Keira Knightley Wiki, Age, Biography, Height, Husband, Family, Images, And More
Keira Christina Righton OBE (/kr natli/; born March 26, 1985) is an English actress. She has received several honours for her work in both independent and blockbuster films, particularly period dramas, including nominations for two Academy Awards, three British Academy Film Awards, and a Laurence Olivier Award. She was awarded an OBE at Buckingham Palace in 2018 for her services to drama and charity.
Knightley, the son of actors Will Knightley and Sharman Macdonald, was signed by an agent at the age of six and began her career in commercials and television films. She played Sabé in the space opera Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). Her breakthrough came in 2002, when she played a tomboy footballer in the sports film Bend It Like Beckham, and she went on to achieve global stardom in 2003, when she starred as Elizabeth Swann in the swashbuckler fantasy series Pirates of the Caribbean. She was dubbed a promising teen star after appearing in the romantic comedy Love Actually (2003).
Knightley was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Elizabeth Bennet in the period drama Pride & Prejudice (2005). She went on to play a complex love interest in Atonement (2007), tastemaker Georgiana Cavendish in The Duchess (2008), and the titular socialite in Anna Karenina (2012). She dabbled in modern dramas, playing an aspiring musician in Begin Again (2013) and a medical student in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014). Knightley returned to historical films as Joan Clarke in The Imitation Game (2014), earning her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and starred as the titular writer in Colette (2018).
Knightley has appeared in two West End productions: The Misanthrope in 2009, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award, and The Children's Hour in 2011. She also played the title character in the 2015 Broadway production of Thérèse Raquin. Knightley is well-known for her outspoken stance on social issues, and she has extensive experience working with Amnesty International, Oxfam, and Comic Relief. She is married to James Righton, a musician, and they have two daughters.
Childhood and education
Keira Christina Knightley was born in the London suburb of Teddington on March 26, 1985, to stage actors Will Knightley and Sharman Macdonald. She was supposed to be named "Kiera," an anglicised form of "Kira," after her father's favourite Soviet figure skater, Kira Ivanova; however, Macdonald misspelt the name when she registered her daughter's birth certificate, writing the e before the i. Her father is from England, and her mother is from Scotland and Wales. Caleb Knightley is Knightley's older brother. After her acting career ended, Macdonald worked as a playwright. Following the birth of her brother, Knightley's parents faced significant financial difficulties; her father, a "middling" actor, agreed to a second child only if her mother sold a script first. Her parents' varying degrees of success, however, did not deter Knightley's interest in the profession. Macdonald began introducing her own children to theatre and ballet at a young age. Knightley became interested in acting as a result of this.
Knightley was educated at Teddington School. She was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of six, but by the age of eleven, with her parents' support, "they deemed me to have gotten over it sufficiently," she says. She is still a slow reader who is unable to read aloud. Knightley has said she was "single-minded about acting". She asked her parents for an agent when she was three, and she got one when she was six. As a result, she was cast in a number of minor roles in television dramas. She appeared in a number of local amateur productions, including her mother's After Juliet and her drama teacher's United States. Knightley began her A-Levels at Esher College but left after a year to pursue a career in acting. Her mother's friends encouraged her to attend drama school, but she declined due to financial and professional constraints.
Career Beginnings and Breakthroughs 1993-2002
Knightley's Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) costume is on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Knightley began working in commercials and small television roles after signing with an agent at the age of six. Her first screen appearance was in "Royal Celebration," a 1993 Screen One television episode. In the romantic drama A Village Affair, she portrayed Natasha Jordan, a young girl whose mother is having an extramarital affair (1995). Following a string of television appearances in the mid-to-late 1990s, including Innocent Lies (1995), The Treasure Seekers (1996), Coming Home (1998), and Oliver Twist (1999), Knightley landed the role of Sabé, Padmé Amidala's handmaiden and decoy, in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in 1999. Natalie Portman, who played Padmé, dubbed over her lines. Knightley was cast in the role due to her striking resemblance to Portman; even the two actresses' mothers had difficulty distinguishing their daughters in full make-up.
