She requested an agent as early as the age of three and got one when she turned six, from her mother as a reward for studying hard.
She trained for several weeks in archery, sword fighting, and horse riding.
Later in 1999, she appeared as Rose in Oliver Twist.
Knightley’s first starring role followed in 2001, when she played the daughter of Robin Hood in the made-for-television Walt Disney Productions feature, Princess of Thieves.
During this time, Knightley also appeared in The Hole, a thriller that received a direct-to-video release in the United States.
The film has been Knightley’s greatest critical flop to date.
She said of her character, “The beauty of Elizabeth is that every woman who ever reads the book seems to recognize herself, with all her faults and imperfections.
If you give an actress who is even remotely good the chance to play a fantastic character like that, they are going to revel in it.” Variety wrote about her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet: “Looking every bit a star, Knightley, who’s shown more spirit than acting smarts so far in her career, really steps up to the plate here, holding her own against the more classically trained Matthew Macfadyen, as well as vets like Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Penelope Wilton, and Judi Dench with a luminous strength that recalls a young Audrey Hepburn.She began acting as a child and came to international notice in 2002 after co-starring in the film Bend It Like Beckham.Knightley had loved the book since she was seven, and with her first cheque for acting she bought a doll’s house of the hero’s mansion.Knightley also received an Evening Standard Award nomination for the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress.A year later, she had a small role in the movie A Village Affair.She appeared in a miniseries adaptation of Doctor Zhivago which first aired in 2002 to mixed reviews but high ratings. in the same month, Knightley was voted by readers of Hello.