Welcome to Keira Knightley Fan, 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!.
 
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  • Quoting Keira
    Home » Keira

    Below is a list of memorable quotes from Keira compiled by the staff of Keira Knightley Fan from magazine transcripts and online interviews throughout her career. If you’ve got any you’d like to share with us that you cannot find here, or if you would like to know the the source for any of the quotes found below, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Enjoy her wise words!

    Quotes from 2018

  • The way that we have raised young women to be terrified of making mistakes and to always be perfect—that’s absolutely impossible. I think there’s a lot of anxiety around the pursuit of perfection and we shouldn’t be trying to pursue perfection, we should be liberated by the mistakes we make.
  • As an actor you sometimes get to be the person that you want to be as opposed to the person you are.
  • Why don’t journalists ask men how they balance their home life and their career? Why don’t you ask male actors how they feel being a father and going off to shoot a movie? And yet more times than not, that’s the first question that I’ll be asked — how do you balance motherhood with your career?
  • I have thought about directing. Right now there’s that classic female thing of being too terrified of it not being perfect. It’s a terrible affliction, because really what you should just do is dive in and give it a go. Maybe one day I’ll get over my fear and just do it. I hope there are many more courageous women than me who actually will.
  • I took a year off when I was pregnant and after I had my kid. It was interesting, because when you have a child it’s amazing and fulfilling, but you feel like your identity can in some way be subsumed by being a mother.
  • My taste is always going to be darker. I love strange, complex characters, and what’s great about my job is I get to try to understand people that I wouldn’t necessarily like.
  • I think some people find escapism through science fiction or fantasy, and I suppose my escapism into another world has always been through period drama. It’s nice that in my 30s I can finally admit that.
  • We have to be very careful with our young women. When I work with young actresses, I’m so protective of them. There’s a lot of people who go, ‘Oh, you’re only here because of your face.’ And they belittle them because of the way that they look. I think everyone can be a little kinder.
  • Quotes from 2016

  • on her daughter, Edie: She’s at about a million miles an hour from the second she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep. She doesn’t want you to help her to do anything. Even though she can still do very little. I mean, I take her swimming and she doesn’t want me to hold her in the pool. I’m like, ‘You can’t swim, you will drown’, and she goes crazy because I’m holding her.
  • I’m very ambitious and totally ambivalent at exactly the same time. I do periods where I work a lot and then… it has to go to absolute nothingness.
  • One of the things that is so shocking in this country is that childcare is unbelievably expensive. It should be, it’s an amazing thing if you’re good at it. It’s incredibly difficult, it should be well paid. But there is no option for a woman to go back to work unless she’s being paid really, really well and can afford full-time care before [her child can] get into nursery. I think I’ve become unbelievably aware of that and of how lucky I’ve been to be able to afford really good childcare, because otherwise it would be at least four years out of my career. I wouldn’t be able to get back to where I had been if I’d taken four years out. I think that’s the same for most women. And I think that’s really hard.
  • Quotes from 2015

  • on researching the role of Joan Clarke for The Imitation Game: I did about three weeks of reading and two weeks were spent trying to understand what any of the theories were. I got other books and I didn’t understand a fucking word. I don’t think I’m the most intelligent person, but I’m not thick as shit. Still, I could not make head or tail of it.
  • I get very interested with people who are caged in some way, and I think it’s quite true that very often people who try to break out of their perceived cage do get punished for it, whatever that cage is.
  • I do a lot of period pieces because that’s my taste, because I want to work in Europe, because that’s my home and generally speaking that’s what’s made in England. I love history, you know, but actually because they’ve been the most interesting characters for me that I’ve been offered. Now that could just be me: I think that there’s plenty of actresses that play very interesting roles in modern day pieces. But that hasn’t been what’s come my way.
  • I think actually that’s why I enjoy theater: It doesn’t exist. It’s not like film, which is stuck there forever. The show that you see tonight, whether it works or whether it doesn’t work, nobody will ever see that again. Tomorrow will be completely different. And I find that incredibly romantic.
  • We have to celebrate people’s differences, which I suppose is what activism is completely about.
  • My principle in terms of work has always been simple: it’s whatever I’m interested in. I think if I’m interested in something, then I can’t be the only one. I’ve been wrong several times, actually.
  • I was meant to be named ‘Kiera’, after a Russian ice skater who was on the TV one day. My dad fancied her and nicked her name for me. But it was my mum who went to register my birth, and she accidentally spelled ‘ei’ instead of ‘ie’ because my mum’s crap at spelling. Apparently, when she came back he said: ‘WHAT THE F*CK? You’ve spelt her name wrong!’ What were they going to do, though? Once it’s on the piece of paper, it’s on the piece of paper. And that’s me. A spelling error.
  • I’ve always hated the idea that you should be wearing this or that, because it makes me feel like I’m getting everything wrong. I hated it at school, and I don’t want it as an adult.
  • I’m always on the internet, looking at houses. I blame my parents, because they bought me a dolls’ house when I was a child. I never stay in one place for very long. I think space, where you live, really affects you. It’s the actress in me: “Who will I be if I live in that place? How will it change me if I go here?”
  • I think it’s very important to raise boys who are feminists and very important to raise girls who don’t expect Prince Charming and allow men to be emotional and weak at points and strong at points. We’re looking for equality and not gender stereotypes.
  • Quotes from 2014