Knightley played the daughter of Robin Hood in her first major role, Princess of Thieves, a 2001 Walt Disney Productions television film. She spent several weeks practising archery, fencing, and horseback riding in preparation for the role. Concurrently, she starred in The Hole, a thriller that was released on DVD in the United States. The film's director Nick Hamm described her as "a young version of Julie Christie". Knightley also played Lara Antipova in the 2002 miniseries adaptation of Doctor Zhivago, which received positive reviews and high ratings. In the same year, Knightley starred in Gillies MacKinnon's drama Pure as a pregnant drug addict. The film, which co-starred Molly Parker and Harry Eden, had its world premiere at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival. In a retrospect review for AboutFilm.com, Carlo Cavagna noted Knightley's screen presence and wrote that "[although Knightley] doesn't have half of Parker's ability she has spunk and grit shines brightly in Pure".
Knightley made her breakthrough in Gurinder Chadha's sports comedy Bend It Like Beckham, which was a box office success in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Jules, a tomboy football player struggling against social norms, is played by Knightley, who persuades her friend to pursue the sport. The film surprised critics, who praised its "charming" and "inspiring" nature, social context, and performances by the cast. Knightley and her co-star Parminder Nagra attracted international attention for their performances; critic James Berardinelli, who was largely laudatory of the film and the "energetic and likeable" cast, noted that Knightley and Nagra brought "a lot of spirit to their instantly likeable characters". They underwent three months of intensive football training under English football coach Simon Clifford to prepare for their roles. In an interview with Tracy Smith, Knightley expressed her scepticism about the project, saying, "I remember telling friends I was doing this girls' soccer movie." And no one thought it would be any good."
2003-2007: Pirates of the Caribbean and global acclaim
In the 2003 American fantasy swashbuckler film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Knightley played Elizabeth Swann. The film, based on the Disney theme park attraction, revolves around infamous buccaneer Jack Sparrow and blacksmith Will Turner rescuing Swann from 18th-century pirates in possession of a cursed golden medallion. Producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski chose Knightley for her "indescribable quality reminiscent of Hollywood's heyday." Knightley underestimated the amount of stunt work required and assumed she'd be mostly sitting in carriages; at one point during filming, she stood for two days on a plank and turned down a stunt double's offer to jump off the platform for the scene. Pirates was expected to fail at the box office despite star names like Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom and a $135 million budget. Knightley was pessimistic about its prospects. The film debuted at the top of the box office and went on to become one of the year's highest-grossing releases, grossing $654 million worldwide. The New York Times' Elvis Mitchell compared Knightley's "strident and confident" physical assurance to Nicole Kidman's, while The A.V. Club's Keith Phipps described her and Bloom as appealing leads.
Also in 2003, Knightley appeared in Richard Curtis' Christmas-themed romantic comedy Love Actually, alongside her childhood idol Emma Thompson. Juliet, played by Keira Knightley, is a woman whose fiancée's best man is secretly in love with her. The waste of Knightley's talent in a "nothing" role was criticised by Rolling Stone's Peter Travers, while Megan Conner of The Guardian noted that the film made Knightley a household name. Love Actually has been described as a contemporary Christmas classic. Knightley considers the film's trajectory to be "extraordinary," given that its popularity reappeared a few years after its release. Knightley's only film in 2004 was King Arthur, in which she played Guinevere, a warrior queen and the wife of the titular character. She had to learn boxing, archery, and horseback riding for the part. The critic A. O. Scott praised Knightley for "throw herself bodily into every scene". Despite the film's negative reviews, Knightley's reputation as a performer grew; she was named the industry's most promising teen star by Hello magazine readers, and she was featured in Time magazine's article, which stated that she seemed committed to developing herself as a serious actor rather than a film star.
At the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, Knightley attended the premiere of Pride & Prejudice, for which she received her first Academy Award nomination.
