Kelly Macdonald

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Kelly Macdonald
Macdonald at the 2012 international premiere of Brave
Born (1976-02-23) 23 February 1976 (age 48)
Glasgow, Scotland
OccupationActress
Years active1996–present
Spouse
(m. 2003; sep. 2017)
Children2

Kelly Macdonald (born 23 February 1976)[1] is a Scottish actress. Known for her performances on film and television, she has received various accolades including a BAFTA Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Macdonald made her film debut in Danny Boyle's Trainspotting (1996). Her notable film roles include in the acclaimed films Elizabeth (1998), Gosford Park (2001), Intermission (2003), and Nanny McPhee (2005). She received a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in the Coen brothers film No Country for Old Men (2007). She also appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011), Anna Karenina (2012), T2 Trainspotting (2017), and Operation Mincemeat (2021). She voiced Princess Merida in the Disney Pixar animated film Brave (2012).

Also known for her television roles she received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her performance in the BBC One film The Girl in the Cafe (2005). From 2010 to 2014 she starred as Margaret Thompson in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire for which she received nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award and two Golden Globe Awards. Macdonald is also known for her roles in the Black Mirror episode "Hated in the Nation" (2016), and the limited series Giri/Haji (2019). In 2021, MacDonald joined the cast of Line of Duty.

Early life and education[edit]

Macdonald was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and grew up in Neilston. 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.[citation needed] She attended Eastwood High School from 1989 to 1993.[2]

Career[edit]

Macdonald at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival

Macdonald's career began while she was working as a barmaid in Glasgow.[3] She saw a leaflet advertising an open casting session for Trainspotting and decided to audition, winning the part of Diane,[4] the underage seductress to Ewan McGregor's Renton. Other roles include Mary O'Neary in Two Family House,[5] and an actress playing Peter Pan in Finding Neverland.[6] She had major roles in Robert Altman's British period piece Gosford Park,[7] where she played an aristocrat's maid, and in Intermission (2003), as Deirdre.[8]

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.[9] On television, her highest profile roles have been in two BBC dramas, the Paul Abbott serial State of Play (2003),[10] and the one-off Richard Curtis piece The Girl in the Café (2005).[11] 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,[12] and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.[13]

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.[14] It was reported that she had to fight her agent to be considered for the role, but Macdonald later denied the story.[15]

Other films where she had supporting roles include Choke (2008), 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.[16] She played the lead in The Merry Gentleman (2008).[17]

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.[18]

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,[19] and Swallows and Amazons as Mrs. Walker.[20] 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.[21]

Personal life[edit]

In August 2003, Macdonald married musician Dougie Payne, bassist of the band Travis. They have two sons. They moved back to their hometown of Glasgow in 2014, after living in London and New York City.[22][23] They separated in 2017.[24]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Trainspotting Diane Coulston Film debut
Dancing, Some Days Sharon Short film[25]
Stella Does Tricks Stella McGuire
1997 Dead Eye Dick Wendy Short film
1998 Cousin Bette Hortense Hulot
Elizabeth Isabel Knollys
1999 Splendor Mike
Entropy Pia
The Loss of Sexual Innocence Susan
My Life So Far Elspeth Pettigrew
Tube Tales Emma Segment: "Mr. Cool"
2000 Two Family House Mary O'Neary
House! Linda
Some Voices Laura
2001 Strictly Sinatra Irene
Gosford Park Mary Maceachran
2003 Intermission Deirdre
2004 Finding Neverland Peter Pan
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Reporter Jin Jenz
All the Invisible Children Jonathan's wife Segment: "Jonathan"
Nanny McPhee Evangeline
Lassie Jeanie
A Cock and Bull Story Jenny
2007 No Country for Old Men Carla Jean Moss
2008 The Merry Gentleman Kate Frazier
Choke Paige Marshall
2009 In the Electric Mist Kelly Drummond
2011 The Decoy Bride Katie Nic Aodh
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Helena Ravenclaw
2012 Brave Princess Merida Voice
Anna Karenina Dolly Oblonskaya
2016 Special Correspondents Claire Maddox
Swallows and Amazons Mrs. Walker
The Journey Is the Destination Duff
2017 T2 Trainspotting Diane Coulston
Goodbye Christopher Robin Olive
2018 Puzzle Agnes
Ralph Breaks the Internet Princess Merida Voice
Holmes & Watson Mrs. Hudson
2019 Dirt Music Georgie Jutland
2021 Operation Mincemeat Jean Leslie
2022 I Came By Lizzie Nealey
Typist Artist Pirate King Sandra
TBD The Radleys Helen Post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Flowers of the Forest Amy Ogilvie Television film
2003 Brush with Fate Aletta Pieters Television film
State of Play Della Smith 6 episodes
2005 Alias Kiera MacLaine/Meghan Keene Episode: "Ice"
The Girl in the Café Gina Television film
2009 Skellig Louise/Mum 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
Giri/Haji DC Sarah Weitzmann Main role
Urban Myths Princess Margaret Episode: "Mick and Margaret"
2020 Truth Seekers Jojo74 2 episodes
2021 Line of Duty DCI Joanne Davidson Main role, Series 6
2022 Ten Percent Herself Episode #1.1
TBA Department Q Dr Rachel Irving Filming [26]

