Actress Keira Knightley — known for many different roles, including Elizabeth Swann (later Elizabeth Turner) in the Pirates of the Caribbean series — recently admitted during an interview with The Sunday Times’ Style Magazine that she came dangerously close to giving up her career in Hollywood when she was in her early 20’s.
According to Knightley, a successful Hollywood career propelling her into the spotlight and the public eye was not easy to cope with. In fact, the 33-year-old actress admits the pressures revolving around her fame resulted in a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She also admitted to suffering from an emotional breakdown.
Keira admits it was her “super solid” close-knit circle of family and friends that helped her survive her low period in life and get back to a place where she could continue her acting career without emotional suffering.
As fans of Knightley know, the actress found herself in the media spotlight when she was just 17-years-old after her very successful role in the 2002 film titled Bend It Like Beckham. Keira later starred in Pride and Prejudice, where she began to win numerous award nominations.
According to Daily Mail, the actress was coined as the “second highest-paid woman in Hollywood” by the time she was just 23-years-old. Unfortunately, the quick rush into the spotlight came at a huge mental and emotional price, as she suffered a break down at the age of 22. Keira recalls her early 20’s as a “very intense and lonely” period in her life.
She admitted to feeling an intense amount of pressure because of the attention her sudden fame put on her. The fame and pressure became so unbearable that she admits to spending a significant amount of time considering giving up her Hollywood career.
“I did think about it. Particularly at the point when I had a breakdown,” the actress explained.
Knightley admits to having a hard time struggling with perception and facing constant criticism and judgment from fans, followers, and critics. She recalled when rumors circulated that she had an eating disorder. The actress felt as though there was nothing she could do to evade the rumors as it didn’t seem to matter if she gained weight or lost weight – she was still criticized.
The pressure of being in the spotlight became so intense that she received a diagnosis of PTSD and had to take a year off from acting as she suffered from panic attacks.
According to the actress, those close to her also wanted her to “give up” her acting career for the sake of her mental and emotional health. However, this was that same close-knit circle that gave her the love and support she needed to get to a place where she could continue her career in a healthy manner.