Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley

Infobox actor
name = Keira Knightley

caption = Knightley at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival in Toronto
imagesize = 240px
birthname = Keira Christina Knightley
birthdate = Birth date and age|1985|03|26|df=yes
birthplace = Teddington, London, England
parents = Will Knightley
Sharman Macdonald
occupation = Actress
yearsactive = 1993–present
iftaawards = Best International Actress
2004 "" and "King Arthur"
awards = Empire Award for Best Actress
2007 "Atonement"

Keira Christina Knightley (pronEng|ˌkɪərəˈnaɪtlɪ; [See [ Pronunciation of Keira Knightley] .] born March 26, 1985) is a Golden Globe–, BAFTA-, and Academy Award–nominated Englishcite web | work=IndieLondon | title=The Jacket - Keira Knightley Q&A | url= | accessdate=2008-08-25| first=Jack| last=Foley] film and television actress. She began her career as a child actress, and came to international prominence in 2003, after co-starring in the films "Bend It Like Beckham" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy.

Knightley has appeared in several Hollywood films and earning an Academy Award nomination for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in Joe Wright's 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice".

As of 2008, Forbes claims Knightley to be the second highest paid actress in Hollywood (behind Cameron Diaz), having reportedly earned $32 million in 2007, making her the only non-American person on the list of highest paid actors or actresses. [ [ The Press Association: Diaz top earning Hollywood actress ] ] [ [ Keira Knightley is highest earning British Hollywood star on Forbes list - Telegraph] ] [ [ Story The Gazette (montreal) ] ] Knightley, however has denied such figure.


Early life

Knightley was born in Teddington, Greater London, England, the daughter of Sharman Macdonald, an award-winning playwright, and Will Knightley, a theatre and television actor. Her father is English and her mother is Scottish and of half Welsh ancestry. [ [ Keira Knightley On Welsh Accents and Life After Pirates] ,] She has an elder brother, Caleb, who was born in 1979. Knightley lived most of her life in Richmond, attending Teddington School and Esher College. Knightley has dyslexia, but nevertheless was successful in school and was thus permitted to acquire a talent agent and pursue an acting career. She requested an agent as early as the age of three but got one when she turned six, from her mother as a reward for studying hard. Knightley has noted that she was "single-minded about acting" during her childhood.cite web | work=The Boston Globe | title=Tough enough | url= | accessdate=2008-08-25| first=Judy| last=Abel| date=2005-11-06] She performed in a number of local amateur productions including "After Juliet" (written by her mother) and "United States" (written by her then drama teacher, Ian McShane, no relation to the "Deadwood" actor).


Knightley appeared in several television movies in the mid to late 1990s—including ITV1's "The Bill"—before being cast as Sabé, Padmé Amidala's decoy, in the 1999 science fiction blockbuster "". Knightley was cast in the role due to her close resemblance to Natalie Portman, who played Padmé; the two actresses' mothers had difficulty telling their daughters apart when the girls were in full makeup.cite web | work=MSN Movies | title=Keira Knightley | url= | accessdate=2006-03-17| first=Jason| last=Buchanan] Knightley's first starring role followed in 2001, when she played the daughter of Robin Hood in the made-for-television Walt Disney Productions feature, "Princess of Thieves". During this time, Knightley also appeared in "The Hole", a thriller that received a direct-to-video release in the United States. She appeared in a miniseries adaptation of "Doctor Zhivago" that first aired in 2002 to mixed reviews but high ratings.

Knightley's breakthrough role was in the football-themed film, "Bend It Like Beckham", which was a success in its August 2002 UK release, grossing $18 million, and in its March 2003 U.S. release, grossing $32 million.cite web | work=The Numbers | title=Keira Knightley | url= | archiveurl= | archivedate=2006-07-14 | accessdate=2008-08-25] After "Bend It Like Beckhams UK release raised her profile, she was cast in the big budget action film, ' (along with Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp) which was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and opened in July 2003 to positive reviews and high box office grosses, becoming one of the biggest hits of summer 2003 and cementing Knightley as the new "It" girl.

Knightley had a role in the British romantic comedy "Love Actually", which opened in November 2003. Though charismatic, her performance was overlooked in the crowded A-List cast. Her next film, "King Arthur", opened in July 2004 to negative reviews. In the same month, Knightley was voted by readers of "Hello!" magazine as the film industry's most promising teen star. Additionally, "Time" magazine noted in a 2004 feature that Knightley seemed dedicated to developing herself as a serious actress rather than a film star.


