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Explore Keira Knightley's most iconic roles


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Long gone is the little girl that played the decoy queen in Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace just because she looked a lot like Natalie Portman. Keira Knightley is now an acclaimed actress herself, known through every corner of the world, perhaps one of the most popular of the last decades. Today, on her 33rd birthday, we go over Keira Knightley’s most iconic roles.

Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean (2003- )

Elizabeth Swann is probably Keira Knightley’s most iconic role ever. She played the character in the first three movies and recently had a cameo appearance in the fifth one, leaving the story open for future instalments. And this is not only her most famous role, but also one of the best. Elizabeth is such a strong woman, starting off as a damsel in distress that quickly takes charge of her own life and ends up becoming King of the Brethren Court and enduring the most heartbreaking destiny. Elizabeth is a true fighter and a incredibly well-made, powerful female character in a male dominated franchise.

Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Jane Austen’s masterpiece has been adapted to the screen in several occasions, and although everyone’s favourite Mr. Darcy is Colin Firth’s version from the BBC television adaptation, the award for the best Elizabeth Bennet clearly goes to Keira Knightley. She gives an outstanding performance as proud Elizabeth, keeping to her habit of playing strong women on-screen.

Georgiana Cavendish in The Duchess (2008)

The Duchess tells the powerful story of Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, contracted in marriage to William Cavendish when she’s young. She then has to endure the ugly truth: her husband does not love her and constantly cheats on her, even forcing her to raise his illegitimate child. Once she accepts that this is how her life is going to be, she finds consolation in an affair of her own, only to discover that the rules that apply to her husband do not apply to her. In this meaningful film about the double standards that women endure, Knightley leaves the audience speechless with her performance.

Ruth in Never Let Me Go (2010)

In this dystopian film based on the novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro, Keira Knightley plays Ruth, one of the children raised to become organ donors and die in their early adulthood. The film if one of the saddest and most thought-provoking she’s ever made, and it is definitely worth watching.

Gretta in Begin Again (2013)

After breaking up with her boyfriend and songwriting partner, a newly successful musician who has cheated on her, Gretta gets discovered by Dan Mullingan, a music producer that’s struggling to keep up with the changes in the industry. Keira gives a wonderful performance as fiercely independent Gretta, and also sings and plays guitar like a pro.


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