a novel by JOHN GRABOWSKI

Keira Knightley: “Some of my … most hilarious times have been in the least luxurious places.”

Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley just might be someone who never sets foot in Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP store in search of a $2400 Christian Dior backgammon set.

Despite being fabulously wealthy, the famous British thespian says she keeps herself on a short leash, financially-speaking.

In a current interview, she claims to allow herself an allowance of only $50,000 a year.

Pretty spartan. Particularly for someone said to be worth between $40-50 million.

Keira says she feels money separates and isolates people from a lot of different experiences, different kinds of people, different ways of experiencing the world. “Some of my best most hilarious times have been in the least luxurious places.”

Keira’s not afraid to get a little down and dirty, and doesn’t seem the least bit concerned about her “image.” For her wedding last year she says she wore a recycled dress first donned in 2008. It now has red wine stains down the front but she doesn’t care. “A good night is a good night,” she says.

Indeed Keira seems like the kind of gal you could put your feet up and have a beer with. I wrote about her a while back because, like my protagonist Welsey Shaw, she hangs out in cafes, incognito, observing regular people, trying not to live her life behind tinted glass. “I was followed around a lot and privacy was a huge thing for me for a long time,” she said then. “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.”

I often worried while writing Entertaining Welsey Shaw that no big celebrity would really be interested in relating to the lives of ordinary people. I’ve since realized this isn’t the man-bites-dog scenario I once thought. Stars from Claire Danes to Jennifer Lawrence to Shailene Woodley to Keira Knightley have shown that, while sure they have enviable jobs most of us can only dream of, they are not as far removed from the real world as, well, some other big celebrities appear to be.

Furthermore, they think that’s just fine. Often the most secure people realize they don’t need to be divas to appear to be awesome.

Perhaps this is a new trend in Hollywood?

Read more about Keira’s full interview here.

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