  • on her lack of cooking skills: Right at the end, just as it’s all coming together, I lose interest and either burn the dish or add too much chilli. Too much chilli is a big problem for me. One of my best friends actually phoned me before he came over recently to warn me not to add too much chilli. Needless to say, I did and it was inedible.
  • on her favorite childhood movies: I loved Gone with the Wind. I absolutely did. But really I loved Scarlett O’Hara, because, specifically, she is a bitch. She does things her own way and everybody’s terrified of her, but she lives like a fucking survivor. And everyone wants to be that. It’s that moral ambiguity which I think is truer to life. That sometimes we can be a little bit mean.

    on her marriage: My parents are deeply hippy. They got married because it was the only way they could get a mortgage at the time. So I grew up with them going: “Don’t know why you’d ever get married.” And then we did. It’s nice. It’s been fun. Until it isn’t and then you get divorced! Fingers crossed for the future.

  • I’m not actually worried about turning 30. Honestly, my early twenties were not much fun. Then after 25, things just got better and better. Maybe you stop caring as much about where you should be going and what other people think – which is all the shit that makes you very unhappy early on.
  • The truth is that I’ve never liked shopping that much. I’ll do a bit of online shopping at Matches and Net-A-Porter, which is like crack. But I’ve never bought anything on eBay because I feel like that could just start eating into everything.
  • I love what Helena Bonham Carter wears, because it’s so completely mad. If you’re having fun, then who gives a fuck if you’re trendy?
  • I went to prom with my best mate, Emily. We both turned up an hour late, and I’d been filming Bend It Like Beckham, and I turned up in leather pants and a crop top, and she was a model for a while, and she’d been in Paris shooting something, and she turned up as the boy, so she had a black tie with ripped jeans on, and everybody else was completely dressed up, obviously, in that kind of finery, and then we had our picture taken underneath the thing, and she’s kissing me, and we were told that that was disgusting. And one of the teachers took us both aside and said we were never going to come to anything if we didn’t know how to dress appropriately for events like that. So that was my prom. We had a great time!
  • I was just very embarrassed at being young, probably because I’d worked with people who were a lot older than me from such a young age. And so yes, I think I did playact a version of trying to be a grown-up. Trying to be sensible and good and professional in a way I don’t now. Not that I behave badly or do anything, but you suddenly realize that you’ve set yourself a very specific framework to live within, and that can be quite claustrophobic and unnecessary.
  • There are a lot of people in this industry out of work, but they keep going because that moment, that part, could be just around the corner. And even when you are doing well, you are always looking for your next hit.
  • I’m being educated on wine. I did a wine course earlier this year because I suddenly thought, ‘Cor, I drink quite a lot of this and I absolutely don’t know what any of it is.’ It was great fun. The wine was so nice that we didn’t spit it out, it seemed like a waste, so we got a bit drunk. We were the drunks in the back of the class.
  • I’m constantly in a state of questioning career-wise. What kind of role should I do next? What am I looking for? Dustin Hoffman talked about going to therapy because he couldn’t choose his next role. I can understand that!
  • There a “King Arthur” poster where I have double DD breasts. I mean, what on earth? Look at me. You can see that that’s in no way possible. It’s difficult. Doing this job, in a way you have to give over your image. There are people who clothe me, people who light me, people who design my make-up. But when you’re being told that you’re not a woman if you don’t have big tits, you have to go “Fuck off.” And I have. But I do understand the contradiction. I’ve taken the money. That’s the job. It’s a continual struggle to find that balance. And I don’t think I always manage it.
  • I’ve got a lot of friends who are musicians and they give me albums and I furiously march around, trying to listen, but it never sinks in. I used to like Rage Against the Machine, but I think that was only because they swore in their songs. I was always more into reading and drama.
  • It’s not nice doing press if you’re worried about what people think of you or what they’re going to write about you. You definitely don’t want to go there. Journalists would ask things like: ‘How do you feel when people say you’re anorexic, you’re a **** actress or that people hate you?’
  • Quotes from 2013

