In a demonstration of radical honesty, director John Carney confesses that insecurity caused him to blast Keira Knightley

06.01.16 1 year ago

Director John Carney's new musical Sing Street has critics swooning. The Sundance darling currently stands at 97% on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, but that's not what has the Once helmer in the public eye this week.

In a recent interview with The Independent Carney criticized Keira Knightley's work ethic. Saying that, “Keira has an entourage that follow her everywhere so it”s very hard to get any real work done.”

Adding that his takeaway from the experience was that he'd “never make a film with supermodels again.”

The actress co-starred with Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine in Carney's Begin Again in 2013. 

Carney has since come forward with a refreshingly honest and unrestrained apology.

“I”m ashamed of myself that I could say such things and I”ve been trying to account for what they say about me,” the director reflected in a statement.

Here's what really stands out in what he said: 

“In trying to to pick holes in my work, I ended up blaming someone else,” Carney said. “That”s not only bad directing, that”s shoddy behavior.”

Begin Again, though generally well-received, wasn't the critical darling that Once was or Sing Street is — and the fact is, artists are insecure. Filmmakers — like everyone who shares their work publicly — are laying their guts out there for the world to see, examine, and judge. If it's not what they or their audience had hoped it would be, it's easy enough to want to point the finger elsewhere. Because admitting your disappointment in yourself is a painful thing.

What's lovely about this is that Carney is owning the fact that he, like everyone, is flawed. And he's doing so in a very public way. That's the best and most honest thing he can do for himself and those observing. Carney is even allowing that he's not even sure why he felt that way, which is very human indeed. He's welcoming us into an internal struggle that is entirely relatable and universal.

We all project our anger at ourselves on others from time to time, and Carney isn't hiding from that. He made a mistake. In one moment of feeling not great about something he said something petty. And now he's taken full responsibility. It's actually nice to see that play out in a culture that is — at present — so apt to reduce things to opportunities to publicly shame others for stumbling or saying something thoughtless…In other words, for being human. 

What's sort of perfect is that the director issued his apology via the world's favorite shaming venue: Twitter.

Take a look at Carney's full statement below:

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