It’s the year 2003, and you are Keira Knightley. You’ve just been in two movies, one about a couple of idiot pirates and one about a bunch of idiot regular people falling in love around Christmastime in London.
The former is your breakout role, but the latter sparks thinkpiece after thinkpiece—many specifically around your character’s storyline—over the next 15 years. Who has the time? You’re Keira Knightley. Flash forward to today and you’re doing an interview with Wired and realize you don’t even know who your character in Love, Actually ends up with. Listen, no one can blame you. But it’s a little weird.
“I don’t remember,” Knightley tells the camera in the interview. She turns to her The Nutcracker co-star Mackenzie Foy. “Who do I end up with? I’m with my husband, aren’t I? Aren’t I with Chiwetel Ejiofor? I’ve only seen it once, and it was a really long time ago. So I don’t go off with Andrew Lincoln?”
Time is long and memory is imperfect. Do you remember who Knightley picks in this seminal moment in cinematic history?* Do any of us? Does the kid with a crush on his classmate get on the plane? Does Emma Thompson leave Alan Rickman?
What the brain allots space for is funny, and I think it’s totally fine that Knightley’s brain has made room for so many other things.
*The answer is her husband, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor.