Keira Knightley vamps it up for GQ UK: sexy or cringe-inducing?

Keira Knightley kind of has the same problem as Michelle Williams – for the past few years, Keira has been selling a particular kind of image of herself (quiet, subdued, not sexy, not famewhore-y, “real actress”) and it’s startling to see her do a revealing photo shoot and interview. But unlike Michelle Williams, Keira has never tried to convince us that she’s oh-so-fragile. Keira has always put herself out there as competent, assured, self-contained, and never helpless. Which makes this “sexy” GQ UK photo shoot for the March issue NOT cringe-inducing. I actually think Keira pulls it off – she looks sexy and even dare I say… healthy. Like she’s back on solid food.

Keira is still promoting A Dangerous Method, which has just come out in the UK, I believe. In the interview, she talks about more about being spanked by Michael Fassbinder (this bitch!!!!) and about how American audiences are generally more supportive of her:

It is a dramatic departure from her usual image as the quintessential English rose.
Keira Knightley, more commonly seen in the bonnets and bustles of period dramas, poses provocatively in a series of outfits that leave little to the imagination.

The actress wears nothing more than a low-cut jumper, high heels and blood red lipstick in one shot, while in another, she shows off her long legs as she reclines on a chaise lounge in a 1950s-style swimming costume.

Another of the images, which will appear in the March issue of GQ magazine, shows the 26-year-old modelling a tasselled black jacket as she runs her fingers through her hair.
Perhaps Miss Knightley was getting into the spirit of her latest role in A Dangerous Method, which she almost turned down after telling director David Cronenberg that some scenes were too risque.

She told an interviewer: ‘I said, I love you, I love the script. But I don’t think it’s something I can do, so I might have to turn it down. Once he said he didn’t want it to be sexy or voyeuristic, and as soon as I got my head around the S&M mentality, I said, “Okay, let’s do it”.’

Miss Knightley also spoke about how different the perceptions are of her in both America and her home country.

She explained: ‘The Americans are generally a lot more supportive. They generally like the work a lot more than they do here. It is what it is, I suppose. It could just be that I’m not to a lot of people’s tastes. Which is fine. Well it’s not, obviously. You want to be to everyone’s taste… But, I think it’s better to do your own thing rather than try to please everyone and just be this mushy thing in the middle.. Sometimes it’s like water off a duck’s back, and sometimes it really hurts… and then you go away and cry for an hour or so, and then pick yourself up again…’

‘I’ve always tried to give everything 100 per cent…if you’re not working what are you? You’re lazy. You’re doing nothing and what the **** is that?’ she tells GQ.

The actress has been dating musician James Righton, 28, from the band Klaxons, for almost a year. Her last relationship with Pride & Prejudice co-star Rupert Friend ended in December 2010 after five years.

But she said she is happier than she has ever been with her life right now, adding: ‘I’m actually loving this bit right now – doing the work I’m doing, having the life I can have around it. Right now, it’s really good.’

Miss Knightley also revealed to GQ that she read the work of Jung and Sigmund Freud while researching her latest role.

She said: ‘I vaguely knew it was about sex and blaming your parents. Apart from that I had no idea. So I had to do quite a lot of research to understand what they were talking about and understand where [Sabina] was coming from and the nature of the illness that she had.’

The film, which has its UK premiere tonight, tells the story of a love affair between Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung and his beautiful patient Sabina Spielrein, played by Miss Knightley.

[From The Mail]

Keira also discusses her battle with dyslexia – you can read her comments here. I do think she sounds good – healthy, mentally, emotionally, and hopefully physically. I like that she spent a few years away, not doing many films and working on the stage. It was a smart career move. Too few actors actually go away and let people MISS them, you know? And Keira has been missed – as much as she’s criticized, she is one of the more talented young actresses out there.

Photos courtesy of GQ UK via The Mail.

