Keira Knightley on Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and Anna Karenina

The Oscar-nominated star reveals her dark sense of humor and her idea of the ultimate costume drama.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel


Last weekend we joined a roundtable with Keira Knightley for her new film Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. She plays Penny, a free spirit who tags along with Dodge (Steve Carell) on a final road trip with three weeks before a meteor is to hit earth. We got in a few juicy questions about inappropriate comedy, though she was surprisingly guarded about her upcoming film Anna Karenina.


CraveOnline: Do you have a dark sense of humor where the outrageous things people do when there’s nothing to lose is funny to you?

Keira Knightley: Yeah. Yeah, I guess so. That’s what I thought was so brilliant about it and that’s what was so interesting in playing the role is you sort of go this is so horrific that it is actually funny. It sort of comes out the other side and becomes funny. Strangely in playing it, instead of going okay, well we’ll play it as a comedy, you sort of go this set of circumstances is so bizarre and so out there, that just playing the reality of that scenario, already there is humor involved in it. And I do think a lot of times you’ll find yourself in the most horrendous, traumatic moments in your life being able to laugh. I think that’s sort of a wonderful thing about human beings. I thought the script captured that really well.


Do you get offered comedies or is it something you have to fight for?

I do get offered comedies actually. It’s not generally something I go for because generally I don’t watch them. My personal preference of what I love is more of the drama tragedy, actually is more of the costume kind of pieces. I love them. I really do. It’s what my imagination has always gone to from when I was a kid. That’s what I really like. But if you talk about the comedies that I love, it is the kind of Little Miss Sunshines, the ones that are slightly off the wall and kind of odd and based in reality because I think that reality is such a strange and funny place anyway that I think a lot of it, I love those kinds of things.


Is Anna Karenina the ultimate then?

The ultimate comedy. Yeah, it’s the perfect comedy, right.


No, the ultimate literary costume drama.

No, War and Peace would be my ultimate one, which I’m too old to play that part now unfortunately. But yeah, it’s quite far up there. You do Anna Karenina and it’s a good two and a half hours getting ready every single morning. You do this and you come in half an hour earlier and they cover your zits and that’s it really, which is great.


How is Anna Karenina going?

We just officially actually finished it two days ago because we had a reshoot and hopefully it will be good. I’ve been doing so many tragedies, and I have to say after Anna Karenina which is the ultimate of the tragedies, I was like, “I need to do something positive.” I’m about to start a film called Can a Song Save Your Life? John Carney, who wrote and directed Once which has just been turned into a musical. And it’s with Mark Ruffalo. We start that in a minute which should be good and again, it’s a very positive one.