Keira Knightley’s Struggles With a Serious Disability That No One Knows About…Until Now
Some of the A-list celebrities raking in millions from their glamorous Hollywood careers have had fame and fortune gifted to them by their wealthy parents, a familial legacy, or simply by having the right connections. But for others, it wasn’t as easy. Some hardworking actors have had to break a sweat, literally, to break the barrier in a highly competitive industry.
Such was the case with Keira Knightley, who is now a two-time nominee for the coveted Academy Award. Make no mistake, though not as prestigious as a win, the nomination itself is recognition for the actress’ talent. Keira was born in Teddington, South West London, to Will Knightley and Sharman Macdonald. Her dad was an actor while her mom worked as a playwright and actress. Keira was the couple’s second child, having had Caleb as their firstborn.
Acting Was a Calling
The actress chose her career when she was still a child and pushed her parents to get her an agent since she was three. In their wisdom, they made Keira wait until she was seven for them to get her one.
Just a year before her interest in acting had piqued, Keira was diagnosed with dyslexia, which naturally had her parents worried about her future. As the actress now recalls it, she always had a passion for writing, and it surprised her that she couldn’t read any of the words written in a book or a signpost. Luckily for her, she got over her word-blindness by the age of 11.
Despite the diagnosis, Keira was adamant that an acting career was what she wanted to pursue. She was sure that she would figure out how to learn all her lines despite her inherent struggle with reading her scripts. As a result, she was cast in various small roles during her childhood.
Knightley’s first noteworthy role was as Sabé in the 1999 first Star Wars prequel, a part she landed primarily because of her resemblance to Natalie Portman. In the earlier movies, Portman portrayed the character, and it was only fair that the new installment featured an actress who at least looked like her. At the time of the movie’s release, Keira was well into her teens, aged 14.
The actress’ exact breakout role, however, came in 2002 thanks to a romantic comedy she starred it. Without a doubt, she put her heart and soul into it, training for 90 days to pull off her soccer player character. All the same, this wasn’t the film that would make her a household name.
Riding on the Pirates’ Ship
Her big break would eventually come in 2003, after the release of the first installment of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise. The actress was only 17 when she starred in the movie. Later, she revealed that she had her doubts about the film and didn’t think that it would succeed. Despite giving it her best, she wondered if it would have an impact at the box office.
The film became an instant hit, earning $305 million domestically, against a $140 million budget. Members of the cast were instantaneously global stars, with Keira Knightley firmly in the limelight. She went on to star in the 2006 and 2007 installments in the franchise, and also made a brief appearance in the 2017 film.
The quick burst into global fame, unfortunately, had an adverse effect on the star. At 22, she suffered from PTSD, primarily due to the stress brought on by her line of work. Panic attacks were also the order of the day, and she even had to turn down some roles because of her declining mental health. Luckily, her family was supportive, and she was able to get through a difficult time. Since then, she has found love and become a mom, starred in great films, and even been nominated for an Oscar twice. Late last year, she was honored with an OBE appointment for her works in charity and drama.
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