'Literally shattered': Star 'broke down' over criticism

Publish Date
Thursday, 10 January 2019, 1:14PM

Keira Knightley suffered a breakdown when she was 22, after she "lost confidence" in herself following criticism about her career.

The 33-year-old actress shot to fame as a teenager with roles in movies including 'Bend It Like Beckham', 'Love Actually', and 'Pirates of the Caribbean', and has said criticism over her career and her changing body left her "broken", and eventually led to her suffering a mental breakdown when she was just 22 years old.

She said: "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.

"Looking back, that whole period between 19 and 23 is a big blur. 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."

The 'Colette' star wasn't sure if she'd return to acting following her breakdown, but after taking a year off to travel, she found herself itching to get back on set.

She added to Balance magazine: "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."

It isn't the first time Keira has mentioned her battle with her mental health either, as she said last October the breakdown left her with post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said at the time: "I did have a mental breakdown at 22, so I did take a year off there and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder because of all of that stuff. I went deep into therapy and all of that, and she [the therapist] said, 'It's amazing - I normally come in here and have people that think people are talking about them and they think that they're being followed, but actually they're not. You're the first person that actually that is happening to!'"

-Bang! Showbiz