Keira Knightley: ‘Official Secrets made me think hard about governments and accountability’

Keira Knightley thought hard about governments being held accountable for their lies after she read the script for Official Secrets.The fact-based film follows the true story of translator Katharine Gun, who exposed a plot by the British government to …

Keira Knightley thought hard about governments being held accountable for their lies after she read the script for Official Secrets.

The fact-based film follows the true story of translator Katharine Gun, who exposed a plot by the British government to spy on United Nations delegates to garner support for the controversial Iraq war in 2003.

Keira met Gun, who now lives in Turkey with her husband and daughter, only a few times before portraying her on the big screen and confessed that reading about her story prompted her to do more investigation into the events in 2003.

“It’s a very British story in that way. It has that heroic failure about it. But what are you going to do? Write an ending in which the war didn’t happen? She didn’t stop it. She told the truth and there was little consequence,” the 34-year-old told the Guardian newspaper.

“Look where we are now. The questions we have about government and accountability go back to that. Why are politicians who lie not held to account? The script made me think hard about that.”

The two-time Oscar-nominated actress also confessed that she wasn’t aware of Gun’s efforts, which were deemed a breach of the Official Secrets Act.

“I was about 18 at the time. I thought I was (politically) engaged. I really remember the run-up to that conflict, but I didn’t remember this,” she shared.

The mother-of-two is also a big fan of political thrillers and loves being challenged by films.

“I’ve always loved a political thriller. I know some people like escapism, and that’s fine, but I like to be challenged. I was watching Paths of Glory last night, the Kubrick film, 1957, black and white, Kirk Douglas, about the futility of war, and political lies, and it’s amazing,” Keira explained.

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Keira Knightley and Matt Smith to star in spy thriller

Keira Knightley and Matt Smith have signed on to star in real-life spy movie Official Secrets.The British stars will headline director Gavin Hood’s next project, which will be based on Marcia and Thomas Mitchell’s 2008 book The Spy Who Tried to Stop a …

Keira Knightley and Matt Smith have signed on to star in real-life spy movie Official Secrets.

The British stars will headline director Gavin Hood’s next project, which will be based on Marcia and Thomas Mitchell’s 2008 book The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War: Katharine Gun and the Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion.

U.K. secret service officer Katharine Gun rose to prominence in 2003 when she leaked top-secret information to the press concerning illegal activities by U.S. officials in their push for the invasion of Iraq. Some of these activities included the U.S. National Security Agency’s eavesdropping operation on countries tasked with passing a second United Nations resolution on the invasion of Iraq.

While Knightley will take on the role of Gun, it is yet to be confirmed what part Smith will play.

Regarding the casting, eOne chief content officer Mark Gordon said that he was thrilled to have both actors on board and is looking forward to the shoot kicking off in England next month (Mar18).

“Official Secrets documents an incredibly intense and suspenseful true story, pulling the curtain back on one of the most controversial international incidents in recent history,” he said, according to Screen Daily. “Combining Keira and Matt’s exceptional talent with Gavin’s unrivalled storytelling abilities, we are confident this film will leave a lasting impression with audiences around the world.”

Knightley is currently promoting her film Colette, a biographical drama film based on the life of the French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. She will also appear in upcoming movie Berlin, I Love You and play The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

Meanwhile, Smith has most recently been seen onscreen as Prince Philip on Netflix show The Crown, and will portray cult leader Charles Manson in Mary Harron’s movie Charlie Says.

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