Belfast Telegraph

Keira Knightley: Lagerfeld is direct

Keira Knightley has discussed playing Coco Chanel in a short film directed by Karl Lagerfeld.

The British actress stars as Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel in a new short film by Karl Lagerfeld called Once Upon a Time...

Keira, 28, initially thought it might be a silent movie so discovering her lines moments before the cameras rolled was a first.

“Karl Lagerfeld stage manages the actor in a truly direct way,” she told WWD on the set of the film in the French seaside town of Deauville, where the first Chanel boutique opened in 1913.

To be screened in Singapore before a showing of Chanel’s cruise collection, the film also stars a who's who of Chanel regulars including Stella Tennant, Jake Davies, Baptiste Giabiconi, Brad Kroenig and Tallulah Harlech as Eve Lavallière, reputedly the first fashionable woman in France to cut her hair short and parade around hatless.

“Keira can deliver her lines easier than the others,” Karl said, referencing the fact that many of the cast members are models rather than professional actors.

As with all Lagerfeld films, the film has a witty storyline and a slightly embellished version of social and fashion history; “invented reality,” as Karl calls it. The designer also explores the reality of social customs a century ago.

“The way clients behaved in boutiques back then, they were pretty rude,” he said.

Keira, who was handpicked by Karl as the face of Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle perfume campaign, has much admiration for Karl.

"Karl's amazing," she said recently. "He's an avid reader, and he speaks about five different languages, so he'll be rattling off in English to you and in French to someone else, and in German to someone else and then the phone rings and he's speaking in Italian."

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