Call this Take Two for John Carney.
The Irish indie-film director known for the 2007 musical drama Once is now apologising for disparaging comments he made about Keira Knightley, his lead actress in the 2013 film Begin Again.
"I said a number of things about Keira while were petty, mean and hurtful," Carney wrote in a statement that he tweeted on June 2. "I'm ashamed of myself that I could say such things and I've been trying to account for what they say about me."
In a career-spanning interview that ran in The Independent on May 28, Carney, 43, said of his latest film Sing Street that he was pleased with the favourable reviews it had received considering "it's a small personal movie with no Keira Knightley's in it."
Later, he spoke about filming in Ireland as a comeback after being "disenchanted with working with certain movie stars" on Begin Again, which was shot in the U.S. Specifically, he complained, "Keira has an entourage that follow her everywhere so it’s very hard to get any real work done, and so I was very ready to come back to Ireland and make films that nobody cared about who was in it or any of that crap."
The director quickly faced a backlash on social media from Knightley fans and other moviemakers.
Joy Gorman, a producer on Knightley's 2012 film Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, tells WHO that working with Knightley "was an absolute dream" and that she was "professional, prepared, kind and lovely."
Lynn Shelton, who directed the actress in 2014's Laggies, tweeted: "Working with #KeiraKnightley was magnificent, top to bottom. She is the real deal."
In his statement on June 2, Carney said, "In trying to pick holes in my work, I ended up blaming someone else. That's not only bad directing, that's shoddy behaviour, that I am not in any way proud of. It's arrogant and disrespectful."
He added about Knightley, "Keira was nothing but professional and dedicated during that film and she contributed hugely to its success. I wrote to Keira personally to apologise, but I wanted to publicly and unreservedly apologise to her fans and friends any anyone else who I have offended. It's not something that I could ever justify, and will never repeat.”