In 2005, Knightley appeared in three films, the first of which was the psychological thriller The Jacket, in which she co-starred with Adrien Brody. In a mixed review for Empire, Kim Newman wrote that the role was unlike the ones she had previously taken up: "getting out of period gear and talking American, tries to broaden her range and is arguably well-cast". Following that, Knightley portrayed the titular character in Tony Scott's French-American action film Domino, which was based on the life of Domino Harvey. The film's release was repeatedly delayed, and when it finally came out in November, it received negative reviews and performed poorly at the box office.
Pride & Prejudice, a period drama based on Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice, was Knightley's most successful release of the year. Joe Wright cast Knightley because of her tomboyish personality combined with a "lively mind" and sense of humour. "The beauty of Elizabeth is that every woman who ever reads the book seems to recognise herself, with all her faults and imperfections," Knightley, who had admired the book since she was a child, said of her character. The film was a huge commercial success upon its release, grossing around US$120 million worldwide, and received positive critical reviews. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian described her performance as "beauty, delicacy, spirit, and wit; in her growing lustre and confidence," while Variety's Derek Elley found her "luminous strength" to be reminiscent of a young Audrey Hepburn. Knightley received nominations for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards for her performance at the age of 20, making her the third-youngest nominee for the latter. Knightley's subsequent successes drew increased media scrutiny, and she later admitted to struggling with her mental health during this time.
In 2006, Knightley and other artists were invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Later that year, she returned to the role of Elizabeth Swann in the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films. In 2004, screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio developed a story arc that would span both films. Swann defies convention in order to seek adventure and become a fierce pirate and fighter to rival Sparrow and her love interest, Turner. Knightley was able to study sword fighting in the sequels, which she had wanted to do since the first film. The projects were shot in 2005, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was released in July 2006. It became the biggest financial hit of Knightley's career, grossing $1.066 billion worldwide. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, the third installment in the series, was released in May of the following year. Her performance was described as "a vision of imperial British pluckiness, with an intriguing dash of romantic recklessness that surfaces towards the end" by A. O Scott.
Knightley's continued association with period dramas produced mixed results, as evidenced by two of her 2007 releases, François Girard's Silk and Joe Wright's Atonement, both feature film adaptations of novels by Alessandro Baricco and Ian McEwan. The former was a box office flop, whereas the latter was a critical and commercial success. Cecilia Tallis, the elder of the two Tallis sisters, is battling a wartime romance with her love interest, played by James McAvoy. She admitted that the smaller, more intimate film's pacing was a change from the Pirates franchise. Knightley studied the novel as well as the "naturalism" of performance seen in films from the 1930s and 1940s, such as In Which We Serve (1942) and Brief Encounter (1944). (1945). She admired her character's multi-layered and "fascinating" behaviour. Knightley's performance earned her the Empire Award for Best Actress, as well as nominations for BAFTA and Golden Globe awards for leading actress. The failure of the lead duo to receive Academy Award nominations perplexed critic Richard Roeper, who thought they were "superb" in their respective roles. The green gown worn by Knightley in the film's climactic scene drew significant press attention and was later regarded as one of the greatest costumes in film history.
Independent films and stage work from 2008 to 2013.
Knightley co-starred in John Maybury's 2008 wartime drama The Edge of Love with Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy, and Matthew Rhys. She played Vera Phillips, a childhood friend of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and his wife Caitlin Macnamara, in the film. With Macnamara in mind, Knightley wrote the script with her mother, Sharman Macdonald. Knightley's character's role was expanded after she signed on, with the film focusing on her romance with a British soldier. Knightley connected to Vera's quietness, and described her as "tragic and beautiful". She was supposed to mime to a prerecorded voice and then sing live, based on Marlene Dietrich's performance. Knightley was initially embarrassed, saying she "[shook] like a leaf," but eventually carried out the plan. The film was a moderate critical and commercial success upon its initial release. The Independent noted that Knightley "gives Vera an independence and complexity that's aeons ahead," while the Los Angeles Times wrote that "the film belongs to the women, with Knightley going from strength to strength (and showing she can sing!)".
