In an interview with The Independent, director John Carney spoke about the process of making his 2014 film Begin Again. He called Mark Ruffalo a “fantastic actor.” He said Adam Levine is “a joy to work with.” But when mentioning Keira Knightley, the film’s female lead, he had some markedly different comments.

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From the interview:

“Keira has an entourage that follow her everywhere so it’s very hard to get any real work done.”

I find it hard to believe that a musician as famous as Adam Levine doesn’t also have an entourage (though presumably one of a different demographic), but perhaps Mr. Carney was too busy palling around with them to realize what was going on. In any case, what does “real work” mean? She acted in your movie! She took singing and guitar lessons for it!

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When asked if he “learned anything” from the production, Carney said:

Yeah, I did. I learned that I’ll never make a film with supermodels again.

[...]

[Adam Levine is] actually quite unpretentious and not a bit scared of exposing himself on camera and exploring who he is as an individual. I think that that’s what you need as an actor; you need to not be afraid to find out who you really are when the camera’s rolling. Keira’s thing is to hide who you are and I don’t think you can be an actor and do that.

He continued:

So it’s not like I hate the Hollywood thing but I like to work with curious, proper film actors as opposed to movie stars. I don’t want to rubbish Keira, but you know it’s hard being a film actor and it requires a certain level of honesty and self-analysis that I don’t think she’s ready for yet and I certainly don’t think she was ready for on that film.

He doesn’t want to shit-talk this woman who’s been nominated for buckets and buckets of acting awards in the course of her 20-year career, but she’s definitely not mature or thoughtful enough to make movies about dopes who record embarrassing music on the streets of New York City. No no, that requires the nuance of an actor like Adam Levine.

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Carney’s new movie Sing Street is in theaters now and is apparently about a bunch of dorky teen boys who start a band to impress some cute girl.


Image via Getty.