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83 Responses to “Keira Knightley vamps it up for GQ UK: sexy or cringe-inducing?”

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  1. Bite me says:

    When exactly did she go ” away”

  2. Catherine Paris says:

    I think she really looks good here. Not so slender but it could be with age too and maturity.

  3. TheOriginalKitten says:

    She does come across as really thoughtful and intelligent but I can’t help it-her acting style drives me crazy. I guess she’s talented? She’s just not my cup of tea. She looks really good in these photos-it’s very glamour/sexy without being trashy.

    • podzol says:

      ME TOO! Offscreen: I admire Knightley’s countenance and her fashion choices. But onscreen … man alive, I wanted to rip the DVD of The Duchess and Dangerous Method’s first 30 minutes recalled some of the Duchess trauma, haha!

      Keira keeps on jokingly saying how traumatic it was to be spanked by the Fass, and I wonder how spazzed out she’d be to have been cast as Late Night Lover #1 in Shame? 🙂

    • originalone says:

      It’s the contrary to me! She gets on my nerves as a person, especially during interviews, but I love her as an actress. If she’s in a movie, it sort of gives it more of a quality guarantee, than let’s say if Reese Witherspoon was in it.

      I don’t find her sexy at all. But I love the fact that after Pirates, she didn’t throw herself in just about every movie. Some of her movies have simply blown me away, except sadly, About Last Night. I had very high expectations for that movie.

      And BTW, she will blow you away in Dangerous Method. Messes you up a bit, but her and Mortensen are really good together on screen.

      • podzol says:

        It really is a complex role, and she’s quite lovely past the first 20 min or so (it’s an ascending curve for me; it starts off awful but she’s great by the end of the movie). Dangerous Method is definitely a performance-driven movie. All leads did an admirable job with their characters.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Ha ha..oh Podzol-Knightly would NOT have the fortitude to be in Shame 🙂

        @originalone-I agree that she is one of the more quality actresses, compared to say a Reese, but she’s just not my style. I prefer the actresses that turn in the brave/gutsy performances. To me, a Carey Mulligan, Michelle Williams, Naomi Watts (back in the day), Tilda, Cate Blanchett etc. While I respect Knightley’s values, I think it impedes her ability to really “go there” if you know what I mean. She tends to use overdramtization in place of conveying the earnest emotion that is often delivered through a more subtle performance. BTW, I HAVE to see Dangerous Method now! 🙂

      • originalone says:


        Like Podzol said, be patient, give it at least 20 minutes, you will then be seriously hooked!

    • saintdevil says:

      As an actress, she isn’t much better than Kristen Stewart. Her Eliza Bennett is unwatchable.

  4. Asli says:

    I thought I’d hate this but I don’t. She sounds really healthy and mature in her thinking. She isn’t stuttering or dissing any projects/directors and she actually did her research. Few of the Hollywood actresses would read Freud to prepare for a role. I really want to see A Dangerous Method now(I did before, but now even more so).

    Edit: She has her eyebrows raised and her mouth open in every pic! Just when I was getting excited about her again. Bummer :/

  5. T.C. says:

    Too beautiful, too talented? My goodness talk about lack of modesty. If you see A DANGEROUS METHOD you know the girl has no breasts (she has like male pecs with nipples). So there is nothing really to show off in a “revealing” photoshoot. I fell asleep during the movie it was so boring. The interview sounds decent though but yeah the cover words are too much.

    • Sasha says:

      That’s a bit of a nasty thing to say. Plenty of men are infatuated with Keira and none of them care that she’s flat chested. Sexiness is more than a pair of tits, yo.

      • taxi says:

        She joked about how they had to fake her some boobs when she played Guinevere to Clive Owen. She has a sense of humor & doesn’t take herself too seriously, imo.

        Afa “Pirates”, the whole series is a big put-on. Does anyone really expect “Acting” based on a Disneyland ride? gmafb.

    • Sara says:

      Ok, that’s pretty stupid.

