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Keira Knightley Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (80) | Personal Quotes (100) | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 26 March 1985Teddington, Middlesex, England, UK
Birth NameKeira Christina Knightley
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Keira Christina Knightley was born in the South London suburb of Richmond on March 26th 1985. She is the daughter of actor Will Knightley and actress turned playwright Sharman Macdonald. An older brother, Caleb Knightley, was born in 1979. Her father is English and her Scottish-born mother is of Scottish and Welsh origin. Brought up immersed in the acting profession from both sides - writing and performing - it is little wonder that the young Keira asked for her own agent at the age of three. She was granted one at the age of six and performed in her first TV role as "Little Girl" in Screen One: Royal Celebration (1993), aged seven. It was discovered at an early age that Keira had severe difficulties in reading and writing. She was not officially dyslexic as she never sat the formal tests required of the British Dyslexia Association. Instead, she worked incredibly hard, encouraged by her family, until the problem had been overcome by her early teens. Her first multi-scene performance came in A Village Affair (1995), an adaptation of the lesbian love story by Joanna Trollope. This was followed by small parts in the British crime series The Bill (1984), an exiled German princess in The Treasure Seekers (1996) and a much more substantial role as the young "Judith Dunbar" in Giles Foster's adaptation of Rosamunde Pilcher's novel Coming Home (1998), alongside Peter O'Toole, Penelope Keith and Joanna Lumley. The first time Keira's name was mentioned around the world was when it was revealed (in a plot twist kept secret by director George Lucas) that she played Natalie Portman's decoy "Padme" to Portman's "Amidala" in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). It was several years before agreement was reached over which scenes featured Keira as the queen and which featured Natalie! Keira had no formal training as an actress and did it out of pure enjoyment. She went to an ordinary council-run school in nearby Teddington and had no idea what she wanted to do when she left. By now, she was beginning to receive far more substantial roles and was starting to turn work down as one project and her schoolwork was enough to contend with. She reappeared on British television in 1999 as "Rose Fleming" in Alan Bleasdale's faithful reworking of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist (1999), and travelled to Romania to film her first title role in Walt Disney's Princess of Thieves (2001) in which she played Robin Hood's daughter, Gwyn. Keira's first serious boyfriend was her Princess of Thieves (2001) co-star Del Synnott, and they later co-starred in Peter Hewitt's 'work of fart' Thunderpants (2002). Nick Hamm's dark thriller The Hole (2001) kept her busy during 2000, and featured her first nude scene (15 at the time, the film was not released until she was 16 years old). In the summer of 2001, while Keira studied and sat her final school exams (she received six A's), she filmed a movie about an Asian girl's (Parminder Nagra) love for football and the prejudices she has to overcome regarding both her culture and her religion). Bend It Like Beckham (2002) was a smash hit in football-mad Britain but it had to wait until another of Keira's films propelled it to the top end of the US box office. Bend It Like Beckham (2002) cost just £3.5m to make, and nearly £1m of that came from the British Lottery. It took £11m in the UK and has since gone on to score more than US$76m worldwide. Meanwhile, Keira had started A-levels at Esher College, studying Classics, English Literature and Political History, but continued to take acting roles which she thought would widen her experience as an actress. The story of a drug-addicted waitress and her friendship with the young son of a drug-addict, Pure (2002), occupied Keira from January to March 2002. Also at this time, Keira's first attempt at Shakespeare was filmed. She played "Helena" in a modern interpretation of a scene from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" entitled The Seasons Alter (2002). This was commissioned by the environmental organisation "Futerra", of which Keira's mother is patron. Keira received no fee for this performance or for another short film, New Year's Eve (2002), by award-winning director Col Spector. But it was a chance encounter with producer Andy Harries at the London premiere of Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) which forced Keira to leave her studies and pursue acting full-time. The meeting lead to an audition for the role of "Larisa Feodorovna Guishar" - the classic heroine of Boris Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhivago (2002), played famously in the David Lean movie by Julie Christie. This was to be a big-budget TV movie with a screenplay written by Andrew Davies. Keira won the part and the mini-series was filmed throughout the Spring of 2002 in Slovakia, co-starring Sam Neill and Hans Matheson as "Yuri Zhivago". Keira rounded off 2002 with a few scenes in the first movie to be directed by Blackadder and Vicar of Dibley writer Richard Curtis. Called Love Actually (2003), Keira played "Juliet", a newlywed whose husband's Best Man is secretly besotted with her. A movie filmed after Love Actually (2003) but released before it was to make the world sit up and take notice of this beautiful fresh-faced young actress with a cute British accent. It was a movie which Keira very nearly missed out on, altogether. Auditions were held in London for a new blockbuster