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Last Updated: Monday, 5 September 2005, 23:27 GMT 00:27 UK
Knightley graces Prejudice debut
Keira Knightley at the Pride and Prejudice premiere
Austen's famous novel has so far inspired 11 screen versions
British actress Keira Knightley joined other cast members at the London premiere of her new film, an adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

She stars as the film's heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, alongside Spooks star Matthew Macfadyen as Mr Darcy.

Dame Judi Dench, Rosamund Pike, Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn also star in the film, directed by Joe Wright.

Knightley, 20, told reporters that Elizabeth was her favourite character in English literature.

Asked what makes the perfect Mr Darcy she replied: "Romance and a bit of moodiness."

Austen's famous novel has so far inspired 11 screen versions.

Most recently Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha made a Bollywood version of the story, called Bride and Prejudice.

'Obsessed with Austen'

And the BBC's 1995 series of the book saw Colin Firth become forever associated with the heart-throb role of the brooding Mr Darcy.

Earlier, Knightley said she became a fan of Austen's writing aged seven.

"I was - and still am - dyslexic and couldn't read," she said.

"I got around it with audio-books and became obsessed with Pride and Prejudice. I listened to the tape for years and years and when the BBC TV version came out I became even more obsessed."

The actress who starred as a footballer in Bend It Like Beckham, will next be seen in Domino, based on the true life story of female bounty hunter Domino Harvey.

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