As a new 'Pirates of the Caribbean' premieres, a former swashbuckler changes weapons
Keira Knightley has taken some grand turns in her young career -- epic romances "Pride & Prejudice" and "Atonement" and three high-profile action films of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series.
But she's hit pause on the big and sweeping to do some smaller, more intimate roles. The British actress isn't in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," which opens next week, but instead can currently be seen in theaters in the romantic drama "Last Night." The film, which was shot several years ago, comes out after Knightley's 2010 release "Never Let Me Go" also took a nuanced, at times dark view of humanity in exploring romance and sacrifice.
"Indies aren't the only places to go," she said Monday, speaking in the New York offices of Tribeca Film, which is releasing "Last Night." "I guess I just happen to have found quite a few recently that I like." Incidentally, she says she doesn't miss "Pirates." "I loved doing it. But I did it from when I was 17 to when I was 22, which was quite a long period of time."
Massy Tadjedin's "Night" follows a couple (Knightley and Sam Worthington) as they spend a night apart facing temptation. The movie follows in the spirit of recent romantic dramas such as "Blue Valentine" and "Monogamy"; there's as much heartbreak as romance and far more gray than black and white.
"It's a view of the adult world that isn't romanticized," Knightley said. "There aren't any rights or wrongs, morality is a very tricky thing and temptation is ever present." The actress said that although she liked epic romance, she enjoyed this take on romance because it's "a reflection on life and something that requires the audience to put their own lives and morality into the piece."
Knightley will next shoot a similarly human story when she pairs with Steve Carell in "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," which tells of two people whose lives converge while the threat of a catastrophic ending to the world hovers over them.
The Michael Bay explosions won't be anywhere nearby, however. As Knightley says, "it's the idea that you have 20 days left and a question of what you do with that and what becomes important."
Photo: Keira Knightley in "Last Night." Credit: Tribeca Film