Emily Beecham

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Emily Beecham (b. May 1984 in Manchester, England)[1] is an English film, television and stage actress who, since the start of her career in 2006, has amassed over thirty credits, including the leading role of a postulant nun entering an unconventional convent depicted in The Calling, a film which, following its premiere in June 2009 at the Edinburgh Film Festival, resulted in her being chosen as one of the recipients of that year's Skillset Trailblazer Award, bestowed upon a select group of young actors considered "new discoveries" and potential stars.[1] In 2011 she received Best Actress award at London Independent Film Festival. [2]


Start of acting career

Born in Manchester to an English pilot, and his American wife (from Arizona), Emily Beecham has dual citizenship and holds an American passport (as does her brother who moved to Seattle to pursue a career as a musician). Due to her father's profession the family did not stay in one place for long: "we were always moving so I went to about ten schools, and I was constantly missing syllabuses and redoing them", she told an interviewer.[3] She also laughed about her "early career" as an amateur actress: " I used my imagination a lot and it was something that came naturally to me."[4]

In 2003, she enrolled at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), graduating in 2006. In her final year at LAMDA, started accepting professional acting opportunities, with her first appearance occurring in thriller Bon Voyage and in the "Roadside Bouquets" episode of the supernatural TV series Afterlife (broadcast 16 September 2006) in which, following brief lines of dialogue in the opening scene, her character, a student, is accidentally killed through the negligence of friends whom she subsequently haunts via ghostly emanations. The following month saw the premiere of her first feature which, during that year's spring and summer, offered the additional attraction of a Canadian location trip to play, at age 22, a 16-year-old who accompanies her parents on a voyage to Quebec, where she is kidnapped. She described the three-month shoot in Montreal as "amazing ... really hard work, though, with 18-hour shooting days almost every day".[4] Receiving positive notices following its October debut on ITV, the made-for-TV film, Bon Voyage, won the Golden Nymph award at the June 2007 Monte Carlo Television Festival.

Stage work, TV episodes and feature films

26 April 2007 was the day of the first public screening of Emily Beecham's initial theatrical feature, the horror/science fiction thriller, 28 Weeks Later in which she has a role during the opening moments and comes to an extremely violent end after being attacked and infected by humans carrying the deadly, instantly-active "Rage virus". Still in her first year as a full-time actress, in mid-2007, she was chosen by director Jan Dunn for the leading ingenue role in her independently-produced feature, The Calling, which was filmed between 12 August and 3 September, but did not have an official public screening until late June 2009, nearly two years later. Displaying a cast list replete with veteran actresses, including Susannah York, Brenda Blethyn, Rita Tushingham, Amanda Donohoe, Pauline McLynn and Susannah Harker, the production received favourable, negative and mixed reviews, one of which, in the online publication, TVbomb, commented that "[N]ewcomer Emily Beecham plays a young woman determined to take the veil and holds her own well against such stalwarts as Brenda Blethyn and Susannah York".[5] In highlighting the impression made by the film's young star, film columnist Hannah McGill, who served as the Edinburgh Festival's artistic director from 2006 to 2010, decided that she should be one of the recipients of the coveted Skillset Trailblazer Award.

In the latter part of the year, Emily Beecham gave her first professional stage performance in Ian McHugh's debut play, How to Curse, directed at the Bush Theatre in West London's Shepherd's Bush by the theatre's artistic director Josie Rourke. Although he was negatively disposed towards the plot's improbabilities, the Daily Telegraph veteran drama critic Charles Spencer singled out the cast of three for "strong performances": "Al Weaver undoubtedly has an intriguing otherworldly quality as the neurotic Nick, Emily Beecham is both mischievous and sexy as Miranda and Robert Boulter brings a vulnerability to the stage as William",[6] while a two-star, mixed review from The Times' Dominic Maxwell also mentioned "Al Weaver's well-judged brittle distraction as Nick, and great poise and wit from Emily Beecham as Miranda".[7] The limited-run production had its initial preview on 10 October, with opening night on 16 October and final performance on 10 November.

