Jessica Henwick

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Jessica Henwick
Henwick at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Jessica Yu-Li Henwick

(1992-08-30) 30 August 1992 (age 31)
Surrey, England
  • Actress
  • writer
  • director
Years active2009–present

Jessica Yu-Li Henwick (born 30 August 1992) is a British actress, writer and director. She began her career in 2010 and is best known for her roles in Game of Thrones, Iron Fist, Love and Monsters, The Matrix Resurrections, The Gray Man, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and The Royal Hotel. Her directorial debut Bus Girl was nominated for a BAFTA.[1]

Early life[edit]

Henwick is from Surrey,[2] the daughter of a Singaporean-Chinese mother of Teochew descent and a Zambian-born English father.[3][4][5] Her father, Mark, became an author in 2012 who wrote the urban fantasy series Bite Back.[6] She has two brothers, one older and one younger.[5]

Henwick attended Collingwood College in Camberley.[7] She trained briefly at Redroofs Theatre School before dropping out.[8] She also trained with the National Youth Theatre under the tutelage of Rikki Beadle-Blair.[9]


Early career[edit]

Henwick happened upon a casting call in Chinatown, London and her mother encouraged her to pursue the opportunity.[10] In June 2009, it was announced Henwick had been cast in the lead role of Bo in the CBBC series Spirit Warriors,[11] making her the first actress of East Asian descent to play the lead role in a British television series.[12][13][14][15]

In early 2013, Henwick made her professional theatre debut in the international premiere of Running on the Cracks, based on the book by Julia Donaldson. The Guardian wrote, "with tremendous physical presence, Henwick captures the sense of adolescent righteousness, passion and confusion of a girl trying to create order in an unfair universe."[16] Theatre critic Joyce McMillan wrote that Henwick was "outstanding as Leo".[17]

Later that year, Henwick was cast as Jane Jeong Trenka in the drama Obsession: Dark Desires about Trenka's stalking in Minnesota, 1991, which she details in her book The Language of Blood.[18] Henwick joined the cast of Silk as new barrister pupil Amy. She reprised her role for the spin-off radio series Silk: The Clerks' Room.[19]

International breakthrough[edit]

In 2015, Henwick joined the cast of the HBO series Game of Thrones in Season 5 as Nymeria Sand. She continued performing the role until Season 7.[20] Henwick originally auditioned for the role of Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens before losing out to Daisy Ridley for the role.[21] Nevertheless, she still had a role in the film as the X-wing pilot Jess Pava. The character became a fan favourite.[22][23]

In 2017, Henwick appeared as Colleen Wing in the Netflix television series Iron Fist. Although critical reception of Iron Fist was generally negative, Henwick's performance in the series was well received.[24] She reprised the role for the series The Defenders, as well as the second season of Luke Cage.[25] At the end of 2017, Henwick was listed as one of Variety's Top Breakout Stars.[26]

In 2018, Henwick was cast in Godzilla vs. Kong,[27][28] though her part as well as Zhang Ziyi's role did not make the released theatrical cut.[29]

In 2020, Henwick co-starred in the Fox science fiction thriller Underwater,[30] and the films Love and Monsters and Sofia Coppola's On the Rocks.[31] That same year she was listed as one of The Hollywood Reporter's Rising Stars[32] and won the Brit to Watch award at the Newport Beach Film Festival.[33] The following year she starred in The Matrix Resurrections. IGN called Henwick the "best part of Resurrections",[34] while Deadline Hollywood said she was "what makes the movie worth watching".[35] She was nominated and won Best Supporting Actress on the Gold list Honors for the most outstanding Asian achievements in the film industry.[36]

In 2022, Henwick was in two of the most highly viewed Netflix films of all time, The Gray Man and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.[37] She directed her short film Bus Girl, shot entirely on a smartphone during a break from filming Glass Onion. It was nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Short Film.[38]

Jessica Henwick at an interview for 'The Royal Hotel'

In 2023, Henwick joined the cast of The Royal Hotel directed by Kitty Green.[39][40] Her performance was well reviewed[41][42] with The Hollywood Reporter calling her 'superb'.[43] The film received an 89% score on Rotten Tomatoes.[44]

