Vanessa Kirby

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vanessa Kirby
Vanessa Kirby 2018.jpg
Kirby in 2018
Born (1988-04-18) 18 April 1988 (age 34)[1]
Wimbledon, London, England
EducationUniversity of Exeter (BA)
Years active2010–present
RelativesJoe Kirby (brother)

Vanessa Nuala Kirby[2] (born 18 April 1988) is an English actress. She has received several accolades, including a BAFTA TV Award, in addition to nominations for an Academy Award and a Primetime Emmy Award.

Born in London to urologist Roger Kirby, Kirby studied English literature at the University of Exeter. After graduation, she made her professional acting debut on stage with a production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons (2010), and followed this with acclaimed performances in the plays A Midsummer Night's Dream (2010), As You Like It (2010), Women Beware Women (2011), Three Sisters (2012), and as Stella Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire (2014).

Kirby made her film debut with a minor role in the crime drama The Rise (2012), and rose to international prominence with her portrayal of Princess Margaret in the Netflix drama series The Crown (2016–2017), for which she won the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress and received a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award. She took on roles in the action films Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) and Hobbs & Shaw (2019). For her performance as a grief-stricken young woman in Pieces of a Woman (2020), she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Vanessa Kirby was born on 18 April 1988[1] in Wimbledon, London,[citation needed] to former Country Living magazine editor Jane and urologist Roger Kirby. She has two siblings, Joe and Juliet.[5] Actors Vanessa Redgrave and Corin Redgrave were family friends.[6] After attending Lady Eleanor Holles School and being turned down by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, she took a gap year to travel[7] before studying English at the University of Exeter.[8]


2009–2014: Early work and theatrical productions[edit]

Kirby turned down her place at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art after she was signed to a talent agency and met the theatre director David Thacker, who gave her three starring roles over 2009 at the Octagon Theatre Bolton:[9] in All My Sons by Arthur Miller, Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen, and A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. For All My Sons she won the BIZA Rising Star Award at the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards, worth £5,000.

In 2011, Kirby then went on to appear at the National Theatre as Isabella in Women Beware Women by Thomas Middleton, directed by Marianne Elliott, alongside Harriet Walter and Harry Melling.[10] She then starred as Rosalind in As You Like It by William Shakespeare at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds; Alfred Hickling of The Guardian described her as a "significant new talent". In 2011, she was in the première of The Acid Test by Anya Reiss at the Royal Court Theatre, directed by Simon Godwin, earning praise for her performance from Paul Taylor of The Independent, who described her as "a star if ever I saw one".[11] That same year, Kirby made her television debut in the BBC's The Hour.[12] She played Estella in the BBC's mini-series adaptation of Great Expectations.

Kirby went on to play Masha in the acclaimed stage production by Benedict Andrews of Three Sisters at the Young Vic in September 2012, earning exceptionally good reviews, with Matt Trueman of Time Out stating: "In a super cast given licence to shine, Kirby stands out as Masha".[13][14] She filmed The Rise in early 2012. The film premièred at the Toronto and London Film Festivals to favourable reviews, and won the Best Debut Category for director Rowan Athale.

In 2013, Kirby returned to the National Theatre to play Queen Isabella in Edward II opposite John Heffernan.[15] In the summer of 2014, she played Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, again collaborating with Benedict Andrews at the Young Vic, alongside Gillian Anderson as Blanche and Ben Foster as Stanley.[16] She won Best Supporting Actress category at the Whatsonstage Awards 2014, which is voted for by the public. Kirby also appeared in Richard Curtis's romantic comedy film About Time.[17]

2015–present: Screen roles and international recognition[edit]