movie called Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), but heavy traffic in the city forced Keira to be tagged on to the end of the day's auditions list. It helped - she got the part. Filming took place in Los Angeles and the Caribbean from October 2002 to March 2003 and was released to massive box office success and almost universal acclaim in the July of that year. Meanwhile, a small British film called Bend It Like Beckham (2002) had sneaked onto a North American release slate and was hardly setting the box office alight. But Keira's dominance in "Pirates" had set tongues wagging and questions being asked about the actress playing "Elizabeth Swann". Almost too late, "Bend It"'s distributors realised one of its two stars was the same girl whose name was on everyone's lips due to "Pirates", and took the unusual step of re-releasing "Bend It" to 1,000 screens across the US, catapulting it from no. 26 back up to no. 12. "Pirates", meanwhile, was fighting off all contenders at the top spot, and stayed in the Top 3 for an incredible 21 weeks. It was perhaps no surprise, then, that Keira was on producer Jerry Bruckheimer's wanted list for the part of "Guinevere" in a planned accurate telling of the legend of "King Arthur". Filming took place in Ireland and Wales from June to November 2003. In July, Keira had become the celebrity face of British jeweller and luxury goods retailer, Asprey. At a photoshoot for the company on Long Island New York in August, Keira met and fell in love with Northern Irish model Jamie Dornan. King Arthur (2004) was released in July 2004 to lukewarm reviews. It seems audiences wanted the legend after all, and not necessarily the truth. Keira became the breakout star and 'one to watch in 2004' throughout the world's media at the end of 2003. Keira's 2004 started off in Scotland and Canada filming John Maybury's time-travelling thriller The Jacket (2005) with Oscar-winner Adrien Brody. A planned movie of Deborah Moggach's novel, "Tulip Fever", about forbidden love in 17th Century Amsterdam, was cancelled in February after the British government suddenly closed tax loopholes which allowed filmmakers to claw back a large proportion of their expenditure. Due to star Keira and Jude Law in the main roles, the film remains mothballed. Instead, Keira spent her time wisely, visiting Ethiopia on behalf of the "Comic Relief" charity, and spending summer at various grandiose locations around the UK filming what promises to be a faithful adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel Pride & Prejudice (2005), alongside Matthew Macfadyen as "Mr. Darcy", and with Donald Sutherland and Judi Dench in supporting roles. In October 2004, Keira received her first major accolade, the Hollywood Film Award for Best Breakthrough Actor - Female, and readers of Empire Magazine voted her the Sexiet Movie Star Ever. The remainder of 2004 saw Keira once again trying a completely new genre, this time the part-fact, part-fiction life story of model turned bounty hunter Domino (2005). 2005 started with the premiere of The Jacket (2005) at the Sundance Film Festival, with the US premiere in LA on February 28th. Much of the year was then spent in the Caribbean filming both sequels to Pirates Of The Caribbean. Keira's first major presenting role came in a late-night bed-in comedy clip show for Comic Relief with presenter Johnny Vaughan. In late July, promotions started for the September release of Pride & Prejudice (2005), with British fans annoyed to learn that the US version would end with a post-marriage kiss, but the European version would not. Nevertheless, when the movie opened in September on both sides of the Atlantic, Keira received her greatest praise thus far in her career, amid much talk of awards. It spent three weeks at No. 1 in the UK box office. Domino (2005) opened well in October, overshadowed by the death of Domino Harvey earlier in the year. Keira received Variety's Personality Of The Year Award in November, topped the following month by her first Golden Globe nomination, for Pride & Prejudice (2005). KeiraWeb.com exclusively announced that Keira would play Helene Joncour in an adaptation of Alessandro Baricco's novella Silk (2007). Pride & Prejudice (2005) garnered six BAFTA nominations at the start of 2006, but not Best Actress for Keira, a fact which paled soon after by the announcement she had received her first Academy Award nomination, the third youngest Best Actress Oscar hopeful. A controversial nude Vanity Fair cover of Keira and Scarlett Johansson kept the press busy up till the Oscars, with Reese Witherspoon taking home the gold man in the Best Actress category, although Keira's Vera Wang dress got more media attention. Keira spent early summer in Europe filming Silk (2007) opposite Michael Pitt, and the rest of the summer in the UK filming Atonement (2007), in which she plays Cecilia Tallis, and promoting the new Pirates movie (her Ellen Degeneres interview became one of the year's Top 10 'viral downloads'). Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) broke many box office records when it opens worldwide in July, becoming the third biggest movie ever by early September. Keira sued British newspaper The Daily Mail in early 2007 after her image in a bikini accompanied an article about a woman who blamed slim celebrities for the death of her daughter from anorexia. The case was settled and Keira matched the settlement damages and donated the total amount to an eating disorder charity. Keira filmed a movie about the life of Dylan Thomas, The Edge Of Love (2008) with a screenplay written by her mother Sharman Macdonald. Her co-star Lindsay Lohan pulled out just a week before filming began, and was replaced by Sienna Miller. What was announced to be Keira's final Pirates movie in the franchise, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (2007), opened strongly in June, rising to all-time fifth biggest movie by July. Atonement (2007) opened the Venice Film Festival in August, and opened worldwide in September, again to superb reviews for Keira. Meanwhile, Silk (2007) opened in September on very few screens and disappeared without a trace. Keira spent the rest of the year filming The Duchess (2008), the life story of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, based on Amanda Foreman's award-winning biography of the distant relation of Princess Diana. The year saw more accolades and poll-topping for Keira than ever before, including Women's Beauty Icon 2007 and gracing the covers of all the top-selling magazines. She won Best Actress for Atonement (2007) at the Variety Club Of Great Britain Showbiz Awards, and ended the year with her second Golden Globe nomination. Christmas Day saw - or rather heard - Keira on British TV screens in a new Robbie The Reindeer animated adventure, with DVD proceeds going to Comic Relief. At the start of 2008, Keira received her first BAFTA nomination - Best Actress for Atonement, and the movie wins Best Film: Drama at the Golden Globes. Seven Academy Award nominations for Atonement soon follow. Keira wins Best Actress for her role as Cecilia Tallis at the Empire Film Awards. In May, Keira's first Shakespearean role is announced, when she is confirmed to play Cordelia in a big-screen version of King Lear, alongside Naomi Watts and Gwyneth Paltrow, with Sir Anthony Hopkins as the titular monarch. After two years of rumours, it is confirmed that Keira is on the shortlist to play Eliza Doolittle in a new adaptation of My Fair Lady. The Edge Of Love opens the Edinburgh Film Festival on June 18th, and opens on limited release in the UK and US. A huge round of promotions for The Duchess occurs throughout the summer, with cast and crew trying to play down the marketers' decision to draw parallels between the duchess and Princess Diana. Keira attends the UK and US premieres and Toronto Film Festival within the first week of September. The Duchess opens strongly on both sides of the Atlantic. Two more movies are confirmed for Keira during September - a tale of adultery called Last Night (2010), and a biopic of author F Scott Fitzgerald entitled The Beautiful and the Damned. Keira spends October on the streets of New York City filming Last Night alongside Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet. Keira helps to promote the sixtieth anniversary of the UN's Declaration of Human Rights, by contributing to a series of short films produced to mark the occasion. In January 2009 it was announced Keira had signed to play a reclusive actress in an adaptation of Ken Bruen's novel London Boulevard (2010), co-starring Colin Farrell. Keira continues her close ties with the Comic Relief charity by helping to launch their British icons T-shirts campaign. In the same week King Lear was revealed to have been shelved, it was announced that Keira would instead star alongside her Pride & Prejudice co-star Carey Mulligan in an adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go (2010). A new short film emerges in March, recorded in the January of 2008 in which Keira plays a Fairy! The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers (2009) was written by Keira's boyfriend Rupert Friend and actor Tom Mison. It goes on to be shown at the London Film Festival in October and wins Best Comedy Short at the New Hampshire Film Festival. Keira continued to put her celebrity to good use in 2009 with a TV commercial for WomensAid highlighting domestic abuse against women. Unfortunately UK censors refused to allow its broadcast and it can only be viewed on YouTube. May and June asw Keira filming Never Let Me Go and London Boulevard back-to-back. In October, a new direction for Keira's career emerged, when it was announced she would appear on the London stage in her West End debut role as Jennifer, in a reworking of Moliere's The Misanthrope, starring Damian Lewis and Tara Fitzgerald. More than $2m of ticket sales followed in the first four days, before even rehearsals had begun! The play will run from December to March at London's Comedy Theatre. Meanwhile, in late October it was finally confirmed that Keira had won the role of Eliza Doolittle in a brand new adaptation of My Fair Lady. With a script by Emma Thompson and produced by Duncan Kenworthy and Sir Cameron Mackintosh, its director was also finally confirmed as Joe Wright (after Danny Boyle and Stephen Daldry were linked at various stages).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Frankie Smith and Paul Fisher - paul@keiraweb.com

Spouse (1)

James Righton (4 May 2013 - present)

Trade Mark (1)

Often stars in period pieces

Trivia (80)

Daughter of actor Will Knightley and Sharman Macdonald.
Member of the Heathham House Youth Project.
Younger sister of Caleb Knightley.
Trained in dancing.
The similarity between Knightley and Natalie Portman meant that during the filming of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999), their own mothers could not tell them apart once in makeup.
Her role as the decoy queen in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) was kept secret in order to not spoil the surprise, it was maintained through the promotions that Portman played both the Queen and the decoy.
Supports West Ham United.
Mother is actress-turned-author Sharman Macdonald, who wrote 'When I Was A Girl I Used To Scream And Shout' and 'The Winter Guest'.
Tatler announced that Keira is the most desirable single woman in the UK (2004).
Has dyslexia. She had to wear special glasses in adolescence to help her read.
Glamour magazine's choice for "Most Glamorous Film Actress" (2004).
