John Carney has criticised Keira Knightley for her behaviour while filming Begin Again.
Unlike the praise director John Carney holds for Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine – her co-stars – no such love spread to Knightley herself. When promoting his new film Sing Street, Carney spoke of the difficulties he found working with Knightley during production of the 2013 hit. Apparently, despite her world-famous status, modelling experience, and acting breakthrough with A Village Affair in 1995, Carney was less than impressed.
“Keira’s thing is to hide who you are and I don’t think you can be an actor and do that,” Carney remarked, before also stating that her ‘entourage’ made progress difficult. Despite this criticism, Knightley herself was nominated for the London Critics Circle Film Award for British Actress of the Year and won the Jupiter Award for Best International Actress. Despite Carney finding Ruffalo and Levine ‘joys’ to work with, Knightley was the only one to win any award nominations.
Overall, this story raises questions about why Carney hired her if he disliked her acting ability, and didn’t recast if she was that big a problem. On the other hand, it’s clear the difficulties of working with her paid off, since the film was a resounding commercial success. Begin Again was nominated for countless awards and the film’s theme song ‘Lost Stars’, won Best Song at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song, and Best Song – Feature Film for the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Clearly, the end result with Knightley can’t have been as bad as it seemed, with the film grossing $16,168,741 at the US box office.
To remind yourself of Knightley’s ‘Begin Again’, watch the trailer below.