Gemma Elizabeth Whelan (born 23 April 1981) is an English actress and comedian known for portraying Yara Greyjoy in the HBO fantasy-drama series Game of Thrones. She also plays Kate in all seasons of the comedy Upstart Crow, Detective Eunice Noon on the first season of The End of the F***ing World on Channel 4, and Geraldine on the third season of Killing Eve.
Gemma Elizabeth Whelan
23 April 1981
Early life Edit
As a stand-up comedian, Whelan won the 2010 Funny Women Variety Award. She performed at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe with her show Chastity Butterworth & The Spanish Hamster. In 2014 she recorded a pilot chat show as her character Chastity Butterworth for BBC Radio 4.
On screen, she has played supporting roles in several films and TV shows, including in the 2010 films Gulliver's Travels and The Wolfman. She played Kate (appearing in all 18 main episodes, as well as three Christmas specials) in Ben Elton's BBC Two comedy Upstart Crow, and was a series regular on The End of the F***ing World. She also played roles in other comedies, including Uncle and The Agency.
In August 2011, she was cast as Yara Greyjoy, elder sister of Theon, of House Greyjoy of the Iron Islands, in the HBO fantasy-drama television series Game of Thrones, and appeared as a recurring cast member from the second season onward.
In 2017, she portrayed Karen Matthews in the two-part TV drama The Moorside, based on the 2008 disappearance of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews. In 2019, she appeared as Marian Lister in the BBC drama Gentleman Jack.
In February 2020, a stage adaptation of Upstart Crow opened at the Gielgud Theatre, London, Whelan reprising the role of Kate. Whelan returned to the West End stage as Kate when the play was revived at the Apollo Theatre in 2022.
Personal life Edit
Whelan lives in London with her husband, the comedian and actor Gerry Howell and their two children.
|2006||Madness of the Dance||Sister Grace||Short film|
|2008||Shortbread and Tea||Mildred|
|2009||Ding Dong||Dr. Pretty||Short film|
|2010||The Wolfman||Gwen's Maid|
|Gulliver's Travels||Lilliputian Rose|
|2018||Surviving Christmas with the Relatives||Miranda|
|2009||10 Minute Tales||Pretty Nurse||1 episode|
|2010||The Persuasionists||Josephine||2 episodes|
|Living Doll||Moaning Mona|
|For the Win||Various||Pilot|
|2012||Ruddy Hell! It's Harry & Paul||Daughter||1 episode|
|2012–14, 2016–19||Game of Thrones||Yara Greyjoy||Recurring, 16 episodes|
|2013||The Day They Came to Suck Out Our Brains!||Unknown||Miniseries, 1 episode|
|Nick Helm's Heavy Entertainment||Various|
|Claudia O'Doherty Comedy Blaps||Sarah||Miniseries, 3 episodes|
|2014||Live at the Electric||Chastity Butterworth||3 episodes|
|Badults||Juliet||Series 2, 1 episode: "Neighbours"|
|Mapp and Lucia||Quaint Irene Coles|
|Not Safe for Work||Davina||1 episode|
|Murder in Successville||Nurse Adele||Series 1, 1 episode|
|2016–present||Upstart Crow||Kate||Recurring, 18 episodes and 3 specials|
|2016–2017||Hetty Feather||Ida Battersea|
|2016||Morgana Robinson's The Agency||Kat Cassidy||4 episodes|
|2017||Decline and Fall||Diane Fagan||2 episodes|
|The Moorside||Karen Matthews||Two-part drama|
|The Crown||Patricia Campbell||1 episode|
|Queers: The Perfect Gentleman||Bobby||monologue|
|The End of the F***ing World||Eunice|
|Eat Your Heart with Nick Helm||Herself||1 episode|
|2019||Gentleman Jack||Marian Lister|
|Star vs. the Forces of Evil||Solaria Butterfly (voice)||1 episode|
|2020||White House Farm||Ann Eaton|
|Untitled Pajama Men Project||Glenda||Post-production|
|Killing Eve||Geraldine Martens|
|2021||Inside No. 9||Columbina||"Wuthering Heist"|
|2021-2023||The Tower||Detective Sergeant Sarah Collins||Three-part series|
|2022||DI Ray||DCI Kerry Henderson||Miniseries, 4 episodes|
|2006||Shakespeare for Breakfast||Petruchio||C Venues|
|Celebrity Love Panto Island||Various||Canal Cafe Theatre|
|2008||Red Death Lates||Unknown||Gideon Reeling|
|Improvathon||Bunny Valentine||The Sticking Place|
|2009||Infinite Variety||Various||Whoopee Productions New Players Theatre|
|2010||Stephen & the Sexy Partridge||Chanel||Trafalgar Studios|
