Keira Knightley on Collateral Beauty and Kate Winslet close-ups


The English rose opens up about her new film Collateral Beauty and watching her fellow actors work their magic


On the similarities between Collateral Beauty and It’s a Wonderful Life

“It reminded me of an It’s a Wonderful Life kind of type thing and I think it’s got that magical element, but you’re still very much in a world that we completely recognise.”

On working with an ensemble cast

“It’s a lovely bunch of people, a really, really, really lovely bunch of people. I think there’s a lot of curiosity, because normally you have a film where there are two leads and then you’ve got the rest of a very wonderful cast. With this, looking around you’ve got Will Smith and Helen Mirren and Ed Norton and Kate Winslet. It’s a extraordinary thing to be sitting in a scene with all of those people, just watching the work. I get an opportunity to go “how do you work and how do you come up with the performances in the films that I know so well, that you’ve done?” It’s a very nice thing to be able to watch other people and go “Ah, yes Oh I see; that’s a Kate Winslet close up, sure.””

On the three abstractions in the film: love, death and time

“It is what we’re all up against; the one thing that you know is you’re going to die. Therefore, the one thing you know is that you’re running out of time or that time is not infinite; time is finite. The one thing human beings want is to love, to feel love, to feel that they belong. And so if one is taken, then the other two become very frightening. If I’m running out of time and I don’t have the person that makes me feel whole, the person that I belong to or I haven’t found that or I’ve never felt that, am I ever going to feel that?”

On working with Will Smith

“He’s a wonderful actor, everybody knows and yeah he can do the comedy side but he’s shown time and time and time again that he can do the tragedy side of it as well. Watching him, he taps into it seemingly very easily. I think his work is incredibly moving and so you’re dealing with a man in extreme grief and he does that very well. I found what he was doing very moving.”

On the meaning of Collateral Beauty

“I think what I liked about it was the concept: nothing ever makes anything better. If you’ve experienced tremendous loss, nothing is going to make that better. But I think the point of this is that you put one foot in front of the other, you keep breathing in and out and one day you can look and you can feel the sunshine on your face again. That’s Collateral Beauty.”