Keira Knightley reveals she was 'mocked' for Bend it Like Beckham
2023/11/17

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Just days after the 20th anniversary of the American release of Bend it Like Beckham, reveals she was 'mocked' for taking on the role.

The 37-year-old actress was just 18 when the film was released in the United States, earning $76.6 million worldwide from just a $5.6 million budget.

The role was quite the breakthrough for Knightley, who started acting when she was just six years old, though she revealed on The Tonight Show on Wednesday that she was 'mocked' for the role.

Knightley was promoting her new role in the upcoming film Boston Strangler, where she plays reporter Loretta McLaughlin, who first broke the story and connected the seemingly unrelated killings.

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While addressing her early career, Jimmy Fallon mentioned it was just the 20th anniversary of Bend it Like Beckham, though the actress reveals her friends were not impressed with the role.

Mocked: Just days after the 20th anniversary of the American release of Bend it Like Beckham, Keira Knightley reveals she was 'mocked' for taking on the role

Not impressed: While addressing her early career, Jimmy Fallon mentioned it was just the 20th anniversary of Bend it Like Beckham, though the actress reveals her friends were not impressed with the role

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When asked if she knew that the film would be her breakout, Knightley said that was never a thought.

'No. No no, I mean, I literally remember telling people that I was doing it, and saying, you know, "It's called 'bend it like Beckham,' and them going, "Oh, that's really embarrassing,"' Knightley said.

'Yeah, yeah no, they were all like, "Don't worry. Nobody will see it it's fine." But it was the idea of it, because you know women's soccer was not as big back then,' Knightley explained.

'The idea of the whole thing was sort of ridiculous and it's amazing, because it's still the film, even today, you know, if somebody comes up and talks to me about my work, it's that one. It's so loved, it's amazing,' Knightley admitted.

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Bend it Like Beckham followed two girls (Knightley and Jesminder Bhamra) trying to pursue a career in soccer despite the wishes of their parents.

The film lead to roles in Pirates of the Caribbean and Love Actually, which also both hit theaters in 2003 and effectively launched her career after her Bend it Like Beckham breakthrough.

She also discussed her new film Boston Strangler, following her character Loretta McLaughlin and Carrie Coon's Jean Cole, as they hunt down the Strangler.

When asked how much of the true story she knew, Knightley said, ' I didn't really know very much so, I'd obviously heard of it.'

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Never: When asked if she knew that the film would be her breakout, Knightley said that was never a thought

Two girls: Bend it Like Beckham followed two girls (Knightley and Jesminder Bhamra) trying to pursue a career in soccer despite the wishes of their parents

New film: She also discussed her new film Boston Strangler, following her character Loretta McLaughlin and Carrie Coon's Jean Cole, as they hunt down the Strangler

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'I just sort of read the script. I thought, "Whoa, this is such a complicated story. And so interesting,"' she added.

'And what I didn't realize, was that there are these two female journalists right at the center of the story and actually, when you Google it, you know, they were the two that really, kind of, went after it they first linked the killings they even named the killer, "The Boston strangler." And yet, when you Google it, their, kind of, part of that history has largely been erased,' she added.

She continued, 'It felt like a really interesting -- you know it's a a true crime - crime piece. It felt -- it felt cool to, kind of, see it through that female gaze, and to put these two journalists, sort of, in the center of it.

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When Fallon asked if she did a Boston accent for the film, she said she didn't, and Fallon added, 'That's a smart move.'

She added, 'Well, I wanted to do the Boston accent,' but the director was from Boston and told her not to do it.

'I mean, if you weren't from the street that the character was from in Boston, you were not allowed to do the Boston accent so, every single actor went in going, "Boston accent! It's our time,' she said.

Knightley added, 'Yeah, yeah, no, we were not allowed. So it's a standard American accent.'

Boston Strangler, from writer-director Matt Ruskin, also stars Chris Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and David Dastmalchian, debuting on Hulu March 17.

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Complicated: 'I just sort of read the script. I thought, "Whoa, this is such a complicated story. And so interesting,"' she added

No accent: She added, 'Well, I wanted to do the Boston accent,' but the director was from Boston and told her not to do it

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