On this date in 1985, Keira Christina Knightley was born in London to a playwright mother and actor father. Knightley had an agent by age six and in 1993 had a brief role in an episode of the British TV series, “Screen One.” Subsequent TV film roles included Natasha Jordan in “A Village Affair” (1995), a princess in “The Treasure Seekers” (1996), young Judith in “Coming Home” (1998) and Rose in “Oliver Twist” (1999). Knightley earned international recognition for her role as Sabé, the decoy to Natalie Portman’s Queen Amidala, in “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” (1999). Knightley played Robin Hood’s daughter, a starring role, in Disney’s 2001 production of “Princess of Thieves.” In 2002, she acted in a remake of “Doctor Zhivago,” “Pure” and “Bend It Like Beckham,” which grossed $18 million in the United Kingdom and $32 million in the United States. She starred with Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean” (2003), with Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant and others in “Love Actually” (2003) and with Adrien Brody in “The Jacket” (2005). Also in 2005, Knightley played Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice,” a role which earned her Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for her performance in 2007’s “Atonement.” Knightley appeared in “The Edge of Love” (2008), written by her mother Sharman Macdonald, “The Duchess” (2008), “Last Night” (2010), “Never Let Me Go” (2010), “A Dangerous Method” (2011), and, with Steve Carell, “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” (2012). She was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance on the London stage in “The Misanthrope,” her theatrical debut. In addition to her acting life, Knightley has used her celebrity to raise funds and awareness for Amnesty International, WaterAid, the American Library Association, Comic Relief, Women’s Aid and The Spinal Muscular Atrophy Trust.
Keira Knightley: If only I wasn't an atheist, I could get away with anything. You'd just ask for forgiveness and then you'd be forgiven. It sounds much better than having to live with guilt.
David Cronenberg: Yeah, but you could always lie about being an atheist. I don't think an atheist could get elected in America right now.
Keira Knightley: No, I don't think they could either.
—Keira Knightley in an interview with David Cronenberg in Interview Magazine, April 2012
Compiled by Bonnie Gutsch; Photo by Tinseltown, Shutterstock.com
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