  • on being followed by paparazzi: The first time it happened, I was in tears. It started the day after the premiere of King Arthur, and I had 10 people waiting outside of my house. The machine that allows you to make movies, the trade-off is that you have to sell it, and selling it means making yourself a public figure. You can’t cultivate the mystery, but my problem is I like mystery.
  • I get quite pissed off at being told what to think. Maybe I’m a savage dumb person, but I want to believe it is what I believe it is.
  • I’m not sure I can define success. I think if I get to the end of my life having hurt as few people as possible, I will be happy, making sure that the people who mean the most to me know they’ve been loved. Success in work, whatever work, will come and go.
  • Quotes from 2012

  • on her success at a young age: I hadn’t really surfaced for air. It was just before I turned 23 that it suddenly hit: the number of people outside my house, the weight of it all, and it was a very strange thing. As soon as I put my head up and realized I hadn’t processed anything, that was exactly the moment I went, “OK, I have got to take a year off and go away and get some memories.” I traveled around. I got on trains. I didn’t wash. I just did the student-y thing I hadn’t done when my mates had done it. And it was great. I read as many books as I could, went out, very rarely got recognized. It was an important thing to do from a personal point of view, but also from an acting point of view. If you are within the strange bubble of the film world, the only thing that you have to reflect on is that bubble; you lose sight of everyday life beyond the film set.
  • on the differences between film and theater: I like both. I love that there is such a rush. But getting to do film is wonderful as well. It’s all about mixing it up. There is a magic to a theater, to a stage, because they are the places where illusion is made. An audience knows when it gets into a theater, they’re going to get engaged than how they do when they go into a cinema. Generally, films are presented to you, and it’s all spelled out, whereas theater—you have to engage with it.
  • I have quite a lot of clothes, but I wear the same pair of jeans, the same jumper, the same jacket—I literally wear the same four things in my wardrobe. I cannot be bothered. It’s a shame. I really love the costumes. I’ve always loved costumes since I was a kid. Costume design always fascinated me because it’s creating a character. Whereas, I never know who I want to be. So the character I’d create for myself, I can’t figure out.
  • After I shot Anna Karenina, I thought, “I’ve been playing incredibly dark creatures that pretty much die for the last five years, and I’ve really got to put something out there that’s a little bit more positive.” So this year has been the year of pure entertainment.
  • I think a lot of people want to play heroic characters, and that’s it. But I don’t find that very compelling. It’s far more interesting to think about characters whose actions don’t always make sense. The fact is, the opposite is always alive in every decision. And if you look at your own life, and the way you’ve behaved and thought, it won’t always make sense either.
  • I do feel more comfortable in my skin. And, as a performer, I feel more comfortable in my ability to tap into a stock of emotions. I go back to when I was very young and doing big films, and I can see that of course I was never going to be able to understand everything I was playing on a level that I could now. As life goes on you pick up wounds, and for an actor it’s terribly important to have those wounds to draw on.
  • I think once you have been through any major disappointment in your life, whatever it is, that feeling, it changes you as a person. And whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, as an actor you draw on that. Which is why it’s very important to love and lose, and not be too perfect – otherwise you would have nothing to work with at all.
  • This sounds ridiculous, but I don’t actually like having my picture taken and I tend to avoid anything where I have that.
  • I am very close to my family. I am very close to my friends. I like the fact that in London I can get out of what I do. I don’t have to just be defined by what I do, and I find in LA, if you’re an actress, you can’t get out of the film industry, it’s all about that, as far as I found, though I’m sure there are other people who would say that’s complete bollocks.
  • Work-wise, it is amazing when you’re doing a scene and you’re working with somebody that you click with and for a second, or a couple of seconds, it’s real. And then it’s like magic, it’s like a drug.
  • I’ve never seen myself as being attractive in that glamorous way. At the same time, I completely know from being on photo shoots and film sets that my face photographs very well. It lights very well and make-up artists like making it up because of the planes in it. But I feel like it’s something apart from me. It doesn’t exist other than when I’m at work, in a funny kind of way, if that makes sense.
  • There are definitely extroverted actors and then there are introverted, and I fall into the introverted category. I tend to keep my head down so as not to get noticed, apart from a film festival like here in Venice, where that’s not going to happen. So, then I just go for it. Then it’s time to get dressed, and have fun.
  • We all face our fears constantly in regular life and for me it’s social situations. Going to a party is frightening for me. If I go out, I give myself a big pat on the back.
  • I’m a huge fan of Emma Thompson. Huge. And my mum, who worked with her mum on Sense And Sensibility, got me a copy of the screenplay Emma had written. It was like my treasured possession.
  • I’ve got a hell of a lot of guilt when I don’t work, because a lot of people want to do this. And I think I do probably still have a sense of never having quite proved myself. So I’m constantly trying to prove myself – and, you know, it’s a ridiculous thing. Because you’re never going to.
  • A lot of people say that acting is like therapy, but I don’t go for that. It’s not my cup of tea; it is for some people, but not me. I do, however, find it incredibly cathartic, and when you’re playing something so dark you want to have a really nice time afterwards, otherwise it’s far too depressing.
  • Quotes from 2011

