Keira Knightley is known for many iconic film roles, including Elizabeth Bennett in the critically acclaimed adaptation “Pride and Prejudice”, a romantic drama based on the book of the same name by Jane Austen.
In the film, directed by Joe Wright, Elizabeth lives with her mother, father and sisters in the countryside, England. As the eldest daughter, she faces increasing pressure from her parents to get married. When Elizabeth is introduced to the beautiful and rich Darcy, sparks fly. While there is an obvious chemistry between the two, Darcy’s overly reserved nature threatens their relationship.
Wright received a lot of critical acclaim, especially since the title marked his directorial debut. Knightley, for her part, received expert standing ovations and won numerous awards, including an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. As if that weren’t enough, the work also hit the box office, grossing nearly $ 122 million worldwide.
To celebrate its 16th anniversary (celebrated today, November 11), CinePOP has put together a list with some behind-the-scenes anecdotes, which you can check out below:
Wright didn’t like the idea of Knightley playing Elizabeth at first, feeling that she wasn’t very attractive. However, he changed his mind when he met her, deciding that her tomboy attitude would be perfect for the role. Matthew Macfadyen, interpreter of Mr. Darcy, has very poor eyesight. During the morning shoot, Wright stood behind the cameras waving a red flag so the actor could know which direction to walk.
Jena Malone, who is American, and Donald Sutherland, who is Canadian, are the only non-English actors in the cast. Interestingly, the two would also work together on the “Hunger Games” franchise. Rosamund Pike was Wright’s first choice to play Jane on the project. She even turned down the role of Rita Skeeter in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” to participate in “Pride and Prejudice”. Oscar winner Emma Thompson rewrote a script that was neither credited nor paid for. She received special thanks for the credits of the feature film.
The film is set in 1797, the year Austen wrote the novel’s first draft. The decision is not usual, as adaptations are usually made in 1813, when the book was revised and finalized. The Bennett family actresses (Knightley, Pike, Malone, Talulah Riley and Carey Mulligan) visited the house that would be used for the film in Kent and played a similar game of hide and seek – to get to know the location and the other first. from the start of filming. Wright asked Sutherland to play Patriarch Mr. Bennett after seeing him in ‘Cold Mountain’. Sutherland reminded the Headmaster of his father.
Knightley was critically acclaimed and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, as previously mentioned. At the time, she became the third youngest British actress nominated for the category in question. The final scene, in which the newlyweds Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are on the outskirts of Pemberly showing affection for each other, has been cut from the UK version.
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