Keira Knightley's former colleagues are coming to her defense after a former director publicly questioned her acting ability

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May 31, 2016 05:00 PM

Keira Knightley‘s former colleagues are rushing to her defense after her Begin Again director, John Carney, questioned her acting ability in a recent interview.

Carney, who directed Knightley in the 2013 musical romantic comedy, told The Independent that he was “disenchanted” after working with her on the film and “learned that I’ll never make a film with supermodels again.”

He added, “I like to work with curious, proper film actors as opposed to movie stars. I don’t want to rubbish Keira, but you know it’s hard being a film actor and it requires a certain level of honesty and self-analysis that I don’t think she’s ready for yet and I certainly don’t think she was ready for on that film.”

Now, the two-time Oscar nominee’s former colleagues are responding to the criticism and coming to the actress’s defense.

Joy Gorman, a producer on Knightley’s 2012 film Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, tells PEOPLE that working with Knightley was anything but unpleasant.

“She was an absolute dream,” Gorman says. “Professional, prepared, kind and lovely.”

Others, meanwhile, lashed out at Carney for his comments.

Mark Romanek, who directed Knightley in 2010’s Never Let Me Go, took to Twiter, where he referred to Carney with the hashtag “#arrogants—head” and added that working with the actress was “utterly spectacular on every level.”

VIDEO: Begin Again Director Slams Keira Knightley

Romanek also responded to Carney’s complaints that Knightley’s alleged entourage, whom he claimed “follow her everywhere,” made it “very hard to get any real work done.” Romanek, however, said his “recollection of #keiraknightley’s ‘entourage’ was that her mum visited the set one day for an hour or two.”

Director Lorene Scafaria, who directed Knightley in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, said she had a similar experience as Romanek. “I agree with Mark,” she tweeted. “Keira was a joy to work w/. Present & easy & really, really good at her job. Just lovely.”

Lynn Shelton, who directed the actress in 2014’s Laggies, also chimed in: “Working with #KeiraKnightley was magnificent, top to bottom. She is the real deal,” she tweeted.

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