Haley Bennett

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Haley Bennett
Haley Bennett.jpg
Bennett at The Bling Ring premiere in 2013
Haley Loraine Keeling

(1988-01-07) January 7, 1988 (age 32)
  • Actress
  • Singer
  • Dancer
Years active2007–present
Partner(s)Joe Wright

Haley Loraine Keeling (born January 7, 1988),[1] known professionally as Haley Bennett,[2] is an American actress and singer. She made her film debut as pop star Cora Corman in the romantic comedy Music and Lyrics (2007) and has since appeared in the films The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008), College (2008), The Hole (2009), Kaboom (2010), The Equalizer (2014), Kristy (2014), Hardcore Henry (2015), The Magnificent Seven (2016), The Girl on the Train (2016), Thank You for Your Service (2017), and Swallow (2019).

Early life[edit]

Bennett's parents, Leilani (née Dorsey Bennett) and Ronald Keeling,[3][4] met in church and hitchhiked to Florida while Leilani was pregnant with her.[5] She is of English, Scottish, Irish, German, and Lithuanian descent. She was born in Fort Myers, Florida and raised in Naples, Florida.[3] Her parents divorced when Bennett was 6, and she moved to Ohio with her father, who opened an automobile repair shop.[5] They moved regularly around the state, with Bennett saying: "there was no time when I lived anywhere longer than two years. I was always a social outcast. Maybe I didn't care what people thought because I [thought], 'Well, I probably won't stick around here for too long'."[5]

Bennett describes her childhood as "nomadic", as she moved between living with her father in Ohio and her mother in Florida: "I lived somewhat of a nomadic life even when I lived in Ohio. We spent time in rural areas, in suburban areas, never really city areas. We rode four-wheelers. We had pigs and ferrets. And creeks. We had a creek in my backyard. It was like Huckleberry Finn... I was kind of a tomboy for awhile. It's tough to explain because I grew up with my mom and my dad simultaneously but separately because they weren't together. So I kind of get femininity from my mother and boyishness from my dad. He loved fishing, he loves hunting, he loves boating, and football, baseball, and basketball. So that really saturated my life. And then my mother was very soft and also strong, but more of an artist. So I kind of had the best of both worlds."[6]

When Bennett was 10, she and her father moved to Stow, Ohio, where she attended Stow-Munroe Falls High School. At 13, she enrolled at Barbizon Modeling School of Akron, Ohio.[4] She attended the International Modeling and Talent Convention in 2001 and 2006, where she won a major award,[4] acted in school plays, and sang in choirs.[2] She also lived with her mother in Naples occasionally, where she attended Barron G. Collier High School, and studied music and acting.[7] When Bennett was 18, she persuaded her mother to take her to Los Angeles for three months to pursue an acting career. Just as she was about to return home, she managed to secure representation by claiming to her prospective agent that a highly-regarded agency had approached her. The agent refused to lose Bennett and signed her.[5] Bennett began using her mother's maiden name as her stage name.[2][8]


In what was only her third audition,[5] Bennett won the role of popstar Cora Corman for her film debut in the 2007 romantic comedy Music and Lyrics, with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore.[9] Bennett sang several songs for the film's soundtrack, including "Buddha's Delight" and "Way Back into Love"; fragments of the songs "Entering Bootytown" and "Slam" are heard during concert scenes in the film, and her song "Invincible" plays during the end credits. That same year, she signed with 550 Music/NuSound Records (part Epic Records), and began working on her debut album, though one was never released. Bennett performed her first live concert at The Mint in Los Angeles on June 19, 2008.

Despite the auspicious debut, Bennett did not break through. She said in an interview in June 2016: "It's been kind of a long journey for me. Everyone has a different path; I guess you hear them all. I don't know how common mine is. I didn't have a long-term plan or goal. All I came to Los Angeles with was a dream. No one from my family ever left Ohio. In L.A., I saw a lot of talent wasted because of fear. The odds are really stacked against you. I was a bit like Dorothy following the yellow brick road I guess. Except there was no good witch... Nothing came that easily ever again [after Music and Lyrics]. It was a good start—I'm grateful for the experience, but I wanted more. After that film, I ventured back out into the darkness, as actors often do. And I was completely engulfed by it. I got lost, I got broke. I got heartbroken by the roles I'd never have a chance to play, because you know how it is. Even when a filmmaker pointed at me and said, "I want to put you in this film," it never happened because of the financial aspect of our industry. I wasn't a bankable name, I guess. But it went on like this, on repeat, for many years. I begged, I struggled, I fought. There was no other option, really.[10]