The Royal Shakespeare Company of Stratford, England, held a 2004 poll asking movie viewers to vote for the actor and actress they would love to see play Romeo and Juliet, and the winners were Knightley and James Marsters. More than 2,000 people voted for more than 150 different actors for both roles. Keira triumphed over Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson, and Juliet Landau in the vote. Knightley said, "I am absolutely thrilled to have come top of the poll, particularly as Juliet is a role I would very much love to play in the future." (April 23, 2004)
Voted #1 in New Woman magazine's 50 Most Beautiful Celebs 2004.
Voted The Sexiest Film Star of All Time by Empire magazine poll. [September 2004]
She did her first topless scene at the age of 15, in The Hole (2001), whilst the film was released in 2001 it was filmed in 2000. For legal reasons due to her age her mother had to agree and the set was closed.
Auditioned for, and was accepted to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in London, England.
At 16, she went to Esher College to study for her A Levels, but quit the course when offered the role of Lara in Doctor Zhivago (2002).
Voted #18 in FHM 100 Sexiest Women 2005.
Her father, who is English, has English, and a small amount of Scottish, ancestry. Her mother, who is of Scottish and Welsh descent, was born in Scotland.
She's an idol in several forum communities from Heavengames.com, one of the most famous websites about Real Time Strategy computer games.
When auditioning for the role of Jackie Price in The Jacket (2005), she had suffered food poisoning a few days earlier. She decided to audition anyway and the film makers liked her "acting" for the scene, as Jackie Price was to be a woman with many issues of loss and pain as well as being physically sick in general.
She has bought a flat in Richmond Upon Thames (2005) but has said to have only have spent a few weeks there. However, she plans to fill it with her own painted canvases.
Voted second sexiest voice, behind Sir Sean Connery, in a poll by the UK's Royal National Institute for the Blind, commissioned to celebrate 70 years of their Talking Books service.
Named #53 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2005 list.
The Daily Mirror named her "Actress of the Year" in December 2005.
At age 20, she was the fifth-youngest woman in Oscar history to be nominated for Best Actress.
As of February 2006, says she plans on remaining living in London and will not move to Los Angeles to further her career in American films.
Loves to collect shoes.
Friend of the Italian actor Andrea Logiudice and Sienna Miller.
Was considered for the role of Kate Meer in Neil James's "Ghost Seeker: Genesis" in 2006. Both Lindy King (Knightley's agent) and Knightley herself liked the script, but the shooting schedule of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) meant that the project had to move on without her.
Named #11 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" special supplement. (2005)
Named #9 on MAXIM magazines "Hot 100" list of 2006
Employed a stylist to dress her for premieres and award ceremonies. The stylist also dresses Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Kidman.
Attended an engagement party for Jennifer Lopez and Chris Judd.
Trained four days a week for three months in preparation for King Arthur (2004). She did about two hours of weight lifting, and then three hours either boxing, fighting, or horseback riding. - Cosmopolitan, August 2004.
Said auditioning for the role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera (2004) was the singularly most embarrassing moment of her life because "I knew I couldn't sing it." The role eventually went to trained opera singer Emmy Rossum. - Marie Claire 2005.
Told NewWoman in 2004 that for King Arthur (2004), she endured an amazing seventh-month training session.
She has a personal trainer. - Tatler 2005
Took elocution lessons at the beginning of her career.
Invited to join AMPAS in 2006.
She attended a pre-Emmy party where she purchased a $7,500 pair of earrings.
Her 21st birthday party cost more than $30,000. Actors, designers, and other industry types attended.
Named #5 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006" supplement. (2006).
Ranked #20 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2007 list.
Named Most Beautiful Woman and Most Beautiful Face by Independent Critics (indiecritics.com).
Her first name means 'dark'.
Made her debut on the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Celebrities in June, 2007. She came in a #71 beating out other high profile actresses like Scarlett Johansson and Reese Witherspoon.
Voted #15 in the AfterEllen Hot 100, a list of the hottest women in entertainment as voted by lesbian and bisexual women (June 2007).
Was considered for the role of Ann in Evening (2007), but wasn't able to do it due to schedule conflicts.
In January 2007, the Daily Mail newspaper published an article about a girl who had died from anorexia which falsely suggested that Keira was also anorexic and showed a photograph of her in a bikini alongside an emotive quote from the girl's mother "If pictures like this one of Keira carried a health warning, my darling daughter might have lived". Keira successfully sued the Mail for libel.
The face of Chanel's fragrance 'Mademoiselle' (September 2007).
Was ranked #10 on Forbes List of The 20 Top-Earning Young Superstars.(2007).
Was named Empire Magazine's #9 in the list of 100 Sexiest Stars.
The green satin gown she wore in Atonement (2007) was voted the public's favorite film costume of all time in a survey by Sky Movies and In Style magazine (January 2008).
Was ranked #5 on Entertainment Weekly's '30 Under 30' the actress list. (2008).
Ranked #87 on the 2008 Telegraph's list "the 100 most powerful people in British culture".
