Keira Knightley & Natalie Portman (Dual Analysis)

One of many widespread anecdotes from Hollywood Cinema is that Keira Knightley began her career as a “double” for Natalie Portman. Since this first outing, both individuals have been recurrently compared, if not thoroughly confused, under the same assumption of likeness made emblematic by Graham Norton’s quote in the above interview :

“You do look incredibly like Natalie Portman”

Naturally, this very experience is not restrained to the self-conscious world of public figures. Oftentimes are people discombobulated when they come around a relative’s “lost twin”.

If one were to examine the phenomenon in search for a consistent cause, one could not deny that some of it should be imparted to static physical features, and that some of the remainder may simply derive from the mimetic aspect of human culture. One could even consider the lack of objective observational skills in the viewer. However, such comparisons periodically concern themselves on active expressions as well. Given that the study of vultology precisely aims to establish a link between recurring physical patterns and congruous cognitive processes, it could be interesting to see what it amounts to in this particular case.

Thanks to the material provided by “behind the scene” interviews, one can quickly establish that Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman exhibit a variety of similar “signals”. To begin with, the eyes come forth as a prominent aspect of both individual’s expression. Not only do they capture the attention of the observer, but their motion is remarkably lively. They frequently redirect themselves around the environment, and widen in a manner which may evoke interest.


Figure 1 : Eyes are actively toggling in their sockets

As if carried away by excitation, the body itself is swaying from a side to the other, gaining momentum, sometimes to the point of exuberance. In the most quiet moments, the head and shoulders still are gently tilting.


Figure 2 : A light occurrence of fluid body swaying, located to the neck and head

Likewise, the speech pattern is flooding with consecutive ideas, occasionally hold by interjections such as “hum” or “like”, if not a burst of stammer.

Altogether, these first elements suggest that Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman are both belonging to the “Explorer” quadrant, which is lead by proactive/extraverted perception, also abbreviated Pe.

A further breakdown of the technical characteristics of eyes movements should point toward additional similarities. In both cases, the back and forth is mostly divided between a sharp glance at the object and a far-focused gaze to the side, with a relaxed upper eyelid.


Figure 3 : The eyes alternate between fixating the interlocutor off camera and drifting to the side

When the brow is contracting, in an expression which conveys concentration, it does so principally toward the center, which can lend to the stare an even more intense quality.

ascowl synthesis

Figure 4 : A fleeting example of concentrated scowling

Again, this concomitant clues indicate that the primarily oscillation should be constituted by proactive/extraverted concrete perception, abbreviated Se, and reactive/introverted abstract perception, abbreviated Ni.

Another fundamental element of the mannerism is the smile, and more importantly the course along which it spreads. Most of the captures on display show a residual tension in the muscles between the upper lip and the sides of the nose, which sometimes produces asymmetrical pulls, or the impression that the person is clenching her teeth. When smiling, the tension further amplifies and draws the motion upward, toward the center, as if it was a “snarl”. In this case, the cheeks are swelling with spontaneous warmth, albeit without impinging on the eyes, which is eventually indicative of the prevalence of reactive/introverted ethical judgement (Fi) on proactive/extraverted logical judgement (Te) for the secondary oscillation.


Figure 5 : A gradual emanation of the smile

While less easily transposed through the current format, the affected and breathy, if ultimately monotone, deadpan pitch of the voice, the abrupt gesticulation, and the disjointed coordination of the swaying motion, which the US culture would readily refer to as “sassy”, are further evidence of the Fi/Te pairing.

In conclusion to this assessment, it appears that the likeness between Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman, both representative of the SeFi or Vedaer type, is well founded as of vultology. When factoring physical differences such as height, brow shape or voice accent, it could even be speculated that cognitive presentation played a most significant role in blending their two careers, along with customary Hollywood tropes.

Nevertheless, it would be ill-advised to extrapolate that, because they hail from the same type, both individuals should manifest the same exact psychology. In fact, it does not take long to realize that, although they share the same cognitive processes in the same sequence, both women put quite a distinct emphasis on it. Comparing them in a most similar context, such as the following interviews on The Ellen Degeneres Show, should highlight such personal development.

On one hand, Keira Knightley is certainly the most outwardly animated and eccentric of the two, as she puts a stress on proactive perception (Pe). The off-beat reasoning of proactive logical judgement (Te) is played off as a humorous complement to the exploration of ideas, while reactive ethical judgement (Fi) is downplayed, culminating in something of a “performer” front.

On the other hand, Natalie Portman is seemingly more reserved, with a greater balance between perception and judgement. Her relation to the “inner compass” of reactive ethical judgement (Fi) is more considerate, giving way to the sharing of internal feelings and a “sprite-like”, innocent look, which Cognitive Type (CT) refers to as “seelie”. At the same time, even though she cannot escape some spontaneous laugh when caught by surprise, her outward articulation is more circumspect, which alludes to more of a “manager” front, reminiscing of the TeNi/Edaver type.

By and large, the successive stages of this demonstration should support the utility of vultology in distinguishing what separates people, as much as what brings them together. This time, it corroborated a popular preconception, which in the wake of last year’s box office results, is discreetly welcoming a new contender in Daisy Ridley, another prospective SeFi individual.


Figure 6 : Daisy Ridley, Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman, side by side

Still, every profession may become home to successful people of any type, and thus one should not disregard the possibility for the next opportunity to yield an opposite result.

Sources :
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY’s Star Wars Secrets as Natalie Portman’s Double – The Graham Norton Show BBC AMERICA
Keira Knightley – Star Wars Phantom Menace scenes compilation
Begin Again: Keira Knightley Behind the Scenes Movie Interview
Natalie Portman: Reel Life, Real Stories
The Ellen Show – Keira Knightley Talks About Her Pregnancy
The Ellen Show – Natalie Portman on Pregnancy and Love

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