Keira Knightley recalls appearing in Star Wars: “I was in the background, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open”

Did you know that Keira Knightley was in a Star Wars movie? No, we’re not mistaking the British actress for Daisy Ridley (though a lot of people have pointed out that they look similar (opens in new tab)). We’re talking about Knightley’s role in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, in which she played the body double to Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman).

Speaking to our sister publication Total Film magazine (opens in new tab), Knightley was asked about her time in that fabled galaxy far, far away, as well as her experience in the Pirate of the Caribbean movies. Here’s a small extract from the huge career interview, available in the new issue of Total Film, which is out now. Meanwhile, Knightley will next appear in Misbehaviour, which reaches cinemas Friday, March 13.

TF: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was one of your earliest film experiences. What do you remember about that? 

Knightley: I mean, I was 12. I literally don’t remember… I remember the headdress being so heavy, it gave me a headache. I really remember the headache from one of the headdresses. And I remember being in the background for such a long time that I’d actually fallen asleep. I was just sitting in a chair, and I was in the background, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I really remember that. But apart from that, I don’t remember anything else about it. 

Was the first Pirates Of The Caribbean an overwhelming experience? 

The first Pirates, I was 17. I don’t remember it that well. Overwhelming? Yeah. The problem is, I don’t really know what I remember, and what I just talked about. I know I said that I felt like I was going to get fired. Which sounds like me. But I don’t really remember that feeling. I think I just felt like I was really lucky. I didn’t anticipate that that would mean that I then would just have an amazing career in Hollywood films afterwards. That’s not where I thought my career was going to be. [On the first one] we got left quite alone, because Johnny Depp hadn’t had a commercial success, and a pirate movie hadn’t worked in probably generations, and it was based on a Disney theme park ride. No one was particularly going, “This is going to be a big hit.” So actually, relatively speaking, it was quite a chilled-out set. But when it got to 2 and 3 after that one had made like a billion dollars or whatever it was, I think that’s when it was suddenly a very different thing.

Total Film (opens in new tab) also spoke in detail to Daniel Craig, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas, Rami Malek, and more about No Time To Die. There are two different covers available on newsstands now! Check them both out below:

(Image credit: Universal/Total Film)

(Image credit: Universal/Total Film)

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