Emily Browning

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Emily Browning
Emily Browning HIFF crop.jpg
Browning at the 19th annual Hamptons International Film Festival on 16 October 2011
Emily Jane Browning

(1988-12-07) 7 December 1988 (age 34)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Actress
Years active1998–present

Emily Jane Browning[1] (born 7 December 1988[1]) is an Australian actress. She made her film debut in the television film The Echo of Thunder (1998), and subsequently appeared in television shows such as High Flyers (1999), Something in the Air (2000–2001), and Blue Heelers (2000–2002). Her breakthrough role was in the 2002 horror film Ghost Ship, which introduced her to a wider audience. In 2005, Browning won the Australian Film Institute International Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Violet Baudelaire in the film Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004).

Browning is also known for her roles in the horror film The Uninvited (2009), the action film Sucker Punch (2011), and the independent drama Sleeping Beauty (2011). She was named the Breakthrough Performer of The Year by the Hamptons International Film Festival for her role in the latter. Browning's other films include Summer in February, Plush (both 2013), Pompeii (2014), Legend (2015) and Golden Exits (2017). From 2017 to 2021, she starred as Laura Moon in the Starz TV series American Gods. She also had a recurring role in Showtime's drama series The Affair (2018–2019).

Early life and education[edit]

Browning was born in Melbourne, Victoria, on 7 December 1988, and is the daughter of Andrew and Shelley Browning. She attended Hurstbridge Learning Co-op and Eltham High School. Browning has two younger brothers, Nicholas and Matthew.[1][2]



Browning's debut acting role was in the 1998 Hallmark Channel movie The Echo of Thunder.[3] Additional roles in Australian film and television productions soon followed, including recurring roles in the television series Blue Heelers from 2000 to 2002, and Something in the Air from 2000 to 2001. In 2001, Browning appeared as the daughter of the character played by Billy Connolly in The Man Who Sued God.[4]

She made her American film debut in 2002's Ghost Ship, and won an Australian Film Institute Award for Best Young Actress, the same year.[5] In 2003, she appeared opposite Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom in 2003's Ned Kelly, and reunited with Connolly the following year in the film adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, in which she played Violet Baudelaire.[6]

In 2006, Browning appeared in the music video for Evermore's "Light Surrounding You". In the behind-the-scenes video for the clip, the band stated, "[We] suck as actors, so we decided to get Emily".[7] She attended the L'Oreal Fashion Festival as a festival ambassador on 1 February 2007.[8]


Browning played the lead role in the 2009 horror film The Uninvited, an American remake of the 2003 South Korean film A Tale of Two Sisters. She turned down a request to audition for the role of Bella Swan in Twilight, citing exhaustion, despite an endorsement from series author Stephenie Meyer.[9][10] In 2009, she was cast as Babydoll in Zack Snyder's action film Sucker Punch, as a replacement for Amanda Seyfried, who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.[11] Filming took place in Vancouver from September 2009 to January 2010,[12] and the film was released on 25 March 2011.[13] In an interview at Comic-Con, she confirmed that she would be singing in the film, while claiming that her audition tape brought tears to her casting agent's eyes and the song she selected ("Killing Me Softly") was one of Zack Snyder's wife Deborah's favourites, which Browning referred to as the "selling point" on her being cast in the role.[14]

In February 2010, it was announced that Browning would play the lead role in the independent Australian film Sleeping Beauty, directed by Julia Leigh.[15][16] She replaced Mia Wasikowska, who was committed to a film adaptation of Jane Eyre at the time.[17] The film screened at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and the Sydney Film Festival. In a review from the festival, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian called the film "Technically elegant with vehemence and control ... Emily Browning gives a fierce and powerful performance ... There is force and originality in Leigh's work".[18] Fionnuala Halligan in Screen International wrote "Browning has gone the distance for her director and together, they have delivered something here that sometimes catches your breath".[19] At the festival Browning said, "Even reading the screenplay, it made me feel uncomfortable. But that was something that attracted me to it. I would prefer to polarise an audience as opposed to making an entertaining film everybody feels ambivalent about."[20]


In 2012, she replaced English actress Ophelia Lovibond as the female lead in the film Summer in February.[21] The film is based on the book of the same title, by Jonathan Smith.[22] In July 2012, Browning was cast in God Help the Girl, a musical film by Belle and Sebastian front-man Stuart Murdoch.[23] Browning played Eve, and the role required live singing.[24] Filming on the production began on 8 July 2012 and wrapped on 12 August 2012.[25]

