Begin Again Director Apologises For Claiming Keira Knightley ‘Can’t Act’

by : UNILAD on : 02 Jun 2016 13:53

The Irish filmmaker who directed the independent cult-classic Once in 2007, before going on to mainstream success with Begin Again, has issued an apology to Keira Knightley after criticising her in an interview last week. 

John Carney said that the actress was merely a ‘supermodel’, adding that she wasn’t able to capture the real essence of her character, a singer-songwriter, and was constantly surrounded by an entourage, reports The Guardian.


On Twitter, Carney posted a screenshot of a typed statement entitled ‘From a director who feels like a complete idiot’, which read:

Recently, in a phone interview, the conversation turned to a discussion about a past film, Begin Again, starring Keira Knightly. I said a number of things about Keira which were petty, mean and hurtful.

I’m ashamed of myself that I could say such things and I’ve been trying to account for what they say about me. In trying to pick holes in my work, I ended up blaming someone else. That’s not onlt bad directing, that’s shoddy behaviour, that I am not in any way proud of. It’s arrogant and disrespectful.

Keira was nothing but professional and dedicated during that film and she contributed hugely to its success. I wrote to Keira personally to apologise, but I wanted to publicly, and unreservedly apologise to her fans and friends and anyone else who I have offended. It’s not something that I could ever justify, and will never repeat.


In the original interview with The Independent, to promote the release of his latest film, Sing Street, Carney said that Begin Again taught him ‘never [to] make a film with supermodels again’ – but, shortly after, numerous directors who had worked with Keira Knightley jumped to her defence.

He added:

I think that’s what you need as an actor; you need to not be afraid to find out who you really are when the camera’s rolling. Keira’s thing is to hide who you are and I don’t think you can be an actor and do that.

It’s not like I hate the Hollywood thing but I like to work with curious, proper film actors as opposed to movie stars. I don’t want to rubbish Keira, but 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 that on film.


However, I think it’s only fair to point out that this certainly isn’t the first time Knightley’s acting has been criticised.

Before the herculean success of the Oscar winning Once, Carney played bass with the incredible and thought-provoking Irish band The Frames, who in my opinion never reached the heights which they deserved.

Formed in the early nineties, the band toured copiously with bands such as Turn, Paddy Casey, and The Fetch – before Carney took to filmmaking, propelling the career of Cillian Murphy through his 2001 film On The Edge.

Topics: Film and TV


The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    Begin Again director apologises to Keira Knightley: 'I'm ashamed of myself'