Never forget that Hollywood is a small town: not long after Begin Again and Sing Street‘s director John Carney trash-talked the former film’s star actress, Keira Knightley, in an interview with the Independent , her former colleagues rushed to her defense on Twitter. Carney told the British newspaper that he disliked working with “supermodels,” (as opposed to an Oscar-nominated actress who’s been in the business for over 20 years) and that Knightley’s “entourage” was distracting on set. He alleges she was too timid for the role, taking pains to explain to the poor girl how acting works:
Keira’s thing is to hide who you are and I don’t think you can be an actor and do that…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.
Directors who have worked with her in the past, however, seem to disagree. Here’s Evan Cabnet who directed her in Thérèse Raquin on Broadway:
And Lynn Shelton, who directed her in Laggies:
And Mark Romanek, director of Never Let Me Go:
And David Cronenberg, from a while back:
In fact, even people who have never worked with the actress called Carney out for bad decorum:
Others pointed out that Carney seemed intent on a (possibly misogynist) takedown of Knightley, given that his interview was supposed to be about his latest project, Sing Street, which she did not appear in. But when one responds to an interviewer’s first question like so:
Sing Street has had rave reviews. How do you feel about the reaction? Well, it’s fantastic. I’m very surprised; it’s a small personal movie with no Keira Knightleys in it. It’s really rewarding.
How significant was it to make the film in Ireland? I had just come back from making this far bigger movie in America and I was a bit disenchanted with working with certain movie stars in that movie and I wanted a break.
At least someone knows how to stick to talking points. But seriously Carney, nobody puts Knightley in a corner.