Keira Knightley was born on March 22, 1985 to actor/playwright parents in London, England. When she was three years old, she asked her mother for an agent, feeling jealous that she never received the same amount of calls that her parents did. At age six, the Knightleys finally agreed to let their daughter have an agent, provided that she'd study every day during summer holidays.
This was no small feat for little Keira, who suffers from dyslexia; however, she came through. Although her parents had envisioned a more secure career for their daughter, Keira started receiving various acting jobs. Schooling at a nearby comprehensive establishment remained her focal point, but, little by little, acting as a career became a reality. Pursuing artistic integrity and the satisfaction derived from taking on role after role, Keira's hard work paid off at an early age. European made-for-TV movies and shows started to dot her resume by the time she was eleven years old, but it was a stroke of luck that helped her along the way.
Thanks to hard work and a striking resemblance to Natalie Portman, Knightley was cast as Portman's handmaiden in Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace. Her small performance turned out to be very memorable, making audiences in both the UK and the U.S. take notice. After the release of the film in 1999, Knightley portrayed Rose Fleming in an Oliver Twist TV miniseries .
After Star Wars and Oliver Twist, things only improved. In 2001, she starred in the successful British film The Hole, and spent three months in Slovakia and Prague filming a 2002 TV version of Dr. Zhivago, in which she played Lara. All this came before her 18th birthday. But it was her other project in 2002 that became her breakthrough role. Keira starred in Bend It Like Beckham, a hugely popular British comedy whose unexpected success has been likened to that of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. No longer an underground hit, the film made it big in American box offices.
The summer of 2003 ushered in the release of the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, with Keira as the romantic lead alongside Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom. A number of upcoming movies with high profiles will mean that Keira will be stealing the spotlight for some time to come.
Keira Knightley Says...
"I can't see myself moving to California in the foreseeable future. There's a lot of pressure to fit in as far as weight goes. I don't think that's particularly healthy."