Keira Knightley on ‘Seeking a Friend’: “It was one of the best scripts I’d seen in years – and so unique”

keira-knightley-seeking-a-friendIn Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Keira Knightleys character Penny joins the ranks of cinema’s Manic Pixie Dream Girls.  Not familiar with the term?  Coined by film critic Nathan Rabin to describe the type of free-spirited, indie-music loving, quirky young girls who seem to only exist in movies to open up emotionally hollow men (like Natalie Portman‘s character in Garden State and Zooey Deschannel‘s in 500 Days of Summer), Knightley’s version of the MPDG serves as inspiration to Steve Carrell’s character in the film, who is trying to come to terms with the failures in his life as the world is coming to an end. 

Despite taking place in the final weeks before the end of the world, Knightley was ironically attracted to the the positive outlook in the script.  She says, “My agent sent me the script. I thought it was one of the most strangely optimistic pieces that I’d read, and I instantly said, ‘Yeah, I want to be a part of it.’ It was one of the best scripts I’d seen in years – and so unique. I got on the phone with Lorene and we had a great chat for about an hour. I don’t think we even actually talked about the film. We talked about our mothers, and about family.”

Of course, one the advantageous of starring in a movie set in the present is that Knightley, who is often seen in period films, doesn’t have to spend extended hours doing make-up and costuming.  She confesses, “I love doing modern-day movies – because I’m able to get up later in the morning.”  Nonetheless, Knightley was also drawn to the relationship between the two main characters, explaining, “For these two, it’s about what suddenly becomes important. I think what’s actually being said here is, why do we not live as we should live?  Why do we not see what things are important? Why do we not spend time with the people that we love? We act as if we have ‘tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,’ but what if we don’t?  That’s why I found the story so optimistic; aside from the occasional riot, positive things will come forth from humanity at the turning point.”

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World opens in theaters on June 22.

Leave a Reply
Harrison Ford on Playing Han Solo Again in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: “Another day at the office”
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens is that it features the returns of many members of the original cast. The most exciting return is that of Harrison Ford, who has been by far the most successful original cast member since the original Star Wars in 1977. In an […]
Jena Malone on Researching PTSD and Where Her ‘Hunger Games’ Character Started to “Click”
It’s no shocker Jena Malone is one of the most talented actors to glide from child star to full fledged adult talent. Now she’s continuing her stride as one of the stand-out characters in the final The Hunger Games film, Mockingjay – Part 2. One of her first and most talked about scenes in the […]
Matthew McConaughey Reveals How He Came Up With His Catchphrase, ‘Alright, alright, alright!’
"My character, David Wooderson, he has three lines in the entire film. Alright, but one of those lines is what I like to call a launch pad line." - Matthew McConaughey
Jennifer Jason Leigh on ‘The Hateful Eight’, Quentin Tarantino and Playing People in “Extreme Circumstances”
Jennifer Jason Leigh: "I think that's an incredible thing that we can do as actors—to feel empathy toward someone that you may otherwise detest, you know?”
Ian McKellen on Working with Child Actors and How He Transitioned from a Stage Actor to a Screen Actor
"And I think when I decided to become professional, my only aim, really, was to get better as an actor." - Ian McKellen
// BLOCK AD BLOCK SNIPPET Place this code snippet near the footer of your page before the close of the /body tag