Keira Knightley says in a new interview that after the enormous success of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2002, being famous really sucked.
Knightley complained in the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar that her character Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean films “was the object of everybody’s lust.”
“Not that she doesn’t have a lot of fight in her. But it was interesting coming from being really tomboyish to getting projected as quite the opposite. I felt very constrained. I felt very stuck,” Knightley said. “The roles afterward were about trying to break out of that.”
She also claims that she “didn’t have a sense of how to articulate it. It very much felt like I was caged in a thing I didn’t understand.”
This isn’t the first time Keira Knightley has expressed just how awful it was to suddenly become rich and famous.
Back in 2018, Knightley told the Awards Chatter podcast that during the press junket for Pride & Prejudice in 2005 “you’re getting all these nominations for all of these things, but press-wise, when I’m going into interviews, people are still saying, ‘Everybody thinks you’re s–t,’ or focusing on your looks, or focusing on what’s wrong with you.”
Then, when she was nominated for a BAFTA award for her performance in the film Atonement in 2007, she, again, suffered and had to take a two-year break from acting.
“I hadn’t been out of the house for three months when the BAFTA nomination happened, and I remember having conversations with my agent and going, ‘I can’t get there,’ and everyone going, ‘If you don’t get to the BAFTAs, the heat on you is going to be ten times more,'” Knightley said. “So I actually did hypnotherapy so that I could stand on the red carpet at the BAFTAs and not have a panic attack.”
She also said that she had “a mental breakdown at 22, so I did take a year off there and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder because of all of that stuff.”
Thankfully for her, since Atonement, outside of one more Pirates film in 2017, only two of her 22 movies have managed to crack the $60 million mark at the box office domestically with 15 of them not even reaching $20 million, drastically reducing any attention being paid to her.
Now, however, she says looking back, “I am in awe of my 22-year-old self, because I’d like a bit more of her back. And it’s only by not being like that any longer that I realize how extraordinary it was. There was never an ounce of me that wasn’t going to find a way through.”
What a f—ing trooper.