In The Duchess, Knightley received critical acclaim for her portrayal of 18th-century aristocrat Georgiana Cavendish (2008)
The Duchess (2008), based on Amanda Foreman's best-selling biographical novel Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, cast Knightley as the 18th-century English aristocrat Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. Georgiana's rise in society as a sociopolitical tastemaker after her marriage falls apart is depicted in the film. Knightley received a script adorned with "huge white ostrich feathers" and a gold ribbon. The film's producer, Gabrielle Tana, stated that Knightley "brought an instinctive understanding" of such aspects of Georgiana's life as a celebrity from her own experiences. Knightley was drawn to her character's strength and status as a political influence, as well as her fashion prowess, despite the fact that she was inwardly vulnerable and isolated. Her performance was described as "an enigmatic, free-spirited turn and a role she'll be remembered for, probably her best role to date in a film not directed by Joe Wright" by Empire's Simon Crooke. She was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Best Actress the following year. Due to the recession, a film adaptation of William Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear, starring Knightley and Anthony Hopkins, has been cancelled.
In Martin Crimp's adaptation of Molière's comedy The Misanthrope, Knightley made her West End debut. The play, which starred Knightley, Damien Lewis, Tara Fitzgerald, and Dominic Rowan, premiered in December 2009 at the Comedy Theatre. Jennifer, a shallow, amorous, and vulnerable American film star, is courted by an analytical and astute playwright. Knightley chose the role because she felt that "if I don't do theatre right now, I think I'm going to start being too terrified to do it." Although she described the experience as "extraordinary and incredibly fulfilling," she was sceptical of her performance. Knightley was "not only strikingly convincing, but, at times, rather thrilling in its satiric aplomb," according to Paul Taylor of The Independent. However, according to The Guardian's Michael Billington, "one could say that she is not unduly stretched" due to the nature of the role. Knightley was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and an Evening Standard Award for her stage debut.
Knightley began the new decade with three films; she remarked that her work during this period helped her "empathise with people or with situations that I don't necessarily find it easy to empathise with". Two of the films, Massy Tadjedin's romantic drama Last Night and William Monahan's crime noir film London Boulevard, received mixed reviews from critics and are among Knightley's lowest-grossing films. Never Let Me Go, an adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel of the same name, performed better at the box office and received positive reviews. The script, according to Knightley, was unique and made the reader think. Knightley co-starred with Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan as Ruth, one of three graduates of an autocratic boarding school who discover their fates in a dystopia. Maze, a video installation by artist Stuart Pearson Wright, featured her.
At the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, Knightley attended the premiere of A Dangerous Method.
Knightley appeared in a 2011 revival of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour at the Comedy Theatre in London. Karen Wright, an engaged schoolteacher accused of lesbianism in 1934, was played by her. According to The New York Times' Ben Brantley, her performance demonstrated "intensity" and "credible fierceness" within the outdated material. A Dangerous Method, a historical drama co-starring Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, and Vincent Cassel, was Knightley's sole film release in 2011. Based on Christopher Hampton's 2002 stage play The Talking Cure, the film depicts the turbulent relationships between Carl Jung, his mentor Sigmund Freud, and Sabina Spielrein on the eve of World War I. Spielrein, the troubled but beautiful young psychoanalyst who stands between Jung and Freud, was played by Keira Knightley. To prepare for the role, Knightley spent four months reading and discussing her character's behaviour with psychologists. She admired the depth and variety of her character arc, which she thought was unusual for female roles. The film premiered at the 68th Venice International Film Festival to a positive reception, while Knightley earned generally favourable reviews by critics, with Andrew O'Hehir of Salon hailing her as "the real star of this film". Knightley co-starred with Steve Carell in the critically panned 2012 comedy-drama Seeking a Friend for the End of the World." Later that year, she worked again with director Joe Wright on their third film, Anna Karenina, in which she played the title character. She considered this collaboration to be the most significant of her career. Knightley thought her character's complex "moral culpability" was called into question, but she was moved by compassion. Knightley's performance received positive reviews, prompting early Oscar buzz. Knightley "puts hearts and anguish on the line in trying to bring an emotional reality," according to Batsy Sharky of the Los Angeles Times. The premiere of Knightley's first musical film Begin Again, starring Mark Ruffalo, took place at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The film, directed by John Carney, was released in theatres in 2014. Knightley and Ruffalo were described as "nicely natural as the increasingly idealistic musos" by the Guardian. Carney later repeatedly criticised Knightley's performance in the film, saying she was not convincing enough in portraying a singer-songwriter and derogatorily referred to her as a "model". He later apologised for his comments on Twitter to her. Knightley later stated that music "never sinks in" for her and that she prefers books and drama. Later that year, she was cast in Karl Lagerfeld's short film Once Upon a Time...