      Women come in all shapes and sizes and they do not need double Ds to be attractive or sexy. A lot of men are going to find a perky A much sexier than a saggy C.

  6. Mimi says:

    She’s pretty and she can act *sometimes* but she bugs me. There, I said it. And I can’t get over how terrible they made Michelle Williams in the last cover so this one isn’t working for me either, it’s all so try hard.

  7. oh dear says:

    i wish she closed her mouth! she looks so dumb with her mouth open :S
    last picture aint so bad, i like her hair in it 🙂

  8. Coco says:

    I can’t say I love her but I do know when she is on screen it’s hard for me to look away. Maybe I do linger extra long waiting for the strange transformation of her face when she smiles. She has this incredible beauty when she poses and is unsmiling. Then she smiles and she becomes a caricature of herself. Giant underbite, vamp teeth and her eyes virtually disappear.

    • Mimi says:


    • Carolyn says:

      Yes. Strange that someone can look x100 better without smiling with teeth showing. I like her as an actress however not at all interested in reading about her as a person. Don’t need to know all about these actors.

  9. Suze says:

    She looks better here than she has in years and years.

    I like her acting style, but I get that it’s not for everyone.

  10. says:

    I’m pretty “meh” about her. She’s not great, and she’s not terrible.

    “Too beautiful. Too talented” ? WTF are they smoking over at GQ?!

  11. Melinda says:

    What’s with the hand on the head in every shot?

  12. bros says:

    clutching her skeletal head in every frame? she definitely doesnt look natural or even comfortable in any of these shots. pose-hard.

    • Shay Kay says:

      You know you were just reclining in your too long sweater with stilettos on you divan this morning! B@tch is just stealing everyone woman’s morning “I’m thin, I have no boobies, I have full makeup, I couldn’t find my pants, Gee this sweater is comfy” morning lounging around look!
      I promise I do not wear my son’s flannel pj bottoms with my husband’s Alabama t-shirt with my hair in a ponytail while dribbling coffee down my shirt in the mornings, no I do not!(Hope I didn’t accidentally leave the webcam on!!)

  13. lucy2 says:

    She does look good, but the makeup is a bit much in the photos.

  14. Lisa says:

    I’ve always liked her…

    She’s smart…I LOVE smart bitches!!! And to me, she can act…

    I do like the styling here…and the fact that I can recognize her!

    • Kimbob says:

      Yes, @Lisa…I agree w/you. I think her interview here was quite eloquent & honest. She’s a gorgeous girl…IMHO. She does “vampy” better than most!

      Oh…and Michelle Williams…UGH! Do. Not. Like. Her!

  15. Franny says:

    why did they give her Ms. PotatoHead lips?

  16. Rhea says:

    All I see is her shoe on the 1st and the last pic. Reminds me of Jolie’s favorite kind of shoes on the red carpet lately 😀

  17. Mourning the Death of Music says:


    Totally loving the shoes though.

  18. serena says:

    Don’t like her hair here, but yeah she seems a lot healthier.

  19. madpoe says:

    For a nano second, the chair leg looked thicker than her own legs.
    I could care less ’bout this actress.

  20. RocketMerry says:

    I really, really love her. She sounds intelligent and seems to have good sense of humor. I also like this shoot: her body looks MUCH better with a bit more weight lately.
    As for the make up…eh. Too dark for me, it makes her features almost disappear.

  21. SG says:

    That second photo is awful – she looks like she’s taking off a wig and her jaw is jutting out (I have problems with Keira’s jaw).

  22. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    Love her. Have always loved her films. (Pride and Predj, Silk, Atonement, etc)..I love the period movies she plays in. I think she is one of the most versatile young actresses today. And, that she is underrated. She makes women like Katherine Heigl/Kate Hudson look like a joke.

  23. Cathy says:

    She’s a good actress, and I do like her. But her eye make up looks horrid. It looks like she’s stolen Duchess Kates raccoon look.

