Hayley Elizabeth Atwell (born 5 April 1982) is a British and American actress. Born and raised in London, Atwell studied acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and made her stage debut in a 2005 production of James Kerr's translation of the Ancient Greek tragedy Prometheus Bound.
Hayley Elizabeth Atwell
5 April 1982
|Alma mater||Guildhall School of Music and Drama (BA)|
She subsequently appeared in multiple West End productions and on television, and was recognised for her breakthrough role as Lady Elizabeth Foster in The Duchess (2008), for which she was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her leading performance in the miniseries The Pillars of the Earth (2010) earned her a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film.
Atwell rose to international prominence with her portrayal of Agent Peggy Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), a role she reprised in the short film Agent Carter (2013) and the 2015–2016 television series of the same name in addition to other films and live-action and animated series. She also had roles in the war drama Testament of Youth (2014), the romantic fantasy Cinderella (2015), and the fantasy comedy-drama Christopher Robin (2018).
On the stage, Atwell has received Laurence Olivier Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress, for her role in A View from the Bridge (2010), and for Best Actress, for her leading performances in The Pride (2013) and Rosmersholm (2020). In 2020, Atwell began hosting the podcast series True Spies, which aims to give an insight into the world of espionage by asking listeners what they would do in real-life spy situations.
Hayley Elizabeth Atwell was born on 5 April 1982 in London as the only child of her parents; her mother, Allison Cain, is British and her father, Grant Atwell, is an American photographer from Kansas City, Missouri, of Irish and partial Native American descent. Atwell has dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and the United States.
Atwell took two years off to travel with her father and work for a casting director. She then enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she trained for three years, graduating in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in acting.
2005–2013: Early roles and breakthroughEdit
Atwell made her professional debut in 2005, portraying Io, a maiden exiled by Zeus, in Prometheus Bound at the Sound Theatre in London. The British Theatre Guide praised her performance, writing that Atwell "makes us respond to the anguish without for a moment inviting a chuckle at her bandaged hands". The following year, she starred as the protagonist's wife, Bianca, in Women Beware Women at the Royal Shakespeare Company. The Guardian praised Atwell for projecting "the right seductive beauty". Atwell then appeared in two productions at the Royal National Theatre, both directed by Nicholas Hytner. She portrayed Belinda, a SoHo PR worker and one of three love interests, in Man of Mode. Atwell also starred in Major Barbara for which she received an Ian Charleson Commendation. In 2009, Atwell made her West End debut as Catherine, the adopted niece in a troubled household, in Lindsay Posner's A View From the Bridge. Variety praised her for having an "ideal freshness" and girlishness while still able to shift into uncontrolled rage; her performance was later nominated for an Olivier Award.
Atwell's first major on-screen television role came in 2006 with BBC Two's miniseries The Line of Beauty. Later in the year, Atwell appeared as '415' in AMC Television's November 2009 miniseries The Prisoner, a remake of the 1967–68 series by the same name. In 2010 Atwell appeared in Channel 4's adaptation of William Boyd's Any Human Heart, and later that year, Ken Follett's miniseries Pillars of the Earth, which co-starred Eddie Redmayne; for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. In 2013, Atwell starred in BBC Two's adaptation of William Boyd's espionage novel, Restless, before starring in "Be Right Back", an episode in Charlie Brooker's critically acclaimed science fiction television series Black Mirror. Atwell made the transition to film roles early on, with her first major role coming in Woody Allen's 2007 film Cassandra's Dream, playing stage actress Angela Stark. In 2008, she appeared in the film The Duchess, which earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the British Independent Film Awards. Later that year, Atwell appeared in the Miramax film Brideshead Revisited.
Atwell played Agent Peggy Carter in the 2011 American superhero film Captain America: The First Avenger. MTV Networks' NextMovie.com named her one of the "Breakout Stars to Watch for in 2011". Atwell voiced Carter in the 2011 video game Captain America: Super Soldier.
Following a short break from the theatre, Atwell starred in Alexi Kaye Campbell's 2011 production of The Faith Machine, directed by Jamie Lloyd at the Royal Court Theatre. In 2013, Atwell collaborated with Alexi Kaye Campbell and Jamie Lloyd again in a revival of The Pride at Trafalgar Studios; her performance gained her a second Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress. She reprised her role as Carter in the 2013 short film Agent Carter.
2014–present: Further work and recognitionEdit
Atwell returned to Marvel for the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and in the 2015 films Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. As Carter, she appeared in two episodes of the ABC television show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and as the lead role in Marvel's Agent Carter, which aired from 2015 to 2016. Agent Carter was cancelled by ABC on 12 May 2016. She also provided Carter's voice in Lego Marvel's Avengers and Avengers: Secret Wars. In 2015, Atwell played Cinderella's mother in Disney's live action adaptation of Cinderella directed by Kenneth Branagh.
