Vanessa Kirby, born April 18, 1988, is an English stage, television, and film actress. She starred as Estella in the BBC adaption of Great Expectations in 2011 and as Joanna in Richard Curtis’ romantic comedy About Time in 2013. Take a look below for 23 more fun and interesting facts about Vanessa Kirby.
1. From 2016 to 2017, Kirby portrayed Princess Margaret in Peter Morgan’s Netflix series The Crown, for which she won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Television Series in 2018.
2. She’s known mostly for her stage work.
3. In 2016, Variety called her, “the outstanding stage actress of her generation, capable of the most unexpected choices.”
4. She was born and raised in Wimbledon, London.
5. Vanessa Redgrave and Corin Redgrave were family friends.
6. Her father is the urologist Roger Kirby.
7. She attended Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton.
8. After being turned down by Bristol Old Vic Theater School, she took a gap year to travel before studying English at the University of Exeter.
9. She turned down her place at LAMDA in London after she was signed to a talent agency and met the theater director David Thacker, who gave her three starring roles over 2009 at the Octagon Theater Bolton.
10. For her role in All My Sons, she won the BIZA Rising Star Award at the Manchester Evening News Theater Awards, which was worth 5,000 British pounds.
11. She went on to star at the National Theater as Isabella in Women Beware Women by Thomas Middleton, directed by Marianne Elliott, alongside Harriet Walter and Harry Potter’s Harry Melling.
12. She starred as Rosalind in As You Like It by William Shakespeare at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.
13. In 2011, she was in the premiere of The Acid Test by Anya Reiss at the Royal Court Theater, 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.”
14. In 201, Kirby made her television debut in the BBC’s The House, alongside Ben Whitshaw, Dominic West and Romola Garai.
15. She played Estella in the BBC’s mini-series adaption of Great Expectations alongside Ray Winstone, Gillian Anderson and Douglas Booth.
16. She played the lead role of Alice in Ridley Scott’s mini-series adaption of Kate Mosse’s novel Labyrinth.
17. In 2012, Kirby filmed The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman with Shia LaBeouf and Mads Mikkelsen.
18. She went on to play Masha in the acclaimed production by Benedict Andrews of Three Sisters at the Young Vic in September 2012, earning rave reviews, with Matt Trueman of Time Out stating, “In a super cast given licence to shine, Kirby stands out as Masha.”
19. She filmed The rise in early 2012 alongside Matthew Lewis and Timothy Spall. The movie premiered at the Toronto and London film Festivals to positive reviews, and won the Best Debut Category for director Rowan Athale.
20. In 2013, Kirby returned to the National Theater to play Queen Isabella in Edward II opposite John Heffernan.
21. In 2015, she filmed The Dresser for Richard Eyre, with Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen, and Thea Sharrock’s adaption of Jojo Moyes’ book Me Before you.
22. In May 2015, it was reported that Kirby was cast as Princess Margaret after a six-month search, in Netflix’s first original British series The Crown, written by Peter Morgan and directed by Stephen Daldry.
23. Baz Bamigboye reported that Kirby will play Elena in Robert Icke’s Uncle Vanya at the Almeida Theater 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.”