With its creepy animatronic buccaneers and questionable river water quality, we all know Pirates of the Caribbean, the ride, is a little unsettling. But according to a new interview with Keira Knightley, the experience of making Pirates of the Caribbean, the movie, was no picnic either. In fact, the 32-year-old actress has said that being involved in the movie that made her a star at just 18 years old was actually “pretty horrific” in some ways. But she doesn’t regret it.
Knightley sat down with Variety to discuss her latest period drama, Colette, ahead of its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend. But because Colette tells the story of an ahead-of-her-time female novelist who owned her sexuality and had to put up with oppressive men in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and because Knightley just generally has a lot of thoughtful insight to share, there was plenty more to talk about in the current era of #MeToo and #TimesUp.
Among the topics Knightley weighed in on was how she feels about the experience of becoming famous at a young age as a result of working on Pirates of the Caribbean — looking back nearly 15 years later.
It was previously reported that right before Knightley set sail on her Pirates journey, she didn’t have high hopes for the project. Her Love Actually director Richard Curtis recalled in an interview a few months ago that Knightley had actually said she thought the movie would be “probably a disaster.”
The original, Curse of the Black Pearl, ended up raking in more than $650 million at the worldwide box office, and at least two of the four films that followed have earned in the billions, so Knightley was a little off in her initial assessment.
As world-rocking as the experience sounds like it was for Keira Knightley, she went on to say she wouldn’t change a thing looking back.
The pressure of Hollywood stardom clearly made an impact on Knightley, and in the rest of the interview she talks about how although she’d never experienced sexual pressure or harassment on a movie set, she stands with the women and men who have been coming forward with stories of abuse in recent months — in the entertainment industry and beyond.
The whole interview is worth a read as Keira Knightley touches on subjects from motherhood to pay inequality to finally owning that she just plain likes being in historical dramas, okay? She may have been shy in her early Elizabeth Swann days, but now Knightley’s not afraid to get real, and we can’t wait to hear more from her.