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Keira Knightley’s dyslexia cure

Keira Knightley overcame dyslexia by reading a screenplay by actress Emma Thompson. The 26-year-old actress suffers from the learning disability, which affects sufferers’ ability to read, and when she was growing up it had a negative impact on her studies.

Keira Knightley overcame dyslexia by reading a screenplay by actress Emma Thompson.

The 26-year-old actress suffers from the learning disability, which affects sufferers’ ability to read, and when she was growing up it had a negative impact on her studies.

But young Keira idolised Nanny McPhee star Emma, so her mother Sharman MacDonald – who worked with Emma on the 1995 film Sense and Sensibility – used her daughter’s adoration to inspire her to beat the condition.

The Atonement star was given a copy of the Sense and Sensibility script to read by her mum and was told giving up was not an option.

“I’m a huge fan of Emma Thompson, huge! I was – am? – dyslexic and the way my mother got me over it was to say, ‘If Emma Thompson couldn’t read, she’d make sure she’d get over it. So you have to start reading because that’s what Emma Thompson would do.’ ” Keira says.

The actress is one of Hollywood’s hottest young starlets and can next be seen in A Dangerous Method, in which she plays a troubled patient and then student of psychiatrist Carl Jung, who her character falls in love with.

Despite her big screen success, Keira has to endure criticism – especially, she claims, in her native UK – and she admits the attacks against her work do sometimes get to her.

“The Americans are generally a lot more supportive. They generally like the work I do a lot more than they do here (in the UK). It is what it is, I suppose. It could just be that I’m not to a lot of people’s tastes, which is fine. Well, it’s not, obviously. You want to be to everyone’s taste,” she says. “But I think it’s better to do your own thing rather than try to please everyone and just be this mushy thing in the middle. Sometimes it’s like water off a duck’s back and sometimes it really hurts. Then you go away and cry for an hour or so, and then you pick yourself up again.”

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