Living as a Hollywood actress isn’t always glamorous.
While the red carpets are nice and the industry parties are fabulous, dealing with the pressures of fame has its struggles.
For Keira Knightley, she found early success in Hollywood thanks to roles in Bend It Like Beckham, the Pirates of the Caribbean films and Love, Actually. But behind-the-scenes, the actress was struggling.
“That run of films was completely insane. It’s amazing looking back at it from the outside—you’re like, ‘Whoa, that was hit after hit after hit!’ But, from the inside, all you’re hearing is the criticism, really. And, also, I was aware that I didn’t know what I was doing, you know?” she explained in The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast. “I didn’t know my trade, I didn’t know my craft. I knew that there was something that worked sometimes, but I didn’t know how to capture that.”
Keira continued, “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. And, again, I was 19—you can only hear the negative stuff.”
During the candid conversation, Keira admitted that she had a “mental breakdown” at 22. She was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and took a year off.
“I went deep into therapy and all of that, and [the therapist] said, ‘It’s amazing—I normally come in here and have people that think people are talking about them and they think that they’re being followed, but actually they’re not,” Keira recalled. “You’re the first person that actually that is happening to!'”
Today, the Hollywood actress is looking forward to many projects including the release of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms on November 2.
And throughout her journey in the public eye, Keira has grown in more ways than one to live a happier, healthier life.
“I think the main thing that I’m very proud of myself for is I learned my trade. I did it very publicly, but I have learned my trade, and technically, whatever you need me to do, I can deliver it,” she shared. “I want to get better and I’m not saying that there’s not a ways to go—I want to keep learning and keep pushing myself—but I’m in a good place where I feel pretty confident about what I can do.”