Keira Knightley has battled pirates, dazzled on the soccer field and played the Queen’s decoy on screen. It was a sudden rise to fame for the now 33-year-old star of the new film “Colette.” She talked to ABC News about how she handled being thrust into the spotlight.
“The rise to fame that I had when I was very young was pretty extreme,” Knightley said in a recent appearance on “Popcorn with Peter Travers.” “But I have learned. And I’ve figured out what I like and I don’t like.” Knightley said she’s developed a preference for period films.
“I find it fascinating. I really do find it fascinating,” she said. “As a genre, I love it. But it’s the research that I really love. It’s like I get to bring the dead back. I get to walk around in a person’s shoes and sort of kind of bring life back into them. I find it quite extraordinary.”
Knightley plays the role of French novelist Sidione-Gabrielle Colette, who agrees to be a ghostwriter for her husband played by Dominic West in the early 1900s.
“She was just this extraordinary being,” Knightle told Peter Travers. “He took credit for her first four novels. But they were this kind of extraordinary couple, this sort of celebrity huge stars in their own right. And it’s kind of a journey of her finding her voice and kind of standing on her own two feet. I found it incredibly empowering.”
Travers pointed out the film was based in a time when there was a belief that people would not buy books written by women.
“People said that about films starring women up until a few years ago,” Knightley said. “People say that about films directed by women. I think that’s what I sort of loved about the script. We’re still having the same conversations. We certainly haven’t figured it out yet. But isn’t it lucky that we’re having the conversations. I just felt like it was extraordinary to have a piece that is set a hundred years ago and yet feels so modern and so current. And that me as somebody today can look at it and go, yeah, I can relate to that.”
“Colette” is in theaters everywhere.
Watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Keira Knightley in the video above.