In 2006, Knightley was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. [ [ Academy Invites 120 to Membership ] ]

Knightley's biggest financial hit thus far, ', was released on July 7, 2006. On June 3, 2007, Knightley was up for an MTV Movie Award for Best Performance but she lost to her co-star, Johnny Depp. 2007 saw the release of several films starring Knightley: "Silk", an adaptation of the novel by Alessandro Baricco, "Atonement", a feature film adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel of the same name (co-starring James McAvoy, Vanessa Redgrave, and Brenda Blethyn),cite web | work=KillerMovies | title=Keira Knightley's 'Atonement' for Focus Features | url= | accessdate=2008-08-25| date=2006-06-30] and ', which was released on May 24, 2007. Knightley's performance in "Atonement" began to generate buzz before the film was released; she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the Best Dramatic Actress category for the role, as well as a BAFTA. Critic Richard Roeper was puzzled by both Knightley's and McAvoy's Academy Award snubs stating "I thought McAvoy and Knightly were superb." []

In the late spring of 2007, Knightley shot "The Edge of Love" with Cillian Murphy as her husband, Matthew Rhys as her childhood sweetheart, Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, and Sienna Miller as Thomas' wife Caitlin MacNamara. She has received, for the most part, very positive reviews for her role. [] This 2008 release was penned by her mother, Sharman Macdonald, and directed by John Maybury. She then began work on "The Duchess" based on the best-selling biography, "Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire" by Amanda Foreman [] in which she plays Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire; the film was released in cinemas on September 5, 2008 in the U.K. Knightley has been praised for her portrayal of Georgiana. [] Critic and Co-Chair of the Toronto International Film Festival, Cameron Bailey, stated that "The Duchess Of Devonshire, with Keira Knightley, which is a beautiful film and she gives a really mature performance. You're seeing her really turn into something beyond the kind of pretty face that we've seen her do already so well. But she's actually a very serious actress and she's turning into a great, great performer." [] Critic Edward Douglas writes "we were blown away by Keira Knightley's performance in the costume drama "The Duchess"...Knightley is even better in it than "Atonement" and "Pride & Prejudice"." [] "New York Post" critic Lou Lumenick writes that in terms of an Oscar nomination, that Knightley "seems a lock for "The Duchess" and goes on to say that she "shines" in this role. []

Keira's next film roles include "King Lear", and the modern drama "Last Night" in which she will co-star with Eva Mendes, Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet. It is to be directed by Massy Tadjedin [] and will start filming in October 2008 in New York. [] She is also rumoured to be starring in The Beautiful and the Damned, a biopic about the life and relationship of American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald and his novelist wife Zelda Sayre [] Knightley has recently confirmed that she will not be starring in the fourth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean. []

Media attention

As a result of her rapid rise to fame, Knightley has been the focus of significant media attention. She has been described by press reports as "famously open with media,"cite web | work=Fashion Monitor Toronto | title=Keira Knightley: My breasts were down to my knees | url= | accessdate=2008-08-25] although Knightley herself has stated "I don't talk about my private life."cite web |url=| work=Elle | title=Keira Knightley opens up| month=August| year=2006| accessdate=2008-08-25]

She was ranked #79 by "FHM" in the magazine's UK Edition 2004 100 Sexiest Women in the World list, #18 in 2005, and was named "the sexiest woman in the world in 2006".cite web || title=Keira KOs Kate | url=,10221,18947552-7485,00.html | accessdate=2006-04-27] The U.S. Edition ranked her #54 in 2004, #11 in 2005, and #5 in 2006. Knightley appeared nude along with Scarlett Johansson, on the cover of "Vanity Fair" magazine's March 2006 'Hollywood' issue. In May 2006, Knightley was #9 on "Maxim"'s 2006 Hot 100.She was also named 'the number one beauty icon of 2007' by a poll of 2,500 people conducted by UK high street chain Superdrug. [ [ Beauty Icon Keira Knightley ] ] [ [ Keira Knightley Pirates of the Caribbean | Actress voted number one beauty icon for women | The Sun |Showbiz|Bizarre ] ]

Knightley was the celebrity face for the luxury goods brand Asprey, as well as Lux haircare products in Japanese television commercials. In April 2006, she was confirmed as the new celebrity face of Chanel's perfume Coco Mademoiselle, though the first photo from the campaign was not released until May 2007. [ [ Keira Knightley for Chanel - first photo] . "Fashionising". Retrieved on July 18, 2007.]

