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Love Actually - Keira Knightley Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley, from an interview by Martyn Palmer

Q. So what was it like working with Richard and this huge cast?
A.
It was about five scenes! (laughs) Two weeks and I laughed my way through the whole thing. I never stopped laughing. It was me and Chewy (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Andy Lincoln. Andy is fantastic and I knew of him, I’d met him through friends of friends, and Chewy is one of the most exciting British actors around at the moment. Have you seen Dirty Pretty Things? Or Blue Orange? He is stunning. He’s a lovely man.

Q. So you obviously liked your immediate co-stars?
A.
Oh yeah. It was really exciting to get the chance to work with two people I admired so much and really, we weren’t doing anything (laughs). I got married, got to kiss a couple of really good looking guys and you know, all is good! Lovely costumes, lovely hair and lovely make up - and no corsets, which was nice. It was really cool.

Q. And Richard’s first time as a director. How was that?
A.
Oh he’s got nothing to worry about. and he’s a nice man, a really good bloke. Richard is just a really great guy, and I know he was very nervous doing it, but having written it, he knew everything inside out and he just knew what he was doing. You would get in, in the morning, and it was all there; it was done and dusted.

Q. It’s a pretty amazing wedding scene. What was that like to film?
A.
It was quite possibly the most romantic thing I’ve ever seen. And you know, we had some real lads there, sparks and ADs and the rest of the crew and they were all standing there with little stupid grins on their faces during the marriage scene. It was great. And I was thinking to myself ‘oh, yes, this works...’’

Q. Do you like the genre?
A.
I love romantic comedies, I think they are really important. They are 100 per cent escapism. You just sit there and lose yourself in this world. Lovely. I cry my eyes out, or laugh, or both. I love them.

Q. And how about Richard Curtis films in particular?
A.
Oh yes. The thing about Richard is that he makes feel good movies and he makes them well, and that’s very difficult to do. Because the thing about the feel good movie is that it’s something they all try and do and there is nothing more disgusting than a patronising feel good, smarmy movie, because you just think ‘my brain has been turned to mush and that was a disgusting experience...’ So to be able to do it well is an amazing talent. There are very few who can do it, and Richard is at the top of that list, no question. It’s absolutely incredible how you can sit through all of his films with a stupid grin on your face and you do - no matter if you come out and say ‘oh no its not my sort of thing, I’m very art house...’ you still smile at those films. I defy anyone not to.

Q. I understand that the whole cast was brought together for a read through in a hall in Notting Hill. What was that like?
A.
Agony! (laughs). I have five scenes and I have never been more nervous in my entire life. I mean, I’ve done read throughs before. I’ve done them with Johnny Depp, and that wasn’t terrifying. But there were, like, 50 people sitting around this huge table.
It was astonishing. You looked up and there was Hugh Grant, over there is Alan Rickman. Oh there’s Liam Neeson, there’s Emma Thompson. I mean, come on, can you blame me for being nervous? I mean, just the fact that all of those people turned up for this read through shows how much respect they have for Richard. It was huge, huge. And at the end of it, I was like ‘ah! I can’t handle this!’ And I ran away, I got out of there as fast as I could.

Q. Presumably Bend It Like Beckham had come out at that point?
A.
Yeah it had. But that didn’t make any difference. I was still so nervous (laughs) We were in this old church hall, near Richard’s office.

Q. The film has a lot of different stories, loosely connected. Did you feel like you were working in your own little movie with your part?
A.
Yeah, you did really. Me Chewy and Andy. And we did our big wedding thing and we were like the stars of the show (laughs).

Q. But then you have the scene at Heathrow where virtually of all of you are there at the same time...
A.
Yeah. And then suddenly you’ve got all these other people with their stories. And it was like ‘excuse me! I know you’re Alan Rickman but get of my film please!’ (laughs)

Q. I read somewhere that you might go to university. Is that true?
A.
Well, I think my Mum and Dad think I’m going to university. They probably expect me to become a doctor or something. But no, I think I’ll stick with this. I am having a very good time.

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