Keira Knightley's breakthrough role was in the English football-themed film, Bend It Like Beckham, which was a success in its August 2002 UK release, grossing $18 million, and in its March 2003 U.S. release, grossing $32 million. After Bend It Like Beckham's UK release raised her profile, she was cast in the big budget action film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (along with Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp) which was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and opened in July 2003 to positive reviews and high box office grosses, becoming one of the biggest hits of summer 2003 and cementing Knightley as the new "It" girl. Knightley had a role in the British romantic comedy Love Actually, which opened in November 2003. Though charismatic, Miss Knightley’s performance was overlooked in the crowded A-List cast. Her next film, King Arthur, opened in July 2004 to negative reviews, scoring only 31% at Rotten Tomatoes. In the same month, Knightley was voted by readers of Hello! magazine as the movie industry's most promising teen star. Additionally, Time magazine noted in a 2004 feature that Knightley seemed dedicated to developing herself as a serious actress rather than a film star.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Keira Knightley began acting at age seven in her television debut in Ballykissangel (1993). She appeared in several made-for-television films in the mid to late 1990s, before being cast as Sabé, Padmé Amidala's decoy, in the 1999 science fiction blockbuster Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. Knightley was cast in the role due to her close resemblance to Natalie Portman, who played Padmé; the two actresses' mothers had difficulty telling their daughters apart when the girls were in full makeup. Knightley's first starring role followed in 2001, when she played the daughter of Robin Hood in a made-for-television Walt Disney Productions feature, Princess of Thieves. During this time, Knightley also appeared in The Hole, a thriller that received a direct-to-video release in the United States. She also appeared in a mini-series adaptation of Doctor Zhivago that first aired in 2002 to mixed reviews but high ratings.
Keira Knightley was born in Teddington, Middlesex, England to Sharman Macdonald, a Scottish actress turned award-winning playwright, and Will Knightley, an English theatre and television actor. She has an elder brother, Caleb, who was born in 1979. Knightley lived most of her life in Richmond, attending Teddington School and Esher College. Knightley has dyslexia, but nevertheless was successful in school and was thus permitted to acquire a talent agent and pursue an acting career. Knightley has noted that she was "single-minded about acting" during her childhood. She performed in a number of local amateur productions including After Juliet (written by her mother) and United States (written by her then drama teacher, Ian McShane).
Keira Christina Knightley (born 26 March 1985) is an English film and television actress. She began her career as a child actress, and came to international prominence in 2003, after co-starring in the films Bend It Like Beckham and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Knightley has since become a notable lead actress, having appeared in several Hollywood films and earning an Academy Award nomination for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in Joe Wright's 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.