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Keira Knightley Says She Fell Asleep While Filming Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Keira Knightley had a small role in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and the actress says she fell asleep while filming it.


Do you remember Keira Knightley being in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace? That’s right, the young actress played Queen Amidala’s (Natalie Portman) handmaiden as well as her decoy, Sabe. While it wasn’t technically her first role in a movie, it was certainly her biggest at the time.

When asked by Total Film magazine about her experience on the blockbuster, Knightley remembers being very uncomfortable, explaining that:

“I mean, I was 12. I literally don’t remember,” she shared. “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.”

So, she’s saying Hollywood isn’t as glamorous as we think, right? Knightley has always been refreshingly candid about her experiences in the industry and once recalled an embarrassing moment in Love Actually where she had to wear a hat in a scene because she had a giant zit on her forehead. She also said recently that after having two daughters, she’s done doing nude scenes due to her body changing after the two pregnancies.

Though the actress quickly rose to prominence in a number of big movies like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, King Arthur and Love Actually, she’s also the queen of costume dramas from her work in Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, The Duchess and Anna Karenina. But for the last seven years, she’s appeared in a number of interesting smaller ensembles like Begin Again, Laggies and Everest. And she was terrific in last year’s under-seen spy thriller, Official Secrets.

Her upcoming projects will continue that run of character-driven stories in movies, too. She’ll appear in Silent Night and Misbehaviour, which tells the true tale of a group of women in 1970 who aim to disrupt the Miss World beauty competition in London.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is not remembered fondly, of course, but going back to see young actors like Knightley in it who went on to become bigger stars is always interesting.

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Ryan Beltram