Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
British actress Keira Knightley wishes she had attended drama school to learn her trade instead of making all her mistakes in the public eye.
After several roles in TV programmes and films as a child, Knightley made her big screen debut aged 14 in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in 1999.
She was thrust into the spotlight after starring in Bend It Like Beckham in 2002 and became a big-name Hollywood star a year later when she appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean.
However, the actress admits her early success left her little chance to learn the finer points of the profession and she was often subjected to "brutal" criticisms of her performances.
She tells British newspaper The Guardian, "I've definitely done all my learning publicly. And I've had to develop a thick skin because of that. So yeah, there would have been a comfortable way of doing it where I went to drama school and could have made tons of mistakes."
"If you could choose how success happens, that's what I would have chosen. But of course you can't. And if a moment comes, you have to jump, because it probably won't come around again. So I chose to jump, knowing it was going to be brutal because I hadn't learned enough. I didn't know what I was meant to be doing."
Keira Knightley choked back tears when recalling the horror she witnessed on a recent charity trip to refugee camps in South Sudan.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actress visited the victims of the region's civil war to coincide with the three-year anniversary of its independence from Sudan, which will be celebrated on Wednesday (09Jul14).
However, she became emotional when discussing the Oxfam trip in a recent interview, telling Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "I didn't cry when I was there. What b**ody right would I have to cry when the people I met, who were living in as near to hell as I can imagine, weren't crying?"
"I'd never been to a refugee camp before, but I'd seen images. I read newspapers, so I know what goes on in the world, don't I? But I'd never been to a post-conflict zone, I'd never experienced the incredible, palpable atmosphere of terror..."
Despite her humanitarian visit, Knightley has no plans to follow in the footsteps of Angelina Jolie, who was made an honorary Dame by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in June (14) for her charity work.
Knightley adds, "I don't think I could be ever be anything like as impressive or authoritative as she is on the world stage. She's pretty much devoting her life to her causes, and that's a great thing, a great message. I'm always happy to help any small way I can."
British actress Keira Knightley spent her Christmas and New Year's holidays on her sofa after tearing a muscle in her thigh while filming a new movie. The Atonement star hasn't named the project she was working on at the time of the mishap, but she admits the injury left her crippled for weeks.
She tells People magazine, "Over Christmas, I tore my quad muscle. I was filming, and I had to run through a door. I hadn't warmed up and it got very cold, and when I tried to run it just happened. I couldn't do very much until it healed."
British funnyman James Corden was left squirming on the set of his new movie Begin Again over a gag he made years earlier about his co-star Keira Knightley. The actor joked he had been sleeping with the Pirates of the Caribbean star during a speech at an awards ceremony in 2008, but he admits he now regrets the remark.
However, the gag came back to haunt him when he was cast alongside Knightley in the new comedy, and he suffered an awkward few days on set hoping she had forgotten about the comment.
Corden says, "That was quite a dark time in my life... It was awkward... (When we met on set) I didn't know whether to bring it up."
Members of the Hollywood elite, including Bradley Cooper, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, mingled with royals and rock stars at the annual Serpentine Gallery Summer Party in London on Tuesday night (01Jul14). Famous faces from the world of film, fashion and music mixed with royals including Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie at the lavish bash, which is held every year in Kensington Gardens to mark the unveiling of the new pavilion design.
Pharrell Williams performed during the event, thrilling the crowd with hits including Happy and his Robin Thicke collaboration Blurred Lines, while guests rubbed shoulders with music stars including pop singer Lily Allen and former Oasis rocker Noel Gallagher.
Models Naomi Campbell and Cara Delevingne were also in attendance, along with Hollywood stars Cooper, Bloom and Knightley, who was with her rocker husband James Righton. Cooper attended with his model/actress partner Suki Waterhouse.
Other famous faces at the bash included actress/singer Samantha Barks and TV star/model Alexa Chung.
Begin Again director John Carney risked arrest while shooting his new movie in New York's busy Times Square because he left it too late to request a filming permit. The Once filmmaker hit the streets with his stars Adam Levine and Keira Knightley without the proper clearance.
He tells WENN, "I had written the story in Ireland and wrote, 'They go to Times Square and walk around'. I said this can happen as long as we don't tell anybody or try to close down Times Square."
As well as trying to avoid the police, Carney and his crew also had to work quickly to escape fans as they recognised Levine and Knightley.
The director says, "If I extended any shot by two frames there would be somebody going, 'There's Keira Knightley!'
"I'm still surprised we got away with shooting in New York. There were times when we were asking the paparazzi for a take without the shutters (sound of the camera)."
Rocker Adam Levine was so eager to land a role in new movie Begin Again, he worked for free. The Maroon 5 frontman makes his big screen acting debut in the romantic drama, which co-stars Keira Knightley, and Levine admits he was willing to forgo a pay cheque to ensure his part in the project.
He tells USA Today, "I did this movie for no money. I'm very lucky that I'm in that position. I want to have good experiences. I don't want to do a bunch of s**t that I hate. I want to treat (acting) completely differently because I have the very fortunate luxury of not having to think of this in terms of money."
