Crowning a New Queen: Keira Knightley: She Was Feisty and Gorgeous in 'Bend It like Beckham'-And Feisty and Gorgeous in 'Pirates of the Caribbean.' This Summer, She'll Take the Throne beside 'King Arthur.'

By Power, Carla | Newsweek, December 29, 2003 | Go to article overview

Crowning a New Queen: Keira Knightley: She Was Feisty and Gorgeous in 'Bend It like Beckham'-And Feisty and Gorgeous in 'Pirates of the Caribbean.' This Summer, She'll Take the Throne beside 'King Arthur.'


Power, Carla, Newsweek


Byline: Carla Power

Keira Knightley is an impossibly lovely young actress, a fact that Hollywood seems bent on proving one body part at a time. It's the fall of 2003, and a NEWSWEEK reporter pays a visit to Knightley's trailer on the set of next July's medieval epic "King Arthur," her second film with "Pirates of the Caribbean" producer Jerry Bruckheimer. She answers the door in her costume, which, above the waist at least, consists of what looks like a three-inch swatch of cloth that on some beaches wouldn't even qualify as a bikini top. "It's Jerry's fault," Knightley says, grinning. When Bruckheimer offered her the role of Guinevere, she recalls his instructing, "Let's get your stomach out." This, she playfully notes, actually represents progress of a sort: "In 'Pirates,' all they cared about was my cleavage."

On screen, Knightley, 18, is so beautiful she can make you lose track of which movie you're watching--but it's her moxie that pulls you back. As Juliet, the soccer-mad teen in "Bend It Like Beckham," Knightley was exuberant and utterly convincing. (Of course, as it turns out, she is a soccer-mad teen.) And in "Pirates," opposite Orlando Bloom, she took an underwritten, damsel-in-distress character and turned her into a full-blooded, damsel-doing-just-fine-thank-you. While filming "King Arthur" in Ireland, Knightley's sword work has been so convincing that director Antoine Fuqua has dumped her stunt double. "He said to me, 'You don't need it. You're a bad-a--'." Knightley beams. This is clearly the coolest compliment she's ever received. …

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Crowning a New Queen: Keira Knightley: She Was Feisty and Gorgeous in 'Bend It like Beckham'-And Feisty and Gorgeous in 'Pirates of the Caribbean.' This Summer, She'll Take the Throne beside 'King Arthur.'
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