In February 2016, Atwell was cast in the ABC series Conviction. The series aired 13 episodes between October 2016 and January 2017; in May 2017, ABC announced it had been cancelled. Atwell starred as Margaret Schlegel in BBC One's 2017–2018 miniseries, Howards End, based on the classic E.M. Forster novel and adapted by playwright Kenneth Lonergan. In 2018, she played Evelyn Robin, the wife of the titular character in Disney's live action Winnie-the-Pooh film Christopher Robin directed by Marc Forster and co-starring with Ewan McGregor.
Atwell returned to the stage in 2018 in Dry Powder at the Hampstead Theatre and later appeared in Josie Rourke's Measure for Measure at the Donmar Warehouse, opposite Jack Lowden. The production gained critical acclaim, with The Daily Telegraph adding that it was "beautifully staged and expertly performed". As a result of positive reception, the play's run was extended.
In 2019, Atwell starred opposite Tamara Lawrance in a three-part BBC adaptation of Andrea Levy's novel The Long Song, about a slave on a sugar plantation in 19th-century Jamaica. She also reprised the role of Peggy Carter in Avengers: Endgame. In September 2019, it was announced that Atwell will star in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two, both directed by Christopher McQuarrie and scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States in 2023 and 2024, respectively. In 2021, early reviews for Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway revealed Atwell as part of the film's voice cast as Mittens the cat. In 2022, Atwell partnered with The Picturehouse as part of the Picturehouse Ambassador Program as part of her own program Hayley Selects.
In the mediaEdit
Described as the "queen of period-drama" by The Guardian, Atwell has been praised by directors for "the professional example she sets" and her work in period-drama films and television shows. Atwell received an Ian Charleson Commendation for her work in Major Barbara (2009), and has received three Laurence Olivier Award nominations, first for her work in A View from the Bridge (2009), then in 2011 for her work in the revival of The Pride, and once again in 2020 for her performance as Rebecca West in Rosmersholm. Atwell was also nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award for her role in The Pride.
In 2010, Atwell lived in a flat in London. In 2015, she moved to Los Angeles to be close to the production of Agent Carter, although she still retained her personal base in London. During the filming of Captain America: The First Avenger in 2010, Atwell took a three-month course in art history and haiku at the Open University.
In October 2017, at the time of the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, a story emerged that, during filming of Brideshead Revisited in 2007, Weinstein had told Atwell she looked like a "fat pig" on screen and should eat less. Atwell later gave her own memory of events, saying that someone unconnected to Weinstein had suggested she lose weight to look more like a flapper. She also said that she did not believe that Weinstein was a sex addict, but a predator who should be punished for harassing women.
In a 2015 interview, Atwell discussed how her role as Peggy Carter influenced a then-recent tweet she made to her Twitter followers about having her image digitally altered on the cover of a German magazine. When one visitor to her page asked her, "Why are you so beautiful?", she retorted, "Why am I so photoshopped?" In the interview, Atwell stated, "It's important that young girls understand what photoshop is. I do feel a certain amount of responsibility now that I'm playing Peggy."
|Denotes projects that have not yet been released|
|2005||Whatever Love Means||Sabrina Guinness||Television film|
|2006||Fear of Fanny||Jane||Television film|
|The Ruby in the Smoke||Rosa Garland||Television film|
|The Line of Beauty||Catherine "Cat" Fedden||3 episodes|
|2007||Mansfield Park||Mary Crawford||Television film|
|The Shadow in the North||Rosa Garland||Television film|
|2009||The Prisoner||Lucy / 4-15||5 episodes|
|2010||The Pillars of the Earth||Aliena||8 episodes|
|Any Human Heart||Freya Deverell||4 episodes|
|2012||Falcón||Consuelo Jiménez||4 episodes|
|Playhouse Presents||The Banker||Episode: "The Man"|
|Restless||Eva Delectorskaya||2 episodes|
|2013||Black Mirror||Martha||Episode: "Be Right Back"|
|Life of Crime||Denise Woods||3 episodes|
|2014||Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||Peggy Carter||2 episodes|
|2015–2016||Agent Carter||Lead role; 18 episodes|
|2016||Lip Sync Battle||Herself||Episode: "Clark Gregg vs. Hayley Atwell"|
|Return of the Spider Monkeys||Narrator||Documentary television film|
|2016–2017||Conviction||Hayes Morrison||13 episodes|
|2017–2019||Avengers Assemble||Peggy Carter||Voice; 2 episodes|
|2017||Howards End||Margaret Schlegel||Miniseries|
|2018||The Long Song||Caroline Mortimer||Miniseries|
|2018–2019||3Below: Tales of Arcadia||Zadra||Voice; Main role; 17 episodes|
|2019||Criminal: UK||Stacey Doyle||Episode: "Stacey"|
|2021||What If...?||Peggy Carter / Captain Carter||Voice; 2 episodes|
|TBA||Tomb Raider||Lara Croft||Voice; Main role; in development|
|2011||Captain America: Super Soldier||Peggy Carter||Voice role|
|2016||Lego Marvel's Avengers||Peggy Carter||Voice role|
|2005||Prometheus Bound||Io / Force||Sound Theatre|
|2006||Women Beware Women||Bianca||Royal Shakespeare Company|
|2007||The Man of Mode||Belinda||Royal National Theatre|
|2008||Major Barbara||Barbara Undershaft||Royal National Theatre|
|2009||A View from the Bridge||Catherine||Duke of York's Theatre|