Kirby at the London premiere of Mission: Impossible – Fallout

In 2015, Kirby appeared in Everest as American socialite Sandy Hill Pittman, The Dresser, and in May of that year, was cast as Princess Margaret in Netflix's first original British series The Crown. Her selection came after a six-month search.[18] For this role, she was nominated for a BAFTA award in 2017, and won the award for season two in 2018. She played Elena in Robert Icke's production of Uncle Vanya at the Almeida Theatre in 2016, for which she won rave reviews, with Matt Trueman of Variety writing: "Kirby is a superlative Elena: lithe, fickle, hypocritical, shallow and yet always sympathetic. It's a performance that confirms her as the outstanding stage actress of her generation, capable of the most unexpected choices."[19] Throughout the late 2010s, Kirby appeared in several film such as John Boorman's sequel to his Hope and Glory (1987), Queen and Country (2014), the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending (2015), and Kill Command (2016).

In 2016, Variety described her as "the outstanding stage actress of her generation, capable of the most unexpected choices."[19]

In 2018, Kirby played the title character in Polly Stenham's Julie, an adaptation of August Strindberg's Miss Julie, at the National Theatre. Kirby has since starred in two action franchise films, Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) opposite Tom Cruise and Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) alongside Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.

In 2020, Kirby portrayed a grief-stricken woman in Kornél Mundruzcó's English debut Pieces of a Woman, a film portraying the degradation of a marriage.[20] The film received generally positive reviews, with Kirby garnering universal critical acclaim. Peter Debruge wrote for Variety that "[...] this is ultimately Kirby's movie, as the stage marvel [...] delivers her most impressive screen performance to date."[21] Rolling Stone called her performance "transcendent"[22] and she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 2020 Venice Film Festival, where the film premiered. She went on to receive nominations for the Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress.

Kirby is set to reprise her dual role of Alanna Mitsopolis and White Widow in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023) and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two (2024).[23] In 2022, she replaced Jodie Comer as Empress Josephine in the upcoming historical drama film Napoleon opposite Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon, directed by Ridley Scott.[24]

Kirby co-founded the London-based production company Aluna Entertainment[25] which has a first look deal with Netflix.[26]

Acting credits[edit]

Not yet released Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Love/Loss Jane
2012 The Rise Nicola
Nora Young woman Short film
2013 Charlie Countryman Felicity
About Time Joanna
2014 The Exchange Woman Short film
Insomniacs Jade Short film
Queen & Country Dawn Rohan
National Theatre Live: A Streetcar Named Desire Stella Kowalski
Off the Page: Devil in the Details Jessica Short film
2015 Jupiter Ascending Katharine Dunlevy
Bone in the Throat Sophie
Everest Sandy Hill
2016 Genius Zelda Fitzgerald
Kill Command Katherine Mills
Me Before You Alicia Dewares
2018 Mission: Impossible – Fallout Alanna Mitsopolis / White Widow
2019 Mr Jones Ada Brooks
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Hattie Shaw
2020 Pieces of a Woman Martha Weiss
The World to Come Tallie
2021 Italian Studies Alina Reynolds
2022 The Son Beth
2023 Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Not yet released Alanna Mitsopolis / White Widow Post-production
Napoleon Not yet released Empress Josephine Post-production
2024 Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two Not yet released Alanna Mitsopolis / White Widow Filming
TBA The Brutalist TBA Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2011 The Hour Ruth Elms 3 episodes
Great Expectations Estella Havisham Miniseries; 3 episodes
2012 Labyrinth Alice Tanner Miniseries; 2 episodes
2013 Agatha Christie's Poirot Celia Ravenscroft Episode: "Elephants Can Remember"
2015 The Dresser Irene Television film
The Frankenstein Chronicles Lady Jemima Hervey Main role; 7 episodes
The Crown Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon Main role (Seasons 12);
Guest role (Season 5)
18 episodes