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2012 Brave Merida Voice

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Category Result
1997 Trainspotting BAFTA Scotland Awards Best Film Actress Nominated
2000 Two Family House Independent Spirit Awards Best Female Lead Nominated
2002 Gosford Park Online Film Critics Society Best Cast Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Best Acting Ensemble Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Cast – Motion Picture Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Acting Ensemble Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Best Ensemble Cast Won
2003 Empire Awards Best British Actress Nominated
2006 The Girl in the Café Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2008 Choke Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Ensemble Cast Won
No Country for Old Men Online Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress Nominated
British Academy Film Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated
London Film Critics' Circle Supporting Actress of the Year Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
2011 Boardwalk Empire Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Won
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2012 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Won
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Brave Annie Awards Outstanding Voice Acting in a Feature Production Nominated
2017 Goodbye Christopher Robin British Independent Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2019 The Victim British Academy Scotland Awards Best Actress Television Won
2021 Line of Duty Nominated
Audience Award Nominated

Honours[edit]

Eastwood High School, where she was a pupil, has a drama studio and theatre named in her honour.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Birthdays: Feb. 23". The Houston Chronicle. The Associated Press. 23 February 2016. Actress Kelly Macdonald is 40.
  2. ^ a b Nicoll, Vivienne (28 November 2013). "Star Kelly stages a comeback at school". Evening Times. Archived from the original on 11 March 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  3. ^ Cadwallader, Carole (5 April 2009). "Cinema's best-kept secret". The Guardian. London, UK. Archived from the original on 12 January 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Trainspotting". DVDMG. Archived from the original on 21 October 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Two Family House". Spirituality and Practice. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Finding Neverland". Yahoo Movies. Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  7. ^ "Gosford Park". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  8. ^ "Intermission". About.com. Archived from the original on 20 September 2005. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  9. ^ Credits from the cassette release from the BBC Radio Collection
  10. ^ "State of Play". BBC. Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  11. ^ "Girl in the Café". Qwipster. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  12. ^ "2006 Golden Globe". About.com. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  13. ^ "Scots star wins Emmy for TV role". BBC News. 28 August 2006. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  14. ^ "2008 baftas". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  15. ^ "Kelly Macdonald: 'Never mind hangovers on the Trainspotting set, people were still drunk'". The Guardian. 24 September 2017. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  16. ^ Wilson, Benji (11 April 2009). "Kelly MacDonald's 'comeback' with Skellig". The Times. London, UK. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  17. ^ "the merry gentleman". Cinematical. Archived from the original on 23 June 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  18. ^ Macnab, Geoffrey (14 May 2010). "Tennant, MacDonald, Eve walk down the aisle with "Decoy Bride"". ScreenDaily. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  19. ^ Sneider, Jeff (30 May 2015). "'Boardwalk Empire's' Kelly Macdonald Joins Ricky Gervais' Netflix Movie 'Special Correspondents' (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Archived from the original on 15 March 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  20. ^ Barraclough, Leo (29 June 2015). "'Sherlock's' Moriarty, Andrew Scott, Joins Cast of 'Swallows and Amazons' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on 30 June 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  21. ^ "Line of Duty: Who is Kelly Macdonald playing?". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  22. ^ "Actress Kelly Macdonald to pocket £500,000 from sale of plush New York apartment". Independent.co.uk. 8 September 2014. Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  23. ^ "My London: Kelly Macdonald". Evening Standard. 12 April 2012. Archived from the original on 20 September 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  24. ^ "Actress Kelly Macdonald, Travis Bassist Douglas Payne Have Separated". Billboard. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Full record for 'DANCING, SOME DAYS' (7290)". movingimage.nls.uk. Archived from the original on 1 December 2021. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  26. ^ O'Rourke, Ryan (6 February 2024). "Matthew Goode Leads Netflix's Gritty New Crime Drama 'Department Q'". Collider. Retrieved 6 February 2024.

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