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!.
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."
Keira the Conquerer
Home » Press Archives » Articles from 2013

“Oh my, that’s quite sexual.” Keira Knightley is studying a… what exactly is that? She bends toward a bulbous aquamarine glass flute with a sinewy neck and floral spout and squints to read the placard. “Of course, it’s a rosewater sprinkler!” She says, laughing. “And to think, until now I’ve been just spraying my rosewater about carelessly. I was doing the wrong thing, wasn’t I?”

We’re at an exhibition of Islamic art at the Museum of Arts and Design on New York’s Columbus Circle; the treasures are from the fabled Honolulu estate Shangri-la of tobacco heiress Doris Duke, who spent her life collecting art and men in equal measure. The curious nature of some of the objects has Knightley resorting to reading the placards, though “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.” As Knightley wanders through the show, she considers that the collection is drawn from just one of Duke’s many pleasure domes — Duke also kept palaces in Newport, Rhode Island; Beverly Hills; and Hillsborough, New Jersey — and takes stock of just how far she herself is from settling down and building these sorts of statement houses.

“I’m still a traveler,” says the actress, who recently moved from a loft to a reportedly $3.8 million house in London’s East End with her fiancé, Klaxons keyboardist James Righton, 29. “We love it, but it’s not the house… I don’t have anything valuable. Everything in our house is designed so you can spill things on it.”

She pauses before a case full of intricate jewelry encrusted with hundreds of diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. She starts to walk away and then turns back. “They’re real, aren’t they?” She points to a necklace with enough bling to propose to the borough of Manhattan. “Could you imagine dancing in that? If you lost it? I won’t be defined by objects, I just won’t.” It takes walking amid a billionaire’s baubles to realize that Knightley is about as practical and grounded as a 27-year-old international star can be. (The Sunday Times estimates her own fortune at more than $48 million.) “My mom [Sharman Macdonald] is a playwright — she was an actress — and my dad [Will Knightley] is an actor, and we managed to go on holidays, but there were periods when they were hugely out of work and wouldn’t know if they could keep the house. It’s a very insecure profession. I’ve always seen it for what it is. So when I started getting work, it’s like this tiny space opened up and I needed to jump in and go with it. It could all go away tomorrow.” Later on, she would say, “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.”

With security guards and publicity minders in tow, she had arrived in a wasp-waisted purple- and-pink floral dress, dark tights, and loafers. “Can you read it?” she asks, holding up the back of her collar when asked about the designer. “I don’t remember.” Despite not knowing the label (it’s Ganni, a Danish brand), she’s been muse to a number of designers, including Karl Lagerfeld as the face of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle perfume. “I like the fantasy of fashion,” she says. “Creating a different person and dressing up like her. Putting on a flowery dress when it’s raining brightens up the world.”

“The first thing that springs to mind is the 1940s,” says actress and longtime friend Sienna Miller. “I think of her as glamorous in that kind of timeless movie star way, but she can be grungy in this very cool ’90s way. You say this about people who have style, but it’s true: She genuinely doesn’t think about the way she looks or how she puts herself together. She could throw on a bin bag and look beautiful.”

Since breaking through at 16 in Bend It Like Beckham, vaulting to blockbuster success in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with Johnny Depp, retreating from show business for nine months in 2008 before returning to make “dramatic tragedies, the more f–cked up and weird the better,” she’s transformed from ingenue to Oscar and Golden Globe nominee, both critics’ darling and box-office catnip. Her most recent, Anna Karenina, the third movie she’s made with director Joe Wright after Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, was a tribute to Knightley’s ability to carry a complicated, high-concept film. Her one small regret is that her portrayal of Tolstoy’s Russian adultress wasn’t allowed to show a darker side. “You could make her a lot more villainous if it wasn’t because you have to see the world through her eyes. You don’t want people not to care. The tyranny of likable characters. I hate when everything has to be likable. Like is such a small emotion.”

She stops at a woven burgundy-and-white textile. “What is that? A rug? A tablecloth?” She reads the description and laughs. “A tent panel! Of course! How could I not have known?” While she’s been touring the museum, her team has come up with a plan to foil the paparazzi outside. The black tinted-window Chevrolet Suburban she arrived in will idle in front, while a black tinted-window Chevrolet Suburban will be brought around the back to whisk her away. She stands in a dark, damp rear loading area full of garbage cans, stacks of protective tarp, and runs of beige ductwork, her flowery form a bouquet amid the industrial-looking innards of the building. When the SUV comes, Knightley is rushed out, sheltered across the sidewalk in a scrum, and then lifted into the waiting vehicle.

