Jessica Brown Findlay
Jessica Brown Findlay
Jessica Rose Brown Findlay
14 September 1989
|Education||Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design|
Jessica Rose Brown Findlay (born 14 September 1989) is an English actress. She played Lady Sybil Crawley in the ITV television period drama series Downton Abbey and Emilia Conan Doyle in the 2011 British comedy-drama feature film Albatross.
In 2014, she appeared as Beverly Penn in the film adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel Winter's Tale. In 2015, she co-starred in Paul McGuigan's Victor Frankenstein as Lorelei, the Esmerelda-like acrobat. In 2016, she joined the cast of the biopic feature film, England is Mine, about the early life and career of English singer Morrissey, who co-founded the indie rock band The Smiths.
Brown Findlay portrayed Charlotte Wells, a madam's daughter and prostitute, in the three season run of Harlots (2017–2019), a period drama television series initially screening on ITV Encore in the UK and on Hulu Plus in the US. As of 2020, she is in the main cast of the series Brave New World.
Brown Findlay grew up in Cookham, Berkshire, United Kingdom, where her mother is a teaching assistant and her father is a financial adviser. She told Vanity Fair in 2012, "I grew up there, as did my Mum. My Nan and Granddad are around the corner. It is a very familiar place and incredibly dear to my heart. It's sort of quiet, but wonderfully so." 
She trained with the National Youth Ballet and the Associates of the Royal Ballet, and at age 15 was invited to dance with the Kirov at the Royal Opera House for a summer season. She 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. Brown Findlay attended for two years: in her second year, she had three operations on her ankles, the last of which went wrong. After encouragement from an art teacher, she finished her education at Arts Educational School, Tring Park and then moved on to a Fine Art course at Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design. In a 2012 interview with Vanity Fair, Brown Findlay stated, "Growing up, I was completely in love and infatuated with ballet. Ballet was my life completely." However, after three ankle operations, she was forced to leave dancing behind and ended up at university in London, where she discovered the stage. She says, "Acting was the element from ballet that I actually loved and missed the most." 
Brown Findlay was cast in the lead role of 17-year-old Emilia Conan Doyle for Albatross, a 2011 British coming-of-age comedy drama film directed by Niall MacCormick, co-starring Julia Ormond, Felicity Jones and Sebastian Koch. The film's premise concerns a teenage aspiring writer entering the lives of a dysfunctional family living on the south coast of England, with bookish young women meeting up with a peer who lacks any boundaries or inhibitions. Next, she was cast in two episodes of the British science fiction comedy-drama television show Misfits. Brown Findlay appeared in the first-season finale as a wholesome religious girl whose superpower is convincing everyone to abandon their delinquent behaviour in favour of celibacy.
Almost immediately after shooting her first major role, in Albatross, Brown Findlay landed the role of Lady Sybil Crawley in the ITV period drama television series Downton Abbey, which became her breakthrough role, as the youngest of the Grantham daughters. In a 2012 interview with Vanity Fair, Brown Findlay stated, "I thought this character of Sybil was fascinating, and I liked her modern attitude to life."  Brown Findlay was the first major cast member to leave the series, when her character, the forward-thinking Lady Sybil, died from eclampsia after giving birth in the third series. During a 2015 interview, Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes, discussed the plot twist, "Jessica Brown Findlay, who played Sybil, had said she was going to leave right from the beginning. She said, "I'm doing three years, then I'm leaving", So that was all worked out," Fellowes said of Lady Sybil's death, which occurred shortly after she gave birth to her and Tom Branson's baby daughter.
She next appeared as Abi in the Black Mirror episode "Fifteen Million Merits" with English actor "Daniel Kaluuya". The episode imagined a dystopian future where people earn merits on exercise bikes and the only way to escape their slave-like existence is to audition for reality TV judges.
In 2012, Brown Findlay became the face of Dominic Jones' jewellery line, and she was cast in Not Another Happy Ending by John McKay, and in the miniseries Labyrinth, based on the novel of the same name written by Kate Mosse, portraying Alaïs Pelletier. In 2012, Brown Findlay was cast as Beverly Penn in the film adaptation of the novel Winter's Tale (2014) with Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe.
In May 2015, Brown Findlay made her professional theatre debut at the Almeida Theatre, London, as Electra in a new adaptation of The Oresteia to positive reviews. The production later transferred to the Trafalgar Theatre in London's West End. The writer and director was Robert Icke, who cast Brown Findlay in his production of Uncle Vanya at the same venue in February of the following year.
In September 2016, it was announced she would play Ophelia in a new production of Hamlet at the Almeida Theatre in London. The production was critically acclaimed and later transferred to the West End, where it ran until September 2017 with award-winning "Sherlock" and "Fleabag" actor (Andrew Scott) as Hamlet.
In 2016, she joined the cast of a biopic feature film initially entitled Steven, about the early life and career of English singer Morrissey, who co-founded the indie rock band The Smiths. The film, renamed England is Mine, premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2017, with Dunkirk actor Jack Lowden in the lead role.
Brown Findlay starred as Bella Brown in This Beautiful Fantastic, a 2016 British romantic drama film directed and written by Simon Aboud as a repressed foundling who forms a new life through her relationships with a curmudgeonly neighbour (Tom Wilkinson), a gifted cook (Andrew Scott) and an eccentric inventor (Jeremy Irvine).
