Teenage movie sensation Keira Knightley is turning gender bender - she's in talks to star as a cross-dresser in an upcoming film project.

The Pirates Of The Caribbean: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL actress, 18, is currently reading through a script for SOLDIER GIRL, the story of a young woman who disguises herself as a boy during the American Civil War.

Director and writer CATHERINE HARDWICKE - whose controversial teen drama THIRTEEN has just hit cinemas - hopes to persuade Knightley to accept the role, which will start filming after her other projects are completed.

Hardwicke says, "Keira read it and we're hoping she'll appear if she finishes all her other projects.

"It's a true story of a girl who disguised herself as a man for two years to fight in the war for a cause she believed in."

04/11/2003 16:57