By EW Staff
Updated December 05, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Credit: Keira Knightley: Sarah Dunn/CPI/K2

Keira Knightley ranks among 2003’s top breakouts

Hollywood will always have its ingenues, but it’s the rare talent who has the chops to match the charm. ”There are a lot of pretty faces out there, but a lot you don’t believe when the camera goes on,” says ”Pirates of the Caribbean” producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Bubbly turns in a string of hits this year ? ”Bend It Like Beckham,” ”Pirates,” and ”Love Actually” — have helped Knightley woo audiences with her toothy beauty and sweet skills. And we don’t just mean how the 18-year-old dribbles a soccer ball and swings a sword. ”She can act,” says Bruckheimer, who hired Knightley again, to play Guinevere in 2004’s just-wrapped ”King Arthur” (also on tap for the English lass: the period romance ”Tulip Fever,” opposite Jude Law). ”With Keira, you don’t see the wheels turning.” Not surprising given her role models. ”I used to watch Isabelle Adjani in ‘La Reine Margot’ before every difficult scene [I did]. She’s amazing,” Knightley says. ”Katharine Hepburn in ‘The Lion in Winter,’ too.” And sure, that cute mug doesn’t hurt. Quips ”Beckham” director Gurinder Chadha: ”She’s got fabulous cheekbones. Those will do her good.”