Knightley’s breakthrough role was in the English football-themed film, Bend It Like Beckham, which was a major success in its August 2002 UK release, and did fairly at the box office upon its United States release in March 2003, grossing million. After Bend It Like Beckham’s UK release raised her profile, she was cast in the big budget action film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and opened in July 2003 to positive reviews and a high box office gross, becoming one of the biggest hits of summer 2003 and cementing Knightley as a leading actress.Knightley had a role in the British romantic comedy Love Actually, which opened in November 2003.
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I loved the first Star Wars film and my mum was really into it too, that's why I took the part.
But the Force wasn't there when we were filming it, and they didn't have real light sabres, which annoyed me. She is one of the most recognized faces in Hollywood and has appeared in several popular movies including ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ‘Anna Karenina’, ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ and ‘Pride & Prejudice’ among others.
Knightley was cast in the role due to her close resemblance to Natalie Portman, who played Padmé; the two actresses’ mothers had difficulty telling their daughters apart when they were heavily made up. Knightley’s first starring role followed in 2001, when she played the daughter of Robin Hood in a made-for-television Walt Disney Productions feature, Princess of Thieves.
During this time period, Knightley also appeared in The Hole, a thriller that received a direct-to-video release in the United States, and in a mini-series remake of Doctor Zhivago that was first aired in 2002.