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Vanessa Kirby is an English stage, television and film actress and model. She starred as Estella in the BBC adaptation of Great Expectations in 2011, and as Joanna in Richard Curtis' romantic comedy About Time in 2013.

Vanessa Kirby
Vanessa Kirby.png
Kirby in 2017
Born1986/1987 (age 31–32)[1]
EducationUniversity of Exeter
OccupationActress, model
Years active2010–present

From 2016 to 2017, Kirby portrayed Princess Margaret in Peter Morgan's Netflix series The Crown, for which she won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Television Series and received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2018. She is known mostly for her stage work;Variety in 2016, called her "the outstanding stage actress of her generation, capable of the most unexpected choices."[2] In 2018, she played White Widow in the U.S. blockbuster Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and in 2019 she played Hattie Shaw in Hobbs & Shaw.

Contents

Life and careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

Kirby was raised in Wimbledon, London. Her mother is a former magazine editor, and her father is urologist Roger Kirby.[3] Actors Vanessa Redgrave and Corin Redgrave were family friends.[4]

She was educated at Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton. After being turned down by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, she took a gap year to travel[5] before studying English at the University of Exeter.[6] She then turned down her place at LAMDA in London 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:[7] 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.

She then went on to star at the National Theatre as Isabella in Women Beware Women by Thomas Middleton, directed by Marianne Elliott, alongside Harriet Walter and Harry Potter's Harry Melling.[8] 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".[9]

Television and cinemaEdit

In 2011, Kirby made her television debut in the BBC's The Hour,[10] alongside Ben Whishaw, Dominic West, and Romola Garai. She played Estella in the BBC's mini-series adaptation of Great Expectations alongside Ray Winstone, Gillian Anderson, and Douglas Booth.

She played the lead role of Alice in Ridley Scott's mini-series adaptation of Kate Mosse's novel Labyrinth. In late 2012, she filmed The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman with Shia LaBeouf and Mads Mikkelsen.[11] Kirby then starred in Richard Curtis's film About Time as Rachel McAdams's best friend Joanna.[12]

She went on to play Masha in the acclaimed production by Benedict Andrews of Three Sisters at the Young Vic in September 2012, earning rave reviews, with Matt Trueman of Time Out stating. "In a super cast given licence to shine, Kirby stands out as Masha".[13][14]

She filmed The Rise in early 2012 alongside Matthew Lewis and Timothy Spall. The film premièred at the Toronto and London Film Festivals to positive 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.[15] 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.[16] She won Best Supporting Actress category at the Whatsonstage Awards 2014, which is voted for by the public.

Her recent film roles include Kill Command, opposite Thure Lindhardt, the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending, with Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum, and Queen and Country, John Boorman's sequel to his Hope and Glory (1987).

In 2015, she appeared in Everest as iconic American socialite Sandy Hill Pittman. Also in 2015, she appeared in The Dresser, and in Thea Sharrock's adaptation of Jojo Moyes' book Me Before You. In May, she was cast as Princess Margaret in Netflix's first original British series The Crown. Her selection came after a six-month search.[17] 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."

In 2018, Kirby played the title character in Polly Stenham's Julie, an adaptation of August Strindberg's Miss Julie, at the National Theatre.

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Love/Loss Jane
2012 The Rise Nicola
2012 Nora Young Woman Short
2013 Charlie Countryman Felicity
2013 About Time Joanna
2014 The Exchange Woman Short
2014 Insomniacs Jade Short
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
2015 Jupiter Ascending Katharine Dunlevy
2015 Bone in the Throat Sophie
2015 Everest Sandy Hill
2016 Genius Zelda Fitzgerald
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 Hobbs & Shaw[18] Hattie Shaw

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
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 TV film
2015 The Frankenstein Chronicles Lady Jemima Hervey Main role; 7 episodes
2016–2017 The Crown Princess Margaret Main role; 17 episodes

TheatreEdit

Year Title Playwright Role Venue
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

Awards and nominationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "'She's The Ultimate Cool' says Vanessa Kirby of The Crown". 14 December 2017.
  2. ^ Trueman, Matt (17 February 2016). "London Theater Review: 'Uncle Vanya' at the Almeida Theatre". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Vanessa Kirby: meet south-west London's hottest export".
  4. ^ "Interview: Vanessa Kirby". 30 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Vanessa Kirby: Whirlwind year brings rising star Vanessa to leading role".
  6. ^ "Hurtwood House Performing Arts". Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  7. ^ "Octagon Theatre Bolton". Archived from the original on 19 September 2012.
  8. ^ "National Theatre".
  9. ^ "The Acid Test, Royal Court: Theatre Upstairs, London". 26 May 2011.
  10. ^ "Series 1, The Hour - BBC Two".
  11. ^ "Great Expectations star Vanessa Kirby wins Hollywood role opposite Shia LaBeouf".
  12. ^ "Rachel McAdams to Star in Working Title's 'About Time' (Exclusive)".
  13. ^ "Review: Three Sisters, Young Vic - Matt Trueman".
  14. ^ "Accounts".
  15. ^ "Interview: Vanessa Kirby, Labyrinth star".
  16. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Vanessa Kirby and Ben Foster Join Gillian Anderson in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at the Young Vic This Summer".
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (15 May 2015). "Vanessa Kirby To Play Princess Margaret In Netflix's 'The Crown'".
  18. ^ Maytum 2018-12-21T12:07:57ZMovie, Matt. "EXCLUSIVE: First look at Fast & Furious spin-off starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham (plus, the official title is revealed)". gamesradar. Retrieved 23 February 2019.

External linksEdit