Keira Knightley Hits London Stage

The 24-year-old Keira Knightley was so nervous before starting rehearsals for The Misanthrope that she wanted to vomit. She survived: on Thursday night she made her stage debut in London's West End. Yet the question, according to The Times of London, is not whether she can act—as one insider crudely put it, "Can the Smile on a Stick hack it?"—but whether hard times in Hollywood are driving screen actors to the stage. As the producer who brought Harry Potter/Daniel Radcliffe to the stage for Equus said, "Twenty years ago if I rang up CAA [the big Hollywood agents] for one of their actors for the stage they would hang up on me," adding "I can do it today and they will take my calls and be considerably politer. They are thinking more about theater."