In 2024, Henwick appeared in Cuckoo (2024 film) opposite Hunter Schafer[45] and reprised her role in the second season of animated series Blood of Zeus.[46]


In 2020, it was announced Amazon had picked up Nancy Wu Done It, a young adult series that Henwick co-wrote.[47] She has a miniseries in development with Emu Films.[48]

In 2022, Henwick wrote an episode for the animated series Moley.[49] Henwick won the Mary Pickford prize for female filmmaker, for the Xiaomi short film ‘Bus Girl’ that she wrote, starred in and directed.[50] The short was nominated for the BAFTA awards in 2023.[51] She wrote and directed the sequel ‘Sandwich Man’ the following year.



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2009 St. Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold Globe Girl Uncredited
2014 Dr Liebenstein Rachel
2015 Dragonfly Paula Reid
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Jessika "Testor" Pava
2016 The Head Hunter Aiko Koo
The Heart of the Forest Akira Short film; Also writer
Balsa Wood Scotty
2017 Newness Joanne
Rice on White Elena
2018 Yo! My Saint Muse with Kenzo
2019 Baliko Mara Short film; Also writer
2020 Underwater Emily Haversham
On the Rocks Fiona Saunders
Love and Monsters Aimee
2021 The Matrix Resurrections Bugs
2022 The Gray Man Suzanne Brewer
Xiaomi's Bus Girl[52] June Also director and writer
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Peg [53]
2023 The Royal Hotel Liv
2024 Cuckoo Beth[54]
The Land of Sometimes[55]


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2010 Spirit Warriors Bo Main role; 10 episodes
2012 The Thick of It Charlotte Episode: #4.1
2014 Obsession: Dark Desires Jane Jeong Trenka Episode: "Silent Scream"
Silk Amy Lang Main role; 5 episodes
Lewis Chloe Ilson Guest role; 2 episodes
2015–2017 Game of Thrones Nymeria Sand Recurring role; 8 episodes
2017 Fortitude Bianca Mankyo Episode: #2.1
2017–2018 Iron Fist Colleen Wing Main role; 23 episodes
2017 The Defenders Main role; 6 episodes
2018 Luke Cage Episode: "Wig Out"
2020–Present Blood of Zeus Alexia Voice; Main Role; 14 episodes [56]
2021–2022 Moley Dotty Voice; Main role; also writer
2021–2022 Blade Runner: Black Lotus[57] Elle Voice; Main role
2022 Carpool Karaoke: The Series Self With Simu Liu
2024[58] Twilight of the Gods Sandraudiga Post production

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice Role Notes
2015–2016 Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey Enu
Hanna Roth
2022 Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Jessika "Testor" Pava


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Running on the Cracks Leo National tour


Year Title Role Notes
2011–2012 North by Northamptonshire Helen BBC Radio Four
2013 Monday to Friday Julie BBC Radio Scotland
2014–2015 Silk: The Clerks Room Amy Lang Series 1 & 2
2020 Harrow Lake Narrator
The Long Way Home Narrator
2021 Hold Still Vincent Faye

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2016 Accolade Competition Award of Excellence (shared: Lourdes Faberes + Giles Alderson) The Heart of the Forest Won [59][60]
2017 Asians on Film Festival Best Original Script (shared with Lourdes Faberes) Won [59][61]
Best Ensemble Nominated [59][61]
Variety Top Breakout Star Iron Fist Won [26]
2020 Newport Beach Film Festival Festival Honors Award – Brit to Watch Underwater Won [59][33][62]
The Hollywood Reporter The Hollywood Reporter Rising Young Star Film/TV career so far Won [32]
2021 Gold List Honors Best Supporting Actress The Matrix Resurrections Won [59][36]
2022 Birmingham Film Festival Audience Award Xiaomi's Bus Girl Won [59]
Coronado Island Film Festival Narrative Shorts Won
Mary Pickford Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Female Director Won
Satellite Awards Best Ensemble Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Won [63]
Hollywood Critics Association Nominated [63]
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Won [63]
2023 Gold Derby Awards Best Ensemble Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Nominated
British Academy Film Awards Best British Short Film Bus Girl Nominated [51]


  1. ^ "British Short Film – an Irish Goodbye". 18 January 2023.
  2. ^ Specter, Francesca (23 November 2022). "Glass Onion's Jessica Henwick on 'Imposter Syndrome', on-screen diversity and her obsession with 3,000-piece jigsaw puzzles". Glamour. Condé Nast. ISSN 0017-0747.
  3. ^ Liang, Lu-Hai (17 October 2013). "Where exactly are my British Chinese role models?". New Statesman. London. ISSN 1364-7431. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  4. ^ Begum, Mumtaj (11 April 2015). "Jessica Henwick is the new face in Game of Thrones". The Star. Petaling Jaya. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b Yee, Yip Wai (7 May 2015). "Game of Thrones newbie Jessica Henwick on her Singapore roots". The Straits Times. Singapore. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  6. ^ Moosavi, Ali (11 June 2020). "Dreamer and Performer: An Interview with Jessica Henwick and her Father, Novelist Mark Henwick". Filmint.
  7. ^ "Alumni". Collingwood College. Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  8. ^ Yossman, KJ (1 March 2023). "'Glass Onion' Star Jessica Henwick on Writing, Directing BAFTA-Nominated Short 'Bus Girl'". Variety. Los Angeles. ISSN 0042-2738. Retrieved 14 November 2023..
  9. ^ "Silk – Amy Lang". BBC Programme Catalogue. BBC. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  10. ^ Liu, Jiselle. "Jessica Henwick". Timid. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  11. ^ "Bo and the Spirit World casting news". ScreenTerrier. 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  12. ^ LaCava, Stephanie (14 February 2017). "Jessica Henwick". Interview. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  13. ^ "Jessica Henwick: The Hapa Franchise Queen on Growing up Between Two Cultures".
  14. ^ Goldman, Justin (15 December 2021). "'The Matrix Resurrections' Star Jessica Henwick Finally Breaks Through". Hemispheres. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  15. ^ Thomas, Shane (30 September 2013). "Actors of Colour". Media Diversified. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  16. ^ Mark Fisher (18 February 2013). "Running on the Cracks – review | Stage". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  17. ^ McMillan, Joyce (8 February 2013). "Theatre review: Running On The Cracks, Tron, Glasgow". The Scotsman. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Shows". Crime and Investigation. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  19. ^ "TV drama Silk in radio spin-off". BBC News. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  20. ^ Hibberd, James (23 July 2017). "'Game of Thrones': Sand Snake Actress on That Brutal Episode ending". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  21. ^ Jones, Damian (9 November 2020). "'Star Wars': Jessica Henwick admits it was "very hard" losing Rey role to Daisy Ridley". NME. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  22. ^
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  24. ^ Patten, Dominic (8 March 2017). "'Iron Fist' Review: Jessica Henwick & Rosario Dawson Are Real Muscle In Marvel Series". Deadline. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  25. ^ Hibberd, James (1 April 2016). "Marvel's Iron Fist casts The Force Awakens actress in lead role". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  26. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (18 December 2017). "Top Breakout TV Stars of 2017". Variety. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  27. ^ Kroll, Justin (9 November 2018). "'Game of Thrones' Actress Jessica Henwick Joins 'Godzilla vs. Kong' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 7 February 2024.
  28. ^ Holmes, Adam (8 April 2022). "Godzilla Vs. Kong Star Shares How Their Role Got Drastically Changed In The MonsterVerse Movie". CINEMABLEND. Retrieved 7 February 2024.
  29. ^ Cooper, Dan (11 April 2022). "Details emerge of a different Godzilla Vs Kong cut". Film Stories.