Browning was cast in Catherine Hardwicke's Plush alongside Cam Gigandet,[26] replacing Evan Rachel Wood (who was originally attached to the project) due to scheduling conflicts.[27] Browning also starred alongside Xavier Samuel[28] whom she met on the set during filming. Magic Magic, directed by Sebastián Silva, screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Film.com designated the film as a "Top Pick".[29]

Browning starred in the 2014 film Pompeii. The project was filmed in Toronto and the city of Pompeii.[30] Browning took a break from filming on Pompeii, and returned home to Australia to film a music video for the song "No Matter What You Say" by the band Imperial Teen. The video follows Browning as the lead character, conducting a 'live art-piece'.[31][32]

In 2014, Browning filmed Shangri-La Suite. The story follows two young lovers who break out of a mental hospital in 1974 and set out on a road trip to Los Angeles to fulfill the boy's lifelong dream of killing his idol Elvis Presley, who appears as a supporting character. Luke Grimes and Avan Jogia co-star.[33] The same year, she appeared in Years & Years's "Take Shelter" music video.[34]

In 2015, Browning appeared in the biopic crime thriller Legend, alongside Tom Hardy, who portrayed twin brothers and infamous 1960s London gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray. She portrayed Frances Shea, the first wife of Reggie Kray.[35]

Browning was cast in American Gods as Laura Moon. Neil Gaiman, author of the novel, said, "I've been fascinated by Emily Browning since A Series of Unfortunate Events. She has a challenge ahead of her: Laura is a tricky character, and the Laura on the screen is even trickier and more dangerous than the one on the page. She's going to have a wonderful time bringing Laura to life".[36]

In June 2021, it was announced that Browning would replace Anna Paquin in Andrea Pallaoro's drama Monica, joining Trace Lysette, Patricia Clarkson and Adriana Barraza.[37] She is also set to star in Lance Edmands' thriller Brightwater, starring alongside Scoot McNairy and Jack Reynor.[38]



Year Title Role Notes
2001 The Man Who Sued God Rebecca Myers
2002 Ghost Ship Katie Harwood
2003 Darkness Falls Young Caitlin Greene
Ned Kelly Grace Kelly
2004 Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Violet Baudelaire
2005 Stranded Penny
2009 The Uninvited Anna Ivers
2011 Sucker Punch Babydoll
Sleeping Beauty Lucy
2013 Magic Magic Sara
The Host Pet Uncredited cameo[39]
2014 Summer in February Florence Carter-Wood
Plush Hayley
God Help the Girl Eve
Pompeii Cassia
2015 Legend Frances Shea
Shangri-La Suite Karen Bird
2017 Golden Exits Naomi
2022 Monica Laura


Year Title Role Notes
1998 The Echo of Thunder Opal Ritchie Television film
1999 High Flyers Phoebe Mason Recurring role, 13 episodes
2000 Thunderstone Clio Recurring role, 13 episodes
2001 Blonde Fleece Television film
2000–2002 Blue Heelers Hayley Fulton Recurring role (seasons 7–9), 9 episodes
2000–2001 Something in the Air Alicia Recurring role (seasons 1–2), 5 episodes
2001 Halifax f.p: Playing God Kristy O'Connor Episode: "Playing God"
2003 After the Deluge Maddy Television film
2017–2021 American Gods Laura Moon / Essie MacGowan Main role
2018–2019 The Affair Sierra Recurring role (seasons 4–5)
TBA Class of '07 TBA Upcoming TV series

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist(s)
2006 "Light Surrounding You" Evermore
2013 "No Matter What You Say" Imperial Teen
2014 "Take Shelter" Years & Years

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Violet Baudelaire Voice role

