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INT: Keira Knightley

Interview 1: Jerry Bruckheimer/Ted Elliot
Interview 2: Keira Knightley
Interview 3: Orlando Bloom
Interview 4: Johnny Depp

18-year-old sprite Keira Knightley makes her summer blockbuster debut in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL. The actress, who plays the feisty young daughter of a colonial governor, caught the eye of producers with her breakthrough performance in the sleeper hit, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM. Keira isn’t just another forgettable action-movie heroine, though. Already cast in the role of Guinevere in the forthcoming Jerry Bruckheimer epic, KING ARTHUR, she’s well on her way toward joining the elite ranks of Hollywood actresses.

I sat down with the charming, graceful and painfully attractive actress to talk about her experience working on the epic Disney film.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Have you been to Disneyland before?

I’ve been about five or six times. Once when I was 11 – that was the one in Florida. And then when I came out here, I did a lot of research with my friends and family – we went about five times, I think. So, yes, I know it intimately.

How much fun did you have? You have such a kick-ass role.

Looking back at it now, I can say it was great fun. I think there were certain bits when I was climbing up the side of a ship in a dress, heels and a corset at 4:30 in the morning, that maybe I wasn’t too happy. But it was great fun and I was very lucky with the guys I was working with, cause they’re a wicked bunch.

There are a lot of guys in this movie. What’s it like to be surrounded by so much testosterone?

It’s fine – I’m doing a film now with a lot of guys as well, so at the end of it I will be growing a beard. But it was great – I was really lucky with the group. And they’re good-looking – a little dirty in this film, I will admit, but they’re a good-looking bunch. I can’t complain.

Were they really as dirty as they look on-screen?

Yeah. Weirdly, they were much dirtier than that. They actually look relatively clean on-screen, compared to what they were. It was fairly disgusting – plus, when we were in the Caribbean it was so hot that everybody was smelling rather bad throughout. So, it was really pleasant!  (laughs)

Can you talk a little bit about working with Johnny Depp?

It’s really weird, because he’s such a huge star, and very Hollywood.  But he’s such a nice bloke, and we’d be over at the crafts services wagon and he’d make a cup of tea and we’d have a chat and a giggle and do a scene. He’s just really really really lovely.

What did you think of his take on the character?

I loved it. He’s one of the few actors around at the moment who will take such huge risks. And it was a risk, you know, but he’s got the balls to play a part like that. I think it’s brilliant. Certainly, as a young actress, it was great to see somebody doing it, and not being afraid to do it. And I really admired him for that. It was so spontaneous – it made us all giggle. It created a really fun atmosphere.

Did it affect the way you played your character?

No. I think I just kinda felt like, “Well, I can’t compete with that, so I’ll just say the line and let you get on with it.” It was just really great to see somebody having such laughs with what he was doing. The same with Geoffrey (Rush). You’re doing a pirate movie. It’s not every day you get to do a pirate movie. You might as well go for it. And that’s what they did. It was great.

Did you do any research for the role?

History was always my favorite subject, and I love reading biographies and all that, so I knew a lot about this period before I started. But I didn’t do any specific research for this. I should have, though; I think Orlando (Bloom) did quite a bit. He always had pirate books floating around. I should have read them.

What sorts of biographies?

Oh, anything. Everything. Last year I got obsessed with Napoleon and Josephine, so there was a lot of that. I’m just a history freak, so that’s my thing.

What about pirate movies?  Are you a fan of any of them?

Not really, because there aren’t that many of them. You go back to the Errol Flynn movies, the real swashbuckling kind of things. I knew about them. I’ve read a lot of pirate books, and when I was five I desperately wanted to be one. 

What was it like to walk the plank?

We shot for two or three days before I actually fell off the thing. I don’t have vertigo or any problems with heights, but standing on the plank – it was only 16 ft. up – I got completely freaked out. I think it’s because we were out at sea, with the whole boat moving. You’re standing on this thing that’s wobbling around – it’s like a diving board, really. It was quite windy, too. So I got very, very dizzy a lot, and rather frightened. At the end of the 2 days, they said I didn’t have to jump off the thing – the stunt girl would do it. And I said, “I was on for two days. I’m gonna jump off this thing.” So I did, and it was fantastic. It was actually one of my best days, I think.

It’s difficult enough acting on a soundstage. What about acting on a ship?

Yeah. It’s not acting – you just try to get the lines out as quickly as possible and hope that you don’t barf. It was interesting, though, because it definitely provided a “real” vibe to it. We rocked around a lot.

Do you get seasick?

No, but yes. Not normally. We were going 26 miles out, in a ship that rocked so much. Just watching this thing rock kind of getting a bit dizzy. So I said, “Right.  I’ll take sea-sickness pills.” The only problem is that they make you really, really drowsy. There must be outtakes where I’ve fallen asleep in the middle of a take. I think it was actually worse than feeling sea sick, because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. After that, I felt a bit queasy, but I never took the pills. I never puked. A lot of other people did, but I didn’t.

How are you adjusting to being in Los Angeles?

It’s so different. I don’t live here, or anything like that. I feel immediately at home in New York, but it takes a lot of getting used to, being a Londoner and coming to LA. It was strange; it took be about a month to settle down, but I really like it. It’s the pampering capital of the world. When I come down, I go shopping. I get my nails done. It’s great.

What was your first professional job as an actress?

It was a TV film called Royal Celebration with Minnie Driver and it wasn’t very good. I’m dyslexic and it was the only way my mom and dad could get me to work at school. So, it was always if I kept my grades up, then I was allowed to work during the summer holiday. 

How is the dyslexia now?

It’s fine. I was called “stupid” a lot by many lovely kids at school, and that makes you pretty determined to learn to read and ride and figure out ways around it. So, I did. 

When were you diagnosed?

I had a lot of book tapes when I was younger and I used to memorize the book tapes and pretend I was reading the books. So, they didn’t realized I couldn’t read until I was six. At six years old, I already wanted to be an actress; that was the only thing I wanted to do. And my mom said, “All right. If you come to me every day during the summer holiday with a book in your hand and a smile on your face, then at the end of the summer holiday I’ll get you an agent.” I did it every day, and she felt so guilty about having made her six-year-old daughter do this, that she got me an agent at the end of it. Unfortunately for her, I got a job a year later.

What made you want to be an actress at six?

My dad is an actor and my mom’s a writer, and I just wanted to be part of their world. It’s very intoxicating. It’s quite nomadic, and I guess I just fancied that.

You were seventeen when you shot this, and things are going fast with your career. Did it all start with Bend it Like Beckham?

Yes – that’s the first thing I’ve been in that’s been hugely successful. I think it’s safe to say that. I did a film a year before, with Thora Birch, actually, where I play such a bitch. It was actually that that got me the part in Bend it like Beckham.

Are you sad that David Beckham was transferred to Real Madrid?

No, I’m very glad. I’m not a Man U fan at all. I’m West Ham, and therefore he is the enemy. So, he can go anywhere he likes, and if it’s out of the country, then that’s the better. As long as he comes back and plays for England when the time comes, then that’s fine. 

Your character is drawn to two very different men in this movie.  What are you drawn to in a man?

Humor, every single time. He’s got to be funny.

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Interview 1: Jerry Bruckheimer/Ted Elliot
Interview 2: Keira Knightley
Interview 3: Orlando Bloom
Interview 4: Johnny Depp
Source: JoBlo.com

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