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Why Keira Knightley Fell Asleep While Filming Star Wars

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, episode one of Star Wars couldn't hold a young star's attention.

One of the least popular Star Wars films wasn't even engrossing enough for people on its set, including a huge star that some people might not even remember was in the film. Throughout The Phantom Menace, a young Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman) masquerades as one of her own handmaidens to protect her identity, with one of her maids standing in as a fake Queen to throw off any attackers. That stand-in queen is played by an equally famous name — Keira Knightley, who would go on to appear in everything from Love Actually to the Pirates of the Caribbean films in the years that followed.

However, shooting The Phantom Menace apparently wasn't all that exciting for Knightley. In an interview with TotalFilm magazine (as reported by its sister site GamesRadar), Knightley admitted that she fell asleep on set — more than once — while filming the first Star Wars prequelHere's what Knightley had to say about taking several snoozes on set.

Keira Knightley's on-set space naps

As Knightley told TotalFilm, she was a preteen during the filming of The Phantom Menace, and long days and tough working conditions simply wore her out. 

When asked about her experience on the Star Wars set, Knightley admitted, "I mean, I was 12. I literally don't remember... I remember the headdress being so heavy, it gave me a headache. I really remember the headache from one of the headdresses. And I remember being in the background for such a long time that I'd actually fallen asleep. I was just sitting in a chair, and I was in the background, but I couldn't keep my eyes open. I really remember that. But apart from that, I don't remember anything else about it."

Knightley was definitely quite young during her time on The Phantom Menace, but considering that most fans probably forgot she was even in the movie, it stands to reason that she doesn't have many memories of her time on the project either.