- Title: Keira Knightley turns whistleblower in new Iraq War drama
- Date: 26th August 2019
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - JUNE 17, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR, KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, SAYING: "I remember the lead up to that conflict (Iraq war) really well, and I do not remember anything about this story. I do not remember the whistleblower. I do not remember Katharine Gun, and I spoke to friends about it when I was reading the script and none of my friends who are all, you know, they read newspapers, they were all kind of pretty politically engaged and they didn't remember it. So, I thought wow this is a really interesting thing to kind of shine a light on, particularly when you look at the conflict in Iraq in terms of history you think well, that's a piece of the puzzle that feels very important and that I think people should know more about." LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - FEBRUARY 15, 2003) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MARCH WITH BANNERS AND PLACARDS GOING THROUGH CENTRAL LONDON AND PAST RITZ HOTEL MARCH WITH LARGE BANNER READING (English): "TONY PULLOUT LIKE YOUR FATHER SHOULD HAVE" MARCHERS WITH TRADE UNION BANNER PEOPLE MARCHING AT DEMONSTRATION WITH TRADE UNION AND CND AND RELIGIOUS ANTI-WAR POSTERS PLACARD READING (English): "MAKE TEA, NOT WAR" WITH PICTURE OF TONY BLAIR HOLDING GUN LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - JUNE 17, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTRESS, KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, SAYING: "It was such a moment of disillusionment because I think, you know, we all went to the streets. I wasn't there on the biggest demonstration, I was in America, but I went to a couple of demonstrations in the lead up to that, and, and the idea that they hadn't made a difference, that they weren't listening. I think that there was a massive, 'oh, it doesn't matter', and that feeling of disillusionment and that feeling of shock at political, certain political figures maybe not telling the truth I think has had a major impact, and obviously that hasn't changed. So, so I think you know again as citizens what do we require? What kind of society and what kind of public servants do we want to have? Are all questions that I think everybody is still grappling with."
- Embargoed: 9th September 2019 15:14
- Keywords: Katharine Gun GCHQ marches Keira Knightley Tony Blair demonstrations climate change Official Secrets Iraq war
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA002ATVKGNH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Actress Keira Knightley turns to the 2003 Iraq War for her latest film "Official Secrets", in which she portrays a British government employee who was fired for leaking a secret U.S. memo in the run up to the conflict.
The 34-year old plays Katharine Gun, a former translator at Britain's global spy centre who was charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act for leaking a U.S. memo seeking London's help in spying on the United Nations. Knightley spoke to Reuters about the role and film, out August 30 in the States and October 18 in the UK. Below are edited excerpts of the interview.
Q: Very few people know Gun's story.
Knightley: "I remember the lead up to that conflict really well and I do not remember anything about this story...I thought wow, this is a really interesting thing to shine a light on, particularly when you look at the conflict in Iraq in terms of history, you think well that's a piece of the puzzle that feels very important and that I think people should know more about."
Q: How much of it was a wakeup call to our generation to pay more attention to politics and foreign affairs?
Knightley: "Definitely within my friendship group it was such a moment of disillusionment because we all went to the streets...and the idea...that they weren't listening...and that feeling of disillusionment and that feeling of shock at certain political figures maybe not telling the truth, I think has had a major impact."
Q: Being a mother, how do these things play on your mind for the next generation?
Knightley: "It's going to be climate change isn't it? It seems pretty apparent and if you read anything about climate change it seems that they're going to be the massive things that younger generations are going to be hugely fighting against. The question really for our generation is are we doing enough?"
Q: How has the film helped you to understand what it takes for someone to risk everything by whistle blowing?
Knightley: "The idea that somebody has a moral reaction to something and puts everything on the line...for something she believed was right in order to...save lives is an extraordinary thing. Would I have the courage to do that? I don't know."
(Production: Emily Roe, Lisa Giles-Keddie)
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None