Year Title Playwright Role Venue
2010 All My Sons Arthur Miller Ann Deever Octagon Theatre
Ghosts Henrik Ibsen Regina Engstrand Octagon Theatre
A Midsummer Night's Dream William Shakespeare Helena Octagon Theatre
As You Like It William Shakespeare Rosalind West Yorkshire Playhouse
2011 Women Beware Women Thomas Middleton Isabella Royal National Theatre
The Acid Test Anya Reiss Dana Royal Court Theatre
2012 Three Sisters Anton Chekhov Maria "Masha" Kulygina Young Vic
2013 Edward II Christopher Marlowe Isabella of France Royal National Theatre
2014 A Streetcar Named Desire Tennessee Williams Stella Kowalski Young Vic
2016 Uncle Vanya Anton Chekhov Helena Serebryakova Almeida Theatre
A Streetcar Named Desire Tennessee Williams Stella Kowalski St. Ann's Warehouse
2018 Julie Polly Stenham Julie Royal National Theatre

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist Role
2007 "The Heart Never Lies" McFly Female lead

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
British Academy Television Awards Best Supporting Actress The Crown Won [27]
Gold Derby Television Awards Best Drama Supporting Actress Nominated [28]
Online Film and Television Association Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated [29]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
AACTA Awards Best International Actress Pieces of a Woman Nominated [30]
Academy Awards Best Actress Nominated [31]
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Best Actress Nominated [32]
British Academy Film Awards Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated [33]
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Actress Nominated [34]
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Best Actress Nominated [35]
Denver Film Critics Society Best Actress Nominated [36]
Detroit Film Critics Society Best Actress Nominated [37]
Georgia Film Critics Association Best Actress Nominated [38]
Gold Derby Film Awards Best Lead Actress Nominated [39]
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama Nominated [40]
Hollywood Film Critics Association Best Actress Nominated [41]
Houston Film Critics Society Best Actress Nominated [42]
London Film Critics Circle Awards Actress of the Year Nominated [43]
Online Film and Television Association Best Actress Nominated [44]
San Diego Film Critics Society Best Actress Nominated [45]
Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated [46]
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Nominated [47]
St. Louis Film Critics Association Best Actress Nominated [48]
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best Actress Nominated [49]
Women Film Critics Circle Best Actress Nominated [50]