  30. ^ McNary, Dave (7 March 2017). "T.J. Miller, Jessica Henwick Join Kristen Stewart in Thriller 'Underwater' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  31. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (5 June 2019). "'Game Of Thrones' Jessica Henwick Joins Sofia Coppola's 'On The Rocks'". Deadline. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  32. ^ a b Sandberg, Bryn; Galuppo, Mia (18 November 2020). "Next Gen Talent 2020: The Hollywood Reporter's Rising Young Stars Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  33. ^ a b Lyus, Jon (30 January 2020). "Newport Beach Film Festival Red Carpet Interviews – Asa Butterfield, Alice Eve, Richard E. Grant, Gugu Mbatha-Raw & many more". HeyUGuys. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  34. ^ Emberwing, Amelia (21 December 2021). "The Matrix Resurrections Review". IGN. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  35. ^ "'The Matrix Resurrections' Review: Follow-Up to 'The Matrix Revolutions'". 21 December 2021.
  36. ^ a b Del Rosario, Alexandra (18 January 2022). "Tony Leung, Gemma Chan & 'Flee' Among Gold House & CAPE 2022 Gold List Honorees". Deadline. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  37. ^ Bell, BreAnna (3 January 2023). "'Glass Onion' Becomes Netflix's Third Most Watched Film in 10-Day Period". Variety. Retrieved 23 January 2023.
  38. ^ "'Glass Onion' Star Jessica Henwick on Writing, Directing BAFTA-Nominated Short 'Bus Girl' (EXCLUSIVE)". March 2023.
  39. ^ "'The Royal Hotel' Review: Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick View Men from a Female Gaze in Kitty Green's Return to Australian Filmmaking – Toronto Film Festival". 11 September 2023.
  40. ^ Lee, Benjamin (15 September 2023). "The Royal Hotel review – feminist thriller starts strong but can't stay the course". The Guardian.
  41. ^ "'The Royal Hotel' Review: Julia Garner Fends off a Town Full of Horny Miners in Kitty Green's Harrowing Outback Thriller". 2 September 2023.
  42. ^ "The Royal Hotel". 11 March 2023.
  43. ^ "'The Royal Hotel' Review: Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick in Kitty Green's Bruising Outback Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. 3 September 2023.
  44. ^ "The Royal Hotel - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.
  45. ^ "Berlin unveils an exciting array of fresh titles for Berlinale Special and Generation". Cineuropa - the best of european cinema. 20 December 2023.
  46. ^ Massoto, Erick (10 November 2023). "'Blood of Zeus' Season 2 Sets May Release Date With New Sneak Peek". Collider.
  47. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (23 June 2020). "Amazon Sets Mystery-Comedy 'Nancy Wu Done It' From Kai Yu Wu And Jessica Henwick". Deadline. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  48. ^ Lola, Lauren (16 September 2020). "Jessica Henwick: The Hapa Franchise Queen on Growing Up Between Two Cultures". Mixed Asian Media. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  49. ^ "Jessica Henwick". IMDb. Retrieved 23 January 2023.
  50. ^ Festival, Coronado Island Film. "The 2022 Coronado Island Film Festival announces Filmmaker Awards and $20,000 in cash prizes". (Press release). Retrieved 23 January 2023.
  51. ^ a b "Longlists, 2022 EE British Academy Film Awards". 16 December 2021.
  52. ^ King, Jack (3 December 2021). "Jessica Henwick Revealed Her New Short Film Was Shot Entirely on Smartphones". Collider. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  53. ^ Geisinger, Gabriella (25 November 2022). "Game of Thrones star Jessica Henwick teases her villain in Netflix's The Gray Man". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^ Evans, Greg (12 March 2019). "Netflix Orders 'Gods & Heroes' Greek Mythology Anime Series". Deadline. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  57. ^ Mateo, Alex (7 July 2021). "Blade Runner: Black Lotus Anime Reveals English/Japanese Casts". Anime News Network. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  58. ^
  59. ^ a b c d e f "Jessica Henwick Awards". (Index source only). Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  60. ^ "Winners November 2016 |".
  61. ^ a b "Asians on Film Festival of Shorts 2017 Award Nominees". Asians On Film. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  62. ^ "NBFF 2020 UK Honours". Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  63. ^ a b c "SAG Ensemble head-scratcher: 'Glass Onion' could shake up important precursor race". 23 December 2022.

External links[edit]