In 2008 Emily Beecham was in the Lewis episode, "And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea", playing an Oxford art history student who earns a bit of an income by giving imaginatively embellished guided tours of the university campus, as well as participating in painting forgery, and becomes the victim of a killer, prompting Inspector Lewis, upon viewing her remains, to recollect having questioned her the previous day, which leads him to comment sorrowfully, "she was lovely". In 2009 she had the key assignment in The Secret Diary of the Holocaust, a documentary about the newly-brought-to-light story of Rutka Laskier, referenced as the "Polish Anne Frank", by reading entries from the teenager's diary, thus giving a sensitive voice to the young victim of World War II. Her other credits during the year include a turn as an action figure while portraying a sorcerer's sword-wielding companion in "The Witch's Quickening" episode of Merlin, along with continued appearances in such TV series as Bafta Award-winning The Street, while also being listed by Nylon magazine's "Young Hollywood" issue as one of 55 "Faces of the Future", with the photograph captioned "Young Hollywood London".[8] At the time, John Rankin, Esquire magazine's veteran glamour photographer was quoted as stating that she has "that something special, that thing you just feel about someone ... she's one of the most exciting actresses out there".[3]


2006Bon VoyageRachel AldredTelevision film
200728 Weeks LaterKarenFeature film
Rise of the FootsoldierKellyFeature film
God's WoundsPoppyShort film
2009The Wednesday Matinee ClubThe Wednesday Matinee ClubShort film
The Secret Diary of the HolocaustRutka Laskier (voice)Documentary film
The CallingJoannaFeature film

