Page last updated at 08:23 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Knightley's fear over stage debut

By Rebecca Jones
Arts correspondent, BBC News

Keira Knightley
Knightley said being on stage was 'incredibly fulfilling'

Actress Keira Knightley has admitted that she expects to be "burned alive" by critics following her West End debut later this week.

The 24-year-old Atonement and Pirates of the Caribbean star is making her professional stage debut in a revival of Moliere's The Misanthrope.

She told the BBC: "I'm not coming into it with any great expectations of coming away with great reviews."

The play opens at the Comedy Theatre on Thursday and runs until 13 March.

'Give it a go'

The production, adapted by playwright Martin Crimp, moves the action from 17th Century Paris to modern-day London.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Knightley explained why she had decided to appear on stage.

"I thought if I don't do theatre right now, I think I'm going to start being too terrified to do it," she said. "So I just thought, okay, dive in and give it a go."

Knightley, who stars alongside Damian Lewis and Tara Fitzgerald, admitted she was taking a risk, but added: "If my best isn't good enough, then so be it."

She added that the experience had so far been "extraordinary and incredibly fulfilling".

Knightley is the latest star to swap the screen for the stage, joining a list that includes Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Kevin Spacey and the Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe.

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