Most Disney fans will know Keira Knightley for her work as the beautifully-pouty Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean (opposite Orlando Bloom as Will Turner and Johnny Depp as (Captain!) Jack Sparrow) or her work as the delicate Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. However, Knightley is now shifting gears and trying voiceover work on for size via the new animated film Charlotte, which just premiered during the Toronto Film Festival!
Keira is leading a cast that contains several distinguished actors, including Jim Broadbent and Mark Strong. The directors are Eric Warin and Tahir Rana, and the movie is classified as a “Canada-France-Belgium animated drama”. Although many animated films are usually lighthearted tales, often featuring anthropomorphized animals, “Charlotte” actually is based on reality. It tells the “true story of Charlotte Salomon, a young German-Jewish artist who comes of age on the eve of the Second World War and defies incredible odds to create a timeless masterpiece”. The movie is primarily driven by the autobiographical painting series “Life? or Theatre?” that Salomon herself created.
Keira Knightley is also an executive producer on the film, as is well-known actress Marion Cotillard (who did voiceover work for the French version of the movie). That Keira Knightley chose a serious, history-laden film as her first animated movie is no big surprise: after all, the English actress and mother of two is known for her preference for period pieces and historically-based work. As she has said in the past (particularly when discussing her work in roles like Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, The Duchess, and Anna Karenina), “I don’t really do films set in the modern day…I always find something distasteful in the way women are portrayed, whereas I’ve always found very inspiring characters offered to me in historical pieces”. She did acknowledge that “there’s been some improvement” in the modern-day roles she’s being offered, and that’s clearly been the case as well, since she is now starring in the movie “Silent Night”, which has also just come out!
And who knows? Keira has also admitted that she’s “thought about directing…Maybe one day I’ll get over my fear and just do it”. Perhaps Keira would find her way back to Disney movies as a director or a voice actor! She’s also just done voiceover work for “Climate Crisis and Why We Should Panic“, a disturbingly accurate documentary that animates the plight our planet is in due to human actions. Have you been following Knightley’s work? Would you be excited to see her do more movies with Disney?