2014–present: Political and biographical roles
In July 2014, Knightley announced that she had completed the first stage of her career and wished to move on from "neurotic" roles. Knightley began 2014 with the spy thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, the fifth installment in the film series, which she co-starred in with Chris Pine. She played Ryan's eventual wife, Dr. Cathy Muller. Knightley hoped to work with director Kenneth Branagh on a lighter film than her previous work. Despite receiving mixed critical reviews, the film received a strong box office response. Laggies, Knightley's next film, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The film follows the life of Megan, played by Knightley, a 28-year-old overeducated underachiever going through a quarter-life crisis. It also stars Chlo Grace Moretz and Sam Rockwell. Knightley related to her character's delayed maturation and appreciated the film's female perspective. Laggies received mostly positive reviews from critics, with many praising Knightley's performance. TheWrap's Inkoo Kaang called her a "loose-limbed revelation" and praised her "delightfully uncouth" performance.
Her next appearance was in Morten Tyldum's historical drama The Imitation Game, based on the life of British mathematician Alan Turing, who was played by Benedict Cumberbatch. During World War II, Knightley played cryptanalyst and numismatist Joan Clarke, who worked with Turing to decrypt German intelligence codes for the British government. Knightley conducted interviews with Clarke in order to maintain her "upper-class quality," drawing on the depth of her emotions and Turing's protectiveness from the script. The Imitation Game was a critical and commercial success, grossing more than $233.6 million dollars. Knightley received her second Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance. Lady Jean Forde, who worked with Clarke and Turing, disagreed, saying Knightley was "nothing like" Clarke and "too beautiful" to play her.
In 2015, Knightley appeared as part of an ensemble cast in the biographical disaster film Everest. The film is based on the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, and Knightley plays the wife of mountaineer Rob Hall. Everest premiered to mostly positive reviews from critics. According to Variety, Knightley delivered a "deeply felt performance" as a woman "haunted by the prospect" of losing her spouse. Knightley made her Broadway debut in Helen Edmundson's adaptation of Émile Zola's Thérèse Raquin at Studio 54 in October 2015. Knightly accepted the role after turning it down twice because she thought she couldn't play the part. As she sought to move away from passive supporting roles, she became interested in her character's "caged" situation, as well as her dark, active role in the play. "She fumes, and rages, and withdraws, and you can watch her psychological evolution from stifled wife to impassioned mistress to haunted murderer," wrote Alexandra Villarreal of The Huffington Post of her performance.
Knightley was set to star in a feature biopic about 18th-century Russian empress Catherine the Great, directed by Barbra Streisand, which never materialised. Knightley co-starred with Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, and Helen Mirren in the 2016 ensemble drama Collateral Beauty. The film was critically panned, and the cast received a Razzie nomination. Despite previously stating that she would never return to the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Knightley reprised her role as Elizabeth Swann in 2017's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, after test audiences repeatedly inquired about her character.
