A British film and television actress, Keira Christina Knightley rose to fame with Gurinder Chadha
`s Bend It Like Beckham
. Thereafter, she appeared in a number of acclaimed films like Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
(2003), Love Actually (2003), Pride & Prejudice (2005), Atonement
(2007), The Imitation Game
(2014), and Everest
(2015). For starring in period dramas like Pride and Prejudice and Imitation Game, Knightley received Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Forbes magazine, in 2008, listed her as the second highest paid actress in Hollywood, after Cameron Diaz. She has also been the brand ambassador of Chanel`s fragrance "Mademoiselle".
Born in London, England to an actor, Will Knightley, and playwright Sharman Macdonald, Keira Knightley grew up in a family of show-biz and also has an elder brother Caleb Knightley. Since she was a child, all Keira wanted to become was an actress. She was even a part of many stage productions. At the age of six, she was diagnosed with dyslexia and struggled a lot with her schooling. But with proper care from her family, Keira was able to get through her days. For her undergrad, the actress read art, history, and English literature, but quit midway to focus on her acting career.
After dating Hollywood celebs like Del Synnott, her Princess of Thieves co-star, and Rupert Friend
, who starred opposite her in Pride and Prejudice, Knightley began dating Jamie Righton in 2011. In May 2013, after 15 months of dating, the couple tied the knot in France and in 2015, Keira gave birth to their daughter- Edie, in London.
Since the age of three, Keira was sure she wanted to enter the world of glamor and even demanded an agent to help her. Her parents finally agreed to get her one when she was six. At seven, Keira appeared on BBC as a little girl in an episode of Screen One, which was a British television anthology.
After being diagnosed with dyslexia, acting was sort of an escape for her and she started seeking comfort from it. In 1995, she featured in a TV movie A Village Affair as Natasha Jordan, which she quickly followed by playing the role of a Princess in E. Nesbit`s The Treasure Seekers, alongside James Wilby, Ian Richardson, and Gina McKee. Her portrayal of Rose Fleming in the miniseries- Oliver Twist (1999), won her a lot of appreciation. She then appeared in the television film Princess of Thieves and miniseries` Doctor Zhivago (2002), Neverland (2011).
After appearing in films like Innocent Lies
(1995), Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
(1999), Thuderpants (2002), and Pure
(2002), Keira Knightley`s breakthrough role came with the romantic sports drama Bend it Like Beckham. Directed by Gurinder Chaddha, this English film was a sleeper hit, with Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times noting that the film "was really full of easy humor, an impeccable sense of milieu that is the result of knowing the culture intimately enough to poke fun at it while understanding its underlying integrity". Featuring Parminder Nagra
, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
, Anupam Kher
, Shaznay Lewis, and Archie Panjabi
, the movie gave Knightley`s career the much-needed boost.
Thereafter, there was no looking back for Knightley as she went on to do one groundbreaking role after another. In 2003, she starred in two films belonging to a completely contrasting genre. Her first release in the year, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was a huge box office success, with Knightley winning the title of Best International Actress at the Irish Film and Television Award. She reprised her role as Elizabeth Swann the film`s 2006 and 2007 sequels. Her second release in 2003 was the romantic drama film Love Actually. Starring an ensemble cast comprising of Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, and Martine McCutcheon, the opened to generally positive reviews. She appeared in movies like King Arthur
(2004), The Jacket (2005), and Domino
(2005), before starring in the romantic period drama Pride and Prejudice. Directed by Joe Wright, the movie is based on Jane Austen`s classic novel of the same name and stars Keira Knightley as the strong and opinionated Elizabeth Bennet. The movie was a huge critical and commercial success, with Knightley winning several accolades and praises for performance, receiving an Academy Award nomination.
Knightley soon gained popularity as an actress, who could carry period dramas with ease and panache . After Pride and Prejudice, she starred in hit period dramas like Atonement (2007), The Duchess
(2008), and Anna Karenina (2012), winning praises worldwide. In 2014, Knightley starred in another Oscar-nominated period drama film The Imitation Game. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch
as cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the movie is loosely based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. Directed by Morten Tyldum
, the movie got a great response and Knightley won several nominations for Best Actress at the Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, Empire Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
This was followed by the ensemble drama Collateral Beauty (2016), The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) and Colette
(2018). The former two received mixed reviews but the latter went on to receive several award nominations. She next appeared in Berlin, I Love You
(2019). Pursuing a variety of roles, Knightley then starred as British linguist and translator Katharine Gun in the docudrama film Official Secrets
(2019) and feminist activist Sally Alexander in Misbehaviour