A lot of ladies seem to hate her. I sort of see why. She can come across – in her performances at least – as a little smug. Yet in press interviews and chat shows she’s warm, personable, enthusiastic about her roles and really quite endearing.
Sticking to her acting abilities, she does have talent. And despite being lumbered with the posh tag, she’s played a variety of other types of roles with varying degrees of success.
Born in southwest London in 1985, Kiera Christina Knightley broke onto the scene with a film called The Hole, then Pride & Prejudice and Atonement earnt her critical acclaim and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies gave her box office clout.
However, beyond the posh parts and the popcorn offerings, she’s chosen some interesting roles in her career to date. Here are some I’d like to highlight.
For me, these show the true Knightley.
Never Let Me Go (2010)
Opposite Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan in this rather sad and ponderous Kazuo Ishiguro adaptation, Knightley had her work cut out, but she put in a good performance.
A Dangerous Method (2011)
Opposite Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen she really had to up her game in this David Cronenberg directed tale of two heavyweight psychologists.
Anna Karenina (2012)
This epic tale marked the third collaboration between Knightley and director Joe Wright (the others being Atonement and Pride & Prejudice) and received high praise from critics.
Begin Again (2013)
Well received, critically and commercially, this sweet story had Knightley’s singer-songwriter character team up with Mark Ruffalo’s record label executive to record a new album.
So what’s next?
Well, she’s got The Imitation Game out now (or soon), the tale of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), the man who cracked the enigma device in World War II, which looks good and has a cracking cast.
Then epic survival yarn Everest, based on a true story – with a cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and John Hawkes.
What’s your favourite Knightley performance?