Agyeman in 2012
20 March 1979 |
|Occupation||Actress, model, singer|
Freema Agyeman (/ /; born Frema Agyeman on 20 March 1979) is a British television and film actress who is best known for playing Martha Jones in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, and its spin-off series Torchwood. Following her departure from Doctor Who and guest spots in BBC programmes Survivors and Little Dorrit, Agyeman held a starring role as Alesha Phillips in the crime procedural drama Law & Order: UK between 2009 and 2012. In 2013, she made her US television debut in The CW show The Carrie Diaries as Larissa Loughlin, a style editor at Interview magazine.
Background and personal life
Her mother, Azar, is Iranian and her father, Osei, is Ghanaian. They divorced when she was a child. She has an older sister, Leila, and a younger brother, Dominic. Although her mother is Muslim and her father Methodist, Agyeman grew up to be a practising Roman Catholic. She attended Our Lady's Convent RC High School, a Catholic school in Stamford Hill and during the summer of 1996 she studied at the Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington. She studied performing arts and drama at Middlesex University, graduating in 2000. She has martial arts skills, which prompted speculation that she would bring a more physical approach to the role of the Doctor's companion. The tattoo she has on her upper arm is symbolic of her ancestry, containing the Persian word "raha", meaning "free", under an image of a butterfly. She endorses Divine Chocolate, a fairtrade corporation that works with Ghanaian cocoa farmers.
When Agyeman began her professional acting career, she chose to use a different spelling of her birth name, Frema, as her professional name, to avoid pronunciation problems.
Before securing the part of Martha Jones, Agyeman's most famous television role was playing the character of Lola Wise in the revived series of ITV soap opera Crossroads. She also had small guest roles in other TV series such as Casualty, Mile High and The Bill, in which she appeared on two occasions as two separate characters. In 2005, she played Mary Ogden, a scene of crime officer, in an episode of Silent Witness. She starred as the character Nana in the independent film Rulers and Dealers, written and directed by Stephen Lloyd Jackson.
Doctor Who (2006–2010)
Agyeman auditioned for three roles in the 2006 series of Doctor Who. On 24 June 2005, she auditioned for the part of Sally Jacobs in "The Christmas Invasion", but the role went to Anita Briem, who better fitted the production team's concept of the character as an "ice cool blonde". She later auditioned for the roles of Esme and Adeola Oshodi, in the "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel" and "Army of Ghosts", respectively. Esme was ultimately cut from the final script, but Agyeman was successful in her audition for Adeola. She filmed her role in the series in December 2005 and appeared on screen as Adeola on 1 July 2006.
The production team were impressed by the versatility shown by Agyeman across her three auditions and called her back as a serious candidate for the new companion. She attended another audition (ostensibly for an episode of Torchwood) before a final screen-test with Tenth Doctor actor, David Tennant. Tennant left a reassuring note under the door of Agyeman's hotel room, and this helped calm any nerves the actress had. Following extensive speculation on who would replace Billie Piper, Agyeman was confirmed to the press as new companion Martha Jones on 5 July 2006.
Agyeman began filming for the third series in August 2006 and finished in March 2007. She made her screen debut as Martha on 31 March 2007 in the episode "Smith and Jones". Agyeman continued to portray the character Martha throughout every episode of the 2007 series. Agyeman returned as Martha in series 4 for five episodes. Following the final episode of the fourth series, Agyeman stated that she would be open to reprising the role. She later returned to the series along with several other former cast members to mark David Tennant's final appearance in The End of Time. Concurrent with her appearance on the show, Agyeman read abridged audio book adaptations of five of the Doctor Who New Series Adventures novels featuring Martha, namely The Last Dodo, Wetworld, The Pirate Loop, Martha in the Mirror and The Story of Martha.
In between series three and series four of Doctor Who, Agyeman appeared in three episodes of series 2 of Doctor Who spin off Torchwood, namely "Reset", "Dead Man Walking" and "A Day in the Death". She also had a starring role in the Torchwood radio play, Lost Souls, broadcast on BBC Radio Four on 10 September 2008 to promote the turning on of the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN research facility. It was later revealed by Torchwood: Children of Earth director Euros Lyn that the production team had intended for Agyeman to appear in that production, but she was already committed to Law and Order: UK. However, in a video interview conducted at the Law and Order: UK press launch, Agyeman does not rule out a return to Torchwood, stating that "it's always a possibility." Torchwood creator and head writer Russell T. Davies, also responsible for Doctor Who, subsequently affirmed that he would be open to casting Agyeman in a future series of Torchwood.
Agyeman appeared several times on The Bedtime Hour on CBeebies reading the story broadcast shortly before 7.00pm. She narrated the first series of BBC Three's hospital documentary series Bizarre ER which ran from 14 February 2008 to 3 April 2008 and also provided the narration for a second series which began airing on Tuesday 21 April 2009. She hosted a Doctor Who-themed portion of the BBC Proms on 27 July. A one hour cut-down version of the prom made its TV début on BBC1, New Year's Day, 2009.
