It’s not long to go until the nationwide release of Anna Karenina on 7 September starring Keira ‘I’m in a costume drama again’ Knightley alongside former Spook Matthew Macfadyen, an uber blonde Aaron Taylor-Johnson and a bearded Jude Law.
The dramatic tale of lust and adultery set in late-19th century Russian high society is not the romantic love story that Ms Knightley initially remembers from when she first read the book nearly a decade ago - it is, in fact, much darker.
‘Anna is a complex strange and jewel-like creature,’ Keira said at today's press conference for the film. Her biggest challenge was not playing the character too sympathetically. ‘Taking on any character is frightening. Playing Elizabeth Bennett was more terrifying because people actually love her’. Anna, it seems, is a lot less likeable. Running off with someone other than your husband IS generally frowned upon...
In keeping with the fun and frolics of the upper classes at that time, the lead cast were all expected to dance – and we don’t mean throwing some shapes on a dance floor Saturday night stylee. We’re talking ball gowns and waltzes and major concentration. Keira found it ‘really, really, really difficult. He [Matthew] actually did find it really easy – it was really depressing. I’m usually quite quick at picking things like that up but actually I found it impossible and he’d just do it in about five seconds.’
As well as tackling complex characters and dancing rings around each other, the cast had to get to grips with the period costumes, designed by Jacqueline Durran. Now sporting a dip-dyed ombre look, Aaron Taylor-Johnson had to go blonde for the very first time and, always partial to a bit of facial hair, Jude Law sports quite a phenomenal beard throughout the film.
However, not everyone was a fan of Mr Law's new look. ‘My children banned me from appearing at school without a hat’, the actor confessed. He certainly wouldn’t be turned away from the Grazia office, hat or no.
Keira et al will be out in force for the world premiere of the film when it takes place in London tomorrow when, naturally, we will be bringing you all the gossip straight from the red carpet at @Grazia_Live. See you then!