The new Keira Knightley–Steve Carell film, “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” is not a traditional romance for a number of reasons — the main one being the meteor that is headed toward Earth and will likely end all life on the planet.
The other, less cataclysmic way “Seeking a Friend” subverts your typical rom-com tropes is that the relationship at the center of the film isn’t—at least according to Knightley —a romantic one. It’s just about sex.
Her character, Penny, and Carell’s character, Dodge, neighbors who have never spoken, only join forces when they’re left utterly alone as the world comes to an end. Eventually, their relationship becomes something more, but Knightley would argue not much more. “I don’t know that their romantic arc actually has much to do with romance in the beginning and has more to do with ’It’s the end of the world, and we both want to have sex,’ ” she said. “I think that was sort of more what the romantic arc was hinged on, and then what it becomes is about friendship.”
For such a complex on-screen relationship, chemistry between Carell and Knightley became all-the-more important, but the actress said that getting along with her co-star was never a problem. “As far as chemistry goes with Steve, he is one of the loveliest men in the entire world,” she said. “He is so funny, and so courteous to everyone. He is a consummate professional. He’s just a lovely, lovely man. I defy anybody not to have good chemistry with him.”
Carell, who got his start as a comedian, once again shows off his dramatic chops in “Seeking a Friend,” and Knightley said he is not one of the funny men who have to be on all the time.
“There are a lot of comics who are fabulous, but are relentlessly [telling] one joke after another, after another, which is completely fabulous, but when you’re working, it can be kind of tricky,” Knightley said. “Steve’s not like that. He is incredibly funny, but he’s funny in a way that makes everybody around him feel like they’re funny as well. He’s incredibly inclusive, but also, he’s a complete professional, so he’s about getting the best of everybody. If that means having a laugh and having a joke, that’s what happens. If that means giving everyone space, that’s what he means as well.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.”
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