Knightley played the titular French author in the biographical drama Colette. Colette's social ascension in belle époque society is depicted in the film through her provocative novels, but she is exploited by her husband, who plagiarises her work. Knightley saw the film as having a strong connection to modern-day feminism and depicting cultural change in gender politics. To prepare for the role, Knightley read Colette's novels, including The Vagabond and Chéri, and planned to travel to Burgundy, France, where she was born. She found the author "inspiring," and admired both her flaws and her bravery. The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was critically acclaimed, with Knightley receiving praise for her performance. The New York Times' Manohla Dargis praised her vibrance and "expressive physicality," and The Guardian's Jordan Hoffman said the film saw Knightley in "top form: luminous, clever, sexy, and sympathetic." In the 2018 Birthday Honours, Knightley was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to drama and charity.
The same year, she played the Sugar Plum Fairy in Disney's critically panned adaptation of The Nutcracker, titled The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. In 2019, Knightley co-starred with Alexander Skarsgrd in The Aftermath, a film adaptation of Rhidian Brook's novel. Rachel, a "cold and complex" British army wife traumatised by her son's death by a German bomb, was played by Keira Knightley. In the film, she and her husband relocate to Germany to deal with their grief. The film was met with mixed reactions. Ty Burr of the Boston Globe praised Knightley for adding "conviction, grace, heart, and nerve" to the film, while Katie Walsh of the Los Angeles Times thought Knightley and Skarsgrd were too reserved. Official Secrets (2019) starred Knightley as whistleblower Katharine Gun and premiered to positive reviews at the Sundance Film Festival on January 28, 2019. Knightley saw the film's depiction of the Iraq War and government accountability as relevant to modern politics. Peter Bradshaw praised Knightley's "focused, plausible, and sympathetic performance" in The Guardian. Gun also expressed her satisfaction with the film.
Knightley's first role of the decade was as feminist activist Sally Alexander in Misbehaviour (2020), a film about the selection of the first black Miss World contestant in 1970. The film explores the nuances of intersectionality in second wave feminism; Knightley was drawn to the project's political aspects. Misbehaviour was received positively, with Variety's Guy Lodge dubbing Knightly "likeable as ever" but admitted she portrays "the least intriguing figure". Knightley was set to produce and star in The Essex Serpent, an Apple TV+ adaptation of Sarah Perry's novel, but she backed out due to concerns about access to childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic's lockdown period. She appeared in the holiday comedy Silent Night in 2021. In the dramatic animated film Charlotte, a true story about a young artist during the Holocaust, Knightley played the lead role.
Upcoming projects include an adaptation of Ann Leckie's sci-fi novel Ancillary Justice, as well as reporter Loretta McLaughlin in Matt Ruskin's drama film Boston Strangler, based on the infamous true story of the Boston Strangler murders.
Off-screen, Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent describes Knightley as "sensible and self-deprecating" and Elizabeth Day of Harper's Bazaar says of Knightley's persona: "She is extremely nice, swears more than you might think and - yes - effortlessly beautiful". Writing for The New York Times, Jesse McKinley stated that Knightley is "known for her ability to sparkle and charm in several accents", while her Thérèse Raquin co-star, Judith Light, praised her "down-to-earth demeanour, intelligence and sense of humour".
Knightley has been described as "famously open with the media," despite her claims to the contrary. During the 2000s, Knightley faced "extraordinary vitriol" from the press. "If she is not too pretty to be worthy of her success, she is too posh, too thin," the Guardian wrote. If there is a more compelling reason, they frequently struggle to articulate it." Despite numerous successful films and award nominations, the criticism affected Knightley, and she felt she "didn't know trade." As her career progressed, media scrutiny lessened, and she spaced out her public appearances to keep attention on her films. Beginning in the 2010s, Knightley regained confidence in her abilities, and by the release of Colette (2018), she felt she had learnt her craft and mentally occupied a "good place where I feel pretty confident about what I can do".
Throughout her career, Knightley has been widely recognised for her extensive repertoire of period dramas. She identifies with the desire to "break free from that image of femininity" and appreciates period films' "overt cage" in demonstrating this. According to writer Anne Helen Petersen, Knightley's various historical roles are united in the "larger idea" she represents: "women ostensibly performing a version of proper womanhood — all while quietly negotiating, or cracking under, the weight of doing so." She has criticised contemporary-set films for their excessive depiction of sexual violence against women. Knightley has been compared to Katharine Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, and Nicole Kidman for her signature "strong female lead" roles.
