Begin Again filmmaker fears selling out

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A dejected music business executive forms a bond with a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan.
July 5th, 2014

'Begin Again' director John Carey worries fans will think he's ''sold out''.

The Irish director shot to fame following the surprising success of his modestly-budgeted musical 'Once' - which earned an Oscar nomination and has been turned into a lauded stage musical - and he admits he is wary of fans considering his follow-up movie a typical Hollywood production.

He said: ''Looking back, I probably had a nervous breakdown out of shock when 'Once' was so well received. Even the most cynical, hard-assed industry types were genuinely moved by it. I knew that reaction was unrepeatable and therein lay the dilemma.

''I was left biting my fingernails, wondering constantly, 'What should I do next?'

''Oh you know, 'That was so pure and beautiful and this is Keira [Knightley] and America and he's clearly sold out...' ''

Carney also revealed that, like 'Once', 'Begin Again' - which stars Knightley, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and 'Avengers' star Mark Ruffalo - follows a more realistic take on the romantic comedy and doesn't necessarily have a happy ending.

He told Radio Times magazine: ''Outside of chick lit, couples don't just walk off into the sunset together - not in anything that has ever moved me, anyway. Look at 'Wuthering Heights', or 'Anna Karenina', or 'Brief Encounter' - complex, compromised love is far truer to life. Difficult relationships and unfulfilled love are what interest me as a storyteller.''