Sunday 15 September 2019

Keira Knightley considered giving up film career after ‘breakdown’ in her 20s

The actress previously talked about being diagnosed with PTSD at the age of 22.

Keira Knightley considered giving up film career after ‘breakdown’ in her 20s (Ian West/PA)
Keira Knightley considered giving up film career after ‘breakdown’ in her 20s (Ian West/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Keira Knightley has said she considered giving up her Hollywood career in her early 20s due to the pressure following her rise to fame.

The actress, now 33, was 17 when she became famous for her part in Bend It Like Beckham, before going on to star in 2003 big-screen hits Love Actually and Pirates Of The Caribbean, propelling her to global stardom.

Knightley revealed in October that she had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the age of 22, and she has now said that she almost gave up her entire career in that period.

She told The Sunday Times’ Style magazine that her friends and family wanted her to give it up, and said: “I did think about it.

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Keira Knightley in 2006 (Yui Mok/PA)

“Particularly at the point when I had a breakdown.

“I had PTSD and panic attacks. I literally couldn’t work for a year and I didn’t know whether there would be an end to that.

“I have a super-solid background and thank f*** for that. My family and my small but very close group of friends just wrapped me up. And I think, without that, it would have been a very different story.”

She added: “I knew I always had somebody there to cuddle me who didn’t want anything from me. Ultimately I didn’t want them (the media and paparazzi) to win. The only thing I want to do is make films.”

The Oscar-nominated actress, who was recently honoured with an OBE for her services to drama and charity, also said that she misses going out now that she is a mother.

Knightley and husband James Righton welcomed daughter Edie in 2015.

She said she “loved” going out in her younger days, and added: “I felt like a big part of myself was the self that was out dancing until six in the morning most nights unless I was on a film.

“That’s a difficult shift for any couple when you have a child. I don’t think we would have survived physically for that much longer if we’d kept going at that rate, but it was a big shift.

“I think the first year we tried to pretend that we could have that life still, and we can’t — not being the parents that we want to be.”

Knightley currently appears in new Disney film The Nutcracker And The Four Realms, and will next star in period drama Colette, released in January.

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