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 Whelan
Whelan at Antwerp Convention 2014
Gemma Elizabeth Whelan

(1981-04-23) 23 April 1981 (age 42)
Occupation(s)Actress, comedian
Years active2005–present
SpouseGerry Howell

Early life Edit

Whelan was born in Leeds and grew up in the Midlands.[1] She attended The King's High School for Girls in Warwick[2] and the London Studio Centre.[3]

Career Edit

Whelan at the End of the Road Festival, 2013

As a stand-up comedian, Whelan won the 2010 Funny Women Variety Award.[4] She performed at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe with her show Chastity Butterworth & The Spanish Hamster.[5] In 2014 she recorded a pilot chat show as her character Chastity Butterworth for BBC Radio 4.[6]

On screen, she has played supporting roles in several films and TV shows, including in the 2010 films Gulliver's Travels[7] and The Wolfman.[7] She played Kate (appearing in all 18 main episodes, as well as three Christmas specials) in Ben Elton's BBC Two comedy Upstart Crow,[7] and was a series regular on The End of the F***ing World.[7] She also played roles in other comedies, including Uncle and The Agency.[7]

In August 2011, she was cast as Yara Greyjoy,[8] elder sister of Theon, of House Greyjoy of the Iron Islands, in the HBO fantasy-drama television series Game of Thrones,[8] and appeared as a recurring cast member from the second season onward.[9]

In 2017, she portrayed Karen Matthews in the two-part TV drama The Moorside,[7] based on the 2008 disappearance of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews. In 2019, she appeared as Marian Lister in the BBC drama Gentleman Jack.[7]

In February 2020, a stage adaptation of Upstart Crow opened at the Gielgud Theatre, London, Whelan reprising the role of Kate.[10] Whelan returned to the West End stage as Kate when the play was revived at the Apollo Theatre in 2022.[11]

Personal life Edit

Whelan lives in London with her husband, the comedian and actor Gerry Howell and their two children.[12]

Filmography Edit

Film Edit

Year Title Role Notes
2006 Madness of the Dance Sister Grace Short film
2007 Frites Marie-Anne 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
2016 Prevenge Len
2018 Surviving Christmas with the Relatives Miranda
2020 Emma Mrs. Weston

Television Edit

Year Title Role Notes
2006 The Enforcers Holly
2009 10 Minute Tales Pretty Nurse 1 episode
2010 The Persuasionists Josephine 2 episodes
2011 Threesome Wendy 1 episode
Living Doll Moaning Mona
For the Win Various Pilot
2012 Ruddy Hell! It's Harry & Paul Daughter 1 episode
Cardinal Burns Claire
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
Siblings Ruth
Badults Juliet Series 2, 1 episode: "Neighbours"
Mapp and Lucia Quaint Irene Coles
2014–present Almost Royal Narrator
2015 Uncle Veronica 2 episodes
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–present Horrible Histories Various
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[13]
2020 White House Farm Ann Eaton
Untitled Pajama Men Project Glenda Post-production
Killing Eve Geraldine Martens[14]
2021 Inside No. 9 Columbina "Wuthering Heist"
2021-2023 The Tower Detective Sergeant Sarah Collins Three-part series[15]
2022 DI Ray DCI Kerry Henderson Miniseries, 4 episodes[16]

Stage Edit

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Newsrevue Various Edinburgh Festival
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[17] Jill and others Soho Theatre
2019 Pinter Seven: A Slight Ache[18] Flora Harold Pinter Theatre
2020 The Upstart Crow[19] Kate Gielgud Theatre

Video games Edit

Year Title Role Notes
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

Year Title Role Notes
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

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2010 Funny Women Awards Best Variety Herself Won [4]
2016 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Game of Thrones Nominated [20][21]
2017 WFTV Awards The MAC Best Performance Herself Won [22]

References Edit

  1. ^ Lash, Jolie. "'Game Of Thrones' Newcomer Gemma Whelan Talks Yara Greyjoy". Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  2. ^ "From King's High to Hollywood". Independent Education Today. 31 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Alumni Gallery". Archived from the original on 24 November 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Funny Women Award Winners". Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  5. ^ Hall, Julian (7 August 2013). "Edinburgh Festival 2013: Chastity Butterworth & The Spanish Hamster -". The Independent. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  6. ^ "The Chastity Butterworth Show – Radio 4 Chat Show". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Gemma Whelan". Spotlight. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  8. ^ a b "The Spotlight on ... Gemma Whelan". London is Funny. 18 May 2011. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011.
  9. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer (6 July 2016). "Game of Thrones' Gemma Whelan on Yara's Sexuality and Freezing on Set". New York magazine.
  10. ^ Lawson, Mark (17 February 2020). "The Upstart Crow review – authentically Shakespearean right down to the puffling pants". The Guardian.
  11. ^ "Full cast for The Upstart Crow with David Mitchell announced | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ Swift, Andy (7 February 2019). "Disney's Star vs. the Forces of Evil Ending With Season 4". TVLine.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "The Tower" (PDF). Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Meet the cast of ITV thriller DI Ray". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Pinter at the Pinter: Pinter Seven". Harold Pinter Theatre official website. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Upstart Crow – The Comedy". Official Show Website. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  20. ^ McKenzie, Joi-Marie (29 January 2017). "Screen Actors Guild Awards 2017: Complete Winners List". ABC News. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  21. ^ Nolfi, Joey (14 December 2016). "SAG Awards nominations 2017: See the full list". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  22. ^ "Meet the 2017 Women in Film and Television Award Winners". Women in Film & Television UK. Retrieved 5 August 2019.

External links Edit