Keira Knightley could only take 12 hours of Twitter

Keira Knightley, seen in September, is currently filming Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
Keira Knightley, seen in September, is currently filming Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

Keira Knightley only lasted a day on Twitter. The 28-year-old actress signed up under a pseudonym but couldn't quite cope.

"It made me feel a little bit like being in a school playground and not being popular and standing on the sidelines kind of going, 'Argh'," the star of Pirates of the Caribbean and Atonement tells Harpers Bazaar in their February issue.

Knightley has been in the industry for 20 years, yet is notoriously private. In fact, in 2008 after winning a lawsuit against a tabloid that claimed she was anorexic, she took a break.

Keira on the cover of Harper's Bazaar February issue.
Keira on the cover of Harper's Bazaar February issue.

"I literally had no life outside of acting, and I just wanted to go off and not be 'on' all the time, not be photographed, " she told Vogue in 2012. "I once went to the Glastonbury music festival and was completely surrounded by packs of paparazzi the entire time, so I ended up sitting in a trailer, unable to go out."

She had been working relentlessly, starring in 15 films in just five years. "I wish I hadn't been [such a hard worker]," she tells Harpers. "Life would have been so much easier."

But, taking time out and learning to "chill out an awful lot" has been a big lesson.

"[I was] spending so much time being neurotic and beating myself up [that I thought] actually, if I didn't, I might get further by just going, 'Oh, f--k it'."

Back in the game, she still attempts to maintain normalcy in her life.

"I like being private," she says. "I haven't asked a lot of the actresses who I really admire, 'How do you do it?' because I don't want to know. Maybe I'm childish in that way; I just don't want to know about your life."

Keeping a level of insulation as well learning to relax also means a shift in her approach to movie-making.

She is currently filming Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which she describes as "a piece of popcorn" kind of movie.

"Sometimes," she explains, "people need pieces of popcorn, and sometimes people need to make pieces of popcorn."

The film is being directed by her hero, Kenneth Branagh, who she says has made the process of making a blockbuster-style film enjoyable. "He was like, 'Don't feel guilty ... it's going to be a Hollywood action film, that's what it's going to be, and that's fine.' It was quite liberating hearing him say that."

But Knightley wonders whether next up she might ditch the acting altogether and try her hand at directing instead.

"As I get older I get more interested by it ... There is a lot of 'You do what you're told' [as an actor]. After watching it and being part of it for so long, you start going, 'I wonder if there is a journey to the other side.' I don't know if there is, but I'm interested in seeing people who have done it."

In the interview, the recently married star also opens up about being a wife to musician James Righton of the Klaxons.

"These words that you think beforehand, 'That's the reason I'll never do it'... those words that you see as completely negative, and you suddenly see them as being incredibly positive, and that's actually quite liberating and quite nice."

- Fairfax News Australia