Keira Knightley has been ‘caged’ after ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ fame
“I really felt like I was in something I didn’t understand,” said the two-time Oscar nominee.
Keira Knightley found the instant success of “Pirates of the Caribbean” a curse.
At the age of 17, Knightley detailed that her fame skyrocketed when the 2003 film ‘Pirates’ was released alongside ‘Love Actually’. The “Boston Strangler” actress admitted that Elizabeth Swann’s character was designed as a sexualized object despite her “tomboy” attitude alongside co-stars Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.
“He was the object of everyone’s desire,” Knightley said Harper’s Bazaar UK about the role. “Not that there isn’t a lot of fighting involved.” But it was interesting when it went from being really lame to the complete opposite.”
Knightley continued: “I entered adulthood quite a bit, an extreme descent from the experience of fame at a very early age. There’s a funny place where women have to sit in public, and I’ve never been comfortable with that. It was a big shock. I was judged based on what I projected.”
Instead, Knightley tried to break out of sexualized typecasting, resulting in a “very tricky five-year window” between 2003 and 2008, when she felt “quite powerless” about the situation in Pride and Prejudice and The Atonement. was moving towards a career.
“I felt very restricted. I felt very stuck. So the later roles were about trying to break out of that,” Knightley said of the “Pirates” films, which had sequels in 2006 and 2007. “I had no idea how to put it. I really felt like I was in something I didn’t understand.”
In addition, the two-time Oscar nominee never felt that his performance was “good enough”.
“I was incredibly hard on myself. I was never good enough. I was completely single-minded. I was so ambitious. I was so driven,” Knightley said. “I’ve always strived to get better and improve, which is an exhausting way to live your life. Tiring. I’m in awe of my 22-year-old self because I want to get a little more back. And I only realize how extraordinary it was when I’m not like that anymore. But this comes at a price: burnout.
Knightley took a two-year hiatus after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After returning home, she was nominated for a second Academy Award for “The Imitation Game,” and the actress added, “There was never a piece of me that didn’t find an outlet.”
Knightley has previously spoken about her freedom, telling The Telegraph in 2019 that she knew she “didn’t want to do big-budget films anymore because I just couldn’t handle the fame that came with them”. The actress admitted that she suffered a “mental breakdown” due to the overwhelming paparazzi.
“The value of photographs of famous young women increased when they were of a very negative nature,” Knightley said at the time. “So if he hadn’t already had a mental breakdown, they were trying to get him to do things that held your value as high as those who… I didn’t feel like it was going to end well.”
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