When she initially became famous in her early twenties, Keira Knightley was plagued by the paparazzi, who caused her to have a ‘mental breakdown.’
Knightley had been propelled into the spotlight after acting in popular films such as Bend It Like Beckham, Love, Actually, and Pirates of the Caribbean at the time, and with it came a barrage of media attention.
In reaction to the constant attention that other celebrities such as Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse received at the time, Knightley, now 34, told The Telegraph about how horrible her dealings with the media were at the time.
“The value of photographs of any famous young women at the time went up if they were of a very negative nature,” she told Robbie Collin, referring to the media circuses that erupted around stars like Amy Winehouse and Britney Spears. “So if you weren’t already having a mental breakdown, they were trying to push you into doing things that kept your value as high as those who were.”
‘I remember Scarlett Johansson getting forced off the road in Los Angeles, then someone trying to do the same to me in Kentish Town,’ the 34-year-old said. ‘I told them I was going to kill somebody; they said they’d get more money if I did…
‘I don’t know how things are now…but it was definitely a moment I wanted to run away from. It did not feel like it would end anywhere well.’
Knightley said that her encounters with the paparazzi stopped her from landing high-profile gigs. Instead, she appeared in independent films such as “The Edge of Love,” “Never Let Me Go,” and “A Dangerous Method.”
“I knew I didn’t want to do big-budget films anymore,” she explained, “because the fame that came with them I just couldn’t handle.”
Keira has previously discussed her early years of stardom, admitting that the ages of 19 to 23 are a ‘big blur’ for her.
In 2007, the actress stepped away from the spotlight, packed her belongings and embarked on a train journey throughout Europe, and called it “one of the most important years of my life.”
“I did have a mental breakdown at 22,” Knightley said last year on The Hollywood Reporter Awards Chatter podcast. “So I did take a year off there and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder because of all of that stuff. I look back and I just sort of want to give myself a hug and be like, ‘Oh, you’re doing alright, you’ll be alright.’ You know?”
Katharine Gun can currently be seen in “Official Secrets” as a post-9/11 whistleblower.
She co-stars with Matt Smith, Matthew Goode, and Ralph Fiennes in the film.
“Looking back, I think Katharine’s story just got swallowed up by the actual invasion of Iraq itself,” she remarked. “Yet now it feels like an important piece of that puzzle. We’re still living with the legacy of that war, so trying to understand the lead up to it made this feel like an important story to tell.”
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