Keira Knightley was mocked by friends for signing up for Bend It Like Beckham

Keira Knightley’s friends thought nobody would see Bend It Like Beckham, which went on to be her breakthrough role.

Keira Knightley has revealed she was mocked by friends when she told them she had booked Bend It Like Beckham.

During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the Pirates of the Caribbean star was asked if she had any idea the sports comedy would be such a big hit and launch her to stardom back in 2002.

In response, she revealed that her friends thought the title and concept of the film, which follows two girls trying to forge soccer careers, were “sort of ridiculous”.

“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,'” she recalled. “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 and so the idea of the whole thing was sort of ridiculous.”

The British comedy, directed by Gurinder Chadha, starred Parminder Nagra and Knightley as Jess and Jules, who want to become professional soccer players.

And despite going on to star in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and films such as King Arthur, Anna Karenina, and Love Actually, Knightley still gets approached the most about her breakthrough role.

“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 gushed.

Knightley appeared on the show to promote her new movie, Boston Strangler, which is released on Hulu and Disney+ on Friday.

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