Kelly Dorothy McDonald
23 February 1976
Kelly Dorothy Macdonald (born 23 February 1976) is a Scottish actress best known for her roles in Trainspotting (1996), Gosford Park (2001), Intermission (2003), Nanny McPhee (2005), No Country for Old Men (2007), Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011), Brave (2012), the Black Mirror episode "Hated in the Nation" (2016), Line of Duty (2021), and Operation Mincemeat (2022).
For the 2005 TV film The Girl in the Cafe, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film.
She went on to star for five seasons in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014) as Margaret Thompson, for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and two nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.
Macdonald was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and grew up in Newton Mearns. Her parents divorced when she was young. She was raised along with her brother David, by her mother, who was a garment industry sales executive. Macdonald attended Eastwood High School from 1989 to 1993.
Macdonald's career began while working as a barmaid in Glasgow. She saw a leaflet advertising an open casting session for Trainspotting and decided to audition, winning the part of Diane, the underage seductress to Ewan McGregor's Renton. Other roles include Mary O'Neary in Two Family House, and an actress playing Peter Pan in Finding Neverland. She had major roles in Robert Altman's British period piece Gosford Park, where she played an aristocrat's maid, and in Intermission (2003), as Deirdre.
On radio, she portrayed Mary in the 1999 BBC radio drama Lifehouse, based on Pete Townshend's abandoned rock opera, some of the songs for which were released on The Who's album Who's Next. On television, her highest profile roles have been in two BBC dramas, the Paul Abbott serial State of Play (2003), and the one-off Richard Curtis piece The Girl in the Café (2005). Both of these were directed by David Yates, and both also starred Bill Nighy. For her performance in The Girl in the Café, she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film in 2006, and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Macdonald had a supporting role in the Coen brothers' Academy Award-winning film No Country for Old Men (2007), for which she was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. It was reported that she had to fight her agent to be considered for the role, but Macdonald later denied the story.
Other films where she had supporting roles include Choke (2008), the film adapted by Clark Gregg from the 2001 Chuck Palahniuk novel, as Paige Marshall; In the Electric Mist (2009) (based on James Lee Burke's In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead (1993), as Kelly Drummond, alongside Tommy Lee Jones and John Goodman; and Skellig (2009), as Louise. She played the lead in The Merry Gentleman (2008).
In 2011, she played the "Grey Lady" (revealed to be Helena Ravenclaw) in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the final instalment of the Harry Potter film franchise. She replaced Nina Young, who originally played the role. In 2012, she provided the voice of Merida, the heroine of the Disney/Pixar film Brave, and played Dolly in Anna Karenina. She starred in the romantic comedy film The Decoy Bride, which was released in 2012.
From 2010 until its ending in 2014, she starred in the HBO crime drama Boardwalk Empire as Margaret Thompson, the wife of Prohibition-era Atlantic City crime boss Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi). She appeared in all five seasons of the series. In 2011, she and the rest of the show's cast were awarded the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. In 2016, she starred in Ricky Gervais' Special Correspondents as Claire Maddox, and Swallows and Amazons as Mrs. Walker. In 2016, she played the lead role in "Hated in the Nation", an episode of the anthology series Black Mirror for which she received critical acclaim. On 3 November 2016 Macdonald was featured in the trailer for Danny Boyle's T2 Trainspotting confirming she would reprise her role as Diane from the original film, which she did. In 2017, she co-starred opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC film The Child in Time. Macdonald played the guest lead in the sixth series of the BBC's police drama Line of Duty.
In August 2003, Macdonald married musician Dougie Payne, bassist of soft rock band Travis. They have two sons. They moved back to their hometown of Glasgow in 2014, after living in London and New York City. They separated in 2017.
