Keira Knightley Sheds the Corset for Lighthearted Indies

The trailer for Keira Knightley’s next movie, Laggies, is out, showing the actress using indie film to make a niche for herself outside the period dramas she’s previously been known for. The svelte British actress was typecast in aristocratic period pieces after her work in Pirates of the Caribbean, Pride and Prejudice, and Anna Karenina. Her non-corset roles, aside from a cute turn in Love Actually, never got much recognition. But now, the actress seems to be remaking herself into a more serious independent film star.

Pirates of the Caribbean made the actress super famous, and Pride and Prejudice got her an Oscar nomination, but her attempts at non-period films like Domino and Never Let Me Go were critically panned.

Laggies co-stars Sam Rockwell and Chloë Grace Moretz. Knightley plays a young woman with an advanced college degree who feels too lost to pursue a real career or a serious relationship with her boyfriend. She runs away and stays with a teenage friend (Moretz) after her boyfriend attempts to propose to her, eventually becoming close to the teenage girl and her father (Rockwell.)

Knightley’s last film, the romantic comedy Begin Again, got great reviews, with an 80 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and again saw her playing a modern character outside her usual repertoire. Begin Again is about a young singer-songwriter who moves to New York City with her musician boyfriend (played by real-life rock star Adam Levine.) When he gets a record deal and she doesn’t, their relationship falls apart. Then a producer (Mark Ruffalo) sees her performing her heart-broken tunes in a coffee shop and decides to produce her album.

“It’s refreshing to see the playful, gamine Knightley in a modern-day setting, and in something relatively light and uplifting. She’s also quite a nice singer, a softer Aimee Mann,” said Vanity Fair.

Laggies looks like a movie that will continue Knightley’s indie comedy trend, and Sam Rockwell’s name is enough to get almost any indie movie buff into the art house. Also coming up from the actress is The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch, who will portray the mathematical genius Alan Turing, who helped the British decipher Nazi codes during World War II. On a very different note, Knightley will also star alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin in the upcoming biopic about the 1996 Mount Everest expedition that went horribly wrong, Everest.

Knightley herself has said she went into Begin Again, and it’s not so well received predecessor the Kenneth Branagh-directed action flick Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, looking to switch up her repertoire not just from period pieces, but from neurotic, disturbed characters like Anna Karenina and the disturbed psychiatric patient in A Dangerous Method. “It’s like beginning,” she joked during an interview with The Guardian. “But it’s beginning again.”

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