Keira Knightley put too much pressure on herself in the early years of her career


Keira Knightley has revealed she was ‘exhausted’ during the early years of her career as she put too much pressure on herself.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star, 37, felt like she was ‘never good enough’ and always strived to be better. 

Keira discussed navigating fame in a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK and she will also star on the cover of the April issue.

On realising how much pressure she put on herself in the early years of her career, Keira said: ‘I was incredibly hard on myself. I was never good enough. I was utterly single-minded. I was so ambitious. I was so driven. I was always trying to get better and better and improve, which is an exhausting way to life your life. 

‘I am in awe of my 22-year-old self, because I’d like a bit more of her back. And it’s only by not being like that any longer that I realise how extraordinary it was. There was never an ounce of me that wasn’t going to find a way through.’

‘I was never good enough’: Keira Knightley has revealed she was ‘exhausted’ during the early years of her career as she put too much pressure on herself

The London native rose to fame playing a tomboy footballer in the 2002 film Bend It Like Beckham. 

She continued: ‘I had quite an entrance into adult life, an extreme landing because of the experience of fame at a very early age. There’s a funny place where women are meant to sit, publicly, and I never felt comfortable with that. It was a big jolt. I was being judged on what I was projecting.’

On seeking to broaden her career after her breakout role portraying Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean, Keira explained: ‘She [Elizabeth Swann] was the object of everybody’s lust. 

‘Not that she doesn’t have a lot of fight in her. But it was interesting coming from being really tomboyish to getting projected as quite the opposite. I felt very constrained. I felt very stuck. 

Coming soon: The April issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK is on sale from March 9

Coming soon: The April issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK is on sale from March 9

‘So the roles afterwards were about trying to break out of that. I didn’t have a sense of how to articulate it. It very much felt like I was caged in a thing I didn’t understand.’

She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet in the 2005 period piece Pride & Prejudice and also was an Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actress for playing Joan Clarke in the 2014 film The Imitation Game. 

Keira has been married since 2013 to British musician James Righton, 39, and they have daughters Edie, seven, and Delilah, three, together. 

Speaking on the demands of parenthood for a working mother, Keira said: ‘During filming, the hours are unpredictable and extreme. I worked out I needed three people to do what one full-time parent did. 

‘When you hear somebody say, “I’m just staying home with the kids”, that’s not a “just”. That’s a huge thing.’

‘The heavy lifting of childcare has to be acknowledged. It’s hard work, it’s vital, it’s undervalued. And it’s so exhausting.’

Keira looked elegant in a cream maxi dress as she posed on a green couch during the front cover photoshoot.

She then slipped into a black tweed mini dress with gold button detail while posing outside on a balcony.

The April issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK is on sale from March 9.

On realising how much pressure she put on herself in the early years of her career, Keira said: ‘I was incredibly hard on myself. I was never good enough.'

On realising how much pressure she put on herself in the early years of her career, Keira said: ‘I was incredibly hard on myself. I was never good enough.’

On seeking to broaden her career after her breakout role portraying Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean, Keira explained: 'I was caged in a thing I didn't understand'

On seeking to broaden her career after her breakout role portraying Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean, Keira explained: ‘I was caged in a thing I didn’t understand’

Gorgeous: Keira discussed navigating fame in a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar U K and she will also star on the cover of the April issue

Gorgeous: Keira discussed navigating fame in a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar U K and she will also star on the cover of the April issue

It comes as Keira prepares for the release of her new Hulu film, The Boston Stranger.

She was recently shown portraying a reporter in the 1960s in new photos released on Tuesday for her upcoming crime drama Boston Strangler .

The English actress in the upcoming Hulu film portrays Record-American newspaper reporter Loretta McLaughlin who was the first journalist to connect the Boston Strangler murders.

Knightley was shown in period stills along with co-star Carrie Coon, 41, who plays her newsroom colleague and confidante Jean Cole.

‘Experience the thrilling true story of two reporters who led the charge to unravel one of the most infamous serial murder cases of all time,’ read a tweet posted by Hulu and 20th Century Studios. 

The film written and directed by Matt Ruskin also features Alessandro Nivola, David Dastmalchian, Morgan Spector, Bill Camp, and Chris Cooper.

A true crime companion podcast from ABC Audio about the Boston Strangler will be released ahead of the film’s debut.

She continued: 'I had quite an entrance into adult life, an extreme landing because of the experience of fame at a very early age'

She continued: ‘I had quite an entrance into adult life, an extreme landing because of the experience of fame at a very early age’

Speaking on the demands of parenthood for a working mother, Keira said: ‘During filming, the hours are unpredictable and extreme.'

Speaking on the demands of parenthood for a working mother, Keira said: ‘During filming, the hours are unpredictable and extreme.’

Crime drama: It comes as Keira prepares for the release of her new Hulu film, The Boston Stranger

Crime drama: It comes as Keira prepares for the release of her new Hulu film, The Boston Stranger

Thirteen women were murdered in the Boston area in the early 1960s and Albert DeSalvo later confessed to being the Boston Strangler serial killer after being charged in rape cases. 

The Boston Strangler film was released in 1968 with the late Tony Curtis portraying DeSalvo.

David Faustino, 48, best known for playing Bud Bundy on the Fox sitcom Married With Children, also portrayed DeSalvo in the 2008 film Boston Strangler: The Untold Story.

The film is set to hit streaming service on March 17.

Cute couple: Knightley has been married since 2013 to British musician James Righton, shown in November in London, and they have daughters Edie, seven, and Delilah, three, together

Cute couple: Knightley has been married since 2013 to British musician James Righton, shown in November in London, and they have daughters Edie, seven, and Delilah, three, together

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