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Keira Knightley Opens Up About Feminism in the New Issue of “Violet”

The beautiful cover imagery of Keira Knightley in repose might be the thing that entices you to pick up the latest issue of Violet, but the interview inside with the actress is what truly makes it a must-have. In conversation with Amanda de Cadenet, Knightley opens up about what it means to be a woman in the film industry, providing thoughtful insight into the problems many actresses—and women on the whole—face in today’s world.

“Where are the female stories? Where are they? Where are the directors, where are the writers? It’s imbalanced, so given that we are half the cinema-going public, we are half the people [who] watch drama or watch anything else, where is that? So yes, I think the pay is a huge thing, but I’m actually more concerned over the lack of our voices being heard,” Knightley states in the mag. “I don’t know what happened through the ’80s,’90s, and ’00s that took feminism off the table, that made it something that women weren’t supposed to identify with and were supposed to be ashamed of. Feminism is about the fight for equality between the sexes, with equal respect, equal pay, and equal opportunity. At the moment we are still a long way off that.”

Knightley also elaborates on her decisions to play empowered women, and says of her role as mathematician Joan Clarke in The Imitation Game: “I think it is interesting that for women in film the problems they face are generally put into the sphere of home and family and not into the workplace. Joan’s real struggles were to get her rightful ‘place at the table,’ and then once she was there, equal pay, which she never came close to.”

Elsewhere in the magazine, female-positive stories are plentiful. Director-screenwriter Nicole Holofcener and Sarah Sophie Flicker discuss female friendships, while photographer Karolin Klüppel traveled to Mawlynnong, India, a village that operates under the principles of a matrilineal society, to photograph young women. Dreamy editorials abound in the back of the book, including those styled by Violet founder Leith Clark and Valentine Fillol-Cordier.

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The Sunday Times Culture Interview

Keira is featured in today’s The Sunday Times’ Culture section. We added the photoshoot in our gallery and you can find and excerpt of the interview below but be sure to pick up your own copy of The Sunday Times today to read the entire interview.

Some films are too rude to watch on planes, knee to knee with a stranger when — as Keira Knightley puts it in that semi-posh accent of hers — “a guy blows cocaine up a hooker’s arse”. Recently, she took in Matthew McConaughey’s Killer Joe way up high, in which something you’ll have to google is done with a chicken drumstick. “People watch me watch somebody [do something awful] with a chicken drumstick,” she laughs. “And I’m not sure how I feel about that.”

Once, worse, she saw a passenger turn off one of her films. “He obviously got bored,” she sighs, but won’t say which film it was. I tell her I made it halfway through Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, her middling spy thriller from earlier this year. She says she hasn’t even seen that much.

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Glamour July 2014 Cover

Keira is gracing Glamour’s (USA) July 2014 cover to promote “Begin Again” and we have added the digital scans and the photoshoot in our gallery. The magazine is on newsstands now so be sure to pick up your own copy!


On choosing a romantic comedy: “[W]ith a feel-good film you are always risking going way too cheesy….But maybe I can have a little holiday where I’m not playing a character who is being destroyed.”

On getting married: “[W]hen James proposed, I just thought, Well, never done that before. It seemed like a fun thing to do.”

On her Begin Again co-star Adam Levine: “He did play a d-ckhead very well. Actually, I admire him being so willing. To play a d-ckhead is quite a big thing when you are trying to break into film and you want to be likable.”

On her early years: “There are those who manage that time of their lives really well—doing a lot of partying and making a lot of mistakes and thinking the world is only there for you, but I was way too introverted, and there was always this sh-tload of photographers, who made it worse. When I hit 25, for some reason I didn’t care anymore—I allowed myself to chill out. Since then, everything’s been amazing.”

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Elle UK July 2014 Cover

Keira is gracing Elle UK’s July 2014 cover. The magazine is currently on newsstands and we added the digital scans, photoshoots and behind the scenes photos and screencaptures of the behind the scenes video diary in our gallery.


On telling her future daughter to skip acting: “I’d absolutely tell her not to. I would 150 million trillion per cent be totally discouraging of [her] doing anything like that. I think you need to be, actually, because if the kid is going to do that then they have to do it on their own. And I would say teenage years should be done privately. You should be going out and getting unbelievably drunk, getting into ridiculous situations, making mistakes. That’s what that time of life is about and we should do that privately, one million trillion zillion per cent. Saying that, I don’t regret it – I wouldn’t do my life any differently, but having lived through it…There was a very long time when [interviewers] were all: ‘Well you’re a sh*t actress and you’re anorexic and people hate you’ which, for a teenager or somebody in their early 20s, is a very strange thing.”

On her secret wedding dress: “I wore it for the ceremony we had just for our friends, in a wood, because you have to have flowers on a dress in a wood.”

On first meeting Karl Lagerfeld: “I didn’t know I was meeting him, and I was so jet-lagged I didn’t know what was going on. I was in jeans and had acne – you know the kind where nothing is going to cover it – so I put a hat on. I remember somebody making a [negative] comment about it and I just thought [whispers] ‘I’m wearing a hat because I’ve got acne.’”

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Keira to make appearance on Graham Norton

Good news for the UK fans! Keira and director and co-star Kenneth Branagh are expected to make an appearance on The Graham Norton Show according to the official website. The episode will air this Friday on BBC One.

Graham chats to Oscar-nominated actress Keira Knightley and actor-director Kenneth Branagh, both discussing new movie Jack Ryan. He is also joined by French footballing star Thierry Henry and comedian Lee Mack, with music from Katy B.