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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  • 'Colette' Paris Premiere
  • BBC Radio 5 Interview
  • The Guardian: Keira Knightley shines in gritty, glamorous biopic 'Colette'
  • Appearing on 'The Graham Norton Show'
  • schedule
  • November 22, 2018 'Berlin, I Love You' German Theatrical Release
  • December 11, 2018 'Colette' US Blu-ray Release
  • January 11, 2019 'Colette' UK Theatrical Release
  • March 1, 2019 'The Aftermath' UK Theatrical Release
  • Keira Knightley on her friend Benedict Cumberbatch
    Home » Press Archives » Articles from 2017

    Keira Knightley talks to Harper’s Bazaar about her friendship with Benedict Cumberbatch – the moment she knew he was destined for success and why he’ll always be one of her most treasured confidantes.

    I first met Benedict on the set of Atonement in 2006. It was one of those completely idyllic summers. The weather was unbelievably beautiful and we were staying on a farm in Shropshire around the corner from Stokesay Court, the country house that stood in for the Tallis estate. I was in the main house, and Benedict was in one of the smaller cottages with a lovely actor called Patrick Kennedy, who played my brother in the film. Benedict played his horrible, rich friend. For about six weeks we hung out every single night, which is how I got to know him. I have so many happy memories. I remember Benedict and Patrick playing tennis and me sitting and watching. (Benedict is quite good at tennis; he’s one of those posh-school boys who are good at everything.) Tennis is the one sport I hate more than anything because I can’t play. But I remember the pair of them trying to coax me into playing and me absolutely refusing, then ending up as a rather grumpy ball girl. I remember lots of parties in the main house and drinking pear cider. I had never drunk pear cider (I was always put off by the smell) but Benedict talked me into it and he was right to do so, because pear cider is a very good thing, particularly during a hot summer in Shropshire. I also remember Benedict and me spending a lot of time in Ludlow, dining out at very good restaurants a lot. Actually, that’s been the basis for our friendship ever since.

    Needless to say, Benedict is a very good dinner companion: always interested and interesting, up on politics and the news (so he’s got an opinion) and always ready with a story, although occasionally you have to pin him down to one subject because he tends to veer off in all directions. He is also caring. There have been moments in our friendship when I have been going through tough times and he has been right there, taking me out to dinner, coming round to the house, being the one who listened. I appreciate that hugely.

    There was no doubt in my mind that something big was going to happen for Benedict. I remember watching him on Atonement and thinking: ‘God, he’s good.’ The quality of his work was always brilliant; it was just a question of when his break would come. Then, of course, he was cast in Sherlock. We went out to dinner soon afterwards and he was talking about the character and what he wanted to do with it. I remember thinking how cool it sounded. But I didn’t ever think Sherlock would be the role that changed everything. You hope, but you never know. I imagine that’s how Benedict felt about Sherlock.

    I did know, however, that when the opportunity came, Benedict would be ready for it and he would jump right in. And that’s exactly what he has done. He is really enjoying his success. He is 38, and has wanted this for such a long time and has worked so hard. More importantly, his love for acting is something I haven’t seen in anyone else. He has found the one thing in life he is singularly passionate about and he is making the most of it. Watching from the sidelines has been lovely. As for his many admirers, his so-called ‘Cumberbitches’, I think he rather enjoys the attention despite being a little bemused.

    After Atonement there was a period of five years when we saw each other all the time and became unbelievably close. After that, he was working so much I hardly saw him. Then all of a sudden The Imitation Game came up. I heard Benedict was attached to play the part of Alan Turing and I texted him immediately to check. I was up for the role of Joan Clarke, Turing’s close friend and fellow code-breaker in World War II. I was already interested in the story, and when Benedict texted back to say he was definitely doing it, my mind was made up.

    Benedict is a lovely actor to work with. He is constantly curious, always up for trying things and looking to make a scene better. The only problem is that if it were up to Benedict we would still be shooting the film. There are a million different ways of playing a scene and he wants to explore them all. I loved our scenes together, but my favourite moments were those we shared off-screen, like when we snuck outside and illicitly smoked cigarettes, or when he joined the rest of us for picnics in my trailer and we ate chicken wings sitting on the floor. Most of all, I was touched by his compassion on set. He doesn’t like to see people upset or not being valued, and he tends to stand up for them when he does. You see that empathy in his work. It goes to show he is not only a very good actor, but a lovely dude too.