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Keira Knightley defended by other directors following John Carney criticism

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Monica Schipper/FilmMagic

After director John Carney criticized Keira Knightley and her acting skills in a recent interview, other filmmakers who have worked with the star are speaking out to praise Knightley as “lovely,” “magnificent,” and “utterly spectacular.”

Knightley starred in Carney’s Begin Again alongside Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine. Speaking to Britain’s Independent about making that film, Carney said, “Keira has an entourage that follow her everywhere so it’s very hard to get any real work done.”

He added, “I learned that I’ll never make a film with supermodels again. … it’s not like I hate the Hollywood thing but I like to work with curious, proper film actors as opposed to movie stars. I don’t want to rubbish Keira, but you know it’s hard being a film actor and it requires a certain level of honesty and self-analysis that I don’t think she’s ready for yet and I certainly don’t think she was ready for on that film.”

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Following his comments, directors Mark Romanek, Lynn Shelton and Lorene Scafaria all took to social media to share their own experiences working with the Oscar-nominated actress.

Romaneck, who directed Knightley in 2010’s Never Let Me Go, wrote on Twitter that his experience working with her was “utterly spectacular on every level.” Shelton (Laggies) said she was “magnificent, top to bottom,” and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World helmer Scafaria recalled her being “really, really good at her job” and “just lovely.”

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It wasn’t just directors who came to Knightley’s defense. Fellow actors Zach Braff and Melanie Lynskey also commented, with the latter noting she hasn’t worked with Carney or Knightley but, “it’s very difficult to bare your soul if you don’t trust/feel safe [with] your director.”