Keira Knightley opens up about her career which left her 'exhausted' and filled with self doubt

'I was never good enough'

Keira Knightley
(Image credit: Getty)

Keira Knightley has forged an impressive, and very successful, career on the big screen. 

The 37-year-old actor has starred in The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which has seen her take on the leading role of Elizabeth Swann alongside co-star Johnny Depp, as well as Bend It Like Beckham, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, and many more. 

However, Keira has opened up about her career struggles, as she was plagued with the feeling she was "never good enough", and was left feeling "exhausted" trying to prove herself. 

Speaking in the April issue of Harper's Bazaar UK, 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."

Despite being left tired and worn out, Keira is "in awe" of her younger self, which she wants to try and get back to. 

She added: "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."

Keira's first foray into the entertainment business was in 1993, aged just eight years old. 

But the award-winning star thinks kickstarting her career at an early age, as well as the fame and recognition in those early years forced her to grow up quicker. 

She shared: "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."

Keira has daughters, Edie and Delilah with husband James Righton, but trying to juggle her career and motherhood has proved challenging. 

She shared: "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."

Maisie Bovingdon

Maisie is a writer and editor, covering Royal News, Showbiz, Lifestyle content, as well as Shopping Writing and E-Commerce, for print and digital publications, including Marie Claire, Hello!, Fabulous, Mail Online and Yahoo!.