10 JUNE 2014


She's battled pirates and survived her share of corsets, but after a yearlong acting break and a sweet whirlwind wedding, Keira Knightley is doing something even more courageous. She's singing.


GLAMOUR: Gurinder Chadha once said of you, "The camera doesn't intimidate her at all. If anything, it magnifies her sense of security." Do you agree with that?

KK: Ha! I'd say it's the complete opposite. I have really suffered from stage fright or, actually, camera fright. [Because] you are presenting layers and layers and layers of pretending, and it's not just you but other people in charge of your face or your body or your hair.


GLAMOUR: That reminds me of how you once said something like "I am a feminist, but I clearly objectify myself, so there is a contradiction."

KK: I deal with it by thinking that the person on the red carpet is entirely separate from the person I am in my day-to-day life, and from the person I am on the film set or when somebody recognizes me on the street. Um, it's obviously not the healthiest way of doing it or the happiest way of doing it, because when all those worlds collide, it can all get a bit schizo, but it is the only way I think I can [live].

GLAMOUR: About who you are on the red carpet—is there anything fun about the process?

KK: I love the bit before, when I've got hair and makeup and there's always a bottle of champagne open, and [my hair and makeup team] have been doing me for the past 10 years and are very close friends. And you know, there are some ridiculous dresses out there. And where on earth are you going to get to wear any of them other than on the red carpet? That's kind of a privilege—dressing up as that sort of person and playing her for a few minutes.

GLAMOUR: One of the dresses you wore on the red carpet recently got a big, uh, not necessarily positive reaction—the embellished, sort of crop-top Chanel couture one at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

KK: [Laughs.] When we were getting ready that evening, we were all going, "They're soooo going to hate me in this, but they're so wrong." Apparently the reason they were so mean was because they thought the dress was unsexy. I wasn't intending to be sexy. This idea you have to be sexy on the red carpet—that dress made me very happy.


GLAMOUR: What's it like being a rock star's wife these days? Do you ever go on tour with your husband and get to play the role of—

KK: A groupie? [Laughs.] Yeah, a little bit but not always. You want to be slightly part of each other's world so you can see what makes them tick. If one person is on tour for three months and the other's on a film set, your lives become very separate. It's tricky. You should have your own thing, but equally you have to build a life together.

GLAMOUR: Did you think about taking his name for personal stuff? Keira Righton—that has a nice ring to it.

KK: Yeah, I went to do the passport thing. 'Cause I was thinking, Shall I do it? It will be helpful. But you actually have to see it written down, and I found I couldn't do it. I couldn't go there. Yet.

GLAMOUR: Let's talk about marriage. Have you always been a fan?

KK: No! Not at all! Actually my parents kept saying, "Why bother?" I think they only [got married] to get a mortgage. [Laughs.] But when James proposed, I just thought, Well, never done that before. It seemed like a fun thing to do.

GLAMOUR: OK, so now you have the bit of paper. Does it feel different?

KK: Well, supposing something happens to your other half and you can't get into the hospital without that legal paper? That's what did it for me. I've got married gay friends; that's always been big for them.

GLAMOUR: It was reported recently that you allotted yourself a "salary" of only about $50,000 in 2012. True?

KK: Yes, it's something around that. I mean, if I want or need something that goes over that, I get it, but, yes, around that.

GLAMOUR: Forgive me for sounding crass, but it seems awfully little for a household-name Hollywood star!

KK: I think living an [expensive] lifestyle means you can't hang out with people who don't live that lifestyle. It alienates you. Some of my best, most hilarious times have been in the least luxurious places.