Don’t be fooled by those doll faces, bewitching partners in crime Keira Knightley and Emily Hope have more than a few rollicking, dirty stories up their sleeve. From attending prom arm-in-arm (the resulting photo banned by the school) and naming their cats ‘Fanny’ and ‘Captain Pussy’, to chatting about weddings, wankers and flashers, the childhood best friends share an unexpected magic and humour that comes from growing up and finding their feet together – so who better to conduct the interview than each other? English Rose Keira Knightley and riotous beauty Emily Hope reveal they’re a lot more than just pretty faces while they chat about just about everything from their respective homes in London and New York. Indigo Clarke.
Emily Hope: Hey.
Keira Knightley: Hello.
Emily: What are you doing right now?
Keira: I'm trying to make 821 metres of bunting. I've made 179 metres already... Which is otherwise known as total work avoidance, so I really must get a job soon or I'll have a kilometre of bunting on my hands.
Emily: That’s a very specific amount. I fucking love bunting. For the w*******? Wait that looks like I’m spelling out wanker, I mean w-e-d-d-i-n-g. That’s a very glamourous work avoidance tactic, like it.
Keira: Yes bunting for the wedding. Either wedding or wanker is fine. Maybe we should re-name it the wanking. Or maybe not, some of the people coming might take it as freedom to wank everywhere... Errr that's just put a really horrible image in my head. What are you doing?
Emily: I've seen much worse at a wedding. Can’t wait. Right now I'm editing your pics.
Keira: You're retouching our pics? Can you give me longer legs please. Can you just put your legs on my body?
Emily: I'm re-touching you, but you don't need it so I guess I'm doing work avoidance too. Tbh I'm drinking tea googling Toshio Saeki. We can totally swap legs, what do you wanna trade for? Don't say bunting.
Keira: I will trade you my un-tattooed neck for your legs. And I just have to add as well as making the bunting I'm watching Real Madrid vs Manchester united and the ref made the worst decision sending Nani off and it's totally ruined the game... Sorry just had to let you know. It's totally bummed me out. Who's Toshio Saeki?
Emily: Ha ok good trade. Toshio Saeki is a Japanese artist I'm really into this week. Google him, you'll hate it. Wait you're a West Ham fan though? I stopped watching football when Cantona retired so I'm out of the loop. What’s the score? I don't care. Let’s talk about you. What you listening to right now? And don't say, "the cunt from next door keeps complaining about what I'm listening to right now" like last time.
Keira: It's the Champions League for fuck’s sake!! You should have your British citizenship taken away, it's unpatriotic not to be following it (2-1 by the way so they're out and real Madrid got through). At the moment I'm not listening to anything coz I'm watching the football and I suspect you're only asking to lure me into a trap and laugh at my musical taste. I did my usual trick of lying on the floor last night and listening to 'Songs of Love and Hate' on vinyl. Leonard Cohen never makes the neighbours complain. Although it does make their dog wail a bit. Oh that's your record isn't it? In fact all the records I have here are yours so you can't take the piss out of what I listen to.Really love the new Nick Cave album. What are you listening to? When are you going to make me a playlist?
Emily: Oh is it? Fuck Real Madrid. Dude you are 'England’s Rose', I hope you aren't in a pub swearing at the screen (like last time #embarrassing). I'm only listening to Blood Orange. And Solange. And Azaelia Banks. I fancy her. I'll send you a playlist so you can stop lying on the floor listening to Leonard Cohen and crying.
Keira: Total girl crush on Solange! God did I actually say that? I sound like a 16 year old. Love her new one with Blood Orange.
Emily: It’s okay everyone fancies Solange. I don't have a 'girl crush' on Azaelia Banks though. I actually would fuck her.
Keira: Jesus, you're no fucking lady are you?! I don't know what Azelia Banks looks like, but I'm guessing she's hot.
Emily: I am a lady! But what does 'girl crush' even mean? I thought it was just straight girls who are jealous of each other’s shoes?
Keira: And yes I always like Solange Knowles' shoes. And there, in straight girl land, the infatuation begins. Or if we were going for the less chauvinistic approach, I appreciated her talent for making music... And then I noticed her shoes.
Emily: Lol whatever. Okay, so Hugo Chavez just died like 10 minutes ago (you might not know this lying on the floor). Who is your hero, if you had to pick one person? You can pick a few if you like but one is fine. Or, who would you prefer not to die for a bit?
Keira: Hugo Chavez. Fuck! Just seen. Solange Knowles and Hugo Chavez is a combination I never thought would go in the same sentence. He fit a lot into 58 years. Ummmm do you mean who is my hero apart from you? Camila Batmanghelidjh is pretty amazing. Anyone who gives themselves to the welfare of others is amazing. God that sounds cheesy! True though. I'd bring my brother’s cat Rocky back from the dead. He used to be able to knock on front doors to be let in. The world needs cats like that.
Emily: Camila Batmanghelidjh? You made that up. About to google. Wasn't your cat called 'Fanny'?
Keira: Yes, my cat was called Fanny. In my defence, I was eight and there was a character in 'The Railway Children' called Fanny and I do know my parents tried to stop me, but I was insistent. Your cat was called 'Captain Pussy', and there was nothing innocent about that. It makes my porn name Fanny Mcdonald. What's yours?
