Best Performances’ list of 2014.
  • The Weinstein Company acquired the film for a record-breaking $7 million, the highest ever amount paid for US distribution rights at the European Film Market.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch and Alan Turing are actually related in real life. According to the family history site Ancestry.com, the two are 17th cousins with family relations dating back to the 14th century. Both are said to be related to John Beaufort, the first Earl of Somerset, through Cumberbatch and Turing’s respective paternal lines.
  • In its review of the film, The New York Times has indicated a parental warning for “advanced mathematics.” The complete notice reads, “‘The Imitation Game’ is rated PG-13 (parents strongly cautioned). Illicit sex, cataclysmic violence and advanced math, most of it mentioned rather than shown.”
  • The blue pinstripe suit worn by Mark Strong throughout the film is an authentic suit from the 1940s. It was chosen to set his character apart from his tweedy underlings at Bletchley Park and give him the appearance of a mob boss.
  • This is the screenwriting debut of Graham Moore. He had wanted to write a film about Alan Turing since he was 14 as he considers himself a “sort of computer science geek” who used to go to space and programming camps.
  • The scenes where Turing is waiting overnight for the machine to stop calculating could be a reference to his earlier work on the “Halting Problem.” In 1936, Turing had proved that there is no universal way for a computer to determine whether a given program will stop or carry on forever, except by running it to find out.
  • The film’s screenplay topped the annual Blacklist for best non-Hollywood scripts of 2011.
  • In real life, John Cairncross actually never met Alan Turing. Although he really did work at Bletchley, personal consultancies were limited.
  • The scenes of young Alan during his schooldays were filmed at Sherborne School, where Alan was educated between 1926 and 1931. Many of the extras who played school boys were pupils at Sherborne School at the time of filming.
  • The movie went on general release in the UK on November 14, 2014. Coventry was blitzed by the Luftwaffe on the same day in 1940. It is long rumored that plans for the attack had been discovered by the Bletchley Park code breakers but no action was taken to stop it because the British Government were worried that such action would disclose the fact that the Enigma code had already been broken. The idea that the British knew about the pending attack on Coventry is incorrect. They knew there was an attack pending, but did not know where it would be made. The allegation that Churchill purposely withheld information so the Germans would not know their code had been broken is false.
  • Joan and Alan sit on the grass, and Joan says “… but Euler’s Theorem gives you that immediately”, and there is a very brief shot of some mathematics in a notebook. The notebook sets out some equations involving prime numbers and modulus arithmetic which would in later decades become the basis for public key cryptography, the system which keeps everybody’s personal details secure over the Internet. This is of course not an anachronistic “invention” of the RSA algorithm in 1941, but rather a clever in-joke on the part of the filmmakers.
  • Some information on the decryption work done at Bletchley Park was declassified by the British Government in 1996. A 500-page book titled ‘The General Report on Tunny,’ written by three of the Bletchley codebreakers in 1945, was declassified in June 2000.
  • Though Turing’s surviving niece, Inagh Payne, agreed that Benedict Cumberbatch’s casting as Alan Turing was very well suited, she disagreed with Keira Knightley’s casting as Joan Clarke, stating that the real Joan was “rather plain.”
  • Alexandre Desplat composed the score of the film in just two and a half weeks. He recorded and orchestrated the soundtrack with the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios.
  • ‘Alan Turing: The Enigma’ by Andrew Hodges served as the main inspiration of this film’s script. The book had previously served as source material for two made-for-television movies based on the life of Alan Turing in the 1990s.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch obtained his baccalaureate degree in Drama at the University of Manchester, the same university where Alan Turing continued his work on computing after the war.
  • Production designer Maria Djurkovic intended for the wallpapers in Alan Turing’s house to be codes, with dots and lines. “It’s very subtle, but she’s trying to define him,” says director Morten Tyldum.
  • This is the English-language debut of Norwegian director Morten Tyldum.
  • Unlike his well-groomed appearance in the film, the real Turing was known to be careless with his personal appearance.
  • Joyce Grove, the house used as Bletchley Park in the movie, was the childhood home of James Bond author Ian Fleming.
  • One scene showing the London Blitz had to be filmed on a Sunday, due to London’s limited road-closure laws that govern filmmaking in the UK. The art department had to scramble to find rubble at the last minute because they realized nobody had ordered any.
  • Google, which also sponsored the New York Premiere of the film, launched a competition called ‘The Code-Cracking Challenge’ on 23 November 2014. It was a skill contest where entrants must crack a code provided by Google. The prizes would be awarded to entrants who crack the code and submit their entry the fastest.
  • The film and its cast and crew were honored by Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT civil rights advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the United States, in a special gala at Waldorf Astoria in New York City. “We are proud to honor the stars and filmmakers of ‘The Imitation Game’ for bringing the captivating yet tragic story of Alan Turing to the big screen,” HRC president Chad Griffin said in a statement.
  • Principal photography finished on November 11, 2013, which coincided with Remembrance Day.
  • Prior to acquiring the rights for Andrew Hodges’ biography the film was based on, first-time producers Ido Ostrowsky and Nora Grossman were in between jobs, having previously worked for television networks.
  • Quoting: Keira Knightley

    on Joan Clarke: She’s somebody who is so overtly trying to break that kind of glass ceiling. I was interested in the way she did it and the fact that she didn’t do it by trying to smash it. She didn’t do it by screaming and shouting, she did it by being a little bit like sunshine and being the person that people wanted to be with. I liked that funny quality of hers, that slightly airy quality. I was really interested in a character who is known for her intelligence. Yet, you know, when you think of a very intelligent character you sometimes think of them being quite hard and straight and sharp, and I wanted Joan to almost be the opposite of that. So I was definitely playing with those ideas, and again, I got that really from reading about her and from watching the documentaries where she’s featured.

