In an interview with the Independent, Carney gave a critical account of working with Knightley on the 2014 film Begin Again. He suggested the 31-year-old was afraid to be her honest self while working on the movie and claimed she had an “entourage” which made it “difficult to get any real work done”. When asked what he had learned about making the film, he quipped: “I learned that I’ll never make a film with supermodels again.”
Carney has now apologised for those remarks on Twitter. In his post, he said he felt like “a complete idiot” in the wake of the comments.
“I said a number of things about Keira which were petty, mean and hurtful,” he wrote. “I’m ashamed of myself that I could say such things and I’ve been trying to account for what they say about me.
“In trying to pick holes in my own work, I ended up blaming someone else. That’s not only bad directing, that’s shoddy behaviour that I am not in any way proud of. It’s arrogant and disrespectful.”
Carney also used the apology to praise Knightley's conduct, saying she was “nothing but professional and dedicated during that film and she contributed hugely to its success”.
He added that he has written a personal apology to Knightley.
Following Carney’s criticism, a number of other directors who had collaborated with the Pirates of the Caribbean actress rushed to her defence.
Mark Romanek, who directed Knightley in Never Let Me Go, said his only recollection of Knightley’s “entourage” was “that her mum visited the set one day for an hour or two”. The director of Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Lorene Scafaria, said Knightley was a joy to work with and “really good at her job”, while Lynn Shelton, director of Laggies, said she was “magnificent, top to bottom”.
Representatives for Knightley did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
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