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Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley from 'Begin Again' (Photo: The Weinstein Company)
Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley from 'Begin Again' (Photo: The Weinstein Company)
Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley from ‘Begin Again’ (Photo: The Weinstein Company)

Keira Knightley isn’t exactly well-known as a songstress, but the forthcoming romantic musical drama Begin Again shows that she can deliver vocally—at least as a gentle melodic folk singer.

She took on the role without giving too much thought the she would actually have to sing. “I think I was probably really stupid and I didn’t think about it until I actually got into a studio and went: ‘I have no idea how to do this’,’” she says.

The actresses maintains she was helped along by other members of the cast. “I think it was all right, but it was because there were a lot of talented people around me,” she says.

The film was screened as the closing night picture at the Tribeca Film Festival; it won’t open in cinemas until July.

Knightley plays a young aspiring British singer-songwriter in New York who breaks up with her singer boyfriend—portrayed by Maroon 5 frontman and Voice judge Adam Levine—and forges a strong friendship with a down-on-his-luck record producer played by Mark Ruffalo.

“I loved the fact that it was about a friendship between a man and a woman, “ says Knightley.

She also liked the transformation that takes place with her character. Knightley says: “It was a woman who goes from being codependent in a relationship to finding herself.”

Knightley believes that Begin Again, which is being positioned as a feel-good summer music film set in New York City, does have substance. But she also sees it as a movie that’s an appealing diversion. “I wanted to do something uplifting and I wanted to do something that if life wasn’t feeling great you could go and watch and it would put a smile on your face,” she says.

The film is the handiwork of Irish filmmaker John Carney who enjoyed tremendous success with the musical film Once in 2006.

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By Tom Brook