Knightley surprised by Karenina

Lancashire Telegraph: Keira Knightley at the LA premiere of Anna Karenina Keira Knightley at the LA premiere of Anna Karenina

Keira Knightley has admitted she was shocked when director Joe Wright told her what he had in mind for their new film Anna Karenina.

Joe, who directed Keira in Pride And Prejudice and Atonement, decided to take a novel approach to Leo Tolstoy's epic of doomed romance by confining most of the period drama in a dilapidated theatre.

"The first thing I said was 'Oh (expletive)!' I was like, well, people are really either going to love it or absolutely (expletive) hate it," Keira said.

"I also was going... you're taking it and spinning it on its head and turning it into something that is potentially totally uncommercial. Into an experimental sort of art-house film..."

"I also went, '(expletive), yeah. Let's give it a go.'."

Keira said that because the pair had worked successfully together before, people thought they knew what to expect with Anna Karenina.

"When we got to Anna Karenina, everyone was like, 'Oh that's great, you'll do that really well.' I think that freaked both of us out. The idea that people thought they knew what we'd do with it was something I don't think any of us felt very comfortable with," she said.

"There was a general feeling that if we're all going to do this again, then we really need to push ourselves. The idea with this is we were very much walking hand in hand with total, absolute failure all the time ... If it fails, it fails, but at least you know that everybody's put everything into it."

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