Join Date: Feb 2005
This is an old article... but i though people might find it interesting
The Mirror - 20 May 2005
NO JACKET REQUIRED
Self-confessed "moody cow" Keira Knightley talks about her debut nude scene in her chilling new film The Jacket
By Pippa Smith
She's best known as the bright young thing who wowed audiences across the world in Bend It Like Beckham and Pirates Of The Caribbean.
But Keira Knightley will shock many of her admirers with her most testing role to date in her new film, the thriller The Jacket.
As well as appearing naked for the first time, Keira plays an alcoholic called Jackie - a woman on the edge of despair, wallowing in deep poverty and crushed by failure.
"It might surprise some people but I'm naturally melancholic," says the Teddington-born actress. "I'm pessimistic. Basically, I can be a moody cow. Anyone who says they haven't been to these dark places is a liar. I think we have all known what that is like at some time or another."
Out now, The Jacket is a chilling film about a military veteran who goes on a journey into the future where he can foresee his death. He is left with questions that could ultimately save his life and those he loves.
Knightley uses a convincing American accent in the movie which sees her broadening her acting canvas in an ambitious move away from popcorn movies.
The Jacket, in which she lines up alongside Oscar winner Adrien Brody, gives Keira the chance to prove wrong the critics who have cast doubts on her abilities, based on her performances so far.
"I think that's fair enough," she says, when pressed on the subject of bad reviews. "I haven't completely proved myself as an actress yet. You do big Hollywood blockbusters - your Pirates Of The Caribbeans and King Arthurs - and what they want is absolute perfection, like in a dream.
The make-up is always perfect, the hair is always perfect and, in a way, you are just a face and an unreal being.
"I love going to the cinema and watching that kind of thing, but I think, to prove yourself as an actress, you have to touch on reality. And sometimes that's a harsh reality."
Keira, who turned 20 in March, is unlikely to be swayed by the glitz and glamour of working in Hollywood. Her parents are actor Will Knightley and playwright Sharman Macdonald, and she grew up in a showbiz environment.
She's just as likely to be spotted munching popcorn at her local multiplex as walking the red carpet at some glitzy Tinseltown bash.
Keira hates being treated as a celebrity, preferring to watch football - she supports West Ham - hanging out with her friends and spending her time with her boyfriend, Irish model Jamie Dornan.
They met while shooting an ad for royal jewellers Asprey in New York almost two years ago. Apart from a brief split last year when work got in the way of romance, the couple have enjoyed a happy relationship which, in turn, has been crucial for Knightley as she copes with the pressures of fame
"Jamie's great," she says. "I'm mad about him. He keeps me sane when things get stressful. We always have fun together."
Since her big screen debut in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace six years ago, Keira has had to get used to being recognised in the street and does her best to cope with it gracefully. "A guy at the airport came up to me recently and said, 'I'm really sorry, can I kiss you?'" she chuckles. "So I let him."
It's not surprising that Knightley is so bemused by the fans who flock to catch a glimpse of her at premieres. She can't even watch films she's in without cringing at her own image.
"I loathe watching myself," she says, wincing. "When you see your own ugly mug staring back at you, it's a jarring sensation."
There's even more of Keira on show than normal in The Jacket in which she agreed to a nude sex scene with Brody, although she drew the line at baring her bottom, instead handpicking a body double to stand in for her.
"I don't have a problem with nudity in films," she says, dismissing any suggestion that she is prudish. "Sometimes it can get the point across in a very powerful way. I was nervous, but it was fine. I didn't want to show my bottom, but what girl does? The top half is fine but I have to say I'm amazed at the uproar over just getting your tits out.
"But you can't be intimidated by anything on a film set and you have to get over that pretty quickly. There's always that moment where you go, "Oh my God, what am I doing here?" But you can't let your nerves get in your way."
Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche