Hayley Atwell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hayley Atwell
HVFFLondon2017Cap-ALS-29 (35183142201) Cropped.jpg
Atwell in 2017
Hayley Elizabeth Atwell

(1982-04-05) 5 April 1982 (age 38)
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Alma materGuildhall School of Music and Drama (BA)
Years active2005–present

Hayley Elizabeth Atwell (born 5 April 1982) is a British-American actress.[1] Born and raised in London, Atwell studied acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and made her stage debut in the 2005 play Prometheus Bound. She appeared in multiple West End productions and on television, gaining recognition for her breakthrough role as Lady Elizabeth Foster in The Duchess (2008), for which she was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her leading performance in the miniseries The Pillars of the Earth (2010) earned her a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film.

Atwell rose to prominence for her portrayal of Peggy Carter in the superhero film Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), a role she would reprise in the action-adventure series Agent Carter (2015–2016) and the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Ant-Man (2015), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). She also had roles in the war drama Testament of Youth (2014), the romantic fantasy Cinderella (2015), and the fantasy comedy-drama Christopher Robin (2018).

On the stage, Atwell achieved a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in A View from the Bridge (2010) and nominations for Best Actress for her leading performances in The Pride (2013) and Rosmersholm (2020). Atwell began hosting the podcast series True Spies in 2020, which gives an insight into the world of espionage, asking listeners what they would do in real life spy situations.[2]

Early life[edit]

Hayley Elizabeth Atwell was born on 5 April 1982[3][4] in London, an only child.[5] Her mother Allison Cain, is British, and her father, Grant Atwell, is an American photographer from Kansas City, Missouri of part Native American and Irish descent.[5][6][7] Atwell has dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and the United States.[8] After attending Sion-Manning Roman Catholic Girls' School in London, she took A-levels at the London Oratory School.[9]

Atwell took two years off to travel with her father and work for a casting director.[3] She then enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama,[10][11] where she trained for three years, graduating with a BA in acting.[3] Her contemporaries at Guildhall included actress Jodie Whittaker, whom Atwell would later describe as a "great friend", and Michelle Dockery, with whom she would later work in Restless. Atwell graduated in 2005.



After graduating, Atwell's stage debut came in 2005 with the production of Prometheus Bound at Sound London, starring David Oyelowo, followed by Women Beware Women at the Royal Shakespeare Company.[12][13] Atwell also appeared in two productions at the Royal National Theatre, both directed by Nicholas Hytner: Man of Mode and Major Barbara; for which she received an Ian Charleson Commendation.[14] In 2009, Atwell made her West End debut in Lindsay Posner's A View From the Bridge, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award.[15]

Following a short break from the theatre, Atwell starred in Alexi Kaye Campbell's 2011 production of The Faith Machine, directed by Jamie Lloyd at the Royal Court Theatre.[16][17] In 2013, Atwell collaborated with Alexi Kaye Campbell and Jamie Lloyd again in a revival of The Pride at Trafalgar Studios; her performance gained her a second Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress.[18]

Atwell returned to the stage in 2018 in Dry Powder at the Hampstead Theatre and later appeared in Josie Rourke's, Measure for Measure, at the Donmar Warehouse, opposite Jack Lowden.[19][20] The production gained critical acclaim, with The Daily Telegraph adding that it was "beautifully staged and expertly performed".[21] As a result of positive reception, the play's run was extended.

Film and television[edit]

Atwell's first major on-screen television role came in 2006 with BBC Two's miniseries, The Line of Beauty. Later in the year, Atwell appeared as '415' in AMC Television's November 2009 miniseries, The Prisoner, a remake of the 1967–68 series by the same name.[22][23] In 2010 Atwell appeared in Channel 4's adaptation of William Boyd's, Any Human Heart, and later that year, Ken Follett's miniseries, Pillars of the Earth, which co-starred Eddie Redmayne; for which she was nominated for her first Golden Globe.[24][25] In 2013, Atwell starred in BBC Two's adaptation of William Boyd's espionage novel, Restless, before starring in "Be Right Back", an episode in Charlie Brooker's critically acclaimed science fiction television series, Black Mirror.[26][27]

Atwell made the transition to film roles early on, with her first major role coming in Woody Allen's 2007 film Cassandra's Dream, playing stage actress Angela Stark. In 2008, she appeared in the film The Duchess, which earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the British Independent Film Awards. Later that year, Atwell appeared in the Miramax film Brideshead Revisited.[28]

Atwell at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con

Atwell played Agent Peggy Carter in the 2011 American superhero film Captain America: The First Avenger.[29] MTV Networks' NextMovie.com named her one of the "Breakout Stars to Watch for in 2011".[30] Atwell voiced Carter in the 2011 video game Captain America: Super Soldier.[31] She reprised the role in the 2013 short film Agent Carter, the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier,[32][33] and in the 2015 films Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. As Carter, she appeared in two episodes of the ABC television show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and as the lead role in Marvel's Agent Carter, which aired from 2015 to 2016.[34] Agent Carter was cancelled by ABC on 12 May 2016.[35] She also provided Carter's voice in Lego Marvel's Avengers[36] and Avengers: Secret Wars.[37] In 2015, Atwell played Cinderella's mother in Disney's live action adaptation of Cinderella directed by Kenneth Branagh.[38]

In February 2016, Atwell was cast in the ABC series Conviction.[39] The series aired 13 episodes between October 2016 and January 2017; in May 2017, ABC announced it had been cancelled.[40][41] Atwell starred as Margaret Schlegel in BBC One's 2017–2018 miniseries, Howards End, based on the classic E.M. Forster novel and adapted by playwright Kenneth Lonergan.[42] In 2018, she played Evelyn Robin, the wife of the titular character in Disney's live action Winnie-the-Pooh film Christopher Robin directed by Marc Forster and co-starring with Ewan McGregor.[43]

In 2019, Atwell starred opposite Tamara Lawrance in a three-part BBC adaptation of Andrea Levy's novel The Long Song, about a slave on a sugar plantation in 19th-century Jamaica.[44][45][46] She also reprised the role of Peggy Carter in Avengers: Endgame. In September 2019, it was announced that Atwell will star in Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8, both directed by Christopher McQuarrie and scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on 19 November 2021 and on 4 November 2022, respectively.[47]

In the media[edit]

Described as the "queen of period-drama" by The Guardian, Atwell has been praised by directors for "the professional example she sets" and her work in period-drama films and television shows.[48] Atwell received an Ian Charleson Commendation for her work in Major Barbara (2009), and has received three Laurence Olivier Award nominations, first for her work in A View from the Bridge (2009),[49] then in 2011 for her work in the revival of The Pride, and once again in 2020 for her performance as Rebecca West in Rosmersholm.[50] Atwell was also nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award for her role in The Pride.[51]

Personal life[edit]

In 2010, Atwell lived in a flat in London.[3] In 2015, she moved to Los Angeles to be close to the production of Agent Carter,[52] although still retained her personal base in London. During the filming of Captain America: The First Avenger in 2010, Atwell took a three-month course in art history and haiku at the Open University.[52] Atwell stated that she always felt genderless.[53] In response to the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, Atwell revealed that he had called her a "fat pig". She also said that she didn't believe that Harvey was a sex addict but a predator who should be punished for harassing women.[54] Atwell later clarified it wasn't Weinstein but a different executive who referred to her in such a manner.

