With so many costume dramas under her belt,it's almost surprising to see Keira Knightley arrive at herGlamourinterview wearing a blouse and sailor pants instead of a layer-cake skirt and ready-to-be-ripped bodice.It's easy to forget that she's a modern 23-year-old,and that she can be chatty and relaxed despite her reputation as a serious actress.Knightley has certainly earned it: She garnered a 2005 Best Actress Oscar nod forPride & Prejudice,received rave reviews in last year'sAtonement,and now stars inThe Duchess,the true story of the eighteenth-century williamhill388beauty Georgiana,Duchess of Devonshire.Along the way,the actress has encountered her fair share of tabloid nastiness: The image of her strikingly thin body in a bronze dress at a 2006 premiere ofPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chestfueled widespread speculation that she was anorexic;in 2007 Knightley successfully sued London's Daily Mail after it printed pictures of her in a bikini,along with a story that alleged her thin frame was partly to blame for the death of a 19-year-old British girl from anorexia.(In the article,the girl's mother reportedly claimed that if photographs of Knightley came with a health warning,her daughter might have lived.) Intense and patently unfair stuff,especially since Knightley is so passionate about the way her real body is represented to the world—she reportedly refused to allow her breasts to be enhanced in movie posters forThe Duchess,something that'd been done in images for 2004'sKing Arthur.And today she is sharply funny and blessedly opinionated about everything from on-camera nudity to not discussing her relationship with actor Rupert Friend.Keep reading for more reasons to admire her.
GLAMOUR:Keira is quite a glamorous name.
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY:Is it?
GLAMOUR:Yes!Keira Knightley.You come from a theatrical family.Did they have theatrical expectations of you?
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY:My mother is a writer and my dad's an actor.But,no,they didn't.I think they would have been happier if I hadn't done the same thing as them.
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY:Why,come on?
GLAMOUR:You've done very well.So if you came home and said,I'd like to be a nurse,a kindergarten teacher,a scientist…
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY:I think they would have been over the moon about a career that has certain securities that you certainly don't get if you're an actress.Nobody knows whether you're going to do well or not.