Keira Knightley has clocked her time as the beautified female lead, but in the last few years she’s made an obvious choice to go against the glamour, starring in films that push her acting abilities over her natural good looks. Whether it’s Ruth, a female clone raised for organ harvesting who slowly wilts away from existence in Never Let Me Go, or Sabina in A Dangerous Method, a mental patient-turned-psychiatrist tortured by sexual repression, Knightley has boldly stepped forward from her Pirates of the Caribbean success, always prioritizing great material over looking picture perfect.
I felt the same way watching Knightley in her latest film, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. The movie puts her in the shoes of Penny, a carefree soul more worried about her record collection then her at-the-moment boyfriend, even with the apocalypse swiftly approaching. The attitude permeates to her look, a simple, unkept look that transforms Knightley into just another gal from the hood. But she’s anything but, able to deliver on all the existential woes that come hand-in-hand with the end of the world.
I sat down with Knightley to discuss her look in Seeking a Friend, how the film was a change of pace then her aggressively physical roles of recent years, and the friendship she formed with Steve Carell during the making of the movie. As she puts it, “you can not like someone and play their lover, but you can’t not like someone and play their friend.”
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[Photo Credit: Focus Features]