In a 2015 interview, Atwell discussed how her role as Peggy Carter influenced a then-recent tweet she made to her 319,000 Twitter followers about having her image digitally altered on the cover of a German magazine. When one visitor to her page asked her, "Why are you so beautiful?", she retorted, "Why am I so photoshopped?" In the interview, Atwell stated, "It's important that young girls understand what photoshop is. I do feel a certain amount of responsibility now that I'm playing Peggy."[55]


Denotes projects that have not yet been released Denotes projects that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Cassandra's Dream Angela Stark
How About You Ellie Harris
2008 Brideshead Revisited Julia Flyte
The Duchess Elizabeth "Bess" Foster
2009 Love Hate Hate Short film
2010 Tomato Soup Movie Star
2011 Captain America: The First Avenger Peggy Carter
2012 I, Anna Emmy
The Sweeney DC Nancy Lewis
2013 Jimi: All Is by My Side Kathy Etchingham
Agent Carter Peggy Carter Short film
2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Testament of Youth Hope Milroy
2015 Cinderella Cinderella's Mother
Avengers: Age of Ultron Peggy Carter
2018 Christopher Robin Evelyn Robin
2019 Blinded by the Light Ms. Clay
Avengers: Endgame Peggy Carter
2021 Mission: Impossible 7 Projects that have not yet been released TBA Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Whatever Love Means Sabrina Guinness Television film
2006 Fear of Fanny Jane
The Ruby in the Smoke Rosa Garland
The Line of Beauty Catherine "Cat" Fedden 3 episodes
2007 Mansfield Park Mary Crawford Television film
The Shadow in the North Rosa Garland
2009 The Prisoner Lucy / 4-15 5 episodes
2010 The Pillars of the Earth Aliena 8 episodes
Any Human Heart Freya Deverell 4 episodes
2012 Falcón Consuelo Jiménez 4 episodes
Playhouse Presents The Banker Episode: "The Man"
Restless Eva Delectorskaya 2 episodes
2013 Black Mirror Martha Episode: "Be Right Back"
Life of Crime Denise Woods 3 episodes
2014 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Peggy Carter 2 episodes
2015–2016 Agent Carter Lead role; 18 episodes
2016 Lip Sync Battle Herself Episode: "Clark Gregg vs. Hayley Atwell"
2016–2017 Conviction Hayes Morrison Lead role; 13 episodes
2016 Return of the Spider Monkeys Narrator Documentary television film
2017–2019 Avengers Assemble Peggy Carter (voice) 2 episodes
2017 Howards End Margaret Schlegel Miniseries
2018 The Long Song Caroline Mortimer Miniseries
2018–2019 3Below: Tales of Arcadia Zadra (voice) Main role; 17 episodes
2019 Criminal: UK Stacey Doyle Episode: "Stacey"
2021 What If...? Projects that have not yet been released Peggy Carter (voice) Episode: "#1.1"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Captain America: Super Soldier Peggy Carter Voice role
2016 Lego Marvel's Avengers


Year Title Role Venue
2005 Prometheus Bound Io / Force Sound Theatre
2006 Women Beware Women Bianca Royal Shakespeare Company
2007 The Man of Mode Belinda Royal National Theatre
2008 Major Barbara Barbara Undershaft
2009 A View from the Bridge Catherine Duke of York's Theatre
2011 The Faith Machine Sophie Royal Court Theatre
2013 The Pride Sylvia Trafalgar Studios
2018 Dry Powder Jenny Hampstead Theatre
Measure for Measure Angelo / Isabella Donmar Warehouse
2019 Rosmersholm Rebecca West Duke of York's Theatre


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Doctor Who: Blood of the Daleks Asha Gryvern BBC Radio 7
2007 Felix Holt, the Radical Esther Lyon BBC Radio 4
2008 The Leopard Angelica BBC Radio 3
Doctor Who: The Doomwood Curse Eleanor BBC Radio 7
2010 Doctor Who: The Whispering Forest Seksa
2013 Doctor Who: The Sands of Life President Moorkurk
2014 The Martian Chronicles Spender BBC Radio 4
2016 The Magus Lily
2017 Ecco[56] Jo Miles
Cassandra at the Wedding[57] Cassandra Edwards
Ode to Saint Cecilia St. Cecilia Augustine Institute Radio Theater
2018 The Merchant of Venice Portia BBC Radio 3

