‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ is like Michael Bay’s ‘Armageddon,’ only played for laughs. It takes place in a not-so-distant future, where an asteroid is destined to obliterate our planet in 21 days. Once that premise is established, the film follows two lonely souls during their final days as they try to resolve what they believe to be their most-important emotional issues.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Keira Knightley to discuss ‘The End of the World’ as she knows it and how it would affect their thinking. She opens up about her value systems, her sense of mortality, and how she thinks she might have failed her friends and family. (Sad face?) Here’s Keira Knightley:
The film emphasizes how we value different things when we think we’re running out of time.
How old are you now?
I’m 27. [Laughs] I should lie about that. I’m an actress, and in actress years, that’s like 105. Can I say that I’m like 18, instead? That’d be marvelous. [Laughs]
But I’m getting at something. As you’ve gotten older, have you noticed that the things you value in your life have shifted drastically, and if so, how?
Oh yeah, I think so. I don’t know if it’s necessarily about the number of years that you have had, the more experiences that you have had, the more friendships that you have had. But time does change how you value certain things.
Has it altered any decisions that you have made? Has that shift made you try something you might not have because you didn’t want to regret missing out on it later in life?
Yes, yes. I suppose that it has. There is that sense of realizing that there are certain opportunities or certain strange things that can occur that maybe you’d naturally say no to, but now you’re willing to say, “Wait, I am going to put that into my experience bank.” But again, I don’t know whether that comes about because of a sense of mortality, or if that’s just because you’re in a period of time and indulging that particular moment. And later, you might find yourself in a period of time where you think, “OK, I’d like to be back in my house right now.”
That’s curious. Have you pondered that sense of mortality? Have you even given that a second thought?
Well, yes, I suppose. Hasn’t everybody?
I don’t think I have just yet.
Have you not? Gosh, that’s good.
Well, I don’t feel creaky yet. Maybe once the body starts feeling creaky, I’ll start thinking about the end of days. [Laughs]
Yeah, right, if you started feeling creaky and realizing that the body was starting to give up on you, that’s going to give you a sense of mortality. But I do suppose … I don’t know, there are moments with books that you read, movies you see or music that you listen to that can suddenly make you go, “Whoa!” You start to ask what would happen if you were in that situation. All of those things can make you start to think about that kind of thing.
If the world were ending, what’s the one thing that you think we’d point to as a representation of what Keira Knightley has accomplished while she was here?
I just hope that it would be more about my friends and my family. It would be about being a good person for them, as opposed to being about … I don’t think I’d be thinking about the career side of things. I mean, you hope that you’ve made some memorable films, and people have enjoyed what you’ve done. But I think it’s always more important to have been there for the people you love, and who love you.
Do you think that you have?
I hope so! I try to be. I think that I’ve probably failed, on occasion, though.
I don’t know. You always do, don’t you? Unfortunately. You can try not to. You can try to be the best person you can be. But you’re always going to fail. Sometimes, at least. [Laughs]
‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ opens everywhere on Friday, June 22!