Emily: Ha I've set myself up. Okay so last night some dude showed (flashed) me his dick on the street. What unexpected romantic gesture has someone done for you? Don't need names. I didn't know dick guys’ name.
Keira: That's exactly why I don't want to move to New York. In England the guy would at least have the sense not to flash his dick at a lesbian. Someone asked me to marry him once. That was pretty romantic.
Keira: Did someone really show you his dick?
Emily: Yeh. Last night. This is why I moved to New York. In England they'll flash you then apologise. This guy flashed me then asked for a cigarette.
Keira: You're the world’s shittest lesbian.
Emily: Thank you. Anyway it’s not the dick that counts, it’s the mentally ill person waving it. So to speak. Okay let’s grow up.You mentioned you might one day want to move into directing. I'd be scared by that jump. Like suddenly you're the captain running shit. But obviously I can see you doing that with ease. Is there any directing projects in the pipeline? Or seeds of ideas?
Keira: I think I probably mentioned that in one of my drunker moments, along with opening a bar and obviously now starting a bunting business. All the directors I love are the ones that can dedicate themselves to a project 100%, live and breath it. I'm not sure I could do that. I suspect I'm too attached to the other things in life, the people in my life. I guess if I couldn't give everything to it, I wouldn't want to do it at all. Probably that's just bullshit though and actually I just wouldn't be very good, and I'm too scared and lazy to try.I think you should move into directing. You've made music videos, you're already there.
Emily: Who are your favourite directors? Any specific moments of their films that have really stood out – like ‘fucking hell’ vibes? Or is the more important question do you think putting a 'creative' profession second (correct me if I'm wrong) shows a lack of commitment or ability? I don't think it does btw. My fave thing is drinking tea and staring out of windows but no-one’s gonna pay me for that.
Keira: I think guilt at a lack of commitment or productivity is a constant battle for anyone in a 'creative profession'. I think you're right though, ability and productivity don't have much to do with each other. You definitely need to live a certain amount of life to be able to reflect it. But, what I mean by giving yourself 100% is that while that piece of work is being created it is the most important thing in the world to you. It's an obsessive need to create. That's where I question whether I could sustain that if I tried to direct. The commitment is so much longer than it is when you act.Okay, so onto movie moments: the whole of ‘Badlands’ (Terrence Malick).The last shot in ‘Reds’ (Warren Beatty) in the hospital where the character Jack Reed has just died, and the camera never goes inside the room it always stays in a wide shot outside the door.The scene in ‘Birth’ (Jonathan Glazier) in the opera with Danny Houston speaking in Nicole Kidman’s ear. The whole of that film. ‘Klute’ (Alan J. Pakula) Jane Fonda smoking a joint alone in her flat in a wide shot under a single light. And all of the stuff in the psychiatrist’s office playing on her mind.I love when scenes are played out wide, and the space between people and the way they inhabit it becomes a character in itself.
Emily: Totally. That’s one of the things I'm not into with modern film, don't really see long shots anymore. Everything's cut to pieces.
Keira: Right? I would add Paul Thomas Anderson and Jacques Audiard to that list. I love all their films. That's all I can think of right now...
Emily: So you're pretty good at staying private (albeit a bit more before I fired stupid dick questions at you in this interview). Do you think that the modern 'movie star' has changed the profession? As in actors used to be pretty much anonymous except for the big screen, and now there’s a certain type of public ownership? Or is that just another symptom of times changing, and people (celebrities) are becoming commodities? Like I think it’s changed a lot even since we were kids. Knowing that, would it have changed your desire or decision to pursue a career in the public eye do you reckon?
Keira: It used to be that you could have a certain amount of control over your image and now I don't think you can. Also given the Internet and social networking our relationship with privacy has probably changed. I don't think it's something that you value or can even really get your head around until it's gone. And possibly people react in different ways to it. There is definitely a perception that being public figure of any kind means that every part of your life is public property, and I totally disagree with that. For me, a 'movie star' or actor should always be a bit of a mystery so you can get lost in the stories. If you know too much about the person then it becomes about them and not the fantasy. And then the whole point is gone. If I had known what being in the public eye would mean, would I have thought twice? Yeah, but I probably would have done the same thing. I always like a fight.
Emily: "I always like a fight" :-)
What was your fave part of our shoot? Mine was when you told the cab driver to go fuck himself and he kicked you out in the rain. Lol.
Keira: I did not tell the cab driver to go fuck himself, I was incredibly polite. I told you to go fuck yourself for picking such a stupid location in the middle of nowhere in a torrential downpour. The fact I was unceremoniously dumped on some random road miles away from the location I entirely blame on you, and I'm still convinced you somehow orchestrated it.
Emily: You're giving me far too much credit but I'll take the compliment. Right. On that note I'll leave you to get back to your bunting-making. Bunting makes me homesick. Thanks for your time sweetheart. And shooting in the rain all day.
Keira: My pleasure. Stop getting flashed at and come back to England you wanker. I've got no-one to steal cigarettes off. Love you.
Emily: Maybe. Not yet. Love you too dude.