|2011||The Faith Machine||Sophie||Royal Court Theatre|
|2013||The Pride||Sylvia||Trafalgar Studios|
|2018||Dry Powder||Jenny||Hampstead Theatre|
|Measure for Measure||Angelo / Isabella||Donmar Warehouse|
|2019||Rosmersholm||Rebecca West||Duke of York's Theatre|
|2006||Doctor Who: Blood of the Daleks||Asha Gryvern||BBC Radio 7|
|2007||Felix Holt, the Radical||Esther Lyon||BBC Radio 4|
|2008||The Leopard||Angelica||BBC Radio 3|
|Doctor Who: The Doomwood Curse||Eleanor||BBC Radio 7|
|2010||Doctor Who: The Whispering Forest||Seksa||BBC Radio 7|
|2013||Doctor Who: The Sands of Life||President Moorkurk|
|2014||The Martian Chronicles||Spender||BBC Radio 4|
|2016||The Magus||Lily||BBC Radio 4|
|2017||Ecco||Jo Miles||BBC Radio 4|
|Cassandra at the Wedding||Cassandra Edwards||BBC Radio 4|
|Ode to Saint Cecilia||St. Cecilia||Augustine Institute Radio Theater|
|2018||The Merchant of Venice||Portia||BBC Radio 3|
Awards and nominationsEdit
- Inverne, James (2 August 2005). "David Oyelowo to Star in London Prometheus Bound". Playbill. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
- "The week in radio and podcasts: True Spies; Floodlines; Iain Lee; Slow Radio – review". the Guardian. 2 May 2020.
- Mesure, Susie (14 November 2010). "Hayley Atwell: Gentlemen swoon, but only on set..." The Independent. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- "Hayley Atwell: Overview". Zimbio. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- Fox, Chloe (17 July 2011). "Action girl: Hayley Atwell interview". The Daily Telegraph.
- Gomez, Patrick (7 January 2015). "5 things to know about Hayley Atwell". People.
- Kellaway, Kate (10 October 2010). "Hayley Atwell: 'The real me is a loner, a nerd and a bit overweight'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
- Fischer, Paul (2008). "Hayley Atwell Brideshead Revisited & The Duchess Interview". Female Magazine. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
- White, Leslie (21 August 2011). "Sizzling for England". Sunday Times. London. p. 6.
- Gilbert, Gerard (15 December 2012). "Hayley Atwell: 'I've turned out all right'". The Independent. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- "Hayley Atwell". Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
- "Prometheus Bound". British Theatre Guide. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
- Bassett, Kate (26 February 2006). "Women Beware Women, Swan Theatre, Stratford". The Independent. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Billington, Michael (24 February 2006). "Women Beware Women". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
- Cripps, Charlotte (29 January 2007). "Preview: The Man Of Mode, National Theatre/Olivier, London". Independent. Archived from the original on 9 May 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
- Benedict, David (6 March 2008). "Major Barbara". Variety. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- "Hayley Atwell joins cast of A View From The Bridge". London Theatre Guide. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Benedict, David (6 February 2009). "A View From the Bridge". Variety. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
- AMC, Press Department (24 July 2008). "Four More Residents of The Village". AMC. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012.
- "BBC – Drama – The Line of Beauty – About The Series". BBC. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Boyd, William (5 November 2010). "William Boyd on filming Any Human Heart". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Thorpe, Vanessa (9 October 2010). "Has Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth got the winning ingredients?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Fox, Chloe (22 December 2012). "On the set of William Boyd's Restless". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Swain, Daniel (12 February 2013). "What Black Mirror Episode Be Right Back Says About Us and Technology". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Miller, Julie (28 March 2017). "Emma Thompson Threatened to Quit a Movie After Her Co-Star Was Asked to Lose Weight". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- "Captain America Movie: Peggy Carter Cast". Marvel.com. 14 April 2010. Archived from the original on 17 April 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- Evry, Max (5 January 2011). "25 Breakout Stars to Watch for in 2011". NextMovie.com. MTV. Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- Shirey, Eric (29 July 2011). "Captain America: Super Soldier Video Game Review". Yahoo Movies. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "Full Cast Announced for The Faith Machine". Royal Court. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Billington, Michael (31 August 2011). "The Faith Machine – review". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Spencer, Charles (14 August 2013). "The Pride, Trafalgar Studios, review". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- "'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' filming begins". Marvel.com. 8 April 2013. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Breznican, Anthony (11 July 2013). "'Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter' -- FIRST LOOK at poster and three photos from the new short!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- Strom, Marc (10 May 2014). "First Details on Marvel's Agent Carter". Marvel.com. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- Jusino, Teresa (13 May 2016). "Agent Carter Cancelled After Two Seasons, Mockingbird Not Flying in Marvel's Most Wanted". The Mary Sue.