|1996||Trainspotting||Diane Coulston||Film debut|
|1996||Dancing, Some Days||Sharon||Short film|
|1996||Stella Does Tricks||Stella McGuire|
|1997||Dead Eye Dick||Wendy||Short film|
|1998||Cousin Bette||Hortense Hulot|
|1999||The Loss of Sexual Innocence||Susan|
|1999||My Life So Far||Elspeth Pettigrew|
|1999||Tube Tales||Emma||Segment: "Mr. Cool"|
|2000||Two Family House||Mary O'Neary|
|2001||Gosford Park||Mary Maceachran|
|2004||Finding Neverland||Peter Pan|
|2005||The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy||Reporter Jin Jenz|
|2005||All the Invisible Children||Jonathan's wife||Segment: "Jonathan"|
|2005||A Cock and Bull Story||Jenny|
|2007||No Country for Old Men||Carla Jean Moss|
|2008||The Merry Gentleman||Kate Frazier|
|2009||In the Electric Mist||Kelly Drummond|
|2011||The Decoy Bride||Katie Nic Aodh|
|2011||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2||Helena Ravenclaw|
|2012||Anna Karenina||Dolly Oblonskaya|
|2016||Special Correspondents||Claire Maddox|
|2016||Swallows and Amazons||Mrs. Walker|
|2016||The Journey Is the Destination||Duff|
|2017||T2 Trainspotting||Diane Coulston|
|2017||Goodbye Christopher Robin||Olive Rand|
|2018||Ralph Breaks the Internet||Princess Merida||Voice|
|2018||Holmes & Watson||Mrs. Hudson|
|2019||Dirt Music||Georgie Jutland|
|2021||Operation Mincemeat||Jean Leslie|
|2022||I Came By||Lizzie Nealey|
|TBD||Typist Artist Pirate King||Sandra Panza|
|1996||Flowers of the Forest||Amy Ogilvie||Television film|
|2003||Brush with Fate||Aletta Pieters||Television film|
|2003||State of Play||Della Smith||6 episodes|
|2005||Alias||Kiera MacLaine/Meghan Keene||Episode: "Ice"|
|2005||The Girl in the Café||Gina||Television film|
|2010–2014||Boardwalk Empire||Margaret Thompson||45 episodes|
|2016||Black Mirror||DCI Karin Parke||Episode: "Hated in the Nation"|
|2017||The Child in Time||Julie||Television film|
|2019||The Victim||Anna Dean||Television miniseries|
|2019||Giri/Haji||DC Sarah Weitzmann||Main role|
|2019||Urban Myths||Princess Margaret||Series 3, Episode 8 : "Mick and Margaret"|
|2020||Truth Seekers||Jojo74||Episode: "The Ghost of the Beast of Bodmin"|
|2021||Line of Duty||DCI Joanne Davidson||Main role, Series 6|
|2022||Ten Percent||As herself||Guest appearance : Season 1, Episode 1|
Awards and nominations
Eastwood High School, where she was a pupil, has a drama studio and theatre named in her honour.
- Nicoll, Vivienne (28 November 2013). "Star Kelly stages a comeback at school". Evening Times. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- Cadwallader, Carole (5 April 2009). "Cinema's best-kept secret". The Guardian. London, UK.
- "Trainspotting". DVDMG. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "Two Family House". Spirituality and Practice. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "Finding Neverland". Yahoo Movies. Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "Gosford Park". TV Guide. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "Intermission". About.com. Archived from the original on 20 September 2005. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- Credits from the cassette release from the BBC Radio Collection
- "State of Play". BBC. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "Girl in the Café". Qwipster. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "2006 Golden Globe". About.com. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "Scots star wins Emmy for TV role". BBC News. 28 August 2006. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "2008 baftas". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "Kelly Macdonald: 'Never mind hangovers on the Trainspotting set, people were still drunk'". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
- Wilson, Benji (11 April 2009). "Kelly MacDonald's 'comeback' with Skellig". The Times. London, UK. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "the merry gentleman". Cinematical. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- Macnab, Geoffrey (14 May 2010). "Tennant, MacDonald, Eve walk down the aisle with "Decoy Bride"". ScreenDaily. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- Sneider, Jeff (30 May 2015). "'Boardwalk Empire's' Kelly Macdonald Joins Ricky Gervais' Netflix Movie 'Special Correspondents' (Exclusive)". TheWrap.
- Barraclough, Leo (29 June 2015). "'Sherlock's' Moriarty, Andrew Scott, Joins Cast of 'Swallows and Amazons' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
- "Joe Wright To Direct 'Black Mirror' Episode For Netflix; Bryce Dallas Howard & Alice Eve To Star". Deadline. 10 February 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- "Line of Duty: Who is Kelly Macdonald playing?". Radio Times. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
- "Actress Kelly Macdonald to pocket £500,000 from sale of plush New York apartment".
- "My London: Kelly Macdonald". Evening Standard.
- "Actress Kelly Macdonald, Travis Bassist Douglas Payne Have Separated". Billboard. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- "Full record for 'DANCING, SOME DAYS' (7290)". movingimage.nls.uk. Retrieved 15 December 2021.