  1. ^ a b Kurp, Josh (1 August 2019). "Everyone Is Pointing Out The Same Age Problem With 'Hobbs And Shaw'". Uproxx.
  2. ^ "10 Things You Never Knew About Vanessa Kirby". No. 8 January 2021. 8 January 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Venice Film Festival 2020 Winners: "Nomadland" Takes Golden Lion, Vanessa Kirby Is Best Actress". IndieWire. 12 September 2020. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Oscar Nominations 2021".
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  6. ^ "Interview: Vanessa Kirby". 30 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Vanessa Kirby: Whirlwind year brings rising star Vanessa to leading role".
  8. ^ "Hurtwood House Performing Arts". Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Octagon Theatre Bolton". Archived from the original on 19 September 2012.
  10. ^ "National Theatre | London, UK".
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  12. ^ "Series 1, The Hour – BBC Two".
  13. ^ "Review: Three Sisters, Young Vic | Matt Trueman".
  14. ^ "Accounts".
  15. ^ "Interview: Vanessa Kirby, Labyrinth star". 23 March 2013.
  16. ^ BWW News Desk. "Vanessa Kirby and Ben Foster Join Gillian Anderson in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at the Young Vic This Summer".
  17. ^ "Rachel McAdams to Star in Working Title's 'About Time' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 10 May 2012.
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (15 May 2015). "Vanessa Kirby To Play Princess Margaret In Netflix's 'The Crown'".
  19. ^ a b Trueman, Matt (17 February 2016). "London Theater Review: 'Uncle Vanya' at the Almeida Theatre". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  20. ^ "With Best-Actress Win at Venice Film Festival, Vanessa Kirby Leaps to the Front of This Year's Oscar Race". Vogue. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  21. ^ Debruge, Peter (5 September 2020). "'Pieces of a Woman' Review: Vanessa Kirby Delivers the Performance of Her Career Opposite Shia LaBeouf". Variety. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  22. ^ Fear, David (8 January 2021). "'Pieces of a Woman' Review: A Grief History of Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  23. ^ "Vanessa Kirby Returning For Mission: Impossible 7". ScreenRant. 7 February 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  24. ^ Grobar, Matt (4 January 2022). "Ridley Scott Chooses Vanessa Kirby To Play Josephine Opposite Joaquin Phoenix's Napoleon In Apple Epic 'Kitbag'". Deadline Hollywood.
  25. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (31 August 2021). "Netflix Inks Multi-Year First Look Deal With Vanessa Kirby's New Production Company Aluna Entertainment". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  26. ^ Ritman, Alex (31 August 2021). "Vanessa Kirby Strikes First-Look Deal With Netflix for Female-Focused Films". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  27. ^ "BAFTA TV Awards 2018: The Complete List of Winners". E! Online. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  28. ^ Montgomery, Daniel; Beachum, Chris; Dixon, Marcus James; Eng, Joyce (6 September 2018). "2018 Gold Derby TV Awards winners: 'Versace' and 'Handmaid's Tale' are top winners, but 'Game of Thrones' takes Best Drama". Gold Derby. Archived from the original on 23 May 2020. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  29. ^ "22nd Annual TV Awards (2017–18)". Online Film & Television Associations. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  30. ^ Jackson, Angelique (12 February 2021). "Australian Academy Announces Film & TV Nominees for AACTA International Awards". Variety. Archived from the original on 13 February 2021. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  31. ^ "The 93rd Academy Awards". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  32. ^ Davis, Clayton (4 January 2021). "'Nomadland' Triumphs at Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  33. ^ "2021 EE British Academy Film Awards: The Winners". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 9 March 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  34. ^ Davis, Clayton (8 February 2021). "Critics Choice Awards: 'Mank' Leads With 12 Nominations, Netflix Makes History With Four Best Picture Nominees". Variety. Archived from the original on 8 February 2021. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  35. ^ Jorgenson, Todd (10 February 2021). "DFW Film Critics Name "Nomadland" Best Picture of 2020". Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  36. ^ "The 2020 Denver Film Critics Society (DFCS) Winners". NextBestPicture. 18 January 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  37. ^ "Detroit Film Critics Society Announces 2020 Awards". Detroit Film Critics Society. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  38. ^ "The 2020 Georgia Film Critics Association (GFCA) Winners". NextBestPicture. 12 March 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  39. ^ "2021 Gold Derby Film Awards winners: 'Nomadland' wins Best Picture, Carey Mulligan and Chadwick Boseman take lead acting honors". Gold Derby. 20 April 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  40. ^ "Winners & Nominees 2021". Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  41. ^ Menzel, Scott (2 February 2021). "The 4th Annual HCA Film Awards Nominations Have Been Announced". Hollywood Critics Association. Archived from the original on 3 February 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  42. ^ Anderson, Erik (11 January 2021). "Houston Film Critics nominations: 'Minari' leads with 7". Awards Watch. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  43. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (7 February 2021). "'Nomadland' Scoops Film Of The Year At London Critics' Circle Awards; 'Saint Maud', Chadwick Boseman Also Among Winners". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  44. ^ "25th Annual Film Awards (2020)". Online Film & Television Associations. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  45. ^ "San Diego Film Critics Society 2020 Awards Nominations". San Diego Film Critics Society. 8 January 2021. Archived from the original on 9 January 2021. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  46. ^ "Satellite Awards". International Press Academy. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  47. ^ "SAG Awards 2021 Winners: See the Full List Here". Vanity Fair. 5 April 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  48. ^ "The 2020 St. Louis Film Critics Association (StLFCA) Nominations". Next Best Picture. Archived from the original on 12 January 2021. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  49. ^ "'Nomadland' Finds a Home with WAFCA Critics". Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. 8 February 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  50. ^ "The 2020 Women Film Critics Circle (WFCC) Winners". NextBestPicture. 7 March 2021. Retrieved 15 August 2022.

External links[edit]