|2013||One Man, Two Guvnors||Rachel Crabbe||Royal National Theatre|
|Dark Vanilla Jungle||Andrea||Supporting Wall & Pleasance Theatre|
|Chastity Butterworth & the Spanish Hamster||Chastity Butterworth||Pajama Men Productions|
|2014||Dark Vanilla Jungle||Andrea||Supporting Wall|
|2015||Radiant Vermin||Jill and others||Soho Theatre|
|2019||Pinter Seven: A Slight Ache||Flora||Harold Pinter Theatre|
|2020||The Upstart Crow||Kate||Gielgud Theatre|
Video games Edit
|2014||Dragon Age: Inquisition||/Maryden/Winterwatch Tower Cultist/Redcliffe Soldier/Redcliffe Villager/Emerald Graves Civilian (voices)|
|2015||Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward||Igeyorhm (voice)|
|2017||Mass Effect: Andromeda||Zevin Raeka (voice)|
|2021||Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker||Ameliance (voice)|
|2022||Elden Ring||Lady Tanith (voice)|
|TBA||Squadron 42||Becca Farneway||voice and motion capture|
Short films Edit
|2006||The Blue Door||Caretaker||Short film by ALTER, available to watch on YouTube|
|c. 2011||Like Buses||Girl 1 on bench||Short film dir. by Gary Keller, written by James Acaster, available to watch on YouTube|
Awards and nominations Edit
|2010||Funny Women Awards||Best Variety||Herself||Won|||
|2016||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Game of Thrones||Nominated|||
|2017||WFTV Awards||The MAC Best Performance||Herself||Won|||
- Lash, Jolie. "'Game Of Thrones' Newcomer Gemma Whelan Talks Yara Greyjoy". accessonline.com. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "From King's High to Hollywood". Independent Education Today. 31 March 2018.
- "Alumni Gallery". londonstudiocentre.org. Archived from the original on 24 November 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
- "Funny Women Award Winners". Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
- Hall, Julian (7 August 2013). "Edinburgh Festival 2013: Chastity Butterworth & The Spanish Hamster -". The Independent. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "The Chastity Butterworth Show – Radio 4 Chat Show". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "Gemma Whelan". Spotlight. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- "The Spotlight on ... Gemma Whelan". London is Funny. 18 May 2011. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (6 July 2016). "Game of Thrones' Gemma Whelan on Yara's Sexuality and Freezing on Set". New York magazine.
- Lawson, Mark (17 February 2020). "The Upstart Crow review – authentically Shakespearean right down to the puffling pants". The Guardian.
- "Full cast for The Upstart Crow with David Mitchell announced | WhatsOnStage". www.whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
- Roper, Kerri-Ann (30 November 2018). "Gemma Whelan: 'I'm out pushing my buggy around and I truly look like a bag lady... but it's fine'". Belfast Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235.(subscription required)
- Swift, Andy (7 February 2019). "Disney's Star vs. the Forces of Evil Ending With Season 4". TVLine.
- Mitchinson, James, ed. (14 April 2020). "Whelan 'star-struck' to join the cast of spy thriller Killing Eve". The Yorkshire Post. p. 2. ISSN 0963-1496.
- "The Tower" (PDF). itv.com/presscentre. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
- "Meet the cast of ITV thriller DI Ray". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
- Billington, Michael (12 March 2015). "Radiant Vermin review – Philip Ridley's nightmare tale of a dream home". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
- "Pinter at the Pinter: Pinter Seven". Harold Pinter Theatre official website. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
- "Upstart Crow – The Comedy". Official Show Website. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
- McKenzie, Joi-Marie (29 January 2017). "Screen Actors Guild Awards 2017: Complete Winners List". ABC News. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- Nolfi, Joey (14 December 2016). "SAG Awards nominations 2017: See the full list". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Meet the 2017 Women in Film and Television Award Winners". Women in Film & Television UK. Retrieved 5 August 2019.