a novel by JOHN GRABOWSKI

Replay: Keira Knightly haunts cafes, pondering us

Sometimes I do wonder about the premise of the whole thing. My story revolves around a famous celebrity, Welsey Shaw, wanting to observe the “normal world,” and think about her part in it, in part by sitting in an ordinary Starbuck anonymously, hidden by sunglasses and a plain look. She’s curious about the life she’s never lived, which is the life you and I live every day without a second thought. Many times writing this story I was about to chuck the whole thing, because I really couldn’t believe the stars you see in limos, at wild parties on yachts, really gave a hoot about “the real world.”

Which is why this morning Keira Knightly lifted my spirits. The beautiful and brainy Brit says she enjoys exactly what Welsey does throughout my novel. In an interview in The Mirror, Knightly says,

I was followed around a lot and privacy was a huge thing for me for a long time. Now, I make sure that I get my private time — to sit in a café where nobody recognizes me and watch what’s going on around me.

No word whether she becomes friends with a writer guy who also haunts the cafe, but you never know.

I was delighted that someone like Knightly, who has probably been famous as long as she can remember, takes an interest in the rest of the world—and not in a condescending way, either.

Knightly also says she chooses her projects carefully, and wants to get more out of them than the ability to chew the scenery on screen:

I’m in an incredibly privileged position where I can choose my work. I suppose I’m looking to be stimulated in things that I can put myself into which can teach me something about myself and the world.

Again this reflects Welsey, defines why she acts, though she finds it more difficult to achieve it as time goes on. As I’m sure Keira does. She does mention that cinema “rarely challenges the audience” anymore, something Welsey would certainly agree with.

Keira seems like the reflective, thoughtful young actress I thought had almost disappeared in Hollywood. Some of my friends agreed that celebrities today would not have the emotions and existential awareness that I have invested in Welsey. Several times I thought the character  I had created literally didn’t exist anymore in this age of Paris Hiltons, Kim Kardashians, Adam Sandlers and Snookis. I’m glad to see that it does.

And Keira reveals she’s just discovered classical music, another plus in my book.

You can read the whole short interview here.

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