Voted #10 in FHM 100 Sexiest Women of 2008.
Campaigned for the lead female role in The Rum Diary (2011), but lost out to Amber Heard.
Was originally cast as Mary Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), but dropped out before filming began and Scarlett Johansson was subsequently cast instead.
Was in consideration for the role of Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), but Hayley Atwell was cast instead.
Was originally cast as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, but later dropped out of the project. Carey Mulligan was then cast instead.
Her film Bend It Like Beckham (2002) became the first Western film to be screened on North Korean television in 2010 (the screening was to celebrate 10 years of diplomatic relations between North Korea and the United Kingdom).
Is close friends with Carey Mulligan, having met on the set of Pride & Prejudice (2005).
Was in a relationship with Rupert Friend, having met on the set of Pride & Prejudice (2005) (December 2005-December 2010).
Was in a relationship with Jamie Dornan (August 2003-August 2005).
Was in consideration for the role of Selina Kyle/Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), but Anne Hathaway was cast instead.
Was bridesmaid at her brother Caleb Knightley's wedding to Kerry Nixon, held at the Pollokshields Burgh Hall in Glasgow (24 April 2011).
Ranked #29 in the 2011 FHM Australia list of "100 Sexiest Women in the World".
Ranked #69 in the 2011 FHM list of "100 Sexiest Women in the World".
Ranked #54 in the 2010 FHM UK list of "100 Sexiest Woman in the World".
Ranked as having one of the most "Beautiful Famous Faces" by "The Annual Independent Critics List of the 100 Most Beautiful Famous Faces From Around the World." She was ranked #15 in 2010, #12 in 2009, #4 in 2008, #1 in 2007, #1 in 2006, #2 in 2005, #7 in 2004, #9 in 2003, and #13 in 2002.
By age 23, Forbes Magazine ranked Knightley as the the second highest-paid actress in Hollywood with estimated earnings of $32 million in 2007. She was also the only non-American actress to make the list at that time.
Had a belly button piercing a week before she turned 13.
Married James Righton before 11 guests in a private ceremony in the town hall of Mazan, just 12 miles away from Marseilles. The bride wore a strapless white tulle dress and pink pumps, along with a cropped Chanel jacket and a daisy-chain style garland on her head (4 May 2013).
In Vienna, filming A Dangerous Method (2011) (30th of June till 2nd of July). [June 2010]
NYC for Vanity Fair [January 2006]
Filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007), simultaneously. [May 2005]
The first time she met with David Cronenberg to prepare their collaboration in A Dangerous Method (2011), they met through Skype. Here, she had to exhibit some of the eccentric expressions she had to use in the film, but Skype froze several times during their meeting, much to her embarrassment.
Fell asleep during the premiere screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) due to exhaustion and she has never seen the complete film. She has stated that she does not own her own films on DVD and that she never revisits them after she sees them at the first screening.

Personal Quotes (100)

The problem for me was that by being in the film the magic was broken. I loved the first Star Wars film and my mum was really into it too, that's why I took the part. But the Force wasn't there when we were filming it, and they didn't have real light sabres, which annoyed me.
About wearing a corset on Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003): "I had a Scarlett O'Hara thing, she gets her waist down to 18 and a half inches--so I thought I would try that. For five minutes, it's fantastic--you have this tiny waist and fantastic cleavage, but oxygen deprivation is a big problem!"
(About kissing Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)) There were these teen-aged girls off-cam, and they were ready to kill me because I kissed Orlando Bloom!
I feel less blonde now and, er, smarter!
There's no point having an 18th birthday in America.
I've always been a snob about qualifications.
on Bend It Like Beckham (2002): "I thought there would be doubles--stunt doubles--and I would just run in for the close-ups, but unfortunately they didn't have the money for that.
(After being called the new Hayley Mills) "That was cruel! Nothing against Hayley Mills, but I'm trying to be cool here. I'm trying to be edgy".
Do you know that on all the sets I've been on, nobody has ever made a pass at me?
(on shoes) "I see a pair of shoes I adore, and it doesn't matter if they have them in my size. I buy them anyway."
(On The View (1997)) "I met Barbara Walters backstage and didn't know who she was. She's an American phenomenon, I was told later. I'm just sooo English".
(at a photo shoot) "I'm a hooker in these pictures, and I must be a high priced one because I'm staying at the Ritz, which is good."
I'm a tomboy beanpole? I can't use a computer, so maybe I'm a bit out of the loop. I don't know whether to be flattered or not flattered. The beanpole bit, is that good? Can you be a sexy beanpole?
"Katharine Hepburn and Vivien Leigh are my heroes. Not because of their ability, but because of their perseverance".
When in doubt, faint.
on making Love Actually (2003): "We had kind of done all our wedding and we felt like the stars of the show, then sudden you've got all these other people with story lines and you think: Excuse me, I know you're Alan Rickman, but get out of my film, please, thank you.