- Minor, Jordan (9 October 2015). "Lego Marvel's Avengers bricks the Marvel Cinematic Universe". Geek.com. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- Couto, Anthony (8 December 2016). "NYCC LIVE! Marvel Animation Panel ft. Ultimate Spider-Man, GOTG & More". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- Armitage, Hugh (22 August 2013). "Hayley Atwell joins Kenneth Branagh's 'Cinderella'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- Andreeva, Nellie (10 February 2016). "Agent Carter Star Hayley Atwell To Topline ABC Drama Pilot Conviction". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- Andreeva, Nellie (8 November 2016). "Conviction Not Getting Back Order From ABC; All Existing Episodes Will Air". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- Andreeva, Nellie (11 May 2017). "Imaginary Mary Among Several Freshman Series Canceled By ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
- Lane, Anthony (2 April 2018). "Hayley Atwell on the Superwomen of "Howards End"". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Kroll, Justin (2 August 2017). "'Agent Carter' Star Hayley Atwell Joins Ewan McGregor in Disney's 'Christopher Robin'". Variety. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Trueman, Matt (5 February 2018). "London Theater Review: Hayley Atwell in 'Dry Powder'". Variety. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Billington, Michael (12 October 2018). "Measure for Measure review – sex, power and shock as Atwell and Lowden reverse roles". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Cavendish, Dominic (12 October 2018). "Measure for Measure review, Donmar Warehouse: Shakespeare expertly retooled for the #MeToo era". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- White, Peter (12 July 2018). "Hayley Atwell & Tamara Lawrance To Star In David Heyman's BBC Drama The Long Song". Deadline Hollywood.
- Dowell, Ben (13 July 2018). "Hayley Atwell, Lenny Henry and Tamara Lawrance cast in new BBC period drama The Long Song". Radio Times.
- Carr, Flora (20 December 2018). "When is The Long Song on TV? Who's in the cast and what's it about?". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Robbins, Jason (13 September 2019). "Hayley Atwell Confirmed for Both Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One & 8". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on 20 September 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- Hammond, Peter (23 March 2021). "'Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway' Review: James Corden's Bunny High Jinks Are Back & It Is A Pure Family Delight". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- Soliman, Sarah (23 January 2022). "Launching The Picture House Ambassador Program with Hayley Atwell". ThePicturehouse.org. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
- "Hayley Atwell: Driven and Dangerous New Queen of Period Drama". The Guardian. 10 November 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
- "Laurence Olivier Awards 2010: nominations in full". The Daily Telegraph. 8 February 2010. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
- Cavendish, Dominic (13 April 2014). "Olivier Awards 2014: West End is buzzing -- thanks to the off-West End". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
- "Full List: Winners of the 2014 WhatsOnStage Awards". WhatsOnStage.com. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
- Rafanelli, Stephanie (2 July 2015). "Hayley Atwell: 'I've always felt quite genderless. Which is odd, because I have big boobs'". Evening Standard.
- Vincent, Isabel (8 October 2017). "Harvey Weinstein called 'Captain America's Hayley Atwell 'a fat pig'". Page Six. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
- Todd, Lucy (10 November 2017). "Exclusive: Hayley Atwell calls for 'predator' Weinstein to be punished". BBC. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
- Saner, Emine (10 November 2017). "Hayley Atwell: driven and dangerous new queen of period drama". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
- Hammond, Peter (13 September 2021). "Hayley Atwell to Star in 'Tomb Raider' Anime Series at Netflix". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
- "Drama: Ecco". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
- "Drama: Cassandra at the Wedding". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
- "The 2019 Evening Standard Theatre Awards shortlist in full". www.standard.co.uk. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
- Paskett, Zoe (25 November 2019). "The 2019 Evening Standard Theatre Awards winners in full". www.standard.co.uk. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
- Wood, Alex (3 March 2020). "Olivier Awards 2020 nominees include & Juliet, Dear Evan Hansen, James McAvoy and Andrew Scott | WhatsOnStage". Whats On Stage. Retrieved 30 June 2020.