The movie focuses on college sweethearts who relocate to New York to pursue music careers.
"I've never sung like this and I was just quite disappointed that I didn't sound like Adele... When you're in the shower and you're just singing, you think, 'I sound so good right now... I could totally do that Adele thing,' and then you kinda get into a recording studio and go, 'I can't do the Adele thing'." Keira Knightley was upset she didn't sound like Adele when she hit to studio to prepare for her role as a singer in new movie Begin Again.
Actress Keira Knightley has a bizarre doppelganger - she is frequently mistaken for Britney Spears. The clean-cut Pirates of the Caribbean star insists fans often mistake her for the former pop wild child when she is out and about in California.
The British actress admits she is more often confused with fellow screen stars Natalie Portman and Kate Winslet, but it is the Spears comparisons that always catch her by surprise - and she is happy to play along and pretend she is the pop princess.
Knightley tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "It has happened to me three times in L.A. I was quite excited by that and definitely signed and had a picture!"
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Every four years, the world comes together for an international celebration of patriotism, skill and sport in the World Cup. The 2014 tournament kicks off Thursday afternoon in Brazil with an elaborate opening ceremony and an exciting match between the home country and Croatia. But if you’re looking to start the celebrations early – or you’re looking for something a little less intense for your first venture into watching the beautiful game – there are plenty of great soccer movies to tide you over until the game begins. However, there is one in particular that we’d recommend above all others, a film with heart, humor and an underdog story for the ages: Bend it Like Beckham.
It’s easy to write off Bend it Like Beckham as another cheesy teen movie. The references from 2002 are now completely dated, the film relies on a lot of common films tropes, and things can get a little too sentimental at times. You’ve probably seen a million films about a teenage girl who pursues her dreams despite her family’s disapproval, and even though the story of Jess (Parminder Nagra) attempting to balance her love of soccer with her Punjabi Shikh parents’ expectations of her doesn’t break any new ground, it does result in a film that is both relatable and entertaining.
It’s clear that writer/director Gurinder Chadha loves her characters, and that they, in turn, all love each other. Jess’ conflict isn’t about escaping from neglectful or abusive parents, it’s about finding a way to go after he dreams without hurting them in the process. Her relationship with her best friend Jules (Keria Knightley) is able to overcome any obstacle because they understand and care about each other, and they’re willing to stick by each other through everything. They don’t just become friends because of soccer, they genuinely love each other and have fun together, just like real best friends.
Thanks to Nagra’s performance, Jess is complex, interesting and honest. She’s not just struggling with her place in the world and dealing with the pressures that her family and culture have placed on her. She’s goofy and sarcastic with her friends, she’s there for her sister and her team when they need her. Jess is exactly the kind of person you’d want to be friends with – in fact, you probably already have a good friend just like her.
But for all its similarities to a typical teen movie, with Jess’ struggle to balance both aspects of her life, Bend it Like Beckham is fundamentally about soccer. It’s got everything a great sports movie requires: a compelling underdog story, characters overcoming obstacles, both internal and external, a coach (Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ Joe) who pushes the lead to be the best she can be, a team coming together to triumph, and friendship. It deals with cultural identity, it looks at the bond between teammates, it has a message about sports bringing people together and helping them overcome their differences.
Bend it Like Beckham is also a female-fronted sports movie, which is all too rare in Hollywood. There are montages of the team training, in which the focus in on how strong and skilled these women are, and there are discussions about the way society perceives women who are focused on their sport, rather than shopping and dating. The first soccer scene in the film shows Jess handily beating the neighborhood boys at a game in the park, effortlessly out-running and out-maneuvering them. It’s part of our introduction to who she is and the passion she has for the game, but it’s also an important moment outside of the film, if only because it’s so rare to see onscreen, especially with the way the boys admire her talent.
Just like the movie doesn’t shy away from looking at the way Jess and Jules have to contend with traditional gender roles and societal expectations, it’s also not afraid to deal with cultural issues and prejudices as well. An opponent calls Jess a slur during a match, her parents feel that girls shouldn’t play soccer because it’s inappropriate and immodest, and there are scenes that showcase Indian customs and traditions, but don’t treat them as something exotic or unusual. All of those various elements come together, like they do in all great sports movies, thanks to one climatic final game. Jess leaves her sister’s wedding, and helps her team win, having found a way to support both her family and her team. It’s a local tournament, but it’s as tense as a World Cup final because you’ve grown to care about these characters, so when they triumph, you feel their joy.
Bend it Like Beckham isn’t the most hardcore or heart wrenching of sports movies, nor does it have the highest stakes. It is, however, responsible for helping a generation of American teenagers discover the game of soccer and to see David Beckham as more than just “Posh Spice’s husband.” More importantly, it’s also a funny, touching, relatable film about friends, family and football. And that makes it the perfect way to celebrate the World Cup – or to get to know the basics about the sport everyone will spend the next few weeks talking about.