Keira Knightley on Friday conceded that she does do a lot of costume drama, from Elizabeth Bennet to Anna Karenina. "I don't know why. I love them. I think it's a taste thing. I love history and I love reading history books so it's a privilege that it's part of my job."
Knightley was speaking at the Venice film festival after the screening of her latest film, A Dangerous Method, in which she once again dons period costume, playing a Russian diagnosed with hysteria who has a pivotal role in the birth of psycho analysis. Her performance as Sabina Spielrein has gained considerable praise. The film, directed by David Cronenberg from a script by Christopher Hampton, charts the development of psychoanalysis with Viggo Mortensen as Freud and Michael Fassbender as Jung.
Knightley said she did a considerable amount of research, first turning to Hampton, who gave her a big pile of books. "It was biography, translations of books and notes, [Spielrein's] diaries. I spoke to psychoanalysts as well," Knightley said. Fassbender's method was different: "I got a great book, it was like Jung for children – an idiot's handbook. I think I found pretty much everything that I needed to find in that little book."