  • on her films: I don’t watch any of them. I haven’t seen ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ in nine years. It’s all a learning curve. There are going to be good performances and there are going to be bad performances. There are going to be experiences where you click with people and experiences where you don’t. There are performances that I know just from having been there where I haven’t done well, just because I couldn’t, for one reason or another. And then there are performances that I know on the day, actually that was pretty good.
  • on not having a publicist: I never felt I needed one. I’ve had incredibly bad press in the past and I don’t know if it would be any better with a publicist. I’ve got mates in similar situations who have publicists and still get horrendous press.
  • I’m not a method actress. Yet you can always draw parallels of what people tell you. Empathy is the main thing, putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes and trying not to judge. A little bit of personal experience is sprinkled in there, but mostly it’s imagination.
  • I put on a character to deal with interviews. Sometimes she’s the right one but sometimes she gets me into a lot of f—ing trouble.
  • It would be a terrible thing if I felt I had nothing to prove. What would be the point?
  • My looks have been absolutely torn to pieces. Yes, I’ve got parts because of how I look – Pirates… was because of the way I looked, completely – and others not. I have a funny relationship with it because you have some people going: “That’s a beautiful face” and others going, “That’s fucking disgusting”, and they are very vocal about that.
  • Quotes from 2010

  • You have to be selective about the people whose advice and opinions you take. I know my parents would never tell me I was shit because they were trying to hurt me. It would always come from a very sincere place.
  • Joe’s [Wright] another one who’s very honest with me. With Pride & Prejudice he’d always be saying, `Close your mouth and stop pouting!’
  • Quotes from 2008

  • on taking a career break: It got to the point where you just get tired, and then you start to forget what you love about what you do. I wanted to be able to say to my friends, ‘Yes, I will be there for your birthday.’ I was having that discombobulated feeling of being homesick but not knowing what I was homesick for.
  • What does it feel like to wear a corset? Your ribs are crushed in and you can’t get your breath. Oh, and if you get emotional, you just can’t calm down at all. You can certainly understand why women were known as the weaker sex.
  • I would never want to say that this or that is my definite style, because I never know who I want to be. What if I wanted to be someone different the next day? Then what?
  • From a very young age I realized that you didn’t get parts if you acted like a child. So even at seven I remember picking a way to behave, a way that worked. Though in my personal life I don’t think I’m particularly mature. I don’t particularly want to be mature!