Jenna Coleman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jenna Coleman
Coleman in 2017
Born
Jenna-Louise Coleman

(1986-04-27) 27 April 1986 (age 37)
OccupationActress
Years active1996, 2004–present

Jenna-Louise Coleman (born 27 April 1986) is an English actress. She began her career in television, making her acting debut as Jasmine Thomas in the soap opera Emmerdale in 2005, followed by a recurring role in the BBC school-based drama series Waterloo Road (2009). She made her film debut with a small role in the American superhero film Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), and made appearances on diverse British period miniseries, including Titanic (2012), and Death Comes to Pemberley (2013).

Coleman's breakthrough came with the role of Clara Oswald, companion to the Doctor, in the BBC One's science-fiction series Doctor Who. She appeared as a regular character between 2012 and 2015, with a small cameo in 2017. She next starred as Queen Victoria in the period drama Victoria (2016–2019), and led the crime miniseries, The Cry (2018), and The Serpent (2021). In 2022, she portrayed Johanna Constantine in the Netflix fantasy drama series The Sandman. Coleman's other film appearances include Neil Maskell's dark comedy Klokkenluider (2022), and Jamie Childs' thriller Jackdaw (2023).

On stage, Coleman has appeared as Ann Deever in the 2019's revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons. She made her West End debut, starring in the 2023's revival of Sam Steiner's Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, alongside Aidan Turner.

She has received various accolades, including nominations for an International Emmy Award, as well as, for the BAFTA Cymru and BAFTA Scotland Awards.

Early life and education[edit]

Jenna-Louise Coleman[1] was born in Blackpool on 27 April 1986,[2][3] the daughter of Karen and Keith Coleman. Her father is a joiner and fitter of bar and restaurant interiors.[4][5] She has an older brother named Ben, also a joiner.[4][6] Coleman is of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish ancestry.[7] Her grandmother reportedly named her after the character of Jenna Wade from the American TV series Dallas.[8]

She attended Arnold School in Blackpool, where she was head girl.[9] At age 10, she performed in a professional production of Summer Holiday at the Blackpool Opera House.[10][11][12] While at school, she was a member of the theatre company In Yer Space, with whom she performed in the play Crystal Clear at the Edinburgh Festival. She won an award for her performance, and the play was also received favourably.[10] She was offered a place to study English at the University of York, but turned it down in order to accept the role of Jasmine Thomas in the soap opera Emmerdale.[13]

Career[edit]

2005–2012: Early career[edit]

Coleman in November 2013

Coleman landed the part of Jasmine Thomas in Emmerdale in 2005.[13] At the British Soap Awards 2007, she was nominated for the "Best Newcomer" award, and at the National Television Awards 2006, she was nominated for the "Most Popular Newcomer" award.[14] At the 2009 British Soap Awards, she was nominated for the "Best Actress", "Sexiest Female", and "Best Dramatic Performance" awards.[15] She received a nomination for the "Best Actress" award from the TV Choice Awards. In May 2009, it was announced that Coleman would be joining BBC school-based drama series Waterloo Road, as "hard girl" Lindsay James.[16] As she was 23 at the time of her casting, Coleman found the experience of playing a schoolgirl "surreal".[17]

After the show ended, Coleman went six months without acting work, and at one point applied to RADA, which resulted unsuccessful. She moved to Los Angeles, to try her luck, and spent her days going to auditions.[18] In 2011, she made her feature film debut with a small role in Captain America: The First Avenger.[13][19] Coleman went back to England after being called for the role of Annie Desmond, in Julian Fellowes' four part mini-series Titanic. She described her character as a "cheeky little Cockney" and "the Eliza Doolittle of the ship".[18][20]

In December 2010, it was announced that Coleman would be playing Susan Brown in a BBC Four television adaptation of the John Braine novel Room at the Top.[21][22] The adaptation was originally intended to air in April 2011, but this was cancelled due to a rights dispute between the production company and Braine's estate. The dispute was resolved by 2012, and the show aired in two parts on 26 and 27 September 2012.[23] That same year, Coleman was cast as Rosie in Stephen Poliakoff's original drama series Dancing on the Edge, which follows the fortunes of a black jazz band in the 1930s. The show aired on BBC Two in February 2013.[20] She also starred as Lydia Wickham in the adaptation of Death Comes to Pemberley.[24] The three episodes were shown on BBC One during Christmas 2013.[25]

2012–2017: Doctor Who[edit]

Coleman in July 2015

On 21 March 2012, Doctor Who producer Steven Moffat confirmed at a press conference that Coleman would play the companion of the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith).[26] Moffat chose her for the role because she worked the best alongside Smith and could talk faster than he could.[27] She auditioned for the role in secret, under the pretence of auditioning for Men on Waves (an anagram for "Woman Seven": she would first appear in the show's seventh series).[28]

Although originally announced as beginning her run as companion in the Christmas special in 2012, Coleman made a surprise appearance on 1 September 2012 in the first episode of the seventh series as Oswin Oswald, a guest character.[29] Coleman subsequently debuted as a series regular in the Christmas special episode "The Snowmen" as Victorian governess and barmaid Clara Oswin Oswald. In that episode, Coleman also played a third version of the character, a resident of twenty-first-century London simply named Clara Oswald. Beginning in "The Bells of Saint John", this version begins her travels as the Doctor's regular companion,[30] including after his regeneration into the Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, in the 2013 Christmas special episode "The Time of the Doctor."[31] In the 2014 Christmas special episode "Last Christmas", it was revealed that Coleman would remain in the role of Clara for Series 9.[32] However, the ninth series was her last, as Coleman had decided to leave the show to take on a role as Queen Victoria in an ITV production.[33][34]

She returned to the show for Twelfth Doctor's last episode "Twice Upon a Time" where she made a cameo appearance; that episode, Doctor Who's 2017 Christmas special, aired the same evening as the first Christmas special for Victoria. She was first credited on screen as Jenna Coleman in Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor, which aired on 4 August 2013.[1][35]

2015–2021: Victoria and other work[edit]

Coleman in 2017

In 2015, Coleman was cast in ITV's eight-part drama following the reign of the British monarch and Empress of India, Queen Victoria.[36] The actress confessed that she was not fully informed about Victorian history, but researched the role. When interviewed for BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, Coleman expressed her admiration for the monarch.[37] She argued that this role meant she was able to break out of her supposed "box" as a northern working-class character that Emmerdale put her in.[37] Victoria premiered on 28 August 2016 on ITV,[38] and in September 2016, ITV renewed Victoria for a second series.[39] A Christmas special for 2017 was also commissioned and a third series was announced in December 2017.[40]

In 2017, Coleman became the narrator for a Royal Caribbean UK advertising campaign.[41] On 8 January 2018, Coleman was confirmed to play Joanna in the four-part BBC drama The Cry, an adaptation of the 2013 novel by Helen FitzGerald.[42]

In 2019, Coleman starred as Annie in the Old Vic Theatre's production of All My Sons,[43][44][45] which ran from 13 April to 8 June and included a cinema screening via National Theatre Live on 14 May.[46] In February 2019, it was announced that Coleman would make a guest appearance in an episode from series five of the dark comedy series Inside No. 9, with an expected broadcast date later in the year.[47] Series five returned to the screen on 3 February 2020.[48]

On 11 May 2019, in an interview with Graham Norton on his BBC Radio 2 program, Coleman indicated her intent to return to Victoria for a fourth series should it be renewed by ITV, but stated that the show will be taking "a bit of a breather" before production resumes.[49] In the same year 2019, Coleman was selected for the role of Marie-Andrée Leclerc in the Netflix and BBC drama The Serpent, a dramatisation of the life of convicted serial killer Charles Sobhraj.[50] Production of The Serpent began in Bangkok in September 2019 and continued into 2020, with an expected BBC broadcast later in the year.[51] As with most other film and television production, work on The Serpent was suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming resumed on 17 August in the UK and was completed on 28 August. Due to the delay in filming, the broadcast date for The Serpent was moved to 2021.[52] It premiered on 1 January 2021 on BBC One.[53]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, from April 2020 Coleman participated in The Remote Read, a planned series of online drama performances to raise funds for theatrical workers left unemployed by the pandemic.[54] The first production under this banner, an adaptation of Tom Stoppard's A Separate Peace (1966), was transmitted via the Zoom videoconferencing platform on 2 May 2020.[55] Coleman also recorded the short story Pressures, Residential by Philip Hensher, in support of UNICEF UK, as well as The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies by Beatrix Potter, as part of a collection of audiobooks in Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales.[56] In May 2020, nine years after its original English release, Coleman reprised her role as Princess Melia Antiqua in the video game Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, which features a brand new epilogue taking place after the main story.[57] She then returned as Melia in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 in 2022, where she is depicted as Queen of the Keves Nation.[58]

