Being famous comes with many perks but probably even more pressure that can really take a toll on a star’s psyche. That is apparently what happened to Keira Knightley, who, while very successful in Hollywood because of her roles in movies such as Bend it Like Beckham, Love, Actually and Pirates of the Caribbean, was having a really hard time behind the scenes.
While on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, the actress opened up about what she was going through at the peak of her career.
‘That run of films was insane. It is amazing looking back at it from the outside—you are like, ‘Whoa, that was hit after hit after hit!’ But, from the inside, all you are hearing is the criticism. And, also, I was aware I did not know what I was doing, you know? I did not know my trade, I did not know my craft. I knew there was something that worked sometimes, but I did not know how to capture that.’
She went on to explain that ‘You’re getting all of these nominations for all these things, but press-wise when I am going into interviews, people are still saying, ‘Everyone thinks you are s**t,’ or focusing on just your looks, or focusing on what is wrong with you. And, again, I was only 19—you can only hear the negative stuff.’
All of that criticism really affected her and so, at the age of 22, she had a ‘mental breakdown.’
Later, she was diagnosed with PTSD and was forced to take one year off from the spotlight.
During that break, ‘I went deep into therapy and all that, and [the therapist] said, ‘It is amazing—I normally come in here and have people who think people are talking about them and they think they are being followed, but actually they are not. You are the first person that that’s actually happening to!’’
Thankfully, Keira has had a lot to learn from the experience and now, not only is she confident in her ‘trade’ but also knows how to make herself happy.