“The first time it happened, I was in tears,” she says of being stalked by cameras. “It started the day after the premiere of King Arthur, and I had 10 people waiting outside of my house.” She has since come to accept sacrificing her private life for the right to be in movies. “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.”

Despite 23 feature films and more $4bn in global box-office sales, Knightley has somehow steadfastly preserved her mystery, without any of the usual starlet meltdowns or public displays of bad behaviour. She’s kept her romantic life out of the press while maintaining an enviable profile as an in-demand leading lady. While that profile may seem proper and refined, there’s a rebelliousness to her, a real woman who speaks her mind, swears, sulks, drinks.

“We have to do that again,” she says, raising her Champagne flute. “If we’re not looking into each other’s eyes when we toast, that means seven years’ bad sex. Can’t have that.” We’ve taken a booth at The Russian Tea Room, the red-and-gold dining room hung with Impressionistic paintings and ornate chandeliers. “It’s sort of like being ina version of The Nutcracker,” she says. “This would be an awful place to get drunk. The walls would start closing in.”

Keira has always feared those walls, essentially quitting the business in 2008 after the relentless, exhausting promotion of the Pirates movies, going on what she calls a “walkabout,” telling her agents not to bother trying to reach her as she traveled through Europe by rail, crashing with friends in her search to “live a little bit outside the bubble. What do I want to do? What is this? I had hit a brick wall. If you’re going from film set to film set, you’re not having any real experiences; you are just regurgitating the same stuff.” She insists that when she’s wearing jeans and a T-shirt and not made-up, she can travel unnoticed.

“She went through a dark period,” says Joe Wright, “and she came out of the other side stronger and more humble. Her life experience has meant she’s become even more uncompromising. She is a proper punk rocker, she refuses to be categorized or pinned down to this idea of the pretty girl next door, but she has this amazing fire and honesty about what it means to be a woman. She’s willing to take more risks in a performance now. It’s great as a friend to see someone whom you really love in full command of her talent.”

She returned as an actress who embraces darker roles in lower-budget films, notably 2010’s Never Let Me Go and 2011’s A Dangerous Method, and critically praised turns onstage in London. Later this year, she stars in the drama Can a Song Save Your Life? with Mark Ruffalo and a roster of musicians–including Adam Levine, CeeLo Green, and Mos Def–and returns to the mainstream, big-budget fare in the Kenneth Branagh-directed Jack Ryan, based on the CIA analyst character of Tom Clancy’s novels. “I fancied doing something where everyone lives at the end,” she says. “I wanted to do a happy ending.” Branagh is delighted she agreed to play Chris Pine’s love interest in this more conventional thriller: “I think she was a bit wrung out by the emotional engagement of what she had been doing. I thought Keira would be interested in playing a contemporary character and an American and being in a genre that can be treated quite glibly. There is a physical element to the role, but it relies on her smarts as an actress, and she brings depth and intelligence to her character. She has tremendous personal warmth and great good humor–qualities that people may not associate with her because of that exotic look. She can access more of herself now than ever before; her range has expanded tremendously; she’s more unguarded; the work is freer; there’s more revelation and confidence.”

Her life with Righton appears to be headed toward an emotionally satisfying ending as well. When they met through a mutual friend (not his ex Alexa Chung, as has been reported), she’d never heard of his British indie band. “I’m not someone who listens to a lot of music. But I get wonderful perspective by being with someone who is less like me than more like me. The way he thinks is something I don’t get. We come at things from totally different angles.” She’s dated actors in the past, notably Pride & Prejudice costar Rupert Friend (now in Homeland), and found that “the conversation was about process, because we have this mutual fascination.” But with Righton, “If I ask, ‘What is this song about?’ he’ll say, ‘Nothing, it means what it sounds like’…. When we talk bout movies, if the soundtrack isn’t right, he can’t watch it. If I can’t find a story in a song, I won’t like it.”

The wedding, she promises, will be modest. “I could have six fake weddings. God, that would be expensive. We’re not really big-wedding types. I don’t need to have all that. We’ll figure it out.” And then the couple will finally build their dream house? She shakes her head and sips her Champagne. “Please, I’m just trying to enjoy the engagement bit… My parents are still together after 40 years. The fights are there, but there’s no doubt they love each other. It’s not like the first three months, the first two years, whatever it is, but I honestly think it gets more interesting, or I hope so.” Instead of settling in a grand pile somewhere in the English countryside, she’s more likely to drop everything and set off again.

“My boyfriend’s a musician, so there’s no standing still, but the thing about a walkabout is you can’t tell anyone about it, or they’ll come looking. So, it will be like that”–she snaps her fingers–“and I’ll be gone.”