Theatre, film, television and voice credits

YearTitleEpisode title
running time
Episode production
Initial presentation date
cast, writer, director and production details
2006Afterlife"Roadside Bouquets"
[60 minutes]
series 2
episode 1
16 September 2006 (UK) [Cast in closing credits] Lesley Sharp, Andrew Lincoln, Kate Duchêne, Anna Wilson-Jones [series regulars]
Emily Beecham as Sash, Ed Westwick, Harry Treadaway, Nora-Jane Noone, Emun Elliot, Lauren Varnfield, Eileen Davies, Amanda Lawrence, Simon Fisher-Becker, John Burton [guest cast]
*Created & written by Stephen Volk; directed by Charles Beeson
[141 minutes]
ITVUK broadcast: 24 October 2006 (part 1) – 25 October 2006 (part 2)
Top-billed: Fay Ripley, Ben Miles, Daniel Ryan, Rachael Blake
Supporting cast: Emily Beecham as Rachel Aldred
*Written by Oliver Brown; directed by John Fawcett
Locations: France (Normandy: Le Havre, Mont Saint-Michel) and Canada
2007The Innocence Project[60 minutes]episode 8
6 February 2007 (UK) [Cast in closing credits] Lloyd Owen, Christine Bottomley, Ruth Bradley, Stephen Graham, Oliver James, Luke Treadaway, Shelley Conn, Charlotte Emmerson [series regulars]
Thomas Turgoose, John Branwell, Louis Dower, Joanna Swain, Mark Arends, Emily Beecham as Rachel, David Fleeshman, Andy Quine [guest cast]
*Written by Oliver Brown; directed by Bill Anderson
Party Animals[60 minutes]episode 3
Andrew Buchan, Shelley Conn, Andrea Riseborough, Matt Smith [series regulars]; 14 February 2007 (UK): Emily Beecham as Vienna Lurie [guest cast]
*Written by Robert Jones, Ben Richards; directed by Brian Grant
Agatha Christie's Marple"At Bertram's Hotel"
[90 minutes]
series 3
episode 1
Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple
1 April 2007 (Canada), 2 June 2007 (Denmark), 25 July 2007 (Sweden), 23 September 2007 (UK): [listed alphabetically in opening credits] Francesca Annis, Emily Beecham as Elvira Blake, Nicholas Burns, Peter Davison, Mark Heap, Charles Kay, Stephen Mangan, Martine McCutcheon, Mary Nighy, Mica Paris, Vincent Regan, Hannah Spearritt, Ed Stoppard, Polly Walker
*Screenplay Tom MacRae; director Dan Zeff
Locations: England (Surrey: Polesden Lacey [interiors: hotel reception/gallery/other rooms], Claremont Fan Court School)
[100 minutes]
Fox Atomic and DNA Films
released by 20th Century Fox
London premiere: 26 April 2007
[Cast] Robert Carlyle | Rose Byrne | Jeremy Renner | Harold Perrineau | Catherine McCormack | Mackintosh Muggleton | Imogen Poots | and Idris Elba
Cast in order of appearance [end credits]: Emily Beecham as Karen [6th of 34 names]
*Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo | screenplay by Rowan Joffe, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, E. L. Lavigne, Jesus Olmo
Locations: UK (England: London, Dover; Wales: Cardiff) and France (Paris)
New Tricks"Buried Treasure"
[60 minutes]
series 4
episode 6
Amanda Redman, Alun Armstrong, Dennis Waterman, James Bolam [series regulars]
14 May 2007 (UK): Emily Beecham as Laura Small [guest cast]
*Written by Charles Mckeown (story), Joe Ainsworth (teleplay) | directed by Minkie Spiro
Rise of the FootsoldierTHEATRICAL FEATURE FILM
[119 minutes]
Carnaby International/Optimum ReleasingLondon premiere: 7 September 2007
[Cast] Ricci Harnett | Craig Fairbrass | Roland Manookian | Terry Stone | Coralie Rose | Neil Maskell | Ian Virgo | Kierston Wareing | Patrick Regis | Lara Belmont | Emily Beecham as Kelly | with Billy Murray | and Frank Harper | Jason Maza\Mark Killeen\Dave Legeno | Dhaffer L'Abidine\Mitchell Lewis\Eden Ford | George Calil\Jay Taylor\Phillip Weddell
*Directed by Julian Gilbey | written by Julian Gilbey & William Gilbey
Locations: UK (England: London, Essex, Suffolk) and France (Calais)
[15 minutes]
RSA Films/Ridley Scott AssociatesUK (Raindance Film Festival) premiere: 29 September 2007; US (Hollywood Film Festival) premiere: 19 October 2007
Cast: Emily Beecham as Poppy, Luke Treadaway, Adam Croasdell
How to CursePLAYstaged at Bush Theatre in LondonCast : Emily Beecham as Miranda, Robert Boulter, Al Weaver
playwright: Ian McHugh; director: Josie Rourke
initial preview: 10 October 2007, opening night: 16 October, closing: 10 November
The Bill"Deadly Intent"
[60 minutes]
series 23
episode 79
Series regulars: Kaye Wragg, Sam Callis, Alex Walkinshaw, Ben Richards
25 October 2007 (UK): Emily Beecham as Angela Myatt [guest cast]
