LOS ANGELES TIMES – At first, Keira Knightley thought everything was going to be fine.
Her pregnancy had been delightful, so she’d give birth to her first child and then continue working at her normal pace. A Broadway show and two films in a year? Try her.
But after Knightley had her daughter, Edie, things didn’t go according to plan. She was hormonal, for one. And tired. Because Edie never seemed to sleep.
Still, she intended to keep her obligations. She performed eight times a week in a stage production of “Thérèse Raquin” and then filmed a supporting role in the drama “Collateral Beauty.”
But in the summer of 2016, staring down the lead role in the period drama “Colette,” Knightley decided she needed a break.
“I was like, ‘I can’t. I literally can’t,’ ” the actress said. “I am so tired. I am so hormonal. I can’t deal with this big character right now. So they very sweetly said, ‘We’ll put it off for a year.’ ”
Director Wash Westmoreland wasn’t exactly thrilled to push the start date on “Colette” — “no one welcomes that news,” he said — but with the well-reviewed film set to open in theaters Friday, that delay ended up being “the best thing that ever happened.”
The filmmaker was able to spend the year finessing the script about the renowned French novelist, who initially wrote under her husband’s name until her work became so successful in the early 1900s that she fought for recognition.
VARIETY – Filmmaker Wash Westmoreland, and actresses Keira Knightley and Denise Gough dropped by the Variety Studio presented by AT&T at the Toronto Film Festival to discuss their new movie, “Colette,” which tells the story of French novelist Gabrielle Colette.
Westmoreland co-wrote the film with his late partner, Richard Glatzer, who he had previously written and directed all his movies with, including “Still Alice,” which won Julianne Moore the Oscar for best actress. The pair had wanted to make “Colette” for years and before Glatzer passed away from complications due to ALS in March 2015, he hoped it would be their next project.
“He got to see Julianne win the Academy Award when he was in the ICU in the hospital,” Westmoreland revealed. “We knew we had a chance now, we had a springboard into our next film. And I said, ‘What is it to be?’ At the time, he was just typing with his toe and he typed ‘Colette’ on his machine. And two weeks later, he passed away. But I knew what I had to do and set about doing it.”
Westmoreland said his first solo directing effort proved to be emotional. “It was difficult because Richard and I had worked so closely for so many years. We knew each other so well, having written together, worked together, slept together, done everything together for so long that part of my mind is Richard, and sometimes when I would be faced with a difficult problem, I would ask: ‘What would Richard say?’ And the answer would be there.” Westmoreland added that in many ways, he considers Glatzer a co-director on the film.
Knightley has played a number of dynamic women in her career, and noted that portraying Colette was empowering. “I was like, ‘Oh, I like walking in your shoes, this is great. I walk tall.’”
When Knightley and Gough were asked about other powerful women they would like to portray, Gough joked, “I would like to play Keira Knightley in the story of her life.”
Knightley added that she’d be interested in the stories of Josephine Bonaparte and Florence Nightingale. Gough said, “I think we could always do with another Joan of Arc. You can never get enough Joan.”
Gough then revealed that she has a personal connection to a historical woman ripe for a biopic. “I’m also a direct descendant of the first-ever female pirate, Grace O’Malley,” she said. “The first-ever female pirate was an Irish woman who led ships full of men.”
Keira recently did an interview to InStyle that literally crashed the internet! She shared some beauty secrets to the well known session of the website, and told about losing hair due movie makeovers, which makes her use wigs for the past five years.
I have dyed my hair virtually every colour imaginable for different films. It got so bad that my hair literally began to fall out of my head! So for the past five years I’ve used wigs, which is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to my hair.
She also shared on her new routine, with now being a mother.
I have naturally crazy, curly hair, and since I’ve had the baby it’s become 10 times thicker. So now I’ve been finding quite a lot of dreadlocks. I also use conditioner every two or three days. My skin has also become significantly drier with age, so I moisturise and I try to drink as much water as possible. Aside from that, my teeth are always brushed, and I use lip balm. My new approach is, “Do what you can remember, and don’t worry about it too much.”
Read the full Q&A at the InStyle website.
Yesterday, Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch took part in a discussion with Times Talks and TIFF to discuss their Oscar-nominated film “The Imitation Game”. High-quality images from the event are now up in the gallery.
Our favourite actress, cover star and, frankly, person was typically self-deprecating and candid on our cover shoot, where she was photographed by Mariano Vivanco in Chanel, as she is revealed as the face of the Coco Rouge line.
‘Lipstick is an armour to the world,’ she told us. ‘My mum had a thing when we were growing up – if she’d had a sh*t day or if something had gone wrong, she’d put her red lipstick on. I still abide by that.
‘If you’re doing something hard, a really vibrant colour is a good thing. Lips are the easiest thing to put colour on. The nose doesn’t work so well – it’s a tricky look. Lips, however: quite good.’
With such varied films as Pride & Prejudice (which earned her an Oscar nom) and Pirates of the Caribbean (which earned huge boxoffice), Keira Knightley nonetheless is extremely passionate about her current project, The Imitation Game. “This is a story that speaks to everyone,” she says of the Morten Tyldum-directed film about mathematician Alan Turing and the World War II code breakers of Bletchley Park. “When you understand what Turing and others did and who they were, this truly crosses national boundaries.” Knightley just received Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe supporting actress noms, putting her in major Oscar contention for her portrayal of real-life cryptanalyst Joan Clarke, a friend and confidant of Turing’s. The role marks a deliberate new direction for the actress.
Your performance in The Imitation Game seems quite different from a lot of your work of years and films past.
I went through a period of playing very dark and neurotic characters, which I really enjoyed. And that was a very conscious decision on my part because that’s what I was really interested in. But I was interested in other types of roles as well. This chapter started with Begin Again and, for me, it was all about playing people who were much more relaxed—people who had a positivity because I felt I’d done five years of work where that hadn’t been the kind of main thing with (my) characters. I was interested in finding and playing with those sorts of characters and definitely Joan Clarke was one of them.
You can now view the whole interview from Actors on Actors, when Keira had an in-depth discussion with fellow actor Ethan Hawke.