After signing a three-picture deal with Warner Bros. (beginning with Music and Lyrics),[11] Bennett subsequently starred in her second and third films, the comedy College (2008)[12] and the supernatural horror The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008).[13] Also in 2008, she made a cameo appearance in Marley & Me. The following year, Bennett had a lead role alongside Julia Stiles in Shekhar Kapur's short film Passage. She then co-starred as Julie Campbell in the horror thriller film The Hole, directed by Joe Dante.[14] In 2010, she appeared in the fantasy comedy Kaboom,[15] and the drama Arcadia Lost.[16] In July 2010, Bennett was cast in the FX crime-drama series Outlaw Country alongside Luke Grimes, Mary Steenburgen and John Hawkes.[17] The pilot was filmed in 2010 before a rewrite and reshoots in April 2011.[18] It remained in limbo until November 2011, when FX announced that it had not been picked up for a series.[19] The hour-and-a-half long pilot was broadcast as a TV film on August 24, 2012.[20]

Bennett then landed the lead in the thriller film Kristy (2014).[21] She next appeared in the independent drama film Lost in the White City (2014), alongside Thomas Dekker and Bob Morley.[22] Also in 2014, Bennett co-starred in The Equalizer with Denzel Washington and Melissa Leo.[23]

In 2015, Bennett starred in Ilya Naishuller's first-person point-of-view film Hardcore Henry.[24] In 2016, she appeared as Emma Cullen in Antoine Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven,[25] co-starred as Megan Hipwell in the Tate Taylor-directed film adaptation of Paula Hawkins' thriller novel The Girl on the Train,[26] and played actress Mamie Murphy in Warren Beatty's comedy-drama Rules Don't Apply.[27] Responses to the first two films were mixed, while the third was more positively received. Bennett's performances were praised in all three. In 2017, Bennett played Saskia Schumann in Jason Hall's PTSD drama film Thank You for Your Service.[28] She had also been cast in Terrence Malick's musical drama film Song to Song, alongside Christian Bale,[29] but her scenes were later cut.[30]

In 2019, she starred in and produced the psychological thriller Swallow, directed by Carlos Mirabella-Davis, revolving around a woman with pica.[31] It had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2019, where Bennett received the award for Best Actress.[32][33] Her performance in the film received rave reviews from critics calling it "pitch-perfect", "extraordinary", and "masterful".[34][35][36] That same year, she starred in The Red Sea Diving Resort directed by Gideon Raff, opposite Chris Evans.[37]

She is next set to star in The Devil All the Time directed by Antonio Campos, based upon the novel of the same name, and in Hillbilly Elegy directed by Ron Howard, both for Netflix.[38][39]

Personal life[edit]

Bennett's daughter Virginia Willow, her first child with director Joe Wright, was born on December 31, 2018.[40][41][42] Bennett lives in Brooklyn.[43]



Year Title Role Notes
2007 Music and Lyrics Cora Corman
2008 College Kendall
The Haunting of Molly Hartley Molly Hartley
Marley & Me Lisa
2009 The Hole Julie Campbell
2010 Kaboom Stella
Arcadia Lost Charlotte
2013 Deep Powder Natasha
2014 After the Fall Ruby
Kristy Justine Wills
Lost in the White City Eva
The Equalizer Mandy
2015 Hardcore Henry Estelle
2016 A Kind of Murder Ellie Briess
The Magnificent Seven Emma Cullen
The Girl on the Train Megan Hipwell
Rules Don't Apply Mamie Murphy
2017 Thank You for Your Service Saskia Schumann
2019 Swallow Hunter
The Red Sea Diving Resort Rachel Reiter
2020 The Devil All the Time Charlotte Russell Post-production
Hillbilly Elegy Lindsay Post-production

Short film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 Passage Abby
2009 Lowlight: A Wonderful Lie
2012 LP: Into the Wild
2012 Sleepwalking in the Rift


