Striking a pose.

The lovely and talented Keira Knightley proved again last year with Golden Globes best picture, Atonement, that she is a first-rate actress. Today, she is as busy as ever, with over 5 films now in development. One of her next films, in addition to 'Last Night,' and 'King Lear,' is 'The Beautiful and the Damned,' yet another period drama starring Keira Knightley, that portrays the fiery marriage between writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife he had to fight to win over, Zelda Sayre. The film begins production in Croatia this March under a shingle through Warner Brothers.

In addition to her theatrical work, way back when, in 2007, Ms. Knigtley was wisely hired by the legendary company Coco Chanel to be the face of their line for that year. And because they were smart enough not to leave this screen goddess to mere print, they broke out the motion cameras and captured her essence more fully in a short film. Chanel has never looked so good.

In the film, Keira Knightley played the role of a modern day Coco Chanel-a mysterious and independent woman that takes destiny into her own hands. Knightley is first seen slipping off a man's shirt she is wearing, and puts on a long, red silk dress. She smiles, conjuring up a man of her fantasies, whose image briefly appears. Her mischievous sensuality leads her to the Musé d'Art Moderne in Paris. She is carefree and confident as she makes her way through a crowd of admirers and escapes down a staircase to Place Vendôme. Alone on the avenue she looks directly at the camera with a capricious smile and then disappears into the dark of night, happy, and proud of her freedom. Knightley personifies a modern day Coco Chanel, her strength and daring show her vein of irreverence.

Keira spoke concerning the film, 'Coco Chanel's strong personality, her bold temperament and her charisma were impressive,' states Ms. Knightley. 'There was no one like her in the world...her impact went beyond fashion and transformed society by liberating women in both a real and figurative sense.'

In this cinematic dialogue, the essence of Coco Chanel lives on. Shot in five days in Paris, the film was a collaboration between Knightley and Joe Wright, a creative relationship that started with Wright's directorial debut and Oscar ® nominated film, Pride & Prejudice, and continues with this fall's debut of Atonement. The production was overseen by Jacques Helleu, CHANEL Artist Director, who has guarded and nurtured the image of CHANEL for 40 years. 'I saw Pride & Prejudice by Joe Wright with Keira Knightley,' notes Helle... 'and I was immediately struck with her presence, and at that very moment we decided to look for a new muse.'

Back in April 2006, Knightley joined the legendary league of women who have represented CHANEL in global advertising campaigns. Her elegance, beauty and modernity are some of her qualities that parallel the iconic faces featured in the CHANEL fragrance campaigns, including Nicole Kidman, Ali McGraw and Catherine Deneuve for No. 5, Vanessa Paradis for Coco and Anna Mouglalis for Allure Sensuelle.

Knightley's first high profile role came in 1999, as Sabe, Decoy Queen to Natalie Portman's Queen Amidala in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). She took a totally new direction from a gigantic Hollywood production, to two small British films, Bend it Like Beckham (2002) and Love Actually (2003). Keira's film choices illustrate her strength and independence, showing that she has a vein of irreverence. She played Queen Guinevere in the swashbuckler film King Arthur (2004), a fighter in The Jacket (2005) and a bounty hunter in Domino (2005). But it is the adaptation of the classic masterpiece of English literature by Jane Austen - Pride & Prejudice (2005), directed by Joe Wright - that truly put her in the spotlight. She received international awards and even an Oscar ® nomination for Best Actress. Her later projects included Silk inspired by the hit novel by Alessandro Baricco, and Atonement, an adaptation of the symphonic novel by Ian McEwan which went on to win the Golden Globe for best picture. 'Zelda,' will be just one of many upcoming films in the next few years for one of Hollywood's most beautiful actors, who just keeps getting better.

The Hollywood Sentinel © 2009