Jessica Brown Findlay

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jessica Brown Findlay
Born Jessica Rose Brown Findlay
(1989-09-14) 14 September 1989 (age 27)
Cookham, Berkshire, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 2009–present

Jessica Rose Brown Findlay (born 14 September 1989)[1] is an English actress, best known for playing Lady Sybil Crawley in the ITV series Downton Abbey and Emelia Conan Doyle in the British comedy-drama film Albatross. In 2014, she starred as Beverly Penn in the film adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel Winter's Tale.[2] The following year, she co-starred in Paul McGuigan's Victor Frankenstein (2015).

Early life[edit]

Findlay lives in Cookham, Berkshire, where her mother is a teacher's assistant and her father is a financial adviser.[1] Findlay trained with the National Youth Ballet and the Associates of the Royal Ballet, and at age 15, she was invited to dance with the Kirov at the Royal Opera House for a summer season.[3]

Findlay attended Furze Platt Senior School in Maidenhead. At the end of her GCSEs, she was accepted to a number of ballet schools but chose to go to the Arts Educational School, because of the A-level courses it provided and its pastoral care. Findlay attended for two years; in her second year, she had three operations on her ankles, the last of which went wrong. After being told she could never dance again, Findlay decided to embark upon a career in acting, something she had always considered but had never tried.[4] After encouragement from an art teacher, she finished her education at Arts Educational School, Tring Park[4] and then moved on to a Fine Art course at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.[1][3]


Findlay was cast in the lead role of Emelia in the film Albatross, directed by Niall MacCormick.[3] She was subsequently cast in two episodes of the E4 programme Misfits. Her big break came when she was cast on Downton Abbey as the youngest of the Grantham daughters, Sybil Crawley. She held the role for three seasons before subsequently leaving in the hopes of advancing her career. She next appeared in the "Fifteen Million Merits", an episode of the anthology series Black Mirror.

In 2012, Findlay became the face of Dominic Jones' jewellery line, and she was cast in Not Another Happy Ending by John McKay,[5] and in the miniseries Labyrinth, based on the novel of the same name written by Kate Mosse, portraying Alaïs Pelletier.[6] In 2012, Findlay was cast as Beverly Penn in the film adaptation of the novel Winter's Tale (2014) with Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe.[7]

Tim Burton considered Findlay for the lead in his adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, but ultimately gave the role to Australian actress Mia Wasikowska.[4] In March 2015, it was confirmed that she would star in the remake of The Crow,[8] in which Findlay portrayed Shelly.[9]

In July 2015, Findlay played the role of the emotionally conflicted stepmother Alice Aldridge in The Outcast, the BBC’s two-part television adaptation of Sadie Jones’ novel.[10]

In May 2015 Findlay made her theatre debut at the Almeida Theatre, London, as Electra in a new adaptation of The Oresteia to rave reviews.[11] The production later transferred to the Trafalgar Theatre in London's West End. The writer and director was Robert Icke, who cast Findlay in his production of Uncle Vanya at the same venue in February of the following year.[12]

In September 2016 it was announced that she will play Ophelia in a new production of Hamlet at the Almeida Theatre in London.[13]



Year Film Role Notes
2009 Man on a Motorcycle Girl in Bed Short film
2011 Albatross Emelia Conan Doyle
2014 Winter's Tale Beverly Penn
2014 Lullaby Karen Lowenstein
2014 The Riot Club Rachel
2015 Victor Frankenstein Lorelei
2016 This Beautiful Fantastic Bella Brown
2017 Steven Linder Sterling Post-production
2017 Iris Warriors Miss Shaw Post-production


Year Film Role Notes
2009, 2011 Misfits Rachel 2 episodes
2010–2012 Downton Abbey Lady Sybil Branson 20 episodes
2011 Black Mirror Abi Khan Episode: "Fifteen Million Merits"
2012 Labyrinth Alaïs Pelletier du Mas Miniseries (2 episodes)
2014 Jamaica Inn Mary Yellan Miniseries (3 episodes)
2015 The Outcast Alice Aldridge 2 episodes
2017 Harlots Pre-production

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2011 British Independent Film Awards Most Promising Newcomer[14] Albatross Nominated
2012 Evening Standard British Film Awards Most Promising Newcomer[15] Albatross Nominated


  1. ^ a b c Aftab, Kaleen (6 October 2011). "The Lady is a champ: Why everyone is talking about Jessica Brown Findlay". The Independent. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Fleming, Mike (3 February 2013). "Star In 'Winter's Tale'". 
  3. ^ a b c "Downton Abbey Press Pack" (PDF). ITV. 
  4. ^ a b c Littlejohn, Georgina (9 October 2011). "What would they say at Downton? Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay shakes off Lady Sybil in first 'shocking' film role". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Jessica Brown Findlay to star in Not Another Happy Ending". 9 December 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Meet the young cast of Labyrinth". 30 December 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Fleming, Mike (21 March 2012). "Star In 'Winter's Tale'". 
  8. ^ "More News Confirmed For 'The Crow' Remake". 16 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "The Crow – Downton Abbey Star Joins Cast; More Details". 15 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "BBC One: The Outcast: Episode 1 credits". Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  11. ^ Billington, Michael (7 June 2015). "Icke brings us Aeschylus for the modern age". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  12. ^ Clapp, Susannah (21 February 2016). "Chekhov rewired". The Observer. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  13. ^ "Downton Abbey actress Jessica Brown Findlay joins Hamlet production". BBC News. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  14. ^ "British Independent Film Awards 2011: Nominations". 5 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Evening Standard British Film Awards 2012: Nominations". 17 January 2012. 

External links[edit]