She was named one of the most influential people in British culture in a BBC poll in 2004. Knightley is frequently associated with the "English rose" archetype. Knightley has appeared on FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World" list several times, beginning in 2004 and topping the list in 2006; she was included in every subsequent issue until 2009. She appeared on the list in American editions from 2004 to 2006, and she was also ranked ninth on the Maxim Hot 100 list in 2006.
Other business ventures
Philanthropy and advocacy
Knightley received media attention for her views on feminism, which she expressed in a February 2014 interview with Harper's Bazaar UK. She explained that women face more obstacles in the film industry than men, and she was perplexed by the use of the term "feminist" in a derogatory sense. Knightley posed topless for the September 2014 cover of Interview magazine under the condition that the image not be digitally altered in order to highlight how "women's bodies are a battleground, and photography is partly to blame." For International Women's Day 2014, Knightley was one of the artists who signed a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron in which Amnesty International advocated for women's rights in Afghanistan. Following the birth of her first child, she wrote an essay about childbirth titled "The Weaker Sex," which was published in the collection Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies. Unless directed by a female filmmaker, Knightley does not shoot nude scenes for her films.
Knightley is the face of an Amnesty International campaign to support human rights on the occasion of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights' 60th anniversary. In 2004, she travelled to Ethiopia on behalf of Comic Relief with Richard Curtis, Sanjeev Bhaskar, and Julian Metcalfe. In 2005, she posed for photos for WaterAid and the American Library Association's "Read" campaign (a promotional poster of Pride & Prejudice). The gown she wore to the 2006 Academy Awards was donated to the Oxfam charity, which raised £4,300. Knightley appeared in the domestic abuse awareness video Cut Shot for Women's Aid in April 2009. The video sparked debate, with some criticising it for being too graphic, while others defended it for depicting a realistic depiction of domestic violence. Knightley became a patron of the SMA Trust, a British charity that funds medical research into the disease spinal muscular atrophy, in November 2010. In July 2014, Knightley travelled to South Sudan on behalf of Oxfam to meet South Sudanese Civil War refugees and raise awareness about the conflict.
Knightley signed a letter in May 2016 urging Britain to vote "remain" in the UK EU referendum. Among those who signed the letter were John le Carré, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Danny Boyle. She later appeared in a video encouraging young people to vote in the referendum. On September 12, 2016, Knightley appeared in a UNHCR video with Cate Blanchett, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Peter Capaldi, Douglas Booth, Neil Gaiman, Jesse Eisenberg, Juliet Stevenson, Kit Harington, and Stanley Tucci to help raise awareness of the global refugee crisis. The video, titled "What They Took With Them," features actors reading a poem written by Jenifer Toksvig and inspired by first-hand accounts of refugees. It is part of the UNHCR's #WithRefugees campaign, which also includes a petition to governments to expand asylum to provide more shelter, job opportunities, and education. In September 2016, Knightley co-hosted A Night to Remember, a charity event highlighting sustainability in the fashion industry, as part of the Green Carpet Challenge.
In September 2017, Knightley traded stocks for the spinal muscular atrophy charity SMA Trust as part of the BGC Charity Day, which was created to honour the stockbrokers killed in the September 11 attacks. During the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, Knightley took part in a World Health Day livestream to raise money for charity. In June 2020, she and other celebrities created a collection of pin badges for the #PinYourThanks campaign, which was created to recognise and thank essential workers. The entire profit was donated to NHS Charities Together and Volunteering Matters. She will support Made By Dyslexia, a global campaign to assist teachers in addressing "dyslexic strengths," in October 2020. It has trained over a quarter-million teachers and launched an online programme. Knightley took part in a skit called 2020 The Movie, which commemorated Red Nose Day 2021.
