- 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 love movies as an audience member that just make me think and make me question the world around me. I like to be...I am not somebody that likes to watch things in order to completely turn off. Or sometimes I do, but maybe I wouldn't go for a movie I'd probably go for a cooking show. You know, so I think I really enjoyed grappling with some of the questions that this film sort of put out there."
- 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: LVA009ATVKGNH
- 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)
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