Keira Knightley is coming to the Great White Way.
“The Pirates of the Carribbean” star is making her Broadway debut in in a new adaptation of “Thérèse Raquin” by Helen Edmundson (“The Clearing”), based upon the novel by Émile Zola. The drama will be directed by Evan Cabnet.
The announcement was made today in a press release sent out by Todd Haimes, Artistic Director of the Roundabout Theater Company.
These smart cookies at Roundabout now have a revival of “Cabaret” filling seats, which stars Emma Stone, who replaced Michele Williams in the role of Sally Bowles. Stone stars in the phenomenal black comedy “Birdman,” directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, which pokes fun at the current trend of making a splash on Broadway by hiring big movie stars to attract audiences. Can you imagine how many tourists would normally race to buy tickets for a production of a classic but downbeat production like “Thérèse Raquin” if a big-name Hollywood actress wasn’t headlining?
Although Knightley is making her Broadway debut, she is no newbie to theater. Her theater creds include her West End theatrical debut in Martin Crimp’s translation of Molière’s comedy “The Misanthrope,” staged by Thea Sharrock at the Comedy Theatre in London (Olivier Award nomination & Evening Standard Award nomination for The Natasha Richardson Award For Best Actress). In January 2011, she starred in Lillian Hellman’s “The Children’s Hour,” staged by Ian Rickson.
“Thérèse Raquin” is about a woman stuck in a loveless marriage to a weak man. She has reconciled herself to a life without passion until she meets Laurent and then her life is turned upside down when the two are unable to ignore their primal attraction. It’s pretty intense stuff, filled with love, betrayal, guilt and murder. Add to the mix a controlling and suspicious mother and it gets intense. Cast and crew are yet to be announced.
Best known as a movie star, Knightley’s current projects include “Laggies,” in which she stars opposite Chloë Grace Moretz and Sam Rockwell, released October 24, 2014.
Creating some Oscar buzz is her upcoming film – set for November 21 release – “The Imitation Game,” in which she stars opposite Benedict Cumberbatch. The fact-based film is about Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret code-breaking center, Bletchley Park, during World War II. The film premiered at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival to positive reviews, as well as snagging the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival and Hamptons International Film Festival. Weinstein Company will release the film on November 21, 2014.
Other upcoming films include Baltasar Kormákur’s “Everest,” in which Knightly stars opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Robin Wright. Universal is set to release the film September 18, 2015.
Recently, she starred opposite Mark Ruffalo in John Carney’s “Begin Again,” in which she got to show off her surprisingly appealing singing voice. (Editor’s Note: Read Paula’s notes from the “Begin Again” press conference.)
She is most famous for her corset hugging classics like “Pride & Prejudice” directed by Joe Wright, which earned her Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. Additionally, also directed by Wright, she starred in “Anna Karenina,” based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy and adapted by Academy Award winner Tom Stoppard.
Knightley’s breakout movie role was in Gurinder Chadha’s “Bend It Like Beckham,” which she famously followed up as the heroine Elizabeth Swann in Gore Verbinski’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” starring opposite Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush. She reprised her role in the franchises 2006 and 2007 sequels, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”
Other period films include Antoine Fuqua’s “King Arthur” and Saul Dibb’s “The Duchess.” Subsequent movies have included John Maybury’s “The Jacket” and “The Edge of Love”; Kenneth Branagh’s “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”; François Girard’s “Silk” and Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go”; David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method”; and Lorene Scafaria’s “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” in which she starred opposite Steve Carell.
“Thérèse Raquin” will begin preview performances on Thursday October 1, 2015 and open officially on Thursday, October 29, 2015.
I’m glad I have a subscription; tickets will be hard to come by.
All photos taken by Paula Schwartz.