Keira Knightley reveals how she 'broke down' at the age of 22 after struggling to cope with fame
Most people don't realise this, but it's not easy being a celebrity. Sure you get the big house, the fame, the awards and the fancy car; but think about how much privacy you have to sacrifice. Once you're in the public eye, it's very difficult to get back out of it again, and many people find that they just can't cope with the constant pressure and scrutiny, and turn to drugs or alcohol to escape and spiral into addiction.
One person who has gone through this kind of experience is Pirates of the Carribean actress Keira Knightley. Knightley had appeared in 15 movies by the time she was 22 years old, including The Hole, Bend It Like Beckham, Love Actually and Pirates Of The Caribbean, and has now admitted that her sudden fame almost led to an emotional breakdown. In a recent interview with Balance magazine, Knightley admitted that she now struggles to remember much of her life between the age of 19-22 as a result of the high-stress environment.
Knightley stated: "I don’t remember it in a linear way because I think my coping mechanisms were kicking in and shutting a lot of it out. My world crashed when I was 22. Everything stopped working and I felt as if I was broken into tiny pieces; as if my brain was literally shattered. I just took a year out, travelling around. There was a very big question mark over whether I was ever going to go back to work, but I’ve always loved acting; it’s just everything else that comes with it that I was struggling with."
"I was at a time in my life when I was still becoming. Like most young people, I hadn’t quite found who I was or what I was about. My body was changing, and I didn’t even know how I felt about myself and what I looked like. Yet all of a sudden, people were being very vocal with their views on me as a young woman and as an actress. I lost confidence in myself because I was made to feel that I didn’t deserve to be doing what I was doing. There was no way I was going to be able to get on the red carpet without having a f**king panic attack. So I had hypnotherapy and it worked. Thankfully, I haven’t had that feeling for a long time."
She added: "I come from a place of amazing privilege. I have an incredible support system; I’ve been unbelievably lucky in my career; I can afford good childcare, and yet I still find it really f*cking difficult. It’s OK to say that. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my kid, it’s just me admitting that the sleep deprivation, the hormonal changes, the shift in relationship with my partner, are all things that make me feel as if I’m failing on a daily basis."
However, despite the above statements, it seems as though Keira is now enjoying being a parent despite the hurdles, and is in a much more stable place. Phew!