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2007 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Golden Nymph Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Film Fear of Fanny Nominated
2008 British Independent Film Awards Best Supporting Actress The Duchess Nominated
2009 Empire Awards Best Newcomer Nominated
2010 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film The Pillars of the Earth Nominated
Gemini Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Miniseries Nominated
Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role A View from the Bridge Nominated [52]
2011 Scream Awards Breakthrough Performance – Female Captain America: The First Avenger Nominated
Best Science Fiction Actress Nominated
2014 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actress The Pride Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Actress on Television Agent Carter Nominated
2020 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actress Rosmersholm Nominated [58]


  1. ^ "Hayley Atwell to star in US series". The Belfast Telegraph. 2 January 2014.
  2. ^ "The week in radio and podcasts: True Spies; Floodlines; Iain Lee; Slow Radio – review".
  3. ^ a b c d Mesure, Susie (14 November 2010). "Hayley Atwell: Gentlemen swoon, but only on set..." The Independent. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Hayley Atwell: Overview". Zimbio. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b Fox, Chloe (17 July 2011). "Action girl: Hayley Atwell interview". The Daily Telegraph.
  6. ^ Gomez, Patrick (7 January 2015). "5 things to know about Hayley Atwell". People.
  7. ^ Kellaway, Kate (10 October 2010). "Hayley Atwell: 'The real me is a loner, a nerd and a bit overweight'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  8. ^ Fischer, Paul (2008). "Hayley Atwell Brideshead Revisited & The Duchess Interview". Female Magazine. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
  9. ^ White, Leslie (21 August 2011). "Sizzling for England". Sunday Times. London. p. 6. a shaman and healer based in Kansas City
  10. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (15 December 2012). "Hayley Atwell: 'I've turned out all right'". The Independent. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Hayley Atwell". Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  12. ^ de Jongh, Nicholas (22 August 2005). "A chain reaction". Evening Standard. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  13. ^ Bassett, Kate (26 February 2006). "Women Beware Women, Swan Theatre, Stratford". The Independent. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  14. ^ Benedict, David (6 March 2008). "Major Barbara". Variety. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Hayley Atwell joins cast of A View From The Bridge". London Theatre Guide. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Full Cast Announced for The Faith Machine". Royal Court. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  17. ^ Billington, Michael (31 August 2011). "The Faith Machine – review". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  18. ^ Spencer, Charles (14 August 2013). "The Pride, Trafalgar Studios, review". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  19. ^ Trueman, Matt (5 February 2018). "London Theater Review: Hayley Atwell in 'Dry Powder'". Variety. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  20. ^ Billington, Michael (12 October 2018). "Measure for Measure review – sex, power and shock as Atwell and Lowden reverse roles". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  21. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (12 October 2018). "Measure for Measure review, Donmar Warehouse: Shakespeare expertly retooled for the #MeToo era". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  22. ^ Pisarra, Drew (24 July 2008). "Four More Residents of The Village". AMC. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012.
  23. ^ "BBC – Drama – The Line of Beauty – About The Series". BBC. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  24. ^ Boyd, William (5 November 2010). "William Boyd on filming Any Human Heart". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  25. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (9 October 2010). "Has Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth got the winning ingredients?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  26. ^ Fox, Chloe (22 December 2012). "On the set of William Boyd's Restless". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  27. ^ Swain, Daniel (12 February 2013). "What Black Mirror Episode Be Right Back Says About Us and Technology". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  28. ^ Miller, Julie (28 March 2017). "Emma Thompson Threatened to Quit a Movie After Her Co-Star Was Asked to Lose Weight". