Keira Knightley is not exactly a fan of tabloids, nor any form of entertainment that takes place in the present day. (The period-piece extraordinaire recently described the media’s fascination over her weight in the early years of her fame as “insane.”) Still, it’s no surprise that the drama between so-called WAGs Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy has reached the British actress’s ears; after all, it’s even managed to make its way to the States, where Rooney and Vardy are hardly household names.
“[It’s] brilliant. Somebody said that it was the best thing that had ever happened, ever, on social media,” Knightley said on Thursday. Fittingly enough, she was at a press junket for her new film Official Secrets, in which she stars as a whistleblower who leaks a key email to the press, thereby exposing the U.S. and U.K. governments’ apparent plans to sway the United Nations into supporting an invasion of Iraq. Perhaps that’s why she seems to have found some sort of appeal in Rooney, who’s quite the investigator herself.
For those who haven’t been keeping up with the drama, a quick recap: Earlier this week, Rooney tweeted a screenshot accusing Vardy of regularly selling information from Rooney’s personal Instagram with the British tabloid the Sun over the course of several years. As for how she came to that conclusion, well, it took nearly half a year’s worth of scheming: “Over the past five months, I have posted a series of false stories to see if they made their way into the Sun newspaper,” she wrote in a statement explaining her process of elimination on Twitter. “And you know what, they did! The story about gender selection, the story about returning to TV and then the latest story about the basement flooding my house.” Finally, she came to a conclusion: “It’s……. Rebekah Vardy’s account.”
Before long, Vardy responded via Notes app—even though she and Rooney had apparently just hashed things out privately, over the phone—asserting that multiple people know her Instagram password and have access to her account. Plus, she continued: “I’m not being funny but I don’t need the money, what would I gain from selling stories on you?” Taking the drama up a notch, she added, “I liked you a lot Coleen & I’m so upset that you have chosen to do this, especially when I’m heavily pregnant. I’m disgusted that I’m even having to deny this.”
At first, Knightley seemed rather ambivalent about the specifics of the incident: “I don’t think I have any thoughts on it all—what thoughts are we meant to have about it?,” she asked Heat magazine on Thursday. But the question of whether or not she would play Rooney in a movie prompted Knightley to react with full-blown enthusiasm: “Brilliant, done,” she said.
Heat published the news with even more enthusiasm, beginning its headline with “STOP EVERYTHING” in all-caps. Knightley must have known they would have done so, having experienced the tabloid treatment firsthand, but it seems like the reward of playing Rooney is worth the risk—even if it eats up the time she could be using to star in another period piece.