I know for a fact the work is going to dry up, and people will get bored of me. That's not bitterness, just the truth.
(On her conception) I was a bet. My mum was desperate for another child, and my dad told her that the only way they could afford to have one was if she sold a play. So Mum wrote When I Was a Girl, I Used to Scream and Shout.
I don't think I can call myself an actress yet. I just don't think my skill level is that high. I hope that with every job it gets better. But until I'm good, I can say I'm trying to be an actor, but I don't think I've completely made it.
As a moviegoer and a woman, I want to see that, so it's great to get to play parts like that. But Guinevere is a terrifying creature. If I saw a battle, I'd run in the other direction. I'm not strong in that way at all. But I'm certainly someone who has always known what I wanted and tried to get it.
In this business, fame lasts for a second. You can be blown up and be blown down. People keep losing interest in faces because new ones come along every single second. I'm one at the moment. Tomorrow I won't be. That's cool. I'm not saying that when it does end, I'll be like, 'Yay! It's ending.' But I'll move on and do something else because that's what has to be done. It's about survival. If you're sad about it, then you're in the wrong job.
(On actresses living in Hollywood) I take my hat off to actresses there, particularly the young ones, because the emphasis is on trying to find perfection. But I think it's the imperfections in people that make them perfect. I don't find perfect faces very interesting.
Acting requires me to be very observant, which means being able to sit in cafes for hours and watch people.
I don't have a problem with my body. I'm not just going to strip off all my clothing, but if the part calls for it and I don't think there's any way round, I'm absolutely fine.
I'm a bit of a tomboy so the action stuff was fantastic.
It's also strange when people recognise you in the street and they know you but you don't know them. It's a little weird, but nothing to complain about.
I'd wanted to get stuck into the action on Pirates of the Caribbean and I asked Jerry [Jerry Bruckheimer] if I could have a sword fight in that, and he more than made up for it in King Arthur (2004) by giving me axe fights, knife fights, and all the rest of it. I absolutely loved it. It was like being 11 years old and in the playground again.
It was part of the job. There's no point in being embarrassed about it, because that is the name of the game. It was just another day at the office. A very nice day at the office. [on the love scene with Clive Owen in King Arthur (2004)]
I don't think about nutrition. The very thought of a diet makes me want chips and ice cream. And I just hate going to the gym. I cannot stand it.
The fact that we haven't focused on the love triangle between Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere was actually one of the things that made me want to do the film. It's interesting to tell it in a completely new way.
Every part I've ever got, I always thought it was completely ridiculous that I was up for it. With Pirates, I only packed for a week because I was sure that I was going to get sacked. I thought they'd made the hugest mistake.
We're all fans of cinema, you know. Forget about being an actor, I love watching films. I really do. That's what I love doing, as a hobby. I find the whole process fascinating, as do my parents, they go to the cinema a lot.
I don't do a thing to keep fit, I just cannot make myself work out. My abs are just luck - my mum has good ones so it's a family trait.
I don't read any magazines or newspapers any more, because I find it really scary and I get really scared when I'm followed by photographers. I have, on many occasions, broken down in tears because I find it terrifying. I dropped out of school when I was 16 so there's nothing else that I can do.
I don't like parties very much. I'm not a very sociable being.
I've always been quite tomboyish.
In LA, I'm twice the size- height and everything else- of most of the other actresses who are going for an audition.
Three years after that I was diagnosed as dyslexic, and we struck a deal: I was allowed to start acting on condition that I would read constantly and get good grades at school.
I always feel like I'm the one with everything to prove.
I paint and draw, but very badly.
Talking about her possibly being anorexic: "I've got a lot of experience with anorexia. It was in my family. My grandmother, and my great-grandmother suffered from it and I had a lot of friends at school who suffer from it so I don't think it's anything to be taken lightly."
A newspaper here voted me one of the scruffiest people in Britain. I'm quite proud of that. It's completely true.
I suppose I'm more of a tomboy than the girly-girl, which is why I can't walk on stilettos very well.
I do remember, at six, thinking I should be earning my own living. My mum says I was born 45.
The most fantastic date I've ever had was going bowling, because I don't bowl and I'm awful.
There are pressures to conform to a certain type, tall, blonde, thin, big breasts, you know - The Type.
Last year I went to the Vanity Fair party after the Oscars and I stood in the corner and had a lot of champagne. It's very, very scary.
I'm dyslexic, and at six years old they realized I couldn't read a word and had been fooling them. My mum said to me: 'If you come to me with a book in your hand and a smile on your face every day through the summer holiday, I'll get you an agent.'
I don't court attention, which is why I've never been to nightclubs like Chinawhite.
I'm not a social person, so I really have very few friends in the business.
To be honest, I'd sooner be with my mates having a pint.
If I have a dark side, I haven't discovered it yet. How very boring of me.
Producers usually hire a stylist for me when I got to premieres because they think I'm so pathetic.
I'm incredibly self-conscious about my body.