In 2017, Brown Findlay portrayed Charlotte Wells, a brothel owner's daughter and famed courtesan, in Harlots, a period drama television series created by Alison Newman and Moira Buffini. The series premiered on 27 March 2017 on ITV Encore in the UK and on 29 March 2017 on Hulu Plus in the US. The TV series focuses on Margaret Wells, who runs a brothel in 18th century England and struggles to raise her daughters in a chaotic household. The series is inspired by "The Covent Garden Ladies" by Hallie Rubenhold.  Also in 2017, she voiced the character of Fay in the animated film, Monster Family.
In 2018, she starred as Elizabeth McKenna in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
In May 2019, it was announced that Brown Findlay would star in the role of Lenina Crowne in the NBCUniversal series Brave New World, based on the classic 1932 novel by Aldous Huxley. The series was subsequently moved to Peacock network.
|2009||Man on a Motorcycle||Girl in Bed||Short film|
|2011||Albatross||Emelia Conan Doyle|
|2014||Winter's Tale||Beverly Penn|
|The Riot Club||Rachel|
|2016||This Beautiful Fantastic||Bella Brown|
|2017||England Is Mine||Linder Sterling|
|Monster Family||Fay (voice)|
|2018||Iris Warriors||Miss Shaw|
|The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society||Elizabeth McKenna|
|2009, 2011||Misfits||Rachel||E4||2 episodes|
|2010–2012||Downton Abbey||Lady Sybil Branson||ITV||Main role; 20 episodes (Seasons 1–3)|
|2011||Black Mirror||Abi Khan||Channel 4||Episode: "Fifteen Million Merits"|
|2012||Labyrinth||Alaïs Pelletier du Mas||Sat 1||Miniseries (2 episodes)|
|2014||Jamaica Inn||Mary Yellan||BBC One||Miniseries (3 episodes)|
|2015||The Outcast||Alice Aldridge||BBC One||2 episodes|
|2017–2019||Harlots||Charlotte Wells||ITV Encore||Main role (Seasons 1–3)|
|2020||Castlevania||Lenore (voice)||Netflix||Main role (Season 3-)|
|Brave New World||Lenina Crowne||Peacock||Main role|
|2016||Uncle Vanya||Sonya||Almeida Theatre|
|Harold Pinter Theatre|
Awards and nominations
|2011||British Independent Film Awards||Most Promising Newcomer||Albatross||Nominated|||
|2012||Evening Standard British Film Awards||Most Promising Newcomer||Albatross||Nominated|||
|2015||Ian Charleson Awards||Special Commendation||Oresteia||Nominated|
|2016||Ian Charleson Awards||Second Prize||Uncle Vanya||Won|||
- Aftab, Kaleen (6 October 2011). "The Lady is a champ: Why everyone is talking about Jessica Brown Findlay". The Independent. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- Pols, Mary. "Albatross: Just Call Her Emilia Bad-Elia". Time. Retrieved 12 December 2017 – via entertainment.time.com.
- Fleming, Mike (3 February 2013). "Star In 'Winter's Tale'". Deadline.com.
- "Victor Frankenstein: James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe's mug show". 3 December 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- McNary, Dave (11 April 2016). "'Downton Abbey' Star Jessica Brown Findlay Joins Morrissey Biopic". Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Smith, Krista. "Jessica Brown Findlay on What Attracted Her to Downton Abbey's Sybil". HWD. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Downton Abbey Press Pack" (PDF). ITV.
- Jones, Eleanor (18 October 2020). "Jessica Brown Findlay on the personal struggles behind the glamour". YOU Magazine. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
- "WIRED Binge-Watching Guide: Misfits". Wired. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Sweney, Mark (26 March 2015). "Downton Abbey to end after season six". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2017 – via www.theguardian.com.
- Miller, Julie. "Downton Abbey's Creator Wanted to Kill Off Two Characters in Matthew's Car Crash". Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "'Black Mirror' Episode Being Turned Into Art Exhibition". Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "You can get stuck in a Black Mirror episode for real at the Barbican". 7 April 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- "Jessica Brown Findlay to star in Not Another Happy Ending". 9 December 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Meet the young cast of Labyrinth". 30 December 2011. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- Fleming, Mike (21 March 2012). "Star In 'Winter's Tale'".
- "BBC One: The Outcast: Episode 1 credits". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- Billington, Michael (7 June 2015). "Icke brings us Aeschylus for the modern age". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Clapp, Susannah (21 February 2016). "Chekhov rewired". The Observer. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- "Downton Abbey actress Jessica Brown Findlay joins Hamlet production". BBC News. 8 September 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
- Genzlinger, Neil (9 March 2017). "Review: In 'This Beautiful Fantastic,' a Gardener Blooms". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Elber, Lynn (28 April 2017). "Downton Abbey star takes on 18th-century London in Harlots". Retrieved 12 December 2017 – via Toronto Star.
- Robinson, Joanna. "Why You've Never Seen Anything Like Hulu's Harlots Before". Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Harvey, Chris (26 September 2020). "Jessica Brown Findlay interview: 'The first female Bond? Go on then!'". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
- "JBF on Instagram: "♥️wins every time . A weekend of dreams. Small celebrations felt HUGE. And now what a birthday! X I love you. ♥️"". Instagram. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- Watts, Halina (18 February 2017). "Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay met new man in sexy circumstances". mirror. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
- "British Independent Film Awards 2011: Nominations". 5 November 2011.
- "Evening Standard British Film Awards 2012: Nominations". 17 January 2012.
- Hawkins, Helen. "Paapa Essiedu wins the Ian Charleson award 2016". Sunday Times. 11 June 2017.
- Snow, Georgia. "Paapa Essiedu wins 2016 Ian Charleson award". The Stage. 6 June 2017.
- "Ian Charleson Awards 2016". WestEndTheatre.com. 6 June 2017.