Endorsements in the fashion industry
In Japanese television commercials, Knightley was the celebrity face of the luxury goods brands Asprey and Shiatzy Chen, as well as Lux haircare products. She was announced as the new celebrity face of Chanel's perfume Coco Mademoiselle in April 2006, though the first photo from the campaign was not released until May 2007. Since 2007, Knightley has appeared in Chanel commercials directed by Joe Wright and has endorsed Chanel Fine Jewellery's Coco Crush collection. According to the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, Knightley was the highest-earning British Hollywood star in 2008, and she was named one of the most bankable actors in 2009.
Previously, Knightley dated actors Del Synnott, Jamie Dornan (2003-2005), and Rupert Friend (2005-2010). In February 2011, she began dating musician James Righton. They tied the knot on May 4, 2013 in Mazan, France. They have two daughters born in 2015 and 2019, respectively. Canonbury, Islington, London is where the family lives. Knightley is a supporter of equal paternity leave and has spoken out about the high cost of childcare in England. She remarked in 2016 on "how fortunate I've been to be able to afford really good childcare, otherwise I'd be out of work for at least four years." She has no social media profiles in order to protect the privacy of her family.
Knightley won a libel lawsuit against the British tabloid Daily Mail in 2007 after it falsely claimed she had an eating disorder. She was awarded £3,000 in damages, which she added to and donated to Beat, a charity for people suffering from mental illness and eating disorders. A 41-year-old man was charged with harassment in February 2010 after attempting to contact Knightley outside the Comedy Theatre in London, where she was performing in the play The Misanthrope. The subsequent trial was cancelled because she was unable to testify in court. Another man was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for harassing and stalking Knightley outside her home in December 2016.
In 2006, Knightley announced her intention to take a break from acting in order to travel and focus on her personal life. Knightley revealed in 2018 that she had a mental breakdown at the age of 22 and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after struggling to adjust to her sudden rise to stardom. She explained how she didn't leave her house for three months until early 2008, and how she needed hypnotherapy to prevent panic attacks so she could attend that year's BAFTA Awards, where she was nominated for her performance in Atonement.
Awards and acting credits
Articles of primary importance: Keira Knightley's performances, awards, and nominations
Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Love Actually (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Pride & Prejudice (2005), Atonement (2007), The Duchess (2008), Never Let Me Go (2010), A Dangerous Method (2011), The Imitation Game (2014), Everest (2015), Colette (2018), Official Secrets (2019), and Misbehaviour (2019) are Knightley's most critically successful films, according to review aggregator site Rotten (2020). Her television credits include Oliver Twist (1999), Princess of Thieves (2001), and Doctor Zhivago (2004). (2002). On stage, Knightley has appeared in Harold Pinter's The Misanthrope and The Children's Hour, as well as Roundabout Theatre Company's Thérèse Raquin.
Knightley has been nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Actress for Pride & Prejudice (2005) and Best Supporting Actress for The Imitation Game (2014). She has received Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress - Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama, and Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture for her roles in Pride & Prejudice (2005), Atonement (2007), and The Imitation Game (2014). Knightley has received two British Academy Film Awards nominations: Best Actress in a Leading Role for Atonement (2007) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Imitation Game (2014). She was also nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Play for her performance in The Misanthrope. After five nominations, she won the Empire Award for Best Actress for her performance in Atonement (2007).
|Keira Christina Knightley
|Date of Birth
|26 March 1985
|Age (as of 2023)
|Teddington, United Kingdom
|Stanley Junior School, Teddington School
|in centimeters- 170 cm
in meters- 1.70 m
in feet inches- 5'7"
|in kilograms- 54 kg
in pounds- 119 lbs
|Relationships & Affairs
|James Righton (2011-Present)
|Father- Will Knightley (Theatre and TV actor)
Mother- Sharman Macdonald (Playwright)
|Brother- Caleb Knightley (Older Brother)
|Daughters- Edie Knightley Righton and Delilah Knightley Righton
|Net Worth (approx.)
|$80 million USD