Keira Knightley’s new focus on ‘incredibly powerful’ wartime art
Great art comes out of wartime, says Keira Knightley, as she launches two projects about the Holocaust and the Ukraine war. “I think it’s always incredibly powerful, people’s first-hand experience of when the world turns upside down and these nightmares happen,” she told us last night at the premiere of her new film about a painter who died at Auschwitz.
Charlotte, which follows the life of Charlotte Salomon, is Knightley’s first animated film. It’s one of two new departures. She has also recorded an audiobook of You Don’t Know What War Is, a memoir written by Ukrainian schoolgirl Yeva Skalietska. “I think that’s what this film is about, that’s certainly what the book is about. Yeva’s book is terrifying because she’s a child and it’s incredibly immediate,” says Knightley.
She says she has also been reading the First World War poetry of Wilfred Owen “because I hadn’t and I thought I should — it’s November!”
Damn! A missed moment with Kendrick Lamar
Rapper Kendrick Lamar gave a surprise performance at private members’ club Soho House last week. He joined British musician Sampha for an impromptu duet of Father Time. “Can’t believe I missed this!” a miffed member wrote on the club’s forum. “Were any members informed of this event?” another asked. Singers Erykah Badu and Janet Jackson have also hosted parties there.
The Stig races to the rescue
Top Gear’s The Stig put a racing helmet up for auction at The Shard last night to raise money for Ukrainian charity SoftServe. “It saved my life,” the veteran driver told us. Perhaps the money raised will save lives too but he had disappointing news: “it’s not a Stig helmet because I’ve only got one of those left.” Eurovision winners Kalush Orchestra impressed the audience with a live performance after the auction.
Tory MP thinks Boris could come back
Jake Berry, who served as Tory chairman under Liz Truss, has been making some bold interventions. Now he says Boris Johnson could make a comeback as party leader. At a recording of The Political Party podcast, he said: “Maybe he’ll come back after the general election. I just can’t see him doing the hard miles as leader of the opposition. Can you? It would be like Have I Got News for You every week.”
Cruisin’ for a paloozin’
Londoner’s Diary 16th November
Actors Will Ferrell and Octavia Spencer took to the BFI red carpet last night for a screening of Spirited, a musical based on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Ferrell hopes to return to the UK in 2023 to watch Eurovision with his mum. Fresh from the jungle, model Olivia Attwood was at the Royal Festival Hall for ITV’s palooza. Nell Hudson and the junior Gallagher brothers went to the opening of Somerset House’s ice rink.