Keira Knightley has been a big name in Hollywood for close to two decades, but the actress is still only 35 years old. Indeed, she was just seventeen when her breakout film Bend it Like Beckham was released, with the sports comedy going on to earn over $100 million at the box office on a budget of $6 million.
By the time she’d turned 21, Knightley was a household name after starring in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl and Love Actually, both of which were major hits in markedly different genres, while she’d also proven herself as an acclaimed dramatic talent by picking up an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in Pride & Prejudice.
Experiencing such huge success at a young age often causes actors to reevaluate their priorities at a much earlier stage of their career than many of their contemporaries, and over the last decade, Knightley has largely shied away from blockbusters and big budget studio efforts in favor of smaller and more challenging projects.
She revealed several years ago that she has a no-nudity clause written into her contracts, too, based on a combination of becoming a mother and the fact that she frequently filmed sex scenes during her younger days. And in a new interview, the Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit star admitted she’d be willing to do a love scene under the right circumstances, just not for a male director.
“It’s partly vanity and also it’s the male gaze. I feel very uncomfortable now trying to portray the male gaze. I’m too vain and the body has had two children now and I’d just rather not stand in front of a group of men naked. I don’t have an absolute ban, but I kind of do with men.”
You can understand where she’s coming from, especially with the rise of the #MeToo movement forcing the industry to completely rethink the way it approaches those sort of dynamics on set, and Keira Knightley is more than a big enough star to simply turn down an offer if it doesn’t match her personal requirements.