“The Imitation Game” star Keira Knightley

British actress Keira Knightley joins Jian to discuss the Oscar buzz film, “The Imitation Game”. The stirring historical drama centres on the story of Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), a British mathematician feverishly working to break the infamous Nazi Enigma Code during World War Two.

Q is your daily dose of arts, culture and entertainment. Join host, Jian Ghomeshi, as he engages today’s top artists, critics and phenoms in conversation.

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Keira Turns Down Role to Another ‘Pirates’ Sequel

During her Toronto International Film Festival to promote her upcoming film The Imitation Game, Keira was asked if she would become part of the fifth installment of The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise set for release on 2017.

Her reply? “[T]he ship has sailed” for her to join Pirates 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Keira made a name for herself in Hollywood as Elizabeth Swann in Disney’s The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003. The commercially successful film launched the swashbuckling The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise in which Keira gets to reprise her role in 2006’s Dead Man’s Chest and 2007’s At Worlds End.

While all films under the franchise, including 2011’s On Stranger Tides in which Keira was not part of have been financially successful, the quality of each film have degraded with every installment. According to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, only the first film was certified “Fresh” with a 79% rating. The next two, Dead Man’s Chest and At Worlds End, only received a 54% and 45% rating, respectively. The latest film in the franchise is considered the worst with only a 33% approval rating.

Criticism over the latest installment for its tired script, excessiveness, and unoriginality is probably what propelled Keira to turn down the lucrative offer. David Edelstein of New York Magazine/Vulture summed it up best with this quip from her review: “I’ve never seen a film in which what was actually onscreen seemed so irrelevant.”

Now that rumors of Keira going back to the Pirates fold has been put to rest, she can now focus on the projects ahead of her, in particular The Imitation Game. This historical thriller film casta Keira alongside Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Matthew Goode (Watchmen). Cumberbatch plays cryptographer Alan Turing who was responsible for deciphering the Enigma codes during WWII, which were pivotal in helping the Allies win the war. Keira plays Joan Clarke, a part of the team of code-breakers led by Turing.

Keira Knightley Goes Topless in Latest Photoshoot

Keira Knightley has always been a daring actress through and through, starring in films that showcase her breadth in acting. In the latest issue of Interview Magazine, Keira takes on another bold challenge as she bares her chest with fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier at the helm.Keira Knightley Topless

In the blank and white photo shoot, Keira dons out different evening gowns with tousled hair and picturesque face. However, the one that got the attention of the press is where she sports a wet look while wearing dark elbow-length lace gloves and pants without anything on top.

The upcoming issue of Interview, called the Photographer’s Issue, features six photographers and photos of their “ideal woman” in film. The issue includes equally sexy shots from Nicole Kidman wearing lingerie and Naomi Campbell in stilettos and leopard print coat, among others.

While there’s nothing surprisingly about Keira’s audacious photos (she’s gone half-nude in “Domino,” “The Jacket,” and others), it is interesting to point out how little is known about personal life, creating a healthy contrast of what she is in front of the media and how she is outside the limelight. Not to mention, she happens to be selective of the films and projects she’s involved in, which adds to the mystery that is Keira.

News about her photo shoot sparked productive discussion in media outlets. Claire Cohen from The Telegraph sees Keira’s boldness as a powerful statement that speaks to women with small breasts. Whereas commercial models use their body as a vehicle to sell a product, Keira does the opposite.

“She is the commodity,” Cohen says. “The only thing she’s selling is herself. That’s why this is such a powerful statement for her to whip off her bra – especially for those of us with near flat-chests.”

Keira’s actions are in line with what Cohen is saying. She was outspoken when her chests were digitally enhanced in the poster for the 2004.

Keira Knightley returns to the big screen with Begin Again.

In this romantic comedy film, Keira stars as Gretta, a songwriter who is partners and in a relationship with college sweetheart Dave (Adam Levine, Maroon5). After Dave was picked up by a major label and goes to New York, their relationship deteriorated due to his new found fame. Loveless and dejected, things took a turn for the better with Gretta when she meets Dan (Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right), a record executive scorned by his label, while she was performing on the street. The encounter triggered a music collaboration that forges an indelible mark in both their lives.

Begin Again is directed by John Carney, responsible for 2007’s critically acclaimed Once. Due to the similar nature seen in both of Carney’s films, which is about two people finding each other through music, it is normal to compare them side by side. However, despite the uplifting message and charming appeal of Begin Again, it feels like it merely uses the template established by its much superior predecessor.

Critic Bruce Ingram from Chicago Sun-Times argues that, “You can’t really blame writer-director John Carney for trying, but despite a few very nice moments, this bigger, slicker follow-up mostly argues that Once should have been enough.”

However, taking the film in its own merits, Begin Again soars and shines.

“Begin Again has an abiding belief in the power of music to change live,” accord to Peter Howell of the Toronto Star. “There’s something exciting about that, even if it isn’t the most original of thoughts and even if we don’t believe, as they do, that Gretta and Dan will record the Great American Album on the streets of New York.”

Keira was asked to sing for Gretta’s songs in the film. According to Christy Lemire, Keira does an admirable job. “She has a soft and lilting voice that suits the material, which has a bit of a Colbie-Caillat tinge to it,” she says. “It would have been distracting if she’d opened her mouth and Adele came out.”