  1. ^ "Haley Bennett – Biography". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Why Everyone's Talking About Haley Bennett". Grazia. October 11, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Haley Bennett: Biography". AskMen. 2007. Retrieved August 18, 2010. Haley Keeling was born in 1989 in Fort Myers, Florida, but she was raised in Naples, Florida and in Ohio.
  4. ^ a b c Kate Rich (February 14, 2007). "New Hollywood star has ties to Naples, Florida and Northeast Ohio". The Review. Alliance Publishing Co. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e "How Haley Bennett Became 2016's Hottest Young Breakout Star". Rolling Stone. November 23, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  6. ^ "Hollywood's Latest Crush? Haley Bennett, Star of Every Movie You Will See This Fall". GQ. September 24, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  7. ^ "Haley Bennett". Barbizon Modeling. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  8. ^ Mike Sever (February 15, 2007). "Naples/Stow teen debuts in film with Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore". Record Courier. Archived from the original on March 18, 2008. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
  9. ^ Michael Rechtshaffen (February 8, 2007). "Music and Lyrics". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  10. ^ Chris Wallace (June 1, 2016). "Haley Bennett". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  11. ^ "IMTA Alum Set to Star in Major Motion Pictures". IMTA. March 15, 2006. Archived from the original on February 28, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
  12. ^ Sperling, Nicole (March 5, 2007). "4 go to 'College' in Hagan's class". The Hollywood Reporter.
  13. ^ Scheck, Frank (October 31, 2008). "Film Review: The Haunting of Molly Hartley". The Hollywood Reporter.
  14. ^ "Quad One-Sheet Debut: Joe Dante's The Hole 3D". Dread Central. July 30, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  15. ^ Fernandez, Jay A (November 5, 2009). "'Kaboom' adds four to cast". The Hollywood Reporter.
  16. ^ Gregg Goldstein (September 26, 2008). "Nolte leads the way with 'Arcadia Lost'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  17. ^ Natalie Abrams (July 6, 2010). "Luke Grimes, Haley Bennett Head for Outlaw Country". TV Guide. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  18. ^ David Wharton. "FX Dumps Outlaw Country, Will Retool Powers Pilot". Cinema Blend. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  19. ^ Stuart Levine (November 17, 2011). "FX says no to 'Outlaw Country'". Variety. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  20. ^ Nellie Andreeva (August 22, 2012). "FX Pilot 'Outlaw Country' To Air As Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  21. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 29, 2012). "Haley Bennett books thriller 'Kristy'". Variety.
  22. ^ "Indie Drama 'The White City' Casts Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett & Bob Morley". Deadline Hollywood. April 25, 2013.
  23. ^ "Haley Bennett Joins Sony's 'The Equalizer'". Deadline Hollywood. June 13, 2013.
  24. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (September 15, 2015). "'Hardcore' Has Three Suitors And Spirited Bidding Battle – Toronto". Deadline Hollywood.
  25. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (February 20, 2015). "Haley Bennett Lands Female Lead In MGM's 'The Magnificent Seven'". Deadline Hollywood.
  26. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (August 24, 2015). "Haley Bennett Lands Lead In 'The Girl On The Train'". Deadline Hollywood.
  27. ^ Ge, Linda (March 8, 2014). "Haley Bennett Joins Warren Beatty's Howard Hughes Biopic". Up & Comers.
  28. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 20, 2015). "Haley Bennett in Talks to Star With Miles Teller in 'Thank You for Your Service'". Variety.
  29. ^ Fischer, Russ (September 8, 2011). "Terrence Malick Eyes Relative Newcomer Haley Bennett as Co-Star of Untitled Christian Bale Film". /Film.
  30. ^ Donnelly, Matt (March 10, 2017). "Christian Bale, Benicio del Toro, Haley Bennett All Cut From Terrence Malick's 'Song to Song' at SXSW". The Wrap. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  31. ^ Hipes, Patrick (May 4, 2018). "Austin Stowell Joins Haley Bennett In 'Swallow' After Flying To 'Catch-22'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  32. ^ Hayes, Dade (March 5, 2019). "Tribeca Film Festival Unveils Feature Lineup, With Screen Time For John DeLorean, Muhammad Ali, Chelsea Manning". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  33. ^ Hipes, Patrick (May 2, 2019). "Tribeca Film Festival Awards: 'Burning Cane', Haley Bennett, Wendell Pierce Among Winners". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  34. ^ Debruge, Peter (May 5, 2019). "Film Review: 'Swallow'". Variety. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  35. ^ Wilson, Lena (March 5, 2020). "In 'Swallow,' Haley Bennett Is Not An Object—She's Devouring Them [Interview]". The Playlist. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  36. ^ Ehrlich, David (April 28, 2019). "'Swallow' Review: Haley Bennett Is Extraordinary in Thriller About a Housewife with a Dangerous Habit". IndieWire. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  37. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 20, 2017). "'Girl on the Train' Actress Haley Bennett in Talks to Star in 'Red Sea Diving Resort' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  38. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (February 19, 2019). "Haley Bennett, Jason Clarke, Riley Keough Join 'The Devil All The Time' At Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  39. ^ Haley Bennett in Talks to Join Amy Adams in Ron Howard’s ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ (EXCLUSIVE)
  40. ^ "'The Girl on the Train's Haley Bennett and Director Joe Wright Expecting First Child Together". PEOPLE.com.
  41. ^ "Instagram post by Haley Bennett • May 15, 2019 at 3:13pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  42. ^ "Haley Bennett on Instagram: "Being a momma has changed me and my life in ways that I never could have imagined. I am so grateful. I can't imagine life without this…it's really difference."". Instagram. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  43. ^ "How a New Generation of Designers Is Shaking Up Storied Fashion Houses", Vogue (magazine), February 13, 2018. Accessed February 12, 2019. "Back in Brooklyn Heights with her rescue dog, River, Bennett's personal goal is about 'transforming and decorating my house. I have 60 pairs of shoes—and no forks.'"

External links[edit]