"From a director who feels like a complete idiot" - John Carney apologises to Keira Knightley

The 'Once' director found himself in hot water over comments he made about the actress earlier this week

John Carney, Will Ferrell, Josh Gad, Russell Meyer, Rober Ebert

Director and writer John Carney poses at the premiere of 'Sing Street' during the 2016 Sundance Film Festival [Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP]

Irish director John Carney has backed down and publicly apologised to actress Keira Knightley, with whom he worked on in the 2014 film Begin Again. The director had been criticised by fans and fellow directors alike for comments made in an interview in which he negatively described working with the actress, her “entourage”, and her lack of honesty and self-reflection.

Posting a statement to his Twitter account, the Sing Street  and Once director made a full apology and retracted his comments.

““Recently in a phone interview, the conversation turned to a discussion about a past film, Begin Again, starring Keira Knightley. I said a number of things about Keira which were petty, mean and hurtful,” Carney wrote.

“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 trying to pick holes in my own 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. 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 and anyone else who I have offended. It’s not something that I could ever justify, and will never repeat.”

A handful of directors who had also previously worked with Knightley rose to defend, claiming the two-time Oscar nominee had been a delight to work with and professional throughout the professional experience.

Carney is currently riding high on the critical success of Sing Street, his 1980s musical set in an Irish Christian Brothers school in Dublin. He has also been linked to direct Will Ferrell and Josh Gad vehicle Russ & Roger Go Beyond, telling the story of the making of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a 1960s cult classic.

For more movie news on Newstalk.com, please click here.