Coleman headed Boots UK's 2021 Christmas ad campaign, "Bags of Joy". Her character, Joy, is shown to give Christmas presents to friends and family out of a bag that is bigger on the inside.[59] In May 2021, Coleman was cast as Johanna Constantine, the great-great-great-grandmother of John Constantine in DC Comics' The Sandman TV series.[60] The series debuted on Netflix in August 2022, when it was revealed that Coleman was playing two roles in the film; the aforementioned version of Johanna and her present day descendant of the same name. This new interpretation led to calls for a spin-off series.[61] Although such a project has yet to be announced as of late 2022, Coleman is expected to reprise the role in the series' second season.[62]

2022–present[edit]

In February 2021, Coleman was cast in the dark comedy Klokkenluider. Filming began on 28 February in East Sussex, for a three-week shoot in a COVID-secure "bubble".[63] The film premiered at the 66th BFI London Film Festival on 8 October 2022.[64]

Coleman returned to the West End stage beginning in January 2023, co-starring with Aidan Turner in a revival of the 2015 Sam Steiner play, Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, initially with a nine-week run at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London, followed by runs in Manchester and Brighton up until April.[65] That same year she played Liv Taylor in the Amazon Prime thriller Wilderness, based on B.E. Jones' novel of the same name, alongside Oliver Jackson-Cohen.[66] The series was streamed on Amazon Prime beginning on 15 September 2023.[67] She also appeared as Bo in Jamie Childs' thriller film, Jackdaw, reuniting once again with Jackson-Cohen.[68] The film debuted at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas in September 2023.[69][70]

Coleman will next portray Joan Bright in the historical drama series The War Rooms, which will tell the story of the women who worked in Winston Churchill's secret Whitehall bunker during World War II. Coleman is set to produce the series.[71] She is also slated to star as a rookie detective in a crime drama series for BBC One titled The Jetty; Coleman will also act as executive producer on the series.[72]

Personal life[edit]

Coleman was in a relationship with British actor Richard Madden from 2011 to 2015.[73]

Charity work[edit]

Coleman has been involved with charity work in South Africa raising awareness of HIV with One To One Children's Fund, for which she is an ambassador.[74] She is also an ambassador for Place2Be, a charity providing emotional and therapeutic services in schools.[75] Coleman has also regularly supported Comic Relief and Red Nose Day.[76]

Filmography[edit]

Key
Denotes works that have not yet been released

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2011 Captain America: The First Avenger Connie [19]
2016 Me Before You Katrina Clark
2022 Klokkenluider Flo [63]
2023 Jackdaw Bo [68]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2005–2009 Emmerdale Jasmine Thomas Main role, 180 episodes[a] [19]
2009 Waterloo Road Lindsay James Recurring role, 9 episodes [16]
2012 Titanic Annie Desmond Miniseries, 4 episodes [20]
Room at the Top Susan Brown Miniseries, 2 episodes [13]
2012–2015, 2017 Doctor Who Clara Oswald[b] Main role, 37 episodes[c]
2013 Dancing on the Edge Rosie Williams Miniseries, 2 episodes [20]
The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot Jenna Coleman Television film [77]
Death Comes to Pemberley Lydia Wickham Miniseries, all 3 episodes [78]
2016 Thunderbirds Are Go Baines Voice; episode: "Earthbreaker" [79][80]
2016–2019 Victoria Queen Victoria Main role, all 25 episodes [81]
2018 The Cry Joanna Lindsay Miniseries, all 4 episodes [19]
2020 Inside No. 9 Beattie Episode: "Death Be Not Proud" [47][48]
2021 The Serpent Marie-Andrée Leclerc Miniseries, all 8 episodes [50]
Billion Pound Bond Street Narrator Documentary [82]
2022 The Sandman Lady Johanna Constantine/modern-day Johanna Constantine[d] Recurring role, 3 episodes[e] [60]
2023 Wilderness Liv Taylor Main role [66]
2024 The Jetty Ember Manning Main role, executive producer; upcoming series [72]
TBA The War Rooms[f] Joan Bright Astley Main role, executive producer; upcoming series [71]