  24. mia girl says:

    She is right that she is not everyone’s taste… but for me, she is one of my favorite actresses.

    I like her attitude on and off screen. I’m glad she has a bit more meat on her bones in these pics and I love the fact that she has not gotten breast implants. You know the industry pressure to bolt some on must be pretty intense.

  25. Green_Eyes says:

    I like Keira, she (Also.. Erika Christensen, Julia Stiles, Natalie Portman just to name a handful…however there are more than a just a handful) is a prime example of actresses that started young in the entertainment industry and yet did not let fame overshadow themselves causing self destruction. Yes we can blame parenting to a point, but only to a point. I love that she did research on Jung and Freud, and that she admitted she didn’t know much about either before. That is good old common sense and an excellent work ethic that more should do. It used to be common practice, so love it when I hear of anyone that actually researches their matter what their profession is. Love the last photo… Her hair looks fabulous and loving those shoes (she does look healthier.. could be due to maturity).

  26. enzo says:

    Supersexy and supertalented

  27. luls says:

    Im not really luving the makeup on her in this shoot. BUT, her body looks FANTASTIC! And I love that she hasnt given in and gotten a boob job yet.
    Also she is always gorgeous to me, even in a trashbag.

    Her best movies have been period films. Thats where she shines the most. She’s definitely 1 of my favorites.

  28. mel says:

    Loved her in pride and prejudice…bend it like beckman…etc. She is talented and I think she will be around for a long time. She is also approachable and not sullen…nor immature..nor a slob….take note Rooney and Kristen.

  29. Mara says:

    She is just beautiful very talented actress ,i really like her movies.

  30. JudyJudyJudy says:

    she is just beautiful.

  31. Mda says:

    Why must she always hold her mouth that way? It looks terrible and she constantly posing like that. Ugh.

  32. heatheradair says:

    It’s hard to knock a girl who hasn’t caved and gone for a fake rack — she seems real enough (all things considered) and she’s pretty as all get-out.

  33. Manuela says:

    not so bad. she is good actress but in a dangerous method she was really awful.

  34. Julie says:

    God what a beauty now that she’s eating!!! Angie take a look. Food does a body wonders.

  35. inthekitchen says:

    I HATE that stupid pose she does with her mouth in EVERY picture/red carpet/etc.

    Also, it really bothers me that women always have to get naked (or almost) to show that they’re “back” or relevant or “talented” or whatever. It’s really annoying. Put some clothes on and I’ll take you more seriously.

  36. AbbeyRoad says:

    Always found her annoying and skinny and just…blah, until I saw “Atonement,” at which point, I went “OH. I get it.” A great performance, and the green dress was damn near iconic. Appreciation has been growing since then.

    Not crazy about the make-up, but it’s fun to see her try something new and her body looks amazing! Like she knows what a sandwich is, but healthy and toned all the same. Great to see. I think she’s talented and focused and hope great things continue to happen for her.

  37. Dee Cee says:

    The oxygen in the air hurts her eyes.. she strains to keep them open.. and tries to inhale very carefully just enough to survive.

  38. Sara says:

    Lipstick ruined the photos for me.

  39. MM says:

    where is the meat on her bones referenced in the comments? she’s still quite thin — tho’ looks amazing.

  40. Amy says:

    The lipstick is beyond garish, but I’d kill for those legs.

  41. Cerulean says:

    Her mouth poses do irritate me BUT the last photo in the blue sweater looks good. I like her now but we went through a very rough period in our relationship. I didn’t think we would make it through it but alas we have come through it better than ever.

    Spanked by Fass is just not even fair. Not. Fair.