On 25 April 2008, Agyeman appeared on The Paul O'Grady Show. She made another appearance on the show on 26 March 2009.
She played foundling girl Tattycoram in the Emmy Award winning 2008 BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit, which began transmitting on 26 October 2008, starring alongside her fellow Torchwood stars Eve Myles and Ruth Jones. Some of Agyeman's scenes for the first episode were shot in the grounds of Deal Castle, Kent, which doubled for Marseille, France. Agyeman was delighted to have appeared in Little Dorrit, as it had always been a dream of hers to appear in a period drama. In 2008 Agyeman also appeared in Survivors, a BBC 1 remake of the cult 1970s TV series, as Jenny Walsh (surname originally reported to be Collins), although her character was killed off in the first episode in a shock twist despite featuring prominently in promotional materials for the series.
Between 2009 and 2012 she starred as Crown Prosecutor Alesha Phillips in Law & Order: UK, a UK adaptation and spin-off from the popular US Law & Order franchise. Agyeman is a self-professed "massive fan" of the original Law & Order series, especially Seasons 3 and 4. In preparation for the role, Agyeman sat in on live trials, toured the Old Bailey, and conferred with her law-degree holding sister, Leila: "She's great and really patient at explaining things to laymen, because I was coming at it completely blind. She's been a good source." She remained with the programme for its first six series departing the cast before the seventh series due to other filming commitments.
In March 2012 it was announced that Agyeman will play Larissa, "an easy-going party girl who works at Interview magazine" in the pilot of Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries. From early 2013 she starred in the Cbeebies television series Old Jack's Boat as Shelley.
Awards and recognition
In June 2007, Freema Agyeman was named "Best Newcomer" at the 2007 "Glamour Women of the Year Awards". The same year she won the 2007 People's Choice category for "Female TV Star" in the 5th annual Screen Nation Film and TV Awards, held on 15 October 2007 at the Hilton Metropole in London.
In 2007, she was one of the top four nominations for best actress in the National Television Awards, for playing Martha Jones in the 2007 series of Doctor Who. She was also nominated for Best Actress in the TV Quick Awards the same year for her role in Doctor Who. She has since been longlisted for the 2010 National Television Awards for best dramatic performance for her role as Crown Prosecutor, Alesha Phillips.
|2004||Aisha the American||Shaheen||Short film|
|2006||Rulers and Dealers||Nana|
|2003||Crossroads||Lola Wise||Unknown episodes|
|2004||Bill, TheThe Bill||Jenna Carter||Episode: "Episode 232"|
|2004||Casualty@Holby City||Kate Hindley||Episode: "Casualty@Holby City: Part One"|
|2005||Mile High||Girl #1||Episode #2.26|
|2005||Silent Witness||Mary Ogden||Episode: "Choices: Part 1"|
|2006||Bill, TheThe Bill||Shakira Washington||2 episodes|
|2006||Doctor Who||Adeola Oshodi||Episode: "Army of Ghosts"|
|2007–2008, 2010||Doctor Who||Martha Jones||19 episodes|
|2007–2008||Doctor Who Confidential||Herself||13 episodes|
|2007||Totally Doctor Who||Herself/Martha Jones (voice)||12 episodes|
|2007||Omid Djalili Show, TheThe Omid Djalili Show||Herself (sketch)||Episode #1.3|
|2008||Torchwood||Martha Jones||3 episodes|
|2008–2010||Bizarre ER||Herself (voice)||Narrator (series 1–3)|
|2008||Torchwood Declassified||Herself||2 episodes|
|2008||Little Dorrit||Tattycoram||Miniseries; 8 episodes|
|2008||Survivors||Jenny Walsh||2 episodes|
|2009–2012||Law & Order: UK||Alesha Phillips||Main cast (series 1–6)|
|2013–present||Carrie Diaries, TheThe Carrie Diaries||Larissa Loughlin||Main cast|
|2013||Old Jack's Boat||Shelly Periwinkle||Main cast|
Audio and radio
|2007||Last Dodo, TheThe Last Dodo||Narrator||Doctor Who audiobook|
|2007||Wetworld||Narrator||Doctor Who audiobook|
|2007||Pirate Loop, TheThe Pirate Loop||Narrator||Doctor Who audiobook|
|2008||Martha in the Mirror||Narrator||Doctor Who audiobook|
|2008||Lost Souls||Martha Jones||Full cast audio drama|
|2008||Story of Martha, TheThe Story of Martha||Narrator||Doctor Who audiobook|
|2001–2002||When Snow Falls||T||By Chris Elwell|
|2001||Twisted Roots||Anya Starr||By Emily Nightingale|
|2002||Lords and Ladies||Various roles||Originally by Terry Pratchett|
|2008||Doctor Who Prom||Host||Musical celebration, 27 July 2008|
- "Thank You Letter From Freema Agyeman". Retrieved 2008-04-08.
