Keira Knightley says she was ‘mocked’ for starring in ‘Bend It Like Beckham’
Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra as Jules Paxton and Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra in the movie ‘Bend It Like Beckham’
One of the most iconic films of our generation – ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ – is etched in everyone’s minds for its depiction on the life of Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra, a young British Asian woman who loves to play football – a passion that her family did not approve of.
This unique plotline and the immaculate storytelling under the direction of Gurinder Chadha has gained a cult following over the years. The film featured Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anupam Kher, Juliet Stevenson, Shaznay Lewis, and Archie Panjabi, among others.
20 years after the release of the blockbuster film, actress Keira Knightley, who is a household name in Hollywood cinema now, has revealed that she was mocked for her role in the film. She played the character of Jules Paxton, Jess’s best friend and a football player herself, who encourages her to join the women’s team and play in tournaments.
The film gave Knightley worldwide recognition and established her as an actress to watch out for. She was recently seen making an appearance at The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon where he reminded her of the film and asked if she ever anticipated that it would become such a massive success.
The 37-year-old surprised everyone with her answer. She said, “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’. 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.”
“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,” she added.
Knightley is an English actress who was born in Teddington, London. She is best known for her roles in several successful films including ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ series.