Her Valentino gown at the 2006 Golden Globe Awards won her much acclaim and even landed her the top spot on Steven Cojocaru's "Best Dressed List" on "Entertainment Tonight", while the dress she wore to the 2006 Academy Awards was recently donated to the charity Oxfam, where it raised £4,300.cite web | work=BBC News | title=Oxfam gets £4,300 for Oscar dress | url= | accessdate=2008-08-25| date=2006-05-01]

Knightley has warned children who dream of the celebrity life that it's not all what it seems to be. "It frightens me when kids go, 'I want to be famous.'" [cite web| url=| title=Keira to kids: Don't get famous]

In a recent interview with the BBC Knightley said that she feels "de-humanised" [ [ "Atonement" Star Keira Knightley: "Once You Become Famous You Get Completely Dehumanised" ] ] . She also said that when a person becomes a celebrity, the public doesn't care that the person's life is constantly watched.

While she has no current plans to leave the world of film, Knightley has said that she could not imagine subjecting a child to the media. She is quoted as saying; "I'm not planning to have children at the moment... everyone changes, and I'm sure there will be a time I will want to do something different. I could completely see myself moving away [from acting] ." [(7 September 2007) [ Keira Knightley talks to new look Jonathan Ross as BBC One series returns] , BBC]

Personal life

Knightley, who lives in London, is involved with her "Pride and Prejudice" co-star Rupert Friend. [cite web|url=|title=David joined by young co-stars and Dustin at 'Pyjamas' premiere|date=12 SEPTEMBER 2008|publisher=Hello! Magazine|accessdate=2008-09-13] [cite news|url=|title='The horrifying moment I was abused by a thug,' by The Duchess star Keira Knightley|last=Simpson|first=Richard|coauthors=Lizzie Smith|date=05 September 2008|publisher=Daily Mail Online|accessdate=2008-09-13] Knightley has stated she has no plans to be married in the near future. She previously dated Northern Irish fashion model Jamie Dornan,cite web | title=Belfast Telegraph | work=Jamie felt 'second-rate' to former lover Keira | url= | accessdate=2006-03-17 | first=Andrea| last=Clements| date=2006-02-27] Dead link|date=August 2008 as well as actor Del Synnott, who, according to some reports, attempted suicide after their relationship ended, although Synnott and Knightley deny these claims.cite web | | title=Knightley's ex denies suicide attempt | url= | accessdate=2008-08-25 | date=2004-10-05]

She has denied rumors she is anorexic (she also claimed recently in "Vanity Fair" magazine her slim physique was due to the Rhubarb diet) [Vanity Fair Magazine 28/07/2008] , although after her appearance at the "" premiere led to media speculation that her extremely slender figure was due to an eating disorder, she noted that her family has a history of anorexia.cite web
title=Keira Knightley plays down anorexia rumors
url= | accessdate=2008-08-25
] Keira then sued the "Daily Mail" after they claimed she lied about having anorexia; the article said that a teenage girl died from anorexia, indicating that Knightley's physical appearance may have influenced her in some way. She was awarded a settlement for it. [cite news
url =
title = Knightley Defends Legal Action Over Anorexia Story News About
work =
] In July 2006, Knightley said she has become a workaholic, detailing that "the last five years have blended into one. I can't tell you what was last year and what was the year before" and specifying that she is "working too much"cite web
work=PR Inside | title=Keira Knightley's career is ruining her love life
url= | accessdate=2008-08-25 | date=2006-07-10
] and is "quite frightened that if I continue at this rate I will start to hate what I love."cite web
title=Workaholic Keira Knightley Needs a Sabbatical
work=StarPulse | accessdate=2008-08-25 | date=2006-07-10
] As a result, Knightley may take a one year break from acting to travel and focus on her personal life.cite web
title=Knightley makes plans for a gap year
accessdate=2006-07-11 | date=2006-07-12| first=Susanna| last=Regan | work=Digital Spy

Knightley is a lifelong supporter of football team West Ham United F.C., and watches games in her local pub whenever possible.cite web |work=The Daily Telegraph
title='Every girl is looking for her Mr Darcy'
] She has said that her favourite book is "War and Peace" [cite news
last = O'Neil | first = Tom | date = 2006-02-12
url =
title = Transcript: Our Chat with Oscar nominee Keira Knightley | work = Los Angeles Times
] and her favourite film is "All About Eve". [cite news
month = September | year = 2007
url =
title = Shining Knightley | work = Flare
] She is also a big fan of the English soap opera "Emmerdale". [cite news
url =
title = Keira Knightley praises 'Emmerdale | work = Digital Spy


Feature Films

Television appearances


External links


NAME=Knightley, Keira
DATE OF BIRTH=March 26, 1985
PLACE OF BIRTH=Teddington, London, England

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