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Facts about Keira Knightley
Biography for Keira KnightleyKeira Christina Knightley (born 26 Mar. 1985 (28 years ago)) is an English movie actress. She began her career as a child and came to international prominence in 2003 (10 years ago) after co-starring in the movies Bend It Like Beckham and Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy.
Knightley has appeared in several Hollywood movies and earned nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in Joe Wright's 2005 (8 years ago) adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. Two years later she again was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, as well as the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Atonement.
In 2008 (5 years ago), Forbes claimed Knightley to be the second highest paid actress in Hollywood (behind Cameron Diaz (31 walls)), having reportedly earned $32 million in 2007 (6 years ago), making her the only non-American person on the list of highest paid actors or actresses. However, Knightley has denied such a figure.
Media attentionKnightley attends the premiere of Atonement, Leicester Square, LondonAs 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," although Knightley herself has stated "I don't talk about my private life."
Knightley was ranked #79 by FHM in the magazine's UK Edition 2004 (9 years ago) 100 Sexiest Women in the World list, #18 in 2005 (8 years ago), and was named "the sexiest woman in the world in 2006". The U.S. Edition ranked her #54 in 2004 (9 years ago), #11 in 2005 (8 years ago), and #5 in 2006 (7 years ago). Knightley appeared nude along with Scarlett Johansson (60 walls), on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine's Mar. 2006 (7 years ago) 'Hollywood' issue. In May 2006 (7 years ago), Knightley was #9 on Maxim's 2006 (7 years ago) 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.
Knightley was the celebrity face for the luxury goods brand Asprey, as well as Lux haircare products in Japanese TV commercials. In Apr. 2006 (7 years ago), she was confirmed as the new celebrity face of Chanel's perfume Coco Mademoiselle, though the first photo (wallpaper) from the campaign was not released until May 2007 (6 years ago).
Knightley's Valentino gown at the 2006 (7 years ago) 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 (7 years ago) Academy Awards was donated to the charity Oxfam, where it raised £4,300.
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.'" In a recent interview with the BBC Knightley said that she feels "de-humanised." 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]."
Charity workKnightley is the face of an Amnesty International campaign to support human rights, marking the 60th anniversary of the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As part of the campaign, the star also made a short film. Knightley stated she wanted help raise awareness of the UDHR and human rights abuses. She said "The UDHR is something that everyone should be aware of and be proud of as a statement of our common humanity."
Knightley contributed her voice to a 2007 (6 years ago) Robbie the Reindeer animation, all profits of which will be donated to Comic Relief. In 2004 (9 years ago), she travelled to Ethiopia with a group that included Richard Curtis, who had directed her in Love, Actually, on behalf of that charity.
In Apr. 2009 (4 years ago), Knightley appeared in a video to raise awareness of domestic abuse. The video was directed by Joe Wright, who directed Knightley in Atonement, and shot for "Women's Aid", a U.K. based women and children aid group. The video has created controversy, with some sources calling it too graphic, while other groups support the video for showing a realistic depiction of domestic violence.
Early yearsKnightley was born in Teddington, Greater London, England, the daughter of Sharman Macdonald, an award-winning playwright, and Will Knightley, a theatre and TV actor. Her father is English and her mother is Scottish and of half Welsh ancestry. She has an elder brother, Caleb, who was born in 1979 (34 years ago). 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. 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).
CareerKnightley appeared in several TV movies in the mid to late 1990s—as well as ITV1's The Bill—before being cast as Sabé, Padmé Amidala's decoy, in the 1999 (14 years ago) science fiction blockbuster Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Knightley was cast in the role due to her close resemblance to Natalie Portman (15 walls), who played Padmé; the two actresses' mothers had difficulty telling their daughters apart when the girls were in full makeup. Knightley's first starring role followed in 2001 (12 years ago), when she played the daughter of Robin Hood (8 walls) in the made-for-TV 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 (11 years ago) 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 Aug. 2002 (11 years ago) UK release, grossing $18 million, and in its Mar. 2003 (10 years ago) U.S. release, grossing $32 million. After Bend It Like Beckham's UK release raised her profile, she was cast in the big budget action film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (10 walls) (along with Orlando Bloom (7 walls) and Johnny Depp (9 walls)) which was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and opened in Jul. 2003 (10 years ago) to positive reviews and high box office grosses, becoming one of the biggest hits of summer 2003 (10 years ago) and cementing Knightley as the new "It" girl.