- Jury, Louise (23 March 2007). "From council estate to Tardis: rise of the Timelord's sidekick". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
- Deeley, Laura (16 February 2008). "Dr Who's sidekick, Freema Agyeman". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
- Adam Sherwin (5 July 2006). "Sidekick whose time has come". London: The Times. Retrieved 2006-07-05.
- "Freema Agyemann profile: Watch Shows: Watch – simply good TV". Uktv.co.uk. 7 November 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-29.[dead link]
- [dead link]
- Hugo, Simon (June 2008). "Where's Your Head At? Freema Agyeman". Torchwood Magazine. p. 60
- "New British Film: Rulers And Dealers Screens at The ICA, London". Prweb.com. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- Davies, Russell T. Companion Piece, Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 373.
- Companion Piece, Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 373.
- "Doomsday!! Gaspode Chats Up The Director of WHO’s Second-Season Finale!!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
- "Meet Martha, an interview with Freema Agyeman", Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 372.
- "Press Office – Freema Agyeman is new companion to Doctor Who". BBC. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "Freema Agyeman — She walks in her own way", Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 398.
- Writer Russell T Davies, Director Charles Palmer, Producer Phil Collinson (2007-03-31). "Smith and Jones". Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One.
- "Doctor Who | Archived Headlines – June 2007". Eye of Horus. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "Doctor Who Wetworld audio CD review". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "The UK Sci-Fi TV Book Guide: Forthcoming Releases". Homepage.ntlworld.com. Retrieved 2009-03-29.[dead link]
- "Doctor Who: New Adventures: WITH The Many Hands AND Martha in the Mirror AND Snowglobe 7 (Dr Who)". Amazon.co.uk. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "(UK) : Dan Abnett – Doctor Who: The Story of Martha (new reading) – Abridged Audiobook". Play.com. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- "More Martha!". BBC Official Doctor Who site. 2 July 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-07-17. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
- "Outpost Gallifrey: Doctor Who RSS News Feed". Gallifreyone.com. 26 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-29.[dead link]
- McCabe, Joseph (19 February 2009). "Exclusive: Eve Myles and Director Euros Lyn Talk Torchwood Season 3!". Fearnet.com. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
- "Freema talks Doctor Who return". Digital Spy. 7 February 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
- "Russell T. Davies talks Doctor Who & Torchwood". NJ.com. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- Bizarre ER episode 1
- Bizarre ER episode 8
- "Three Programmes – Bizarre ER, Series 2, Episode 1". BBC. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- "Proms – 27 July 2008". BBC. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- Holmwood, Leigh (6 May 2008). "Jones to appear in BBC Dickens drama". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
- "News | Spooks and Doctor Who stars invade Deal Castle". East Kent Mercury. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-29.[dead link]
- "Press Office – Little Dorrit press pack: Freema Agyeman plays Tattycoram". BBC. 13 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- "Press Office – Cast announced for BBC One's Survivors". BBC. 30 May 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "Doctor Who – News". BBC. 2 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-29.[dead link]
- "From Doc To Dock". People.co.uk. 13 July 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- http://www.itv.com/documents/doc/L&O%20PP.doc[dead link]
- Millar, Paul (24 August 2012). "'Law & Order: UK', 'Scott & Bailey', 'Vera' recommissioned by ITV". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Jeffrey, Morgan (5 March 2012). "'Doctor Who' star Freema Agyeman joins 'Sex and the City' prequel". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- Methven, Nicola (2 August 2012). "More stories: Veteran Jackanory star Bernard Cribbins to make a children's TV comeback". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- "Freema Wins at Glamour Women Awards 2007". Freema Agyeman.com. 5 June 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-29.[dead link]
- "Reginald Hudlin" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- Day, Elizabeth (16 December 2007). "A dizzy year with the Doctor". London: Observer. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
- "On the Box guide to the British Soap Awards". webcache.googleusercontent.com. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "National Television Awards | 2007 | Vote for your favourite". The Sun. 15 October 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- Kilkelly, Daniel. EastEnders wins three MVSA prizes, DigitalSpy.com, 6 November 2009.
- [dead link]
- "Twisted Roots". Pop-Up. Retrieved 2009-03-29.[dead link]
- "A fansite – Biography & Filmography". Freema Agyeman.com. Retrieved 2009-03-29.[dead link]
- "Lords and Ladies". Co.uk.lspace.org. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Freema Agyeman.|
- Freema Agyeman at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview on The One Show (14 August 2006)
- Interview in The Times (16 February 2008)
- Survivors – Freema Agyeman (Jenny Collins) Press Pack at the BBC Press Office
- Little Dorrit – Freema Agyeman (Tattycoram) Press Pack at the BBC Press Office