Justine Waddell

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Justine Waddell
Justine Waddell at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011.jpg
Waddell at the Berlin Film Festival 2011
Born (1976-11-04) 4 November 1976 (age 43)
Years active1996–present

Justine Waddell (born 4 November 1976) is a South African born British film and television actress. She played roles in the 2006 film The Fall and 2005 film Chaos as well as Tess in the 1998 LWT adaptation of Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Estella in the 1999 BBC adaptation of Great Expectations.

Early life[edit]

Waddell was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her father, Gordon Waddell (1937–2012), was a Scottish rugby union player who captained the Scottish national team and played for the British and Irish Lions. He later became a Progressive Party Member of Parliament in South Africa, and a director of Anglo American PLC. Her grandfather, Herbert Waddell (1902–1988), also played rugby for Scotland and the Lions. Waddell moved with her family to Scotland when she was eleven. Four years later they moved to London. Waddell is the only member of her family to take up a career in acting. She read Social and Political Science at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, which allowed her to take time off from her studies to pursue her career.


Waddell has divided her work between stage and screen. Amongst her roles to date have been her performance as Sasha opposite Ralph Fiennes and Bill Paterson in the Almeida Theatre's London production of Ivanov (1997), Countess Nordston in Anna Karenina (1997), Tess in a London Weekend Television production of Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1998), Julia Bertram in Mansfield Park (1999), Estella in Great Expectations, Nina in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Seagull by Anton Chekhov (2000), for which she was nominated for an Ian Charleson award and Molly Gibson in the television mini series Wives and Daughters for which she won a Broadcasting Press Guild Best Actress award. She played Mary Heller in the American film, Dracula 2000. In 2002 she starred in The One and Only. She won a Prism Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Natalie Wood in The Mystery of Natalie Wood, a 2004 TV movie directed by Peter Bogdanovich. In 2006 Waddell starred alongside Jason Statham and Ryan Phillipe in Chaos. During the same year, she co-starred with Lee Pace in Tarsem Singh’s The Fall.

In 2011 Waddell had a starring role in Mishen,[1] which is a Russian science fiction film directed by Alexander Zeldovich and written by Vladimir Sorokin.[2] For her role in the film, she learned the Russian language from scratch.[3] Mishen had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival and then a gala premiere at the Moscow International Film Festival. In 2014, Waddell was on the jury of the Festival of European Film "Voices" in Vologda, Russia.[4]

In 2015, she was on the jury of the Eurasia International Film Festival in Kazakhstan alongside jury chairman Abderrahmane Sissako and South Korean film director Kim Dong-ho.[5] She also took part in the BBC New Year film programme to discuss women in film with Francine Stock, Elizabeth Karlson and Carol Morley.[6]

She is also the founder and director of Kino Klassika Foundation which educates audiences about film and film materials from the countries of the former Soviet Union.[7]


Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
1997 Anna Karenina Countess Nordston
1998 The Misadventures of Margaret Young Girl
1999 Mansfield Park Julia Bertram
2000 Dracula 2000 Mary Heller/Mary Van Helsing
2002 The One and Only Stevie
2006 Chaos Detective Teddy Galloway
2006 The Fall Nurse Evelyn
2007 Thr3e Jennifer Peters
2011 Killing Bono Danielle
2011 Target (Mishen) Zoe (Zoya) Russian production
2011 The Enemy Within Jean Kerr Original title The Real American – Joe McCarthy
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
1997 The Moth Millie Thorman
1997 The Woman in White Laura Fairlie
1998 Tess of the D'Urbervilles Tess Durbeyfield
1999 Great Expectations Estella
1999 Wives and Daughters Molly Gibson Winner, Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress
2004 The Mystery of Natalie Wood Natalie Wood Winner, Prism Award for Best Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries


  1. ^ "Strange Energies from the East". Sight and Sound. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
  2. ^ "Personality/Justine Waddell". New-Style. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  3. ^ "English actress cracks Russian language to star in arthouse film". Rt.com. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  4. ^ "«Мой фаворит — Винни-Пух по-русски»". Известия (in Russian). 9 July 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  5. ^ "FIPRESCI - Almaty 2015". www.fipresci.org. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Women in Film, The Film Programme - BBC Radio 4". BBC. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Kino Klassika Foundation – Russian Language Film Charity London". Kino Klassika Foundation. Retrieved 6 September 2018.

External links[edit]