Vanessa Kirby (born 18 April 1988) is an English actress. For her role as Princess Margaret in the Netflix drama series The Crown (2016–2017), she won the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress and earned a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She has also starred in several stage productions, earning three nominations for the Ian Charleson Awards, with Matt Trueman of Variety describing her as "the outstanding stage actress of her generation, capable of the most unexpected choices."
|Education||University of Exeter (BA)|
|Relatives||Joe Kirby (brother)|
She gained wider recognition for her roles in the action films Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) and Hobbs & Shaw (2019). For her leading role in the film Pieces of a Woman (2020), she received critical acclaim, winning the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival and receiving nominations for the Critics' Choice Award, BAFTA Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Golden Globe Award, and Academy Award for Best Actress.
Kirby was born on 18 April 1988 in Wimbledon, London, to former Country Living magazine editor Jane and urologist Roger Kirby. She has two siblings, Joe and Juliet. Actors Vanessa Redgrave and Corin Redgrave were family friends. After being turned down by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, she took a gap year to travel before studying English at the University of Exeter.
2009–2014: Early work and theatrical productionsEdit
Kirby turned down her place at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art after she was signed to a talent agency and met the theatre director David Thacker, who gave her three starring roles over 2009 at the Octagon Theatre Bolton: in All My Sons by Arthur Miller, Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen, and A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. For All My Sons she won the BIZA Rising Star Award at the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards, worth £5,000.
In 2011, she then went on to appear at the National Theatre as Isabella in Women Beware Women by Thomas Middleton, directed by Marianne Elliott, alongside Harriet Walter and Harry Melling. She then starred as Rosalind in As You Like It by William Shakespeare at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds; Alfred Hickling of The Guardian described her as a "significant new talent". In 2011, she was in the première of The Acid Test by Anya Reiss at the Royal Court Theatre, directed by Simon Godwin, earning praise for her performance from Paul Taylor of The Independent, who described her as "a star if ever I saw one". That same year, Kirby made her television debut in the BBC's The Hour. She played Estella in the BBC's mini-series adaptation of Great Expectations.
She went on to play Masha in the acclaimed stage production by Benedict Andrews of Three Sisters at the Young Vic in September 2012, earning exceptionally good reviews, with Matt Trueman of Time Out stating: "In a super cast given licence to shine, Kirby stands out as Masha". She filmed The Rise in early 2012. The film premièred at the Toronto and London Film Festivals to favorable reviews, and won the Best Debut Category for director Rowan Athale.
In 2013, Kirby returned to the National Theatre to play Queen Isabella in Edward II opposite John Heffernan. In the summer of 2014, she played Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, again collaborating with Benedict Andrews at the Young Vic, alongside Gillian Anderson as Blanche and Ben Foster as Stanley. She won Best Supporting Actress category at the Whatsonstage Awards 2014, which is voted for by the public. Kirby also appeared in Richard Curtis's romantic comedy film About Time.
2015–present: Screen roles and international recognitionEdit
In 2015, she appeared in Everest as American socialite Sandy Hill Pittman, The Dresser, and in May of that year, was cast as Princess Margaret in Netflix's first original British series The Crown. Her selection came after a six-month search. For this role, she was nominated for a BAFTA award in 2017, and won the award for season two in 2018. Kirby played Elena in Robert Icke's production of Uncle Vanya at the Almeida Theatre in 2016, for which she won rave reviews, with Matt Trueman of Variety writing: "Kirby is a superlative Elena: lithe, fickle, hypocritical, shallow and yet always sympathetic. It's a performance that confirms her as the outstanding stage actress of her generation, capable of the most unexpected choices." Throughout the late 2010s, Kirby appeared in several film such as John Boorman's sequel to his Hope and Glory (1987) Queen and Country (2014), the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending (2015), and Kill Command (2016).
In 2018, Kirby played the title character in Polly Stenham's Julie, an adaptation of August Strindberg's Miss Julie, at the National Theatre. Kirby has since starred in two action franchise films, Mission: Impossible 6 (2018) opposite Tom Cruise and Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) alongside Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.
In 2020, Kirby portrayed a grief-stricken woman in Kornél Mundruzcó's English debut Pieces of a Woman, a film portraying the degradation of a marriage. The film received generally positive reviews, with Kirby garnering critical acclaim. Peter Debruge wrote for Variety that "[...] this is ultimately Kirby's movie, as the stage marvel [...] delivers her most impressive screen performance to date." Rolling Stone called her performance "transcendent" and she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 2020 Venice Film Festival, where the film premiered. She went on to receive nominations for the Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress.
