Their homes in London are just a few doors apart, but when they get together, it's usually to talk about their personal lives, they say. Each of them fell in love with someone they met during that first film collaboration — Wright with Rosamund Pike, who played Elizabeth Bennett's sister Jane, and Knightley with actor Rupert Friend, with whom she had a long relationship. Both have moved on; Wright is now married to Anoushka Shankar, with whom he has a toddler son, Zubin, while Knightley is engaged to marry James Righton, the keyboardist in Klaxons, a British rave band.
"The kind of work we do is about revealing yourself, which can make you quite vulnerable," says Wright. "So it's good to be around people who know you and who you trust, and who you love, basically. By the time we got to doing 'Anna Karenina,' Keira had been through some stuff that wasn't great but that was … "
"Useful," Knightley supplies, laughing.
"You can't help but put your life experience into your work," says Wright. "There's more emotion available to her now, when she's able to let her guard down and access it."
Even so, working with Wright can be a challenge, Knightley allows. "It's all consuming," she says. "It's 150%, total obsession. There isn't a life outside of it."