    on the pressures of portraying a real person: Once you sign on to do something, I don’t think there is any more pressure when it is a real person than when it isn’t because it always has to be important and it always has be real otherwise there is no point in doing it. I did research the role, of course, and based it on interviews that I saw with her. The interviews that I did see were really old but she still had this amazing upper-class quality that I wanted to keep, as well as the care and the love with which she spoke about Alan, she seemed fiercely protective of him. But as an actor I took it from the script.

    on Alan Turing: I was shocked that I didn’t know more about him and didn’t know what he’d done and didn’t know what happened to him. You can’t right a wrong, but you can at least let people know what happened and what he did. He should at the very least be a British icon and should be a gay icon, and his status isn’t that at the moment. Nobody knows what Alan Turing could have done had he lived longer than 41 years. What he could have given to humanity and to society we don’t know. It feels like an important discussion to keep having, and that’s why I wanted to do this one.

    on Joan and Alan’s relationship: It felt like a very important story to tell. It’s quite extraordinary that you could spend six years of your life doing something like that and then never speak of it again. They weren’t allowed to talk about it – and they weren’t even allowed to talk to each other about it. Alan and Joan were great friends. There was a moment when he thought he could be married to a woman and be ‘normal’, whatever that means. She was a great friend and maybe it could have worked out. These are some of the peop le who helped to win the Second World War. I still need to count on my fingers, so every time I tried to read about the higher mathematics that went into this, I spent three weeks trying to get my head round it and absolutely failed. I am an actress. I’m not a mathematician!

    on working with co-star Benedict Cumberbatch: I loved the scenes with Benedict Cumberbatch, but my favorite moments were those we shared off-screen, like when we snuck outside and illicitly smoked cigarettes. Benedict is a lovely actor to work with. He is constantly curious, always up for trying things and looking to make a scene better.

    Quoting: Cast and Crew

    Director Morten Tyldum: I was thrilled that Keira wanted to play Joan. She brought so much power, but also vulnerability to the character. She steals the scenes she’s in. She’s marvelous and I think quite different from her performances in other period films. She is able to portray someone who is as capable and intelligent as Turing himself. And it is because she possesses all of these qualities that Alan does not, that she becomes so important in his life. There’s such a great chemistry between them.

    Critical Response

    Peter Travers, Rolling Stone:

    Knightley is terrific, giving a supporting role major dimensions.

    Rex Reed, Observer:

    (…) Keira Knightley, doing the best work of her career to date.

    Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter:

    Knightley’s turn here is alive, alert and altogether sympathetic.

    Scott Foundas, Variety:

    Knightley — who’s reliably more interesting as misfits and weirdos (like her Sabina Spielrein in “A Dangerous Method”) than as virtuous ingenues — proves every bit his equal as the brilliant Clarke, another societal square peg blithely unconcerned by the era’s demeaning conception of womanly ability.

    Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle:

    Keira Knightley supplies the film’s warmth as Joan Clarke, the only woman on the Enigma team, who became Turing’s friend.

    Awards and Nominations

    Below is a list of all accolades Keira has received for her role in the film.

    NOMINATED: AACTA International Awards – Best Supporting Actress
    NOMINATED: Academy Awards – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
    NOMINATED: BAFTA Awards – Best Supporting Actress
    NOMINATED: British Independent Film Awards – Best Actress
    NOMINATED: Central Ohio Film Critics Association – Best Supporting Actress
    NOMINATED: Critics’ Choice Awards – Best Supporting Actress
    NOMINATED: Critics’ Choice Awards – Best Acting Ensemble
    NOMINATED: Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards – Best Supporting Actress
    NOMINATED: Empire Awards – Best Actress
    NOMINATED: Golden Globes – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
    NOMINATED: Houston Film Critics Society Awards – Best Supporting Actress
    NOMINATED: International Online Film Critics’ Poll – Best Ensemble Cast
    NOMINATED: London Critics Circle Film Awards – British Actress of the Year (also for Begin Again and Laggies)
    NOMINATED: North Carolina Film Critics Association – Best Supporting Actress
    NOMINATED: Online Film & Television Association – Best Ensemble
    NOMINATED: Phoenix Critics Circle – Best Supporting Actress
    NOMINATED: San Diego Film Critics Society Awards – Best Supporting Actress
    NOMINATED: San Diego Film Critics Society Awards – Best Ensemble
    NOMINATED: Satellite Awards – Best Actress in a Supporting Role
    NOMINATED: Screen Actors Guild Awards – Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
    NOMINATED: Screen Actors Guild Awards – Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
    NOMINATED: St. Louis Film Critics Association – Best Supporting Actress

    WON: Hollywood Film Awards – Supporting Actress of the Year
    WON: Palm Springs International Film Festival – Ensemble Cast Award
    WON: Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards – Best Actress in a Supporting Role