There's no individuality on the red carpet. That's why I loved Björk's Oscar swan dress. I wish I had the courage.
[Guinevere] "She's very manipulative and calculating and would use whomever to get her own way, whether it was with her sexuality or by killing someone. It felt very empowering playing her!"
People send over dresses for me to wear to these functions, but I often feel like a 5-year-old in my mom's clothes. So I just wear jeans and a top every single time.
People said to me yesterday, 'How does it feel to be anorexic?' I had no idea that I was. I can safely say that I'm not. I've got a lot of experience with anorexia. My grandmother and great-grandmother suffered from it. In a way it's good that it's out there and people are talking about it. It's quite interesting because it's normally high-achieving women who suffer from it because, I guess, they're control freaks.
Nudity frightens me, but I will do it when I think it's necessary - or when it makes me giggle.
The most exercise I do is turning on the television.
I'm naturally an extremely lazy person, so if someone did everything for me, I really think I would do nothing at all.
I don't read anything and I don't look at newspapers. It's too weird, so I'm not really aware of hype anywhere.
I think I always disappoint people, because they always expect someone very pretty. Very done. There's so much pressure to be thin, blonde and busty. I'm skinny, but even I couldn't fit into some of the clothes there (in L.A.)!" In a funny kind of way, I think you create it yourself. I think it's much better to go with the flow and embrace your body, whatever shape it is, and just be happy.
"The Celts would've been fighting naked and painted blue, but there was no way I was going to do that. Having a bare midriff and running around killing people was fun. But you don't want to see boobs bumping up and down on a battlefield. It would be distracting" On modesty over historical accuracy in King Arthur (2004).
[on turning her back on Hollywood blockbuster adventure films]: I can't imagine ever doing another one. I had five months off from "Pirates" during the summer last year, when I made Silk and Atonement (2007), and it was so great - I want to be able to explore emotions in smaller projects. That's not to say I won't suddenly read a big Hollywood blockbuster and go 'oooh, that might be good...' But I haven't yet.
I was literally sewn into these dresses. Because of that, and the hoops, I just couldn't fit into the loo at all - I just had to hang on all day. - On her costumes for The Duchess (2008).
I think it's important to make time for the people in your life who you love and who love you back.
[on her wardrobe] I go for whatever is clean.
[on being asked if she would go out with Robbie Williams] I don't know, I don't know him. He's very good looking though.
I tried college for three months but I was desperately unhappy. I just wanted to perform. I was getting straight As but I had no friends and cried every day.
I could never have an affair with any of my leading men, though. They always turn into brothers. I'm a classic turn-them-into-brothers kind of girl.
On screen these days, you rarely see a big, strong man. You see slender, androgynous-looking boys. I've worked with very few people whom I feel small against. The most manly thing ever is a guy who can cry, who's in touch with himself.
I love working in Britain because it is my home and it means I can be with my friends and family and work at the same time. If you are working in Britain, a lot of the time you are doing much smaller budget. I like doing a mixture of both. Early on in my career I did some enormously huge-budget films, and to be able to switch it up a bit and do small-budget ones is great as well.
(On being famous) I think it broke something in me. I was told very early on that if I didn't go out to openings and parties and events I would be left alone. I didn't, and they still didn't leave me alone. I knew it was part of the deal in the life I had signed up to, but the fear of it has never left me. I'm still not good at being recognized. I wear scruffy clothes and hats and keep my head down.
[on Never Let Me Go (2010)] I thought that Ruth was fascinating. For me, it was kind of a study of jealousy. She had a great path and I thought it would be an interesting thing to try and get into her head. I didn't like her. It's tricky playing people that you don't like and finding a way to empathize with them. It's challenging and very exciting for an actor.
I started acting when I was 7, but I asked for an agent when I was 3. I don't remember it, but that's what everybody says. I don't think I knew what agents did, but I thought it was kind of unfair that my mom and dad had one and I didn't.
I’m a total romantic — I love romantic films, but I don’t like being raped by sugar.
[on performing certain scenes in A Dangerous Method (2011)] I phoned up David (David Cronenberg) and said, 'I love you, I love your work, but I really don't think that I want to do this'. And he said, 'Well it would be a tragedy if you turned the role down because of that, so if necessary we can take them out'. And I said, 'No, because I understand why they are there'. He said, 'Well, look, I don't want it to be sexy, and I don't want it to be voyeuristic, I want it to be clinical'. We talked for quite a long time about exactly what it was, and trying to understand it psychologically. Once we discussed I said, 'All right, fine, as long as it's not sexy. That brutal horrible aspect is kept, and it isn't a sexy spanking scene'.
The first thing I knew about Never Let Me Go (2010) was the script that came through my door. I thought it was a completely unique piece. I'd never read anything like it. I then started talking to friends and saying, "I might do this film. I think it's really interesting." And tons of them were saying, "This is my favorite book in the entire world." Actually, one said the most terrifying thing: "It sums up our generation." Which, now having read the book, I find it a bleak prospect indeed. But then when I said yes, I read the book, and I thought it was completely astonishing and, once again, completely unique. And it's very exciting to be part of something like that.
