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10th Jul 2024

Keira Knightley says she went through years of therapy after ‘trauma’ of starring in first Pirates film

Jack Peat

The actor was just 17 years old when she appeared alongside Johnny Depp

Keira Knightley says she had to go through “many years of therapy” after starring in the first Pirates Of The Caribbean film.

The actor was just 17 years old when she appeared as Elizabeth Swann alongside Johnny Depp in The Curse of the Black Pearl, which became the fourth-highest grossing film that year after making over $654 million worldwide following its release in 2003.

At the time, the film was expected to be a flop, with the pirate genre failing to deliver a successful film in years.

But it ended up propelling Knightley and Depp, who was known mostly for starring in cult films at the time, to unimaginable fame.

Speaking about how she dealt with the overnight stardom in a 2016 interview with Variety, the English actor said: “I found it pretty horrific. I’m not an extrovert, so I found that level of scrutiny and that level of fame really hard.

“It was an age where you are becoming, you haven’t become, and you need to make mistakes. It’s a very precarious age, particularly for women.

“You’re in some ways still a child. It was traumatic, but it set up the rest of my career.”

Thinking about her own daughter, Keira admitted that she ‘really, really, really’ hopes that she doesn’t get into acting.

“I hope she’s going to be an environmental lawyer or something spectacular, but I’m going to be the kind of parent where whatever interest she has, I’m going to be supportive,” she said.

Knightley has confessed to have been “incredibly hard on herself” in the early stages of her career in a more recent interview with the same publication.

She said: “I was never good enough. I was utterly single-minded. I was so ambitious. I was so driven.

“I was always trying to get better and better and improve, which is an exhausting way to live your life. Exhausting.

“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 realise how extraordinary it was. But it does have a cost.”

That being said, the Pirates Of The Caribbean star wouldn’t take anything back.

“I’m unbelievably lucky now, and my career is in a place where I really enjoy it, and I have a level of fame that’s much less intense.

“I can deal with it now, and that’s great. But at the time, it was not so great, and took many years of therapy to figure it out.”