Keira Knightley says she does not expect her West End debut to gather much acclaim from critics.
The 24-year-old actress professionally appeared on the stage for the first time in a revival of Moliere's The Misanthrope. The play opened at the Comedy Theatre on Thursday and will continue running till March 13, 2010.
The production, adapted by Martin Crimp, moves the scene of action from 17th Century Paris to present day London. Knightley plays an ambitious American film star, the love interest of a British playwright played by Band Of Brothers and Life actor Damian Lewis, who leads the cast, reports The Telegraph.
Lewis, 38, plays the ''misanthrope'' Alceste, who is disillusioned and angry with hypocrisy and vows to reject society.
But his plans are derailed when he falls madly in love with Jennifer (Knightley), a darling of the social scene.
Meanwhile, the Pirates of the Caribbean star says she is just focussing on her performance.
'I'm not coming into it with any great expectations of coming away with great reviews,' the BBC quoted Knightley, as saying
Explaining why she decided to foray into theatre, she said: 'I thought if I don't do theatre right now, I think I''m going to start being too terrified to do it...So I just thought, okay, dive in and give it a go.'
She added: 'If my best isn't good enough, then so be it.'
She also revealed that her experience so far had been 'extraordinary and incredibly fulfilling'.
Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters