Keira Knightley Looks To ‘Colette’ For Courage In The Battle Against Her Own Self-Doubt

By Amy Kaufman
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Keira Knightley shares her experience of becoming a mother and how that journey has affected her life both personally and professionally.


At first, Keira Knightley thought everything was going to be fine.

Her pregnancy had been delightful, so she’d give birth to her first child and then continue working at her normal pace. A Broadway show and two films in a year? Try her.

But after Knightley had her daughter, Edie, things didn’t go according to plan. She was hormonal, for one. And tired. Because Edie never seemed to sleep.

Still, she intended to keep her obligations. She performed eight times a week in a stage production of “Therese Raquin” and then filmed a supporting role in the drama “Collateral Beauty.”

But in the summer of 2016, staring down the lead role in the period drama “Colette,” Knightley decided she needed a break.

“I was like, ‘I can’t. I literally can’t,’ ” the actress said. “I am so tired. I am so hormonal. I can’t deal with this big character right now. So they very sweetly said, ‘We’ll put it off for a year.'”

Director Wash Westmoreland wasn’t exactly thrilled to push the start date on “Colette”, “no one welcomes that news,” he said, but that delay ended up being “the best thing that ever happened.”

The filmmaker was able to spend the year finessing the script about the renowned French novelist, who initially wrote under her husband’s name until her work became so successful in the early 1900s that she fought for recognition.

Alas, Edie, then age 2, still wasn’t sleeping regularly when production began in Budapest in 2017. But by then, Knightley had moved out of what she describes as the “Oh, my God, how am I a mother?” stage and into the “I am the mother” one.

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