Trend-setting British actress Keira Knightley talks about playing the real-life 18th century trendsetter  Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire, in the stunning new period romance, "The Duchess."

The film, which opens today, also stars Charlotte Rampling as her mother and Ralph Fiennes as the philandering, controlling duke. Dominic Cooper, also in the video, portrays her lover, Charles Grey.

All this time, we thought the cult of celebrity was a modern invention. But the duchess’ gowns, hair, accessories and jewels were all emulated by the ladies of her day, rather like Keira’s are today.

The costumes, by MIchael O’Connor, are guaranteed to be Oscar-worthy.

So are those towering wigs! Turns out the wigs she had to wear in the film were so heavy that Keira had to have a board against which she could rest her head between takes.

And you think blowouts are a pain …

Video: Interview conducted by Sal Morgan for the Dish Rag. Scenes from "The Duchess" courtesy of  Paramount Vantage.

Posted by:Elizabeth Snead