Actress Keira Knightley became a household name with films such as Bend It Like Beckham, Pride and Prejudice, and Atonement. She also gained international recognition for her role as Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. She starred in three films of the franchise along with Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.
Knightley has mentioned many times how endearing it was to work with Depp. She starred with the actor in three films of the Pirates franchise and even made a cameo in the fifth film. However, the actress reportedly refused to work in a film that also starred Lily-Rose Depp, Johnny Depp's daughter, unless some of her demands were met.
While she had a small role in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Keira Knightley had her first blockbuster in the form of the swashbuckling adventure film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The film saw her play the role of Elizabeth Swann, the daughter of a governor, who gets drawn into the pirate world of Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow.
The film was a surprising hit, earning over $654 million against a $140 million budget. The success of the films spawned two sequels that were filmed back to back, namely, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. While the other two were not as well-received as the first film, they were still successful. The arc of Knightley's Elizabeth and Orlando Bloom's Will Turner was complete with At World's End.
Knightley has mentioned multiple times about the joy she had while working with Johnny Depp in the franchise. When she starred in the first film, she was just eighteen years old and was tasting fame for the first time. In an interview with IGN in 2003, she said,
"He's just great. It's really weird because he's a huge star of Hollywood, but he's such a nice bloke. We'd be over at the craft services wagon and he'd make a cup of tea and we'd have a chat and have a giggle, and do a scene then. He's just really, really, really lovely."
The actress even returned to play Elizabeth in the fifth film of the Pirates franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. She also starred along with Depp's daughter, The Idol actress Lily-Rose Depp in the black comedy Silent Night. However, Knightley did want to introduce some changes in the film before saying yes.
Actress Keira Knightley had a reunion of sorts with the Johnny Depp family, as she starred along with Lily-Rose Depp in the black comedy Silent Night. Talking about working with her, Knightley said,
"I think I met her once on Pirates as a 3-year-old, and then I met her after that because we both worked for Chanel, so I met her again at a Chanel event. She's a great woman and I'm impressed by the choices that she's made as far as her work. She's making really interesting, strange films!"
Silent Night deals with the concept of motherhood in an apocalyptic setting. In the film, Lily-Rode Depp plays the role of Sophie, who is pregnant and has to decide whether she wants to take the Government-issued cyanide pills as an apocalypse is about to strike. Knightley wanted to make sure that the subject matter was handled with utmost care. Hence, she made sure that a female director was part of the film. In an interview with The Guardian, she said,
"If I was making a story that was about that journey of motherhood and body acceptance, I feel like, I'm sorry, but that would have to be with a female filmmaker. I don't have an absolute ban, but I kind of do with men."
Knightley made sure that Camille Griffin, who wrote the film, was the director of the film. Keira Knightley has been very vocal about the representation of women in film and the harassment women face every day, especially after the #MeToo era. She has voiced concerns over how she is only offered either motherly or flirtatious roles in films and has also mentioned that she will not be performing a s*x scene if it is directed by a man.