When you do the Hollywood vibe on a big film you are shot from the perfect angle and you do tests to make sure, so they won't shoot you from this or that angle. With The Jacket (2005) you look shit and that's great. It didn't matter what angle they wanted to film from. I didn't have to look perfect. It's all about finding the truth in any situation and the situation in this wasn't a pretty one.
[on picking her roles] I have to think, wow, I'm fascinated, but I also get to read this amazing book. For A Dangerous Method (2011), I didn't know anything about psychoanalysis, so to get to spend [months] reading as much as I could is one of the parts of the job I fucking love.
[on playing the title role in 'Anna Karenina'] I think shame is a deeply difficult thing to live with, and I think she breaks her own moral code. What happens to your own perception of yourself when you break your own moral code? You always make yourself into the heroine, but equally you have self-hatred. She is the heroine and the anti- heroine. She is the perfect narcissist. She hates herself and she loves herself.
The thing about great fictional characters from literature is that they completely speak to what makes people human.
I'm good enough to fake playing guitar. I'm not necessarily good enough to actually play the guitar. I've found something really interesting, I don't really like singing, it's not really one of my strong points. Dancing as well, I dance a lot in Anna Karenina (2012) and that's really not a strong point either. But I'm good enough to fake both of them so that's fine.
[on being relieved that Mr. Cherkaoui never fixated on perfection] There was no point where he went, 'Oh, I've got a bunch of actors who aren't dancers, so I'm going to simplify this. He was just, 'That's what it is, so do it and do it better'. Trying to tell this particular story in those two different ways was fascinating.
[on yoga classes being recommended to assist in developing her characterization of Anna Karenina] Marathon training would have been slightly more helpful.
[on being asked, for 'Anna Karenina', to improvise - through movement -characters' relationships] I started off feeling incredibly stupid and going, 'I don't know how to do this. What do you mean? Movement? I'm not a dancer.' And he [Cherkaoui] said, 'I don't care that you're not a dancer - just move in any way you want to within the story of these two people'. That was incredibly liberating and something we used right through the film.
Without going into my own history with therapy, I think a lot of people seek therapy in England, whether it's therapy itself or something like acupuncture. To me, it's extraordinary when anybody recognizes in themselves that they need help and goes and seeks it. They have nothing but my utmost respect.
Anna Karenina did come home a couple of times. Because this was so stylized, we had to do it a million different ways, a million different times, through mirrors and twirling into something, so it meant everyone had to keep that level of emotion really high through different 14-hour days. So they did sometimes bleed over into one another.
They always pencil in my boobs. I was only angry when they were really, really droopy. For King Arthur (2004), for a poster, they gave me these really strange droopy tits. I don't have tits anyway but they digitally made them, and I thought, "Whoa if you're going to make me fantasy breasts, at least make them perky".
It comes to a point where you think, "What kind of film can I make that will allow me to live a proper life?" And those tentpole movies make it difficult. I became aware of how much I was complaining about it and you can't complain about the attention you're getting while still doing the films that invite the most attention. I do actually love blockbusters but that decision has a lot that comes with it that I'm not prepared to go with.
People liked the spanking on A Dangerous Method (2011) an awful lot. In England, it was pretty much the only thing I got asked about.
There's always the moral question when you're playing real people. Is there any reason to do this, or are you simply exploiting somebody?
[on Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)] The movie itself has comic moments, but it's about the end of the world, so obviously it has an apocalyptic feel to it that's not that comic, because everybody dies.
I hate knowing too much when I'm going to the cinema. I don't want to know that the actor has just gone through a divorce. I don't want to know that the person is an alcoholic.
I think it's great that the discussions are finally being allowed to be had [about feminism], as opposed to anybody mentioning feminism and everybody going, 'Oh, f***ing shut up.' Somehow, it [feminism] became a dirty word. I thought it was really weird for a long time, and I think it's great that we're coming out of that.
Hollywood has a really long way to go. I don't think that anybody can deny that, really, and I think as much as you are getting more women playing lead roles... they're still pretty few and far between.
I like being private. I haven't asked a lot of the actresses who I really admire, 'How do you do it?' because I don't want to know. Maybe I'm childish in that way; I just don't want to know about your life.
[on her choice of roles] I'm more interested in the idea of somebody trying to fight against something. I like to explore people that I don't necessarily understand in situations that I don't necessarily understand. I don't think I've played anyone who's stupid and maybe I should - maybe that would be a challenge.
[on her technique for discouraging potential suitors] I've used the 'stare straight ahead, don't make contact' one. That's always good. I'm a bit of an ice queen. I think I have quite a frightening exterior. So, unless I'm soliciting, unless I'm up for it, I'm far too intimidating.

Salary (1)

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) $5,000,000

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