  42. jasperkitty says:


  43. WTF says:

    If i hadn’t read the caption -totally would’ve thought the first picture was Julia Stiles

  44. Mrs. Darcy says:

    She looks super pretty in the last shot, way too much open mouth porn happening to look classy in the rest of the shoot though. I’ve always been on the fence with her, she doesn’t bother me too much but she hasn’t wowed me yet in anything, let’s see how she does with Fassbender and Viggo to play opposite.

  45. meh says:

    She looks great in most of these photos, but I do not get the cover. Her hair looks grey, and you can see how crispy it is from all that hairspray. That hideous grey/beige color is doing nothing for her, and the makeup completely washes her out. BLECH. She is one of the most beautiful celebrities and they managed to make her look terrible for her cover.

  46. Reece says:

    It took me a minute to start to see her underneath the styling but it’s alright. I don’t get this washed out grey trend that seems to be going on now. Hideous! She herself looks and sounds very good though.

  47. TG says:

    I love Keira Knightly. Where has she been lately?

  48. Kimberly says:

    She pulled off the last two pics, but the cover is a total bust and so is the first picture.

    Fire the stylist and the people who approved the shoot is what I’d do.

    It may have been amazing in person, but the styling and model didn’t look good at all in print!!!!

  49. Celia says:

    hmm, I don’t know if she is that great as an actress, but I think she is quite beautiful and a good role model for us flat-chested girls outthere.

  50. Yasmine says:

    The “Lana Del Ray” lips are so ridiculous and cringe-inducing. Can’t take her seriously.

  51. Jasmine K says:

    She looks lovely

  52. Moi says:

    Okay pics, but would have been 100% better with a closed mouth. Seriously!

  53. Camille (The original) says:

    I think Keira is a crap actress (she was the worst thing about those Pirates movies for example), but I have appreciated that we haven’t seen much of her for a couple of years, it made my dislike for her dissipate a bit.

    She looks great in the photos. Although I hate the cover shot.

  54. NeoCleo says:

    The make-up is awful–hard and unflattering.

  55. juju says:

    She looks better than ever. She is really beautiful !! And by the way you dont have to have big ass boobs to look sexy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. SamiHami says:

    Those pictures are terrible! What did she do to piss off the stylist, make up artist and photographer?

  57. Rachel says:

    HATE the cover with a passion, just awful. They should have used that last picture, which is super sexy (those legs)!

  58. foozy says:

    i love kiera!!!!!! she’s such a talent! please go back for the 5th installment of the piratessssssssssssssssssssssss

  59. Jules says:

    She looks good in the pics, like she finally realized it was ok to gain some weight.

  60. Adrien says:

    Her protruding underbite is distracting. Her faceshape is quite perfect and she does not have that laddle face (long chin, excessive mandibular), so I don’t understand why her jaws protrudes that much. It could be just her mannerism, it wasn’t there when she was starting. But, boy, does she have the best eyes in the biz. Those are rare cat-eyes, better than Jolie’s.

  61. Kittypants says:

    Talented? Not really. Pretty good performance in Never Let Me Go but totally overshadowed by Carey Mulligan, whom I think is an exceptional actress. Every other film I’ve seen her in – mediocre at best. Undoubtedly attractive, though I wish she would cut out the pouting. You look gormless not sexy, love.

  62. Maya says:

    I find the last image amusing. What boobs is she going to show? Seriously? And yet the photographer has her pose that way?
    She is way overrated as an actress. If I remember correctly, she was plucked from obscurity to co-star in Bend it Like Beckham and then marketed as the UK version of Audrey Hepburn (ie the poor man’s version of Audrey). So she had no acting background or anything. She is practically the same persona in every film she is in.

  63. mememe says:

    She’s sizzling hot! One of a kind.

  64. kris says:

    She looks pretty good here. Very pretty. The only thing cringe-inducing about her for me is her acting (or most of it, I liked pride and prejudice). Her performance in A Dangerous Method has me so, SO embarrassed for her. It was god awful to me. They can try to convince me it was great all you want, I still can’t watch that movie again because of her, along with quite a few others.