Keira Knightley has pulled out of upcoming series The Essex Serpent over childcare concerns, according to reports.
The British actor was due to star in the Apple TV costume drama where she was slated to take on the main character Cora in the TV version of Sarah Perry's 2016 novel about a Victorian widow who escapes an abusive marriage and relocates to a village in Essex - where folklore has it that a mythical creature once lived and may have returned.
However, weeks before filming was supposed to start, Knightley has pulled out of the production after Covid-19 restrictions increased in the UK, leaving her concerned about childcare arrangements while she was away filming.
A spokesperson for the Pirates of the Caribbean actor confirmed to the Daily Mail that Knightley was pulling out for 'family reasons', adding that due to the rise in Coronavirus cases and tightening of restrictions 'there wasn't a comfortable scenario for Keira that could be put in place for an extended period of childcare required for the four-and-a-half-month production'. ELLE UK has reached out to representatives for Knightley for comment.
How many children does Keira Knightley have?
The actor is mother to two children. Keira Knightley's children are both girls - she welcomed her first daughter Edie in 2015 and her second daughter, rumoured to be called Delilah last year. The actor kept her second pregnancy private, confirming it by displaying her baby bump at a Chanel event in Paris last May.
Who is Keira Knightley's husband?
Knightley married the father of her two children James Righton in 2013. Righton, who was a guitarist for the band The Klaxons, and Knightley married in a small ceremony in France where the actor wore a tulle Chanel mini dress (that she's since worn on the red carpet).
What has Keira Knightley said about motherhood?
The actor has been refreshingly frank when it comes to discussing motherhood and the challenges it brings, penning an essay detailing her own experience with childbirth.
Last year, the actor told us she wishes there was a more open and honest narrative surrounding childbirth and the adjustments women have to make when becoming new mothers.
‘I think it’s that people shouldn’t feel as alone as they do at the moment,' she said. 'We’re failing new mothers. I think we’re failing them because the only story that we have is this one of floating away on a bubble of love. We don’t talk about the hormones and we don’t talk about how difficult it is and we don’t talk about the realities of sleep deprivation.’
Appearing on BBC Breakfast a few months later, six weeks after Delilah was born, Knightley embodied this mantra the presenters and the viewing public it was the third time her hair had been brushed since she'd welcomed her second child, labelling her appearance 'all smoke and mirrors'.
'You should still be in your pyjamas,' she told fellow mums. 'Don't brush your hair, let the house be a complete mess and only see people who are going to bring you food.'
In 2018, Knightley spoke about her return to work after giving birth to Edie and it only being an option because she could afford childcare.
'I’ve only been able to do it because I can afford the childcare,' she told Harper's Bazaar. 'But I think that sense of identity is something that a lot of women really feel rocked by and work was a way for me to keep that."
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