Stage[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Summer Holiday Bridesmaid [12][11]
2004 Crystal Clear Thomasina In Yer Space[83]
2009 Jack and the Beanstalk Princess Apricot Theatre Royal, Nottingham; pantomime[84]
2019 All My Sons Ann Deever Old Vic Theatre; streamed via National Theatre Live[85]
2020 A Separate Peace Nurse Maggie Coates Virtual play; broadcast online[55][86]
2023 Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Bernadette Harold Pinter Theatre
Manchester Opera House
Theatre Royal, Brighton[65]

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Xenoblade Chronicles Princess Melia Antiqua English dub
2015 Lego Dimensions Clara Oswald Main game and Doctor Who expansion
2020 Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Princess Melia Antiqua English dub, includes new "Future Connected" epilogue
2022 Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Queen of Keves / Melia Antiqua English dub

Audio[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013 The Secret Garden Narrator Abridged reading[87]
Doctor Who: Destiny of the Doctor Alice Watson / Eleventh Doctor Limited-cast dramatic reading. Episode: "The Time Machine"[88]
2016 A Christmas Carol Belle Full cast audio drama; digital release
2020 Pressures, Residential Narrator Short story posted online by Esquire Magazine; in aid of UNICEF UK[89]
Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales Short story: "The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies"[56]

Adverts[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Source(s)
2021 Bags of Joy Joy Boots Christmas advert [90]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2006 National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer Emmerdale Nominated
The British Soap Awards Best Newcomer Nominated
2009 Best Dramatic Performance[91] Nominated
Sexiest Female[91] Nominated
Best Actress[91] Nominated
2013 Behind the Voice Actors Awards Best Female Vocal Performance in a Video Game Xenoblade Chronicles Nominated
Best Vocal Ensemble in a Video Game Nominated
NAVGTR Awards Supporting Performance in a Drama Nominated
Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards Favourite UK Actress Doctor Who Nominated
TV Choice Awards Best Actress Nominated
TV Times Awards Favourite Newcomer Won
2014 Glamour Awards UK TV Actress Won
2015 BAFTA Cymru Best Actress[92] Doctor Who: "Kill the Moon" Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress on Television[93] Doctor Who Nominated
TV Choice Awards Best Actress Nominated
2017 Golden Nymph Awards Outstanding Actress in a Drama TV Series[94] Victoria Won
National Television Awards Best Drama Performance Nominated
2018 Movieguide Awards Grace Award for Most Inspiring Performance for TV[95] Nominated
National Television Awards Best Drama Performance Nominated
Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year Awards TV Actress of the Year[96] The Cry Won
I Talk Telly Awards Best Dramatic Performance[97] Won
2019 Logie Awards Most Outstanding Actress Won
Most Popular Actress Nominated
BAFTA Scotland Awards Best Actress in Television Nominated
International Emmy Awards Best Actress Nominated
AACTA Awards Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama Nominated

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Disputed: some Emmerdale fan websites suggest she appeared in more than 400 episodes
  2. ^ Also played two variants of the character named Oswin Oswald and Clara Oswin Oswald.
  3. ^ Also appeared in numerous mini episodes and sketches.
  4. ^ Two different characters, the latter the descendant of the former. Modern-day Johanna is based on the character John Constantine.
  5. ^ Series renewed for a second season by Netflix in the fall of 2022; Coleman's involvement unconfirmed as of November 2023.
  6. ^ Announced by media in 2021 but no production announced as of August 2023.

References[edit]

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