Keira Knightley on Her New Movie ‘Boston Strangler,’ Motherhood, and Y2K Style

“I’m not ready to go back, I don’t have the abs I used to have!” says Keira Knightley with a big, charming laugh. I’m on a call with the 37-year-old actor and mother of two, and things have taken a turn for the giddy. Dialing in from the basement of an LA hotel, the star is talking energetically about the revival of low-rise jeans, a trend she pioneered back in the 2000s. “I loved them!” she admits, describing the many, many Miss Sixty pairs she once owned.

Of course, the undisputed queen of period films isn’t just here to chat about her most beloved Noughties high-street store. She’s on the line to tell me about her new movie, the first in two years: Boston Strangler. Now on Hulu, it’s a true-crime thriller that tells the story of two real-life reporters, Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole, who work in a newsroom in Boston in the early ’60s and fight to catch a serial killer. It’s nail-biting stuff. 

Below, Knightley talks about the film’s feminist message; the lessons she’s learned raising daughters Edie, seven, and Delilah, three; the legacy of Bend It Like Beckham; and the Women’s World Cup.

__Vogue: __What drew you to Boston Strangler?**

Keira Knightley: I loved that it was a true-crime story that had two women at the center of it. Normally, with these films, you always see the male psycho-killer being hunted by the male cop.

Do you watch a lot of true-crime? 

Since having kids, it totally freaks me out. I had to focus on Loretta’s story in order to get through filming.

There has been criticism of the genre for sometimes being exploitative. Was that a worry?

Of course! But I felt like it was much more of a story about how important it is to have women in positions of power, as far as investigative journalism goes, because the stories that they choose to cover and tell will be different than their male counterparts. I felt happy that it wasn’t simply glorifying violence against women.