Keira Knightley Says Her Love Scene in 'Atonement' Was the 'Best Sex Scene I've Done'

Keira Knightly is revealing which movie sex scene she thinks is her best yet

Keira Knightley is looking back at one of her most memorable sex scenes to film.

Knightley, 33, opened up about her memorable love scene with James McAvoy in the 2007 film Atonement.

“The best sex scene I’ve done onscreen is the one in Atonement, on the bookshelf,” the actress told Vulture. “It was both the best sex scene, but also [the best] to shoot.”

In the past, several actors and actresses have pointed out how different sex scenes in films are from real life — noting at times how uncomfortable filming them can be — but Knightley said Atonement director Joe Wright made the process easy.

“[He] choreographed the scene within an inch of its life,” Knightley said. “It was absolutely, ‘Foot goes up there, hand goes up there.’ So both me and James felt utterly comfortable and not exposed, and like we could deal with it.”

She added, “It’s never gonna be fun, but we could deal with it.”


Wright’s approach to directing the scene influenced how Knightley approached her sex scenes with Alexander Skarsgård for their latest film The Aftermath, directed by James Kent.

“What never helps is when a director goes, ‘Oh, you guys know what you’re doing,’ and you’re like, ‘Uh, I’ve never met this person, I have no idea what I’m doing in this room full of men,” she told Vulture.

She explained, “With sex scenes, in particular, it always has to be choreographed like a dance. So with James, I was like, ‘You’re the director, you know what you want from this, so you have to just tell us. And everyone will feel comfortable.'”

In The Aftermath, Knightley portrays the wife of a British WWII colonel who begins an affair with a German man (Skarsgård) after she and her family move into his home to rebuild the city of Hamburg, Germany.

The Aftermath is now in theaters.

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