Knightley had a role in the British romantic comedy Love Actually, which opened in Nov. 2003 (10 years ago). Her next film, King Arthur, opened in Jul. 2004 (9 years ago) to negative reviews. In the same month, Knightley was voted by readers of Hello! magazine as the movie industry's most promising teen star. Additionally, Time magazine noted in a 2004 (9 years ago) feature that Knightley seemed dedicated to developing herself as a serious actress rather than a movie star.
Knightley at a London Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (10 walls) premiere in Jul. 20062005 saw the release of 3 films, the first of which was The Jacket. The complex thriller starring Adrien Brody was derided by critics as unoriginal, silly and messy. Knightley was taken to task for her American accent but was otherwise dismissed by critics. Next came Tony Scott's Domino, an action movie based on the life of bounty hunter Domino Harvey. The movie has been Knightley's greatest critical flop to date. Knightley's critics often suggested she was nothing more than a pretty face, which led the young starlet to comment to Elle magazine, "I always feel like I’m the one with everything to prove." Pride and Prejudice rounded out 2005 (8 years ago). Variety wrote about her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet: "Looking every bit a star, Knightley, who's shown more spirit than acting smarts so far in her career, really steps up to the plate here, holding her own against the more classically trained Matthew Macfadyen, as well as vets like Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Penelope Wilton, and Judi Dench with a luminous strength that recalls a young Audrey Hepburn. More than the older Jennifer Ehle in the TV series, she catches Elizabeth's essential skittishness and youthful braggadocio, making her final conversion all the more moving." The movie grossed more than $100 million worldwide and Knightley earned a Golden Globe nomination and an Oscar nomination (the Oscar ultimately went to Reese Witherspoon (11 walls)). The Academy Award nomination made her the third-youngest performer ever nominated. BAFTA's decision not to nominate her drew criticism from Pride and Prejudice producer Tim Bevan.
In 2006 (7 years ago), Knightley was invited to join the Academy of Motion picture (wallpaper) Arts and Sciences. Her biggest financial hit thus far, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (10 walls), was released in Jul. 2006 (7 years ago).
2007 saw the release of several movies starring Knightley: Silk, an adaptation of the novel by Alessandro Baricco, Atonement, a feature movie adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel of the same name (co-starring James McAvoy, Vanessa Redgrave, and Brenda Blethyn), and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (27 walls), which was released in May 2007 (6 years ago). Knightley's performance in Atonement began to generate buzz before the movie was released; she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the Best Dramatic Actress category for the role, as well as a BAFTA Award. 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 (6 years ago), 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 (33 walls) as Thomas' wife Caitlin MacNamara. She received, for the most part, very positive reviews for her role. The 2008 (5 years ago) release was penned by her mother, Sharman Macdonald, and directed by John Maybury. She then filmed The Duchess, based on the best-selling biography, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman in which she played Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire; the movie was released in cinemas on 5 sep. 2008 (5 years ago) in the U.K.
Knightley appears in the present-day drama Last Night, in which she co-starred with Eva Mendes (113 walls), Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet. It is directed by Massy Tadjedin In Apr. 2009 (4 years ago), Knightley began work on an adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's dystopian novel, Never Let Me Go. Filming took place in Norfolk and Clevedon.
Upcoming movies for 2009 (4 years ago) include London Boulevard, with Colin Farrell, the script of which is written by William Monahan, who will also make his directing debut.
Knightley successfully auditioned for the role of Eliza Doolittle, in the Columbia pictures (wallpaper) planned remake of the stage musical My Fair Lady to be produced by Cameron Mackintosh although no release date has yet been scheduled. She will also work on The Beautiful and the Damned, a biopic about the life and relationship of American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald and his novelist wife Zelda Sayre. The movie is directed by John Curran and scheduled for release in 2010 (3 years ago).
In 2008 (5 years ago) she was attached to play Cordelia in a big screen adaptation of King Lear which was subsequently abandoned. Knightley has confirmed that she will not be starring in the fourth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Personal lifeKnightley, who lives in London, is involved with her Pride and Prejudice co-star Rupert Friend. Knightley has stated she has no plans to be married in the near future. She previously dated Northern Irish fashion model Jamie Dornan, as well as actor Del Synnott, who, according to some reports, attempted suicide after their relationship ended, although Synnott and Knightley deny these claims.
Knightley has denied rumours she is anorexic, although she did say—after her appearance at the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (10 walls) premiere led to media speculation that her extremely slender figure was due to an eating disorder—that her family has a history of anorexia. Knightley 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. In Jul. 2006 (7 years ago), 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 was "working too much" and was "quite frightened that if I continue at this rate I will start to hate what I love," even suggesting that she would take a one-year break from acting to travel and focus on her personal life.
External links to Keira Knightley
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