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Keira Knightley on her daughter's name, loving her body after motherhood and her “crap” twenties

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Three months after giving birth to her first child, Keira Knightley has revealed her baby's name - Edie.

The 30-year-old has spoken about motherhood for the first time, after keeping most of her pregnancy under wraps and choosing to not make a public announcement of the birth of her baby girl. 

Speaking about the effect her daughter is having on her, the star tells American Elle magazine, “The love thing is astonishing. It's a very primal, primal love. That's quite extraordinary. And the ability to have no sleep and continue going. It's not pleasant - I never thought that I could actually do it for the amount of time that I've done it.”

“Also, I have to say, as a woman, you hate certain parts of your body. You go through those periods where you look in the mirror and you think, 'Oh, if only I had different legs or arms or whatever'. You go through pregnancy and labour and then feeding the kid and you go, Wow, my body is totally amazing, and I'm never going to not like it again, because it did this, and this is f**king extraordinary.”

With husband and musician James Righton at the Oscars in February 2015

With husband and musician James Righton at the Oscars in February 2015

The actress talks about how she spent most of her twenties feeling shy and unconfident. 

“My twenties were pretty crap,” says Knightley. “My career was absolutely amazing; in fact, I don't think my career will ever get better than it was in my late teens, early twenties. But as a person, you're changing so much and you're trying to figure stuff out. Some people go wild and have a great time and throw caution to the wind, and I was the complete opposite. I was very shy.

“It took me a lot of years to try and stop pleasing a lot of people and allow myself to have fun. It's the difficult thing of getting out of your own head. To stop going, 'Oh, there's something I should be doing, there's a way I should be behaving, I should be dressing.' All of those shoulds, you can drown in them.”

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The actress says she turned to therapy for support. “Oh, f**k, yeah! I've totally done therapy. I highly recommend it. I don't do it at the moment. But in my early twenties when I found everything completely overwhelming, 100 percent, I did it!”

“I think when you're in those moments in your life, and you want to get through them [...] you have to do whatever it is to help you get over it. You have to give it a go. Try anything that might help.”

Knightley at the 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest' premiere in 2006

Knightley at the 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest' premiere in 2006

The star, who turned 30 in March this year, says the milestone birthday celebrations weren't what she expected. Being heavily pregnant - “I couldn't drink—what is the point of having a 30th birthday if I couldn't get phenomenally drunk?” - Knightley's husband musician James Righton, 31, arranged a lunch at her favourite restaurant with 20 of her closest friends followed by an after-party at their house which was decorated in balloons that said her name and happy birthday.

“They got completely obliterated. They were there until two or three in the morning, absolutely drunk, and I was there eight months pregnant, completely sober,” she says. “So it was lovely, but it wasn't what I'd imagined a 30th birthday was going to be.”

At her last public appearance in February, with 'The Imitation Game' co-star Benedict Cumberbatch

At her last public appearance in February, with 'The Imitation Game' co-star Benedict Cumberbatch

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Earlier this year, while promoting her latest film The Imitation Game, the actress said she won't allow traditional gender stereotypes to influence her child's upbringing. 

“I think it's very important to raise boys who are feminists and very important to raise girls who don't expect Prince Charming and allow men to be emotional and weak at points and strong at points,” Knightley told The Los Angeles Times in January. “We're looking for equality and not gender stereotypes. But the real answer is...I don't know. It's one of the thousand million intimidating things I'm thinking about lately.”

On the possibility of becoming a mother after she married Klaxons frontman, Righton, in 2013, Knightley told Vogue:  “Would I want to be a stay-at-home mother? No. On the other hand, you should be allowed to do that, as should men, without being sneered at.”

Knightley married Klaxons frontman, Righton, two years ago in a low-key ceremony in the south of France. She famously wore a Chanel tulle dress which she already had hanging in her closet.

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Words: Sejal Kapadia; Images: Rex Features, Getty

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