Keira Knightley Avoiding Big Films To Protect Her Mental Health

According to a report by the Daily Mail, Keira Knightley is intentionally avoiding staring in big films to avoid the attention that becomes overwhelming for her.

Knightley has been in some big films, starring in the Pirates of the Carribean as well as appearing in Star Wars Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace and Pride and Prejudice. She's had the kind of success that any actress would die for.

Yet all of the fame from starring and appearing in movies with global audiences and blockbuster reactions comes with lots and lots of attention, something Knightley really struggles with.

As previously covered by The Inquisitr, Knightley came very close to giving up acting entirely after she was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and suffered a severe emotional and mental breakdown in her 20s.

She also struggled with the hassle of dealing with critics and trolls who constantly criticized her every word and move. Knightley recalled a time when rumors spread that she had an eating disorder. She tried both losing and gaining weight to shake the rumors, but only fanned the flames, and it left her feeling depressed.

She had even shut herself in her house for an entire three months before coming out for the BAFTA awards for her role in Atonement in 2008.

As a result of the mental stress and sudden panic attacks she was suffering because of all the pressure and scrutiny, she forced herself to take a year off and re-evaluate.

Keira Knightley attends her 'A Life In Pictures' photocall at BAFTA on December 17, 2018
Getty Images | Tristan Fewings

Family and friends closest to her suggested giving up the source of stress in her life - acting. But Knightley revealed it was a tough pill to swallow giving up something she loved, so she decided to try something different.

She's now re-branded herself to star in smaller, more independent films. Taking on roles that provide her with a sense of accomplishment, but nothing that would propel her into the spotlight that was taking its toll on her mental health.

"It was either that or give up, so I thought, 'OK, I'm going to try and get [my career] to where I want it and see if I can make something sustainable and if I don't then I'll have to do something else.'"
Knightley says she's motivated to make it work for her and demonstrate that a "shiny person" can overcome their demons and keep their mental health intact while doing something they love.

Luckily for Knightley, it seems to be working. She claims she hasn't had a panic attack recently or "that feeling for a long time."

Hopefully, she can find the right balance between acting and preserving her mental heath, for her sake and for her loyal fans who love seeing her on the big screen.