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  29. ^ "Captain America Movie: Peggy Carter Cast". Marvel.com. 14 April 2010. Archived from the original on 4 July 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  30. ^ Evry, Max (5 January 2011). "25 Breakout Stars to Watch for in 2011". NextMovie.com. MTV. Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  31. ^ Shirey, Eric (29 July 2011). "Captain America: Super Soldier Video Game Review". Yahoo Movies. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  32. ^ "'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' filming begins". Marvel.com. 8 April 2013. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  33. ^ Breznican, Anthony (11 July 2013). "'Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter' -- FIRST LOOK at poster and three photos from the new short!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  34. ^ Strom, Marc (10 May 2014). "First Details on Marvel's Agent Carter". Marvel.com. Archived from the original on 10 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  35. ^ Jusino, Teresa (13 May 2016). "Agent Carter Cancelled After Two Seasons, Mockingbird Not Flying in Marvel's Most Wanted". The Mary Sue.
  36. ^ Minor, Jordan (9 October 2015). "Lego Marvel's Avengers bricks the Marvel Cinematic Universe". Geek.com.
  37. ^ Couto, Anthony (8 December 2016). "NYCC LIVE! Marvel Animation Panel ft. Ultimate Spider-Man, GOTG & More". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  38. ^ Armitage, Hugh (22 August 2013). "Hayley Atwell joins Kenneth Branagh's 'Cinderella'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  39. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (10 February 2016). "Agent Carter Star Hayley Atwell To Topline ABC Drama Pilot Conviction". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  40. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (8 November 2016). "Conviction Not Getting Back Order From ABC; All Existing Episodes Will Air". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  41. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (11 May 2017). "Imaginary Mary Among Several Freshman Series Canceled By ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  42. ^ Lane, Anthony (2 April 2018). "Hayley Atwell on the Superwomen of "Howards End"". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  43. ^ Kroll, Justin (2 August 2017). "'Agent Carter' Star Hayley Atwell Joins Ewan McGregor in Disney's 'Christopher Robin'". Variety. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  44. ^ White, Peter (12 July 2018). "Hayley Atwell & Tamara Lawrance To Star In David Heyman's BBC Drama The Long Song". Deadline Hollywood.
  45. ^ Dowell, Ben (13 July 2018). "Hayley Atwell, Lenny Henry and Tamara Lawrance cast in new BBC period drama The Long Song". Radio Times.
  46. ^ Carr, Flora (20 December 2018). "When is The Long Song on TV? Who's in the cast and what's it about?". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  47. ^ Robbins, Jason (13 September 2019). "Hayley Atwell Confirmed for Both Mission: Impossible 7 & 8". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on 20 September 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  48. ^ "Hayley Atwell: Driven and Dangerous New Queen of Period Drama". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  49. ^ "Laurence Olivier Awards 2010: nominations in full". The Daily Telegraph. 8 February 2010. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  50. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (13 April 2014). "Olivier Awards 2014: West End is buzzing -- thanks to the off-West End". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  51. ^ "Full List: Winners of the 2014 WhatsOnStage Awards". WhatsOnStage.com. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  52. ^ a b c Rafanelli, Stephanie (2 July 2015). "Hayley Atwell: 'I've always felt quite genderless. Which is odd, because I have big boobs'". Evening Standard.
  53. ^ Rafanelli, Stephanie (2 July 2015). "Hayley Atwell: 'I've always felt quite genderless. Which is odd, because I have big boobs'". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  54. ^ Todd, Lucy (10 November 2017). "Exclusive: Hayley Atwell calls for 'predator' Weinstein to be punished". BBC. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  55. ^ Saner, Emine (10 November 2017). "Hayley Atwell: driven and dangerous new queen of period drama". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  56. ^ "Drama: Ecco". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  57. ^ "Drama: Cassandra at the Wedding". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  58. ^ Wood, Alex (3 March 2020). "Olivier Awards 2020 nominees include & Juliet, Dear Evan Hansen, James McAvoy and Andrew Scott | WhatsOnStage". Whats On Stage. Retrieved 30 June 2020.

External links[edit]