Keira Knightley has said she suffered a breakdown when she was 22, after she ''lost confidence'' in herself following criticism about her career.

The 33-year-old actress who found fame as a teenager with roles in movies including Bend It Like Beckham, Love Actually, and Pirates of the Caribbean, admits negative comments over her work and her changing body left her ''broken''.

Speaking to Balance magazine, Knightley said:  ''I was at a time in my life when I was still becoming. Like most young people, I hadn't quite found who I was or what I was about. My body was changing, and I didn't even know how I felt about myself and what I looked like.

"Yet all of a sudden, people were being very vocal with their views on me as a young woman and as an actress. I lost confidence in myself because I was made to feel that I didn't deserve to be doing what I was doing.

''Looking back, that whole period between 19 and 23 is a big blur. I don't remember it in a linear way because I think my coping mechanisms were kicking in and shutting a lot of it out.

''My world crashed when I was 22. Everything stopped working and I felt as if I was broken into tiny pieces; as if my brain was literally shattered.''

Actors (L-R) Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom arrive at the European Premiere of 'Pirates Of The Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest' at Odeon Leicester Square on July 3, 2006

Knightley said she wasn't sure if she'd return to acting following her breakdown, but after taking a year off to travel, she found herself wanting to go back.

''There was a very big question mark over whether I was ever going to go back to work, but I've always loved acting; it's just everything else that comes with it that I was struggling with.''

Colette is in cinemas now

Knightley can currently be seen in Colette alongside  Dominic West and Eleanor Tomlinson.

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