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Ella Purnell

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Ella Purnell
Purnell in June 2017
Born (1996-09-17) 17 September 1996 (age 27)
London, England
Years active2009–present

Ella Summer Purnell (born 17 September 1996) is an English actress. She began her career as a child actress in West End theatre and films such as Never Let Me Go (2010), Intruders (2011), and Maleficent (2014). Her other films include Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016), Churchill (2017), and Army of the Dead (2021).

On television, Purnell has starred in the mystery series Ordeal by Innocence (2018), the historical miniseries Belgravia (2020), the thriller Yellowjackets (2021–2023), and the post-apocalyptic drama series Fallout (2024–present). She also voices Jinx in Arcane (2021–present) and Gwyndala in Star Trek: Prodigy (2021–present).

Early life[edit]

Ella Summer Purnell[1] was born in the Whitechapel area of London on 17 September 1996.[1] She grew up in Bethnal Green.[2] She attended Bethnal Green Montessori, Forest School, the City of London School for Girls, and the Young Actors Theatre Islington.[3] She also attended weekly classes at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, studying acting, singing, and dance, and was represented by their in-house talent agency.

At 18 she had finished school and considered to quit acting, and contemplated attending university, becoming a writer, therapist or teacher. So she decided to travel the world for a year to "find herself". Shortly after her period of "travelling and drinking", she was offered a role in Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. One of her dreams was to work with Wes Anderson or Tim Burton, so she accepted it. She described her decision to continue acting as "bittersweet at first because it felt like a lost opportunity of a different path in life, but looking back, she was glad she continued her acting career".[4]



In 2008, Purnell beat hundreds of other girls for a role in Oliver! at London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.[5] Towards the end of her time in Oliver!, she won the role of Young Ruth (played by Keira Knightley as an adult) in Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go – a feature film based on the book by Kazuo Ishiguro.[6] It was released in 2010 to positive reviews. She was then cast as Kayleigh in Gustavo Ron's Ways to Live Forever, adapted from the book by Sally Nicholls,[7] and as Mia in the Juan Carlos Fresnadillo film Intruders.[8] Purnell was named by Screen International as one of 10 UK Stars of Tomorrow.[9] She also appeared in the BBC HD film short Candy in June 2011.

In 2013, Purnell appeared in the feature film Kick-Ass 2 as the character Dolce. The following year, she starred in the independent film Wildlike, which earned her a number of accolades at film festivals and played the teenage version of Angelina Jolie's titular character in Disney's Maleficent. In 2016, Purnell starred in Tim Burton's adaptation of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, based on the novel of the same name, by Ransom Riggs.[10] In 2017, she played Mia in Access All Areas.[11] Later that year, Purnell appeared in the historical drama film Churchill, playing Winston Churchill's secretary Helen Garrett.[12]


In 2018, Purnell appeared as Hester Argyll in the BBC mini-series Ordeal by Innocence, based on the Agatha Christie book of the same name.[13] Later that year, Purnell starred in the leading role of the Starz show Sweetbitter, based on Stephanie Danler's novel of the same name.[14] She played Tess, a naive 22-year-old who moves to New York City to pursue a new life, and gets caught up in the world of fine dining.[15] It was announced in December 2019 that Starz had cancelled the series after two seasons.[16] In 2020, Purnell played Lady Maria Grey in Julian Fellowes's period drama Belgravia, co-produced by ITV and Epix.[17] In 2021, she began starring as Jackie in the Showtime drama series Yellowjackets.[18] Later that year she voiced Gwyn in the animated series Star Trek: Prodigy and Jinx in the Netflix animated series Arcane. In 2024, she starred as Lucy MacLean in the Amazon Prime Video drama series Fallout.[19]



Year Title Role Notes
2010 Never Let Me Go Young Ruth
Ways to Live Forever Kayleigh
2011 Nice Candy Short film
Intruders Mia
2013 Kick-Ass 2 Dolce
2014 Wildlike MacKenzie
Maleficent Teen Maleficent
2016 The Journey is the Destination Amy
The Legend of Tarzan Young Jane Porter Uncredited
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Emma Bloom
2017 Churchill Helen Garrett
Access All Areas Mia
2018 UFO Natalie
2021 Army of the Dead Kate Ward
TBA The Scurry Filming[20]


