Keira Knightley's language was anything but prim and proper when she discovered what director Joe Wright had planned for 'Anna Karenina', their latest period drama together.
To hear Knightley tell it, some F-bombs were soundly dropped.
Knightley wasn't swearing out of anger with Wright, who directed her to an Academy Award nomination for 2005's 'Pride & Prejudice' and to similar critical success on 2007's 'Atonement'. She worried that Wright's unusual approach to Leo Tolstoy's epic of doomed romance would make the hard-sell of a period drama even harder.
"The first thing I said was 'Oh (expletive)!' I was like, well, people are really either going to love it or absolutely (expletive) hate it," Knightley said.
"I also was going . . . you're taking it and spinning it on its head and turning it into something that is potentially totally uncommercial. Into an experimental sort of art-house film . . .
"I also went, '(expletive), yeah. Let's give it a go'."
The result is a fluid story that unfolds as much like dance as film, with a brisk pace compared to most period stories and contemporary sensibilities next to earlier takes on 'Anna Karenina', whose previous big-screen adaptations have featured Greta Garbo and Vivien Leigh.
"When we got to 'Anna Karenina', everyone was like, 'Oh that's great, you'll do that really well'.
"I think that freaked both of us out," said Knightley.