Keira Knightley Explains Why You Shouldn't Be Intimidated By Anna Karenina

The conversation, according to Keira Knightley, started on the set of Atonement. Her director, Joe Wright, asked her who she thought was one of the most-important female roles in classic literature. When Knightley answered with Anna Karenina, based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy, the wheels began turning on what now stands as a vibrant, contemporary, yet still reverential adaptation of Tolstoy’s tones and themes.

Do not be tricked into believing this is another dry period piece with Knightley in gorgeous gowns. Thanks to Wright’s outside-the-box preparations, the stunning Anna Karenina leaps off the screen as it takes audiences behind the scenes of a makeshift Russian theater to capture the soap-opera dramas of the nation’s elite class. (Read Katey Rich’s five-star review right here.)

At the Toronto Film Festival, we were able to sit down with Knightley and explore the film’s emotional components, the difference in live-theater performance techniques, her favorite sets, and the intimidation that comes with adapting Russian literature. Here’s Keira Knightley:

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.