Keira Knightley has said that she was propelled to star in her new film Colette because of her mother: ‘She’s always been obsessed with Colette - she’s a writer and the Claudines particularly influenced her work,’ she said. ‘I didn’t know Colette’s story, but I’d read Cherie, which I loved. So when I got the script I thought ‘wow this is amazing.’’
‘It’s kind of a love story to my Mum,’ she continued. ‘There’s an amazing thing about writers – that magical place they go to that you their family member can never inhabit.’
‘I remember being a child and being jealous that I couldn’t go to that place that she’d created. So, I loved playing Colette and creating that space for her was very exciting.’
She also said that she ‘loved’ starring in her new film Colette because of its relevance to MeToo.
‘It’s set over 100 years ago yet it still feels so current,’ Keira said at a private screening of the film at The Curzon Mayfair on Wednesday. ‘It’s talking about all the things that we’re concerned with now with gender and sexual politics.’
‘Obviously we made this before MeToo happened,’ the actor continued. ‘But it’s interesting how things collide. It feels very relevant today.’
The biopic chronicles the story of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette - a French novelist who is forced to published her writing under her husband’s penname, Willy. Colette was an avant-garde character who hung out in the same circles as Coco Chanel and was known for her sexual fluidity.
‘But Colette’s not a victim,’ insisted Keira. ‘At the point she would become a victim she leaves him. But what you’ve got is this delicious but awful relationship, but they were the most fun people in the room. They were mischievous and delicious. And loved each other until they didn’t.’
Colette is out in the UK on January 25th 2019