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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  • Q&A: Keira Knightley
    Home » Press Archives » Articles from 2012

    Keira Knightley swears like a sailor. This has surprised several of the people gathered for our round table, who have evidently never met an English person under the age of 50 before. (What will this do to their interview clips?)

    Me? I find it positively invigorating. And it provides a great contrast between Knightley and most of her screen roles – the first Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy; that slightly starched adaptation of Pride And Prejudice she made with Joe Wright; The Duchess, Never Let Me Go. Even the character of Sabina Spielrein in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method was too repressed to really enjoy cursing.

    Knightley’s role in Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World is the polar opposite of Spielrein. As Penny, a British expat stuck on the wrong side of the Atlantic as the apocalypse draws near, she’s a shaft of hope in a world of misery – which rubs Steve Carell’s morose hero entirely the wrong way.

    So, the world’s ending and you’ve got Steve Carell there to keep you company. That’s got to be reassuring.

    Steve is one of the loveliest men alive. He’s so generous, and so lovely and courteous to everyone, and a complete professional – and very funny in that wonderful way. You meet a lot of comics, and the comedy comes at you almost like a defence mechanism. You’re like, “Fuck! I can’t quite deal with this!” Whereas Steve is amazing and inclusive; he makes everyone around him feel funny. Yeah, he’s wonderful.

    If the world really were ending, what would you do?

    Cry and be very frightened and hide in a corner, I should imagine [laughing]. I mean, you’d love to be the person at a party having a great time, but I think actually if I heard that a meteor was coming to Earth, I think I’d be going, “Is that going to hurt?” That would be the main thing in my mind.

    People were talking about these bucket lists – things you’d want to do before you die, and would that be what you’d do in the last 20 days? I don’t think I’d get to the end of my life and regret not having jumped out of a plane, but I think I would get to the end of my life and regret not having spent enough time with the people I love. And that’s what I loved about the film; it says that’s actually the important thing. It’s friendship, it’s love, it’s companionship; it’s the small moments that are actually the most important moments.

    Carell’s character, Dodge, is very withdrawn, which requires your character, Penny, to be the movie’s life force. Was that challenging?

    I just had to say the lines, and [Penny] was already that life force. It’s quite clear that she’s somebody who’s incredibly positive and loves something as simple as a milkshake, but then will be crying the next second because the world’s ending. Which is completely understandable [laughter]. But then the next second she’ll go, ‘Ooh, the sun’s shining and this is really nice.’ It was so clear from the script, so it wasn’t a difficult thing to do.

    I’d like to be more like her. I mean, I really loved Penny, because she’s one of those people who’s able to say “This moment is excellent,” and that’s a trait so few people have. I certainly don’t. I think we very easily go, “I’m so depressed right now,” but you don’t go “Fuck! I’m really happy!” And I thought that was such a lovely kind of thing. I’d love to be more like that.

    There’s been some muttering about the age difference between you and Steve Carell. He was 48 when you shot Seeking A Friend last year. You were 26. Was that ever an issue?

    He looks good, doesn’t he? Christ, what does he do with his skin? [laughter] Exfoliate – sure, right. No, I mean, it’s a friendship. Yes, of course it goes romantic and they do fall in love with each other and all the rest of it, but it starts off as a friendship, and that’s what I loved about it. The friendship aspect, more than the other side of it, that was actually the really important one. I think also it’s saying these two people are unlikely to get together. You’ve got the insurance broker who kind of, you know, who lives this life that he’s set himself that is very rigid, and then you’ve got this person who can’t fucking figure out anything and is all over the place and doesn’t know what she wants to be. It’s about an unlikely relationship, a friendship, and those can be the best. Opposites do attract. And there are lots of relationships with one person who’s older than the other. Love is love, and it happens at strange times to strange people. Who knows what works?

    Lorene Scafaria seems to have thought it through. This was her first feature; did that present any unexpected challenges?

    She didn’t seem like a first-time director at all. She knew what she wanted, she knew what she was doing, she was very decisive. We didn’t do more than two or three takes – partly because we didn’t have enough time to do more than two or three takes, but actually because most of the time she was like, “Yes. That’s it.” All of us were going, “Do you need one more? Do you need anything else?” you know. She was like, “No. Got it.” That was amazing.

    Your next film in the pipeline is an adaptation of Anna Karenina with Joe Wright, your director on Pride And Prejudice and Atonement.

    You won’t be able to imagine what he’s done with it. It will become clearer once the trailer comes out. It’s not a naturalistic take, it’s very stylized. It’s right out there.

    That sounds… risky.

    You know, the first time we worked together, he was a TV director and I was “that shit pouty one” [laughing]. So when we were doing Pride And Prejudice, everybody was like, “Well, that’s gonna be shit.” So it was kind of amazing, because there wasn’t any pressure to it. Anything better than shit was all right [laughter]. The second time we worked together was Atonement, and everyone was like, “It’s an unfilmable novel. They were lucky the first time. It’s gonna be crap . Who’s James McAvoy – that doesn’t make any sense.” So that was quite nice. This time everybody’s going, “It’s gonna be great!” and we’re going, “Oh, fuuuuuck! People think it’s gonna be good. Oh god.” So if we’re gonna go down in flames, let’s really go down in flames. It’s out there, which I’m really excited about, and I loved the choices he made. I haven’t seen it yet, but the bits I have seen I’m really excited about. So, fingers crossed.

    When you choose projects, do you find yourself drawn more to dramas or comedies?

    I enjoy drama more. I like tragedies. Comedy is an incredible skill. When you watch Steve working and you see how he gets the comic moments out of things, it’s absolutely amazing. It’s very difficult, definitely.

    If the world were ending, would you want to spend any time rewatching your movies?

    God, no. I mean, not that I’m not proud of some, but I wouldn’t want to watch them. I don’t like watching myself. It’s the same thing as hearing your own voice back. I’m sure you have to do it when you listen to this. It’s like, “Oh god, do I sound like that?” It’s the same thing: “Does my face move like that?” Why would you do it? No, it’s horrible.

    And you’d have to watch yourself cry, which is never pleasant.

    Yeah [laughing]. Yeah, I try not to cry in too many movies, but – yeah, you’re right. Oh, you wait for Anna Karenina, there’s tears all over it. Shit.

    We didn’t get a chance to talk at TIFF last year, so I wanted to ask you about your work on A Dangerous Method. Your performance as Sabina Spielrein, a patient of Carl Jung’s who became his protege and his lover, proved fairly divisive among critics for its extreme physicality.

    It was always going to be. There were two choices in that performance – you either go really minimal or you go full hog. And when you looked into hysteria, what I was doing was way under what the [actual] hysteric would have been doing. What I love about David is that I went to him and said, “Okay, I’ve prepared this one, I’ve prepared that one, which one do you want?” And he was like, “That one.” And we both knew people were gonna love it or hate it. I loved that about it. He’s so punk, you know.