“I told them I was going to kill somebody”: Keira Knightley Had a Mental Breakdown After Being Harassed Like Scarlett Johansson, Vowed to Never Work in Big-Budget Films Again

"I told them I was going to kill somebody": Keira Knightley Had a Mental Breakdown After Being Harassed Like Scarlett Johansson, Vowed to Never Work in Big-Budget Films Again

Keira Knightley has made quite a name for herself in the film industry, from the movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice to being one of the protagonists in Disney’s multi-billion dollar franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean. Being in two Oscar-nominated projects, Best Picture for 2005’s Pride and Prejudice and Best Supporting Actress for 2014’s The Imitation Game, she has achieved an incredibly high stature of fame.

Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice
Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice

A fact well-known is that with great fame comes great consequences. After her movies, Love, Actually, King Arthur, and Atonement, did exceptionally well, it seems that the public felt obligated to receive more than her acting.

Also Read: “I’m glad I got it”: Keira Knightley Had to Beg Johnny Depp to Kiss Her After The Dark Knight Star Marion Cotillard Called Him the Best Kisser in Hollywood

What Did the Paparazzi Do to Keira Knightley?

During an interview with The Telegraph, Keira Knightley revealed that at the age of 22, the actress suffered a mental breakdown when she was being shadowed by the paparazzi. At that time, photographs of young, famous women were valued more if they showed them doing something negative, following bursts of media attention around Brittney Spears and Amy Winehouse at the time.

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Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley

“The value of photographs of any famous young women at the time went up if they were of a  negative nature,” she told Robbie Collin, “So if you weren’t already having a mental breakdown, they were trying to push you into doing things that kept your value as high as those who were.” She added“I remember Scarlett Johansson getting forced off the road in Los Angeles, then someone trying to do the same to me in Kentish Town. I told them I was going to kill somebody; they said they’d get more money if I did…I don’t know how things are now…but it was definitely a moment I wanted to run away from. It did not feel like it would end anywhere well.”

She went on to talk about how once, paparazzi tried to force Knightley’s car off the road in an attempt to get some extra money. When she told them to stop because she could accidentally kill someone, they said that they would get paid more if she did. This incident, naturally, deeply troubled the actress.

Also Read: “I felt very stuck”: Keira Knightley Blames Johnny Depp’s $4.5B Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise for Turning Her Into a S*x Symbol at Just 18

What Did Keira Knightley Do After This Episode With The Paparazzi?

After this highly traumatic experience, Keira Knightley took two years where she did not take up any projects. After coming back, the actress decided that she did not want to do big-budget films like Atonement, Anna Karenina, and Star Wars anymore. She did not like the fame that came with them and could not handle it.

Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley

Knighly talking about her two-year acting break, “knew I didn’t want to do big-budget films anymore because the fame that came with them I just couldn’t handle.” 

She, instead, now works on smaller-scale projects like The Edge of Love, Never Let Me Go, and A Dangerous Method after this incident.

Also Read: Johnny Depp Seemingly Has No Intentions to Work With Disney After Amber Heard Scandal

Source: IndieWire

Written by Ananya Godboley

A poet and art enthusiast, Ananya is a striving academic who is pursuing a career in Criminal Psychology. Passionate about History, Philosophy and Literature, she loves to learn about new and interesting subjects.