'Seeking a Friend's' Steve Carell About Co-Star Keira Knightley: 'I Thought She'd Be Very Serious' (Video)

The stars of Focus Features' doomsday comedy talk to THR about the risks of doing an end-of-the-world film without superheroes.

Steve Carell and Keira Knightley star in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World as neighbors who happen to meet as the world is ending, and embark on a journey to enjoy their last few days on Earth.

Just like their characters, Carell and Knightley didn’t know each other personally before the film.

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During an interview about the film with The Hollywood Reporter, Carell said that he was pleasantly surprised by Knightley’s humor.

“Before I met her, I honestly thought she’d be very serious,” Carell told THR.

“I think of you, and the image you project publicly, very refined, exquisite actor, somebody who is so on their game, but also very self-possessed,” he continued to explain to Knightley during the paired interview.

But the former star of The Office says he was pleasantly surprised to find that Knightley is also “incredibly kind, incredibly generous, sweet, silly.”

In the film, Carell plays an everyman character named Dodge, whose wife leaves him when they find out that an asteroid is going to crash into the Earth in a matter of weeks. Dodge runs into his eccentric British neighbor Penny (Knightley), who wants more than anything to find a way home to her family before the world ends.

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“I got to the end of the script, and I though I’d never read anything like it,” Knightley tells THR. “I love the idea that you take this concept, which is normally kind of a big Hollywood blockbuster, with heroes trying to save the world, and everything, and sort of turn it on its head, and make it about what everybody else is up to.”

Carells adds that he felt the film, which is written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (who penned the scripts for Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) took a risk with “the tone that it strikes.”

“It’s not purely comedic, and it’s not purely dramatic either,” he says. “It walks that line between the two.”

For Carell, Seeking a Friend, which opens in theaters on June 22, focuses on a universal truth.

“It’s something that we’re all facing, truly, metaphorically, in our own lives. And I think it begs the question, how do you choose to live your life?,” he says.

Watch THR’s complete interview with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley above.

Email: Rebecca.ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford

Video by Spencer Byam-Taylor and Victor Klaus.