Keira Knightley loves the theatrics of the red carpet.

The 'Atonement' actress enjoys the glamorous routine of getting ready for a big event and treats each appearance like embodying a new character and a chance to put on a performance.

She said: ''I love the bit before, when I've got hair and make-up and there's always a bottle of champagne open, and [my hair and make-up team] have been doing me for the past 10 years and are very close friends.

''And you know, there are some ridiculous dresses out there. And where on earth are you going to get to wear any of them other than on the red carpet? That's kind of a privilege - dressing up as that sort of person and playing her for a few minutes.''

Keira's sartorial choices don't always go down well with fashion critics, however, namely the heavily embellished Chanel dress in pastel hues she wore to the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

She explained to US GLAMOUR magazine: ''When we were getting ready that evening, we were all going, 'They're soooo going to hate me in this, but they're so wrong.' Apparently the reason they were so mean was because they thought the dress was unsexy.

''I wasn't intending to be sexy. This idea you have to be sexy on the red carpet - that dress made me very happy.''