Year Title Role Notes
2015 Cyberbully Megan Television film
2018 Ordeal by Innocence Hester Argyll Miniseries, 3 episodes
2018–2019 Sweetbitter Tess Main role, 14 episodes
2020 Belgravia Lady Maria Grey Miniseries, 6 episodes
2021–present Star Trek: Prodigy Gwyn Voice role
Main role, 20 episodes
Arcane Jinx Voice role
Main role, 6 episodes
2021–2023 Yellowjackets Jackie Taylor Main role (season 1), Recurring role (season 2) (12 episodes)
2024 Invincible Jane Voice role, Episode: "I Thought You Were Stronger"
2024–present Fallout Lucy MacLean Main role, 8 episodes
TBA Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas Kate Ward Voice role, upcoming series
TBA Sweetpea Rhiannon Lewis Main role, upcoming series; also executive producer


Year Title Role Notes
2017 Natives A Southwark Playhouse

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2022 Star Trek Prodigy: Supernova Gwyn Voice role

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work Organizations Category Result
2015 WildLike Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Best Actress Won
Hill Country Film Festival Best Actress Nominated
Gasparilla International Film Festival Best Female Performance Won
Naperville Independent Film Festival Best Actress Nominated
Twister Alley International Film Festival Best Actress – Feature Film Won
Myrtle Beach International Film Festival Best Actress Won
Richmond International Film Festival Best Actress Won
2021 Arcane Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production Won
2023 Yellowjackets Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Ella Summer PURNELL". Companies House service. Archived from the original on 11 July 2022. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  2. ^ Nugent, Annabel (23 April 2022). "Yellowjackets' Ella Purnell". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 June 2022. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Asa Butterfield and Ella Purnell Interview at Young Actors Theatre Islington – YouTube". YouTube. 8 April 2017. Archived from the original on 8 April 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  4. ^ Ella Purnell Is Hollywood's New Favorite Action Hero
  5. ^ "Ella Purnell | Screen". Screendaily.com. 6 July 2010. Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  6. ^ "First trailer for 'Never Let Me Go' with Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan". Moviejungle.com. 16 June 2010. Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Ways to live forever – The Movie". Waystoliveforever.com. 23 December 2009. Archived from the original on 1 August 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  8. ^ Cooper, Sarah (14 July 2010). "Fersnadillo starts shooting thriller Intruders in London". Screendaily.com. Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Stars of Tomorrow 2010". Screenterrier.blogspot.com. Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  10. ^ "Two teenage British stars are set to join Eva Green". Archived from the original on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  11. ^ Clarke, Cath (19 October 2017). "Access All Areas review – Hollyoaks goes Bestival in a teen music festival caper". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 September 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  12. ^ "'Churchill' shoot begins; cast revealed". Screen. Archived from the original on 20 September 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  13. ^ Billen, Andrew (31 March 2018). "Ordeal by Innocence: the Christie Mystery that almost got away". The Times. No. 72497. Saturday Review. pp. 4–5. ISSN 0140-0460.
  14. ^ Petski, Denise (6 October 2017). "'Sweetbitter': Ella Purnell To Star In Starz Drama Series Based On Book". Deadline. Archived from the original on 7 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Ella Purnell on the Starz Series 'Sweetbitter' and Her Disastrous Audition". Collider. 3 May 2018. Archived from the original on 10 October 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  16. ^ "'Sweetbitter' Canceled at Starz (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 20 December 2019. Archived from the original on 6 March 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  17. ^ Bahr, Robyn (10 April 2020). "'Belgravia': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 27 March 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  18. ^ Haylock, Zoe (17 January 2022). "Ella Purnell on Surviving Yellowjackets as 'Queen Bee' Jackie". Vulture. Archived from the original on 17 January 2022. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  19. ^ Davis, Clayton (10 April 2024). "'Fallout' Sets Emmys Campaign: Walton Goggins and Ella Purnell Go for Lead Drama, Aaron Moten Submits for Supporting (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved 14 April 2024.
  20. ^ Dalton, Ben (15 May 2024). "'Fallout' star Ella Purnell joins Craig Roberts' killer squirrel comedy-horror 'The Scurry' for True Brit (exclusive)". Screen Daily. Retrieved 17 May 2024.

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