*Written by Steph Lloyd Jones; directed by Richard Signy
2008Lewis"And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea"
[120 minutes]
series 2
episode 1
broadcast date (UK): 24 February 2008
Opening credits: Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Clare Holman, Rebecca Front [series regulars]
Haydn Gwynne, Neil Pearson, Emily Beecham as Nell Buckley, Tom Riley [guest cast]
*Screenplay by Alan Plater; directed by Dan Reed
Tess of the D'Urbervilles4-part TV MINISERIES
[240 minutes]
BBC OneUK broadcast: 21 September 2008 (part 2) – 28 September 2008 (part 3)
Top-billed: Gemma Arterton, Eddie Redmayne, Ruth Jones, Hans Matheson
Supporting cast: Emily Beecham as Retty Priddle
*Written by Thomas Hardy (novel), David Nicholls (teleplay); directed by David Blair
Locations: England (Somerset, East Sussex, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Wiltshire, Dorset)
Mirror's EdgeVIDEO GAMEEA Digital Illusions CE/Electronic ArtsUS release: 13 November 2008
Voice cast: Jules Dejongh, Philippa Alexander, Morgan Deare, Tim Dale, Glenn Wrage, Emily Beecham as Celeste, Mikey O'Conner
*Written by Rhianna Pratchett; produced by Owen O'Brien
2009The Wednesday Matinee ClubTHEATRICAL SHORT FILMReel ProductionsUK premiere: 1 January 2009
Cast: Emily Beecham, Rose Heiney
*Written and directed by Rachna Suri
Location: England (Hertfordshire)
The Secret Diary of the HolocaustDOCUMENTARY FILMDarlow Smithson ProductionsPremiere: 5 January 2009
Voice cast: Emily Beecham as Rutka Laskier
*Written and directed by Alexander Marengo
Location: Poland
Unforgiven3-part TV MINISERIES
[180 minutes]
ITV1UK broadcast: 19 January 2009 (part 1) – 26 January 2009 (part 2) – 2 February 2009 (part 3)
Top-billed: Suranne Jones, Peter Davison, Douglas Hodge, Jemma Redgrave
Supporting cast: Emily Beecham as Lucy Belcombe
*Written by Sally Wainwright; directed by David Evans
[109 minutes]
Medb Films/Guerilla FilmsPremiere: 21 June 2009 (Edinburgh Film Festival), 22 June 2009 (London); filming schedule: 12 August – 3 September 2007
Top-billed: Brenda Blethyn, Susannah York, Rita Tushingham, Amanda Donohoe and Emily Beecham as Joanna
*Written and directed by Jan Dunn
Location: England (Kent)
The Street[60 minutes]series 3
episode 2
[Cast in opening credits of 20 July 2009 (UK) episode]: Anna Friel, Daniel Mays, David Bradley and Jonas Armstrong
In order of appearance [end credits]: Emily Beecham as Gemma [12th of 17 names]
*Written by Jan McVerry, Jimmy McGovern; directed by Terry McDonough
The Street[60 minutes]series 3
episode 3
Top-billed cast in episode of 27 July 2009 (UK): Jonas Armstrong, Emily Beecham as Gemma, Ian Puleston-Davies, Siobhan Finneran
*Written by Esther Wilson, Jimmy McGovern; directed by Terry McDonough
Merlin"The Witch's Quickening"
[60 minutes]
series 2
episode 11
[Cast in opening credits of 5 December 2009 (UK) episode]: Colin Morgan | Angel Coulby | Bradley James | Katie McGrath | with Anthony Head | and Richard Wilson | with Joseph Mawle | and John Hurt as the voice of the Dragon
[End credits cast in order of appearance]: Emily Beecham as Enmyria [4th of 12 names]
*Director Alice Troughton | written by Jake Michie
2010Silent Witness"Voids"
[120 minutes]
series 13
episodes 3 and 4
William Gaminara, Tom Ward, Emilia Fox [series regulars]
14 January 2010 (part 1) – 15 January 2010 (part 2) (UK): Emily Beecham as Anna Flannery [guest cast]
*Written by Ed Whitmore; directed by Thaddeus O'Sullivan
Pulse[60 minutes]pilot episode for a prospective TV series
BBC Three
UK broadcast: 3 June 2010
Cast: Claire Foy, Stephen Campbell Moore, Emily Beecham as Stella Hamilton, Alan Williams, Arsher Ali
*Written by Ben Teasdale (story), Paul Cornell (teleplay); directed by James Hawes
[95 minutes]
Paperknife Productions/Revolver EntertainmentFilming schedule: 12 October 2009–7 November 2009
Cast: Danny Dyer, Jimi Mistry, Kierston Wareing, Emily Beecham as Pru, Soraya Radford, Lois Winstone
*Screenplay by Ewen Glass; story and directed by Asham Kamboj
Location: England (Buckinghamshire)
2011The Runaway[120 minutes]episodes 2 and 3
[Cast] Alan Cumming, Max Irons, Jack O'Connell, Nora-Jane Noone, Burn Gorman, Ken Stott, Keith Allen, Emily Beecham as Caroline
2011 (part 1) – 2011 (part 2) (UK)
*Written by Allan Cubitt; directed by David Richards


External links