The first Pirates of the Caribbean was almost 20 years ago (do you feel old yet?) and it’s still a noteworthy franchise, with another film in the works. Keira Knightley is arguably still most well-known for her appearance in the franchise (especially the famous OG Pirates of the Caribbean film), even though she has had a lengthy career since then. While playing pirate beside the tall, dark, and handsomes that are Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom in a popular franchise would presumably be a career-high, but Knightley apparently feels differently. The 35-year-old actress, although thankful for the opportunity to play in big-budget films, seems to feel more fulfilled in her pulled-back roles.
Keira Knightley played in some huge films at a very young age, her roles in the first Pirates of the Caribbean and Love, Actually happening when she was only 18. Plus she was even in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace at 14. Even though these roles would be dream parts for a lot of actors, Knightley prefers the gigs she’s getting now. The actress recently spoke on the podcast Chanel Connects, and revealed that although she is beyond grateful to have been in big-budget films, her actress dreams are being made now by playing more complex characters. In Knightley’s own words:
I’m incredibly fortunate. You know, I’m now playing the roles that I dreamed I would be playing when I was a kid. And actually a lot of the scripts that I am being sent are the kind of incredibly juicy, really interesting, multi-faceted women. I think that’s partly my age. I’m in my mid-thirties. I still say I understand how unbelievably lucky I was to be in a position to get to be in those incredibly big blockbusters. But it was never what I wanted from the profession. It was always getting to do those characters that are complicated, interesting, strange.
Even though Keira Knightley basically still looks like she did when she appeared on Pirates of the Caribbean, she has transformed from a teenager to a mature and seasoned adult actress. She may still don a corset, much like she did in the Pirates franchise, often and enjoy playing in period pieces, but the roles she is taking in them are far more involved and the characters are more interesting.
After hearing what Keira Knightley is looking for for the future of her career, it does make sense that she has left the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise behind her and will not be returning in the new reboot. It will be interesting to see what Knightley churns out in Hollywood over the next few years, and she’s given us a little teaser by saying she is being sent a lot of “incredibly juicy” scripts with strong women parts.
Currently, Keira Knightley is starring in the holiday comedy Silent Night. Whether this is one of the of these interesting and strange roles Knightley speaks of has yet to be determined, as the film is being kept under wraps even though it has finished filming and is in post production. While it's possible we may not see any more blockbusters from Knightley, we can expect her future roles to be ones of depth and complexity and worth looking forward to.