The 2002 movie Bend It Like Beckham introduced us to Keira Knightley (before Pirates of the Caribbean) and Parminder Nagra (before ER). Written, produced, and directed by Gurinder Chadha, it was a particularly British film that addressed both minority assimilation and women’s sports. The rare rare chick-flick sports film wasn’t expected to be a hit, but it made back over $76 million on a $6 million budget. It had a killer soundtrack, too. There are a lot of interesting things that went on behind the scenes of Bend It Like Beckham.
1. IN AMERICA, IT WAS ALMOST KNOWN AS MOVE IT LIKE MIA.
In 2002, studio executives at Fox Searchlight were concerned that Americans wouldn’t know who David Beckham was, and wouldn’t understand what it meant to “bend” a soccer ball. Fortunately they changed their minds before the film was released after writer-director Gurinder Chadha objected.
4. BOTH PARMINDER NAGRA AND KEIRA KNIGHTLEY DID ALL OF THEIR OWN SOCCER PLAYING.
“I put them into three months solid football training and they had a coach and everyday they would in and train," Chadha told blackfilm.com. "They worked really hard at it. Keira, who plays Jules, got concussions a few times. Parminder really damaged her toes and was too scared to [kick] the ball in case she broke one. They really had to go through the pain barrier like other athletes in order to excel. It’s only when I said ‘We could always use doubles, don’t worry about it,' when the two of them said, ‘No way! We’re definitely going to go for it.’ And they did.”
Read the rest of the 18 facts about Bend It Like Beckham at mental_floss.