Kirby is also set to reprise her dual role of Alanna Mitsopolis and White Widow in Mission: Impossible 7 (2022) and Mission: Impossible 8 (2023).
|2012||Nora||Young woman||Short film|
|2014||The Exchange||Woman||Short film|
|2014||Queen & Country||Dawn Rohan|
|2014||National Theatre Live: A Streetcar Named Desire||Stella Kowalski|
|2014||Off the Page: Devil in the Details||Jessica||Short film|
|2015||Jupiter Ascending||Katharine Dunlevy|
|2015||Bone in the Throat||Sophie|
|2016||Kill Command||Katherine Mills|
|2016||Me Before You||Alicia Dewares|
|2018||Mission: Impossible – Fallout||Alanna Mitsopolis / White Widow|
|2019||Mr Jones||Ada Brooks|
|2019||Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw||Hattie Shaw|
|2020||Pieces of a Woman||Martha Weiss|
|2020||The World to Come||Tallie|
|2021||Italian Studies||Alina Reynolds||Completed|
|2022||Mission: Impossible 7||Alanna Mitsopolis / White Widow||Completed|
|2023||Mission: Impossible 8||Alanna Mitsopolis / White Widow||Pre-production|
|2011||The Hour||Ruth Elms||3 episodes|
|2011||Great Expectations||Estella Havisham||Miniseries; 3 episodes|
|2012||Labyrinth||Alice Tanner||Miniseries; 2 episodes|
|2013||Agatha Christie's Poirot||Celia Ravenscroft||Episode: "Elephants Can Remember"|
|2015||The Dresser||Irene||Television film|
|2015||The Frankenstein Chronicles||Lady Jemima Hervey||Main role; 7 episodes|
|2016–17||The Crown||Princess Margaret||Main role; 17 episodes|
|2010||All My Sons||Arthur Miller||Ann Deever||Octagon Theatre|
|2010||Ghosts||Henrik Ibsen||Regina Engstrand||Octagon Theatre|
|2010||A Midsummer Night's Dream||William Shakespeare||Helena||Octagon Theatre|
|2010||As You Like It||William Shakespeare||Rosalind||West Yorkshire Playhouse|
|2011||Women Beware Women||Thomas Middleton||Isabella||Royal National Theatre|
|2011||The Acid Test||Anya Reiss||Dana||Royal Court Theatre|
|2012||Three Sisters||Anton Chekhov||Maria "Masha" Kulygina||Young Vic|
|2013||Edward II||Christopher Marlowe||Isabella of France||Royal National Theatre|
|2014||A Streetcar Named Desire||Tennessee Williams||Stella Kowalski||Young Vic|
|2016||Uncle Vanya||Anton Chekhov||Helena Serebryakova||Almeida Theatre|
|2016||A Streetcar Named Desire||Tennessee Williams||Stella Kowalski||St. Ann's Warehouse|
|2018||Julie||Polly Stenham||Julie||Royal National Theatre|
|2007||"The Heart Never Lies"||McFly||Female lead|
Awards and nominationsEdit
- Trueman, Matt (17 February 2016). "London Theater Review: 'Uncle Vanya' at the Almeida Theatre". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- "Venice Film Festival 2020 Winners: "Nomadland" Takes Golden Lion, Vanessa Kirby Is Best Actress". IndieWire. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "Oscar Nominations 2021".
- "Everyone Is Pointing Out The Same Age Problem With 'Hobbs And Shaw'". Uproxx.
- "Vanessa Kirby: 'I was bullied at school and became self-conscious about everything I did'". The Guardian. 22 July 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- Black, Claire (23 March 2013). "Interview: Vanessa Kirby, Labyrinth star". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 10 April 2020.
- Nicol, Patricia (14 January 2016). "Vanessa Kirby: meet south-west London's hottest export". Evening Standard. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
- "Interview: Vanessa Kirby". 30 August 2012.
- "Vanessa Kirby: Whirlwind year brings rising star Vanessa to leading role".
- "Hurtwood House Performing Arts". Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "Octagon Theatre Bolton". Archived from the original on 19 September 2012.
- "National Theatre | London, UK". www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.
- "The Acid Test, Royal Court: Theatre Upstairs, London". 26 May 2011.
- "Series 1, The Hour - BBC Two".
- "Review: Three Sisters, Young Vic | Matt Trueman".
- "Interview: Vanessa Kirby, Labyrinth star". www.scotsman.com.
- Desk, BWW News. "Vanessa Kirby and Ben Foster Join Gillian Anderson in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at the Young Vic This Summer".
- "Rachel McAdams to Star in Working Title's 'About Time' (Exclusive)".
- Andreeva, Nellie (15 May 2015). "Vanessa Kirby To Play Princess Margaret In Netflix's 'The Crown'".
- "With Best-Actress Win at Venice Film Festival, Vanessa Kirby Leaps to the Front of This Year's Oscar Race". Vogue. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- Debruge, Peter; Debruge, Peter (5 September 2020). "'Pieces of a Woman' Review: Vanessa Kirby Delivers the Performance of Her Career Opposite Shia LaBeouf". Variety. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
- Fear, David; Fear, David (8 January 2021). "'Pieces of a Woman' Review: A Grief History of Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
- "The Crown actress Vanessa Kirby splits from The Capture star Callum Turner". The Mirror. 16 February 2020.