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of awards and nominations
Year Work Association Category Result Refs
2002 Halifax f.p. Australian Film Institute Young Actor's Award Won
2005 Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Australian Film Institute International Award for Best Actress Won [40]
BFCA Awards Best Young Actress Nominated
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film, Leading Young Actress Nominated
2011 Sleeping Beauty Hamptons International Film Festival Breakthrough Performer Won [41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Emily Browning Biography Archived 9 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Celebritywonder, retrieved 30 June 2011
  2. ^ Emily Browning – Celebrity. TV Guide, retrieved 30 June 2011
  3. ^ Benedictus, Luke (19 December 2004). "See Emily play ... while you can". The Age. Australia. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Emily Browning 2014 02 05 (11:03am) The Man Who Sued God 2001 By R.R.S Sweden". YouTube. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  5. ^ "AACTA Winners & Nominees 2000–2010 2002". Australian Film Institute. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  6. ^ Fischer, Paul (13 December 2004). "Interview: Emily Browning for "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events"". Dark Horizons. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  7. ^ Making of Light Surrounding You. YouTube. Retrieved on 16 May 2007
  8. ^ Emily Browning Thewest.com.au Retrieved on 20 April 2007 Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Twilight the Movie (archives). StephenieMeyer.com
  10. ^ Larry Carroll: Emily Browning addresses her Twilight notoriety. Mtv.com, retrieved 4 April 2011
  11. ^ Emily Browning tipped for starring role in prison flick. Adelaidenow.com.au, retrieved 15 August 2010
  12. ^ Carl DiOrio: Green Lantern, Sucker Punch going 3D. Associated Press, 14 October 2010, retrieved on Hollywoodreporter.com on 4 April 2011
  13. ^ Steve Barton: Zack Snyder to Deliver His Sucker Punch in 3D. Dreadcentral.com, 5 March 2010, retrieved 4 April 2011
  14. ^ SDCC EXCLUSIVE: Emily Browning & Jamie Chung on Sucker Punch. Comingsoon.net, retrieved on 15 August 2010
  15. ^ Michael Bodey: Who's who in Tim Winton's Cloudstreet. The Australian, 3 February 2010, retrieved 4 April 2011
  16. ^ Bodey, Michael (3 February 2010). "Who's who in Tim Winton's Cloudstreet". The Australian. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  17. ^ Billington, Alex (9 February 2010). "Emily Browning Replaces Mia Wasikowska in Sleeping Beauty". FirstShowing.net. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  18. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (12 May 2011). "Cannes 2011 review: Sleeping Beauty". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  19. ^ Halligan, Fionnuala (12 May 2011). "Sleeping Beauty". Screen Daily. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  20. ^ Roach, Vicky (22 June 2011). "Emily Browning on being naked in erotic thriller Sleeping Beauty and going nude again". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  21. ^ "Emily Browning Will Spend 'Summer In February' Instead Of Ophelia Lovibond". IndieWire. 13 January 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  22. ^ "Downton Abbey lead Dan Stevens and My Week With Marilyn's Dominic Cooper are to co-star in a new film set in a Cornish artist's colony circa 1913". Vintage Seekers. 13 January 2012.
  23. ^ "Hannah is currently filming the lead in GOD HELP THE GIRL with Emily Browning". TroikaTalent. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012.
  24. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (9 July 2012). "Hannah Murray Replaces Elle Fanning In 'God Help The Girl'; Emily Browning Joins The Film". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 8 March 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  25. ^ "It's all go at the 'god help the girl' production office – we start shooting July 8th. Exciting!". Twitter.
  26. ^ Eisenberg, Eric (18 June 2012). "Cam Gigandet Joins Emily Browning In Catherine Hardwicke's Plush". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  27. ^ Blay, Zeba (27 May 2012). "Emily Browning to star in Catherine Hardwicke's 'Plush'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  28. ^ "Xavier Samuel joins Hardwicke's 'Plush'". Variety. 7 August 2012.
  29. ^ Meyncke, Amanda Mae (7 August 2013). "Review: 'Magic, Magic'". Film.com. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  30. ^ DeMara, Bruce (19 February 2013). "Paul W.S. Anderson to shoot Pompeii in Toronto". The Star. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  31. ^ "Imperial Teen - Music Video - Victoria - Supporting actors required for Sunday 24th March". StarNow. 2013. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013.
  32. ^ Trunick, Austin (4 September 2014). "Scotland Week: God Help the Girl's Emily Browning". Under the Radar.
  33. ^ "'Sucker Punch' Star Emily Browning Joins Luke Grimes in 'The Shangri-La Suite' (Exclusive)".
  34. ^ "Years & Years' music video for "Take Shelter", featuring Emily Browning!". 5 August 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  35. ^ "Emily Browning: Legend star on her new role". irishtimes.com. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  36. ^ "Starz's 'American Gods' Casts Its Laura Moon". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  37. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (19 June 2021). "Emily Browning Replaces Anna Paquin In Drama 'Monica' With Trace Lysette, Patricia Clarkson & Adriana Barraza; Filming Underway In Ohio". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  38. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (6 May 2022). "Scoot McNairy, Jack Reynor & Emily Browning Lead Thriller 'Brightwater' With James Schamus Exec Producer & Bankside Launching Sales". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  39. ^ Wilkinson, Amy (1 April 2013). "Let's Talk About That 'The Host' Cameo". MTV News. Retrieved 5 September 2022. So, yes, "Sucker Punch" star Emily Browning is Pet!
  40. ^ Lloyd-McDonald, Holly (1 February 2007). "Facing up to new role in fashion". Herald Sun. Australia. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  41. ^ "Hamptons International Film Festival Winners". danspapers.com. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2015.

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