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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - Keira Knightley interview

Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Compiled by Jack Foley

KEIRA Knightley talks about working on Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, her latest wardrobe and how she goes about picking film projects…

Q: How was working on Pirates 2 and 3 compared to the first film?
Keira Knightley: It has been really weird actually because I can’t even remember where we started. But it has been great. It’s a long haul, as I said. I have never done anything as long which makes it different, but the guys are great and it’s pretty much all the same people and it’s nice, it’s good fun.

Q: Can you tell us a about what happens in Pirates 3?
Keira Knightley: It’s great. It’s just more really… maybe a little bit darker and we have some really fantastic fight scenes.

Q: Have you done much training for the role?
Keira Knightley: We’re doing a big fight scene in the studio at the moment which is one of the reasons why I’m not working because it takes so bloody long [laughs]. But yeah, I did a couple of weeks training at the beginning of filming but the stunt guys are great and they were the same guys as on the first one, so I’d worked with them before. I think we all picked it up pretty quick.

Q: What sort of costumes do you wear in this one?
Keira Knightley: I’m in a kind of Oriental type vibe thing with shorts – it’s the first time I’ve got legs out and it’s terrifying [laughs]. Actually, I’m really glad, it’s so hot in there it’s unbelievable and everybody else has got their proper pirate stuff on and I’m a little less dressed than everyone else. I’m very glad, so that’s good. The rest of the time I’ve got kind of the Pirate look.

Q: Are you glad to be rid of the corsets?
Keira Knightley: I quite like corsets actually; it kind of gives you a character. You feel so ladylike but I kind of feel a little bit more like me now because I am in sort of boy’s attire. I’m giving far too much away [laughs].

Q. How did you enjoy the time you filmed in the Caribbean?
Keira Knightley: We went to some very beautiful places and to some not so beautiful places, so I think you do end up getting island fever – especially if you’re going to touristy islands. They’re great for a couple of weeks and you go: “Oh look, there’s the beach, this is lovely.” But then you go: “OK, what else? I’ve done the beach, I’ve done the sea, I’ve read all my books, I can’t do anything else!” It gets a bit difficult… but in saying that it’s beautiful and there are definitely much worse places.

Q: Does your mum manage your career?
Keira Knightley: No, she has never done that since I started actually. She’s a writer, so she writes. She really is only there to hand me a cup of coffee occasionally. And be a mum and tell me off!

Q: A lot has happened in your career since the first Pirates film. Does it feel like things have changed?
Keira Knightley: We made it in 2003 and yes stuff has changed. I mean I’ve been working non-stop for one thing, so that’s changed. But to tell you the truth, the banter on set is exactly the same, so that hasn’t changed. You’re working with the same people and it doesn’t matter if you have done a lot of films in between or not, they’re going to treat you the same as they did. And that’s the way it should be.

Q: But how do you keep in touch with real life if you’re making movies all the time?
Keira Knightley: This is my real life.

Q: Real life meaning like what’s happening in politics, in the world…
Keira Knightley: Yes, some of it. I read newspapers if that’s what you mean. I don’t watch television. But I can be waiting around in my trailer for hours so I have got to do something.

Q: How do you choose a film?
Keira Knightley: I don’t know, it’s just whatever catches my fancy. If it’s a film I think I would want to see, then that’s kind of a good way to judge it. And if you meet the director and you like them then that’s an even better way to judge it. But it depends. I don’t pick it by genre, if I read a good comedy and I go: “Oh yeah, I’d really like to be a part of that..” But equally it could be a drama. I don’t really have a plan; it’s just what jumps out at me.

Q: Is there a sense that because the first Pirates was such a big hit that you have to match it or better it with each new film?
Keira Knightley: For me personally, no. I mean I think there’s a certain amount of pressure because it was so loved and you kind of want to make it as good as you possibly can. But I think that’s really the same with any film. What’s nice is the level of excitement around Pirates is huge and normally there isn’t that big a level of excitement around anything you do until it comes out. But it’s quite nice to be in something where people go: “So come on, what’s going to happen? Tell us what’s going to happen?”

Read our review of At World’s End

Watch 11 clips from the film