Some of Keira Knightley's former directors have taken to Twitter to defend the actress, following disparaging remarks by Irish director John Carney.

Carney, who directed the Oscar nominee in 2013's Begin Again, said in an interview with The Independent UK that he will "never make a film with supermodels again", adding that Knightley has "an entourage that follow her everywhere so it's very hard to get any real work done".

The Once director went on to say that "the real problem was that Keira wasn't a singer and wasn't a guitar player and it's very hard to make music seem real if it's not with musicians. And I think the audience struggled a little bit with that in Begin Again.

"And as much as I tried to make it work I think that she didn't quite come out as a guitar-playing singer-songwriter."

His comments have been met with ire from fans and former collaborators of Knightley, with director Mark Romanek saying the experience of working with the actress on the 2010 thriller Never Let Me Go was "spectacular on every level".

Lorene Scafaria, the writer/director on Knightley's 2012 film Seeking a Friend for the End of the World also jumped in to defend the actress, saying: "I agree with Mark. Keira was a joy to work w/ (with). Present & easy & really, really good at her job. Just lovely."

Lynn Shelton, who worked with Knightley on the 2014 romantic comedy Laggies, echoed their sentiments, saying: "Working with #KeiraKnightley was magnificent, top to bottom. She is the real deal."