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Keira Knightley was mocked for role in ‘Bend it Like Beckham’

The ‘Boston Strangler’ actress revealed her friends made fun of her for taking on the soccer movie.

The ‘Boston Strangler’ actress revealed her friends made fun of her for taking on the soccer movie.
Karwai TangWireImage

As Keira Knightley’s latest movie, ‘Boston’ Strangler’, hits Hulu on Friday, the actress is reflecting on past roles — including her film, ‘Bend it Like Beckham’, which was released in 2002.

Knightley said that when she accepted the role as a teenager, she didn’t think twice about playing the role — but her friends did. The actress told Jimmy Fallon that her friends mocked her for playing the role of soccer star Jules Paxton.

The 37-year-old actress was 18 when the film was released in the United States. ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ was produced on a $5.6 million budget and grossed $76.6 million worldwide.

Keira Knightley the soccer champ

The famous 2002 soccer comedy-drama, directed by Gurinder Chadha and written by Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges, and Guljit Bindra, portrays a young Indian girl, Jess Bhamra, played by Parminder Nagra, who isn’t allowed to play soccer because of her strict parents.

Enter Jules Paxton, played by Keira Knightley, the talented soccer star who convinces Jess to join her semi-pro team.

Knightley reflects on the criticism

The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ actress said her pals weren’t impressed with the role.

Knightley revealed on the ‘The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ that she was mocked by her friends for making a movie about a young female soccer star.

“Women’s soccer was not as big back then,” Knightley said.

“I literally remember telling people that I was doing it, and saying, ‘It’s called ‘Bend it Like Beckham,’’ and them going, ‘Oh, that’s really embarrassing.’”

“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.”

“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.”


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