Keira Knightley has said that she now knows how to deal with stage fright.

The Oscar-winning actress admitted that she used to suffer from crippling nerves on film sets but claims time spent away from movies has helped her to cope with her problem.

She told the Daily Mail: "I discovered that a lot of what I was suffering from on film sets was stage fright. It's easier for me now, and even if I do freeze, I know how to deal with it."

Knightley's latest part comes in the form of the title role in the film Anna Karenina, an adaptation of the classic Leo Tolstoy novel about a tragic aristocrat and socialite.

Knightley - recently engaged to Klaxons band member James Righton - said of her character: "I found her a challenging person. I wanted to shake her and tell her to pull herself together."

She added: "She's a wonderful character, but very strange and complex."