Duo Extraordinaire: Team Wright and Knightley
Director Joe Wright and Oscar Nominated actress Keira Knightley (for her Elizabeth Bennet role in P&P movie, which was directed by Wright) worked together in Focus Features' critically acclaimed and award winning Pride & Prejudice and Atonement films. Also, JW directed KK in her Coco Mademoiselle Chanel commercial and Women's Aid - Domestic Violence Ad 2009 PSA commercial. They might work together again soon...will it be "Anna Karenina" (they were once linked or said to be attached to a new adaptation of My Fair Lady, which JW was actually not attached to direct and Knightley was said to have dropped out, though she wasn't even confirmed to star on it...it still in development to this day) or another movie? We shall see, but I hope they'll work together again soon. They make such a great team and the successful results showed in those projects they've worked on.
In the meantime, here are some old, but still very interesting and fun to read JW and KK quotes from their interviews back in 2005 (while promoting P&P movie) I've compiled for you all to read and enjoy here.
Joe Wright on casting Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet:
"I wouldn't say that I didn't want to cast her, I didn't go to anyone else before Keira but I felt perhaps that she was too beautiful to play Elizabeth Bennet. So I met her anyway, and she was the right age and I was very keen to cast people that were the right age. So I met Keira very late one night in a hotel bar in Montreal and discovered this scruffy little kid who's a tomboy really, sort of spiky knees and elbows, and suddenly it occurred to me that was perfect for Elizabeth. Elizabeth Bennet is a tomboy and she refuses to conform to the feminine ideals of the period. Then I started talking to Keira and discovered her to be incredibly bright, incredibly funny, independently spirited, very strong young woman who doesn't say what she thinks you want to hear, but says exactly what she thinks. All of those qualities made me think that Keira was perfect for Elizabeth Bennet."
"She was the most incredibly focused person of any age that I have ever met and I think that is part of her strength. She's extraordinary, she's almost Zen-like in that way, she's really extraordinarily focused. She conserves her energy; she puts it all into those moments when the camera is turning. She's incredible."More on Joe Wright on Casting P&P 05 Actors
Keira Knightley on being cast as Elizabeth Bennet:
“ I was terrified to the point where I begged my agents not to put me up for it because I’ve been so obsessed by the book. When I was seven, I had all of the Austen novels on book tape and I’d listen to them and weep. Then I saw the BBC version and I was obsessed with that. Elizabeth Bennet is one of my favorite characters in English literature. I absolutely adore her. When one of my agents went, `Alright, you’re going to read for Elizabeth Bennet´. I said, `No don’t, I’m going to fuck it up. Please don’t do it. I couldn’t bear it if I ruined her.´ I was so terrified that I learned the entire script, my character and everybody else’s by heart before I started.”More More on Keira Knightley on Elizabeth Bennet and P&P
He said...She said:
"Joe just kept saying that he believed in me, which is amazing because all actresses are, by nature, completely insecure beings. If they say that they’re not, they’re lying. It’s a profession made out of insecurities. You’ve got to use them all. So, to have somebody say, `I believe in you, you can do this´ is absolutely extraordinary. He [Joe Wright] was so sweet and he kept saying, `I’m going to keep you safe darling, don’t worry about it´" (Keira Knightley)
"When I met Keira, I realized that she asks questions of herself and other people, and is really a tomboy. She has a lively mind and a great sense of humor. During shooting, she kept on surprising me. What does one look for in an actor? Originality of thought; somebody who is able and willing to give their heart to what they are doing, and is able to really listen to the other actors. Keira did all of that, and was a hard worker." (Joe Wright)
“Joe Wright had other ideas. He thought I was far too pretty. Then we met and he changed his mind. He realized that I was a complete scruff, and said: `You’re perfect.´” (Keira Knightley)
“I don´t really know what to say about Keira other than the fact that she´s brilliant. So focused. And clear. In between takes she´d just sit very, very still, conserve all the energy. She worked like a dog. Every day she was on the set.” (Joe Wright)
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