Keira Knightley life and biography

Keira Knightley picture, image, poster

Keira Knightley biography

Date of birth : 1985-03-22
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Teddington, United Kingdom
Nationality : British
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-06-14
Credited as : Actress, Bend It Like Beckham, Pirates of Caribbean

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Keira Knightley born March 22, 1985 in Teddington, United Kingdom is a British actress.

Keira Knightley's career has rocketed since the low-budget film, Bend It Like Beckham, became an international success. The British-born Knightley, only age 18 at the time, then took the lead female role in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which opened in summer 2003 and co-starring Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom. She will also appear with Hugh Grant in Love, Actually, scheduled for release later in 2003.

"She's a curious creature--all wide-eyed innocence, coupled with a knowingness I've never come across before in someone so young," Lina Das wrote in the London-based Evening Standard. "She does the giggly teenager bit when talking about her Pirates co-stars, (Bloom and Depp), but then she does the grown-up bit equally well."

"Keira just steps into the ring and attacks," Depp says of Knightley's work ethic, in an interview with the Daily Mirror of London. "She's just as sweet as she can be and has a great sense of humor."

Reflecting Knightley's celebrity status, British luxury house Asprey will feature her in its autumn/winter global advertising campaign for 2003.

Emerged with Beckham

Knightley is the daughter of playwright Sharman Macdonald and actor William Knightley. Despite her parents' concerns about her choosing a career in acting, Knightley, who battled with the learning disorder dyslexia as a youth, got her first agent at age six and made her debut three years later, as Natasha Jordan in A Village Affair. A year after that, she played Celia Graves in Innocent Lies. In Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace, Knightley, then age 14, played Queen Amidala's double.

Knightley's career spiked, however, after the release of Bend It Like Beckham, in which she played Jules, a suburban British teen and best friend of a schoolmate (Parminder Nagra) who is torn between her love of soccer and her Sikh parents' demands that she live a traditional Indian life. The film has grossed more than $50 million since its debut in early 2002, and $3 million in its first three months in limited markets in the United States. (Beckham is David Beckham, star player of the English national squad and formerly of the Premier League's Manchester United team. He now plays for Real Madrid of Spain).

For Knightley, performing in "Bend It," among other things, was a crash course in Indian culture. The crew often spoke Punjabi on the set. "I didn't have a clue what they were saying," she told Lorraine Alt of Newsweek. Plus, Knightley and Nagra trained three months with a soccer coach.

"Keira, she got concussions from doing headers," director Gurinder Chadha said; Nagra, meanwhile, badly hurt her toe. When Chadha offered for doubles to play the soccer roles, "They were like, 'What! Doubles! Are you nuts!' And that was the magic word when I said 'doubles.' They forgot about the concussion and the toe."

Hit Gold With Pirates

While kissing Bloom and hanging out with Depp were among the perks of starring with "pirates," she got seasick and struggled with wearing corsets during filming. Knightley played Elizabeth Swann, the governor's daughter whom a mad pirate (Depp) abducts and teen heartthrob Bloom rescues. The corset, she said, left her grasping for air.

"It was really that bad," Knightley told Lindsay Clydesdale of Glasgow, Scotland's Daily Record. "It's fine in the fitting as they're only five minutes long, but as soon as I was in it for 12 hours my eyes started rolling and I began to faint."

To help battle her seasickness, she took pills, but found herself drowsy amid takes.

"Pirates," based on the Walt Disney Company's theme-park attraction, pulled in $46.4 million its first weekend in early July, 2003.

Success Came With a Price

Success, Knightly said, came at a cost. She regrets not attending college and admitted having trouble making friends as an adolescent. "I did a film called The Hole when I was 16," she told Das, "and, when it came out, a couple of the popular girls at school said, quite loudly, 'She's in a crap movie, so it doesn't count.' It was rude and I was upset, but if you let that stuff bother you, you're going to be in for a tough time.

"I wasn't popular at school. I learned to let those comments wash over me. I toughened up quite quickly."

Despite her whirlwind, Knightley, according to Clydesdale, is still "chaperoned everywhere by her mum and claims she's too poor to move out of her parents' home." Macdonald insisted on accompanying her to Los Angeles. "We're very close," Knightley told Clydesdale. "She came on location with me which is great as I don't think L.A. is a place where a teenage girl should be on her own."

In Love, Actually, Knightley will appear with Grant and Colin Firth in a romantic comedy. Later in 2003, she was expected to start filming the King Arthur legend, in which she will play Guinivere.

AWARDS
Golden Wave, Best Actress, 2002, for Bend It Like Beckham; ALFS Award, British Newcomer of the Year, 2003, for Bend It Like Beckham.

WORKS
Films As Actress


* A Village Affair, 1994.
* Innocent Lies, 1995.
* Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace, 1999.
* The Hole, 2001.
* Deflation, 2001.
* Pure, 2002.
* Thunderpants, 2002.
* Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, 2003.
* Love Actually, 2003.
* Bend It Like Beckham, 2003.
* Tulip Fever, 2003.
* King Arthur, expected 2004.

* Television

* Treasure Seekers, 1996.
* Coming Home, 1998.
* Oliver Twist (mini-series), 1999.
* Princess of Thieves (mini-series), 2001.
* Dr. Zhivago (mini-series), 2002.

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