Rachel Hurd-Wood

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Rachel Hurd-Wood
BornRachel Clare Hurd-Wood
(1990-08-17) 17 August 1990 (age 22)
Streatham, London, England, UK[1]
ResidenceLondon, England, UK
Alma materUniversity College London
Occupation Actress / Model
Years active 2002 – present
AgentTroika (Talent Agency), London, UK
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Ben Westbeech (2012-present) (fiancé)[2]
Philip Hurd-Wood

Sarah Hurd-Wood

Patrick Hurd-Wood (brother)
Rachel Hurd-Wood on Twitter
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Rachel Hurd-Wood
BornRachel Clare Hurd-Wood
(1990-08-17) 17 August 1990 (age 22)
Streatham, London, England, UK[1]
ResidenceLondon, England, UK
Alma materUniversity College London
Occupation Actress / Model
Years active 2002 – present
AgentTroika (Talent Agency), London, UK
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Ben Westbeech (2012-present) (fiancé)[2]
Philip Hurd-Wood

Sarah Hurd-Wood

Patrick Hurd-Wood (brother)
Rachel Hurd-Wood on Twitter

Rachel Clare Hurd-Wood (born 17 August 1990) is an English actress and model. She is best known for her role as Wendy Darling in the 2003 film Peter Pan.


Personal life

Rachel Hurd-Wood was born in the Streatham district of South London, England, the daughter of Philip and Sarah Hurd-Wood. She lived in London till the age of eight, when she and her family moved to a Victorian cottage at the edge of a leafy forest in Godalming, Surrey.[3] She moved back to London into a shared flat for pursuing her degree in linguistics at University College London at the age of eighteen. She moved into her own house in London just before her 21st birthday. She has a younger brother, Patrick who appeared with her in Peter Pan as one of the sleeping children in the “I Do Believe In Fairies” scene. He also plays the role of Samuel Crowthorn alongside his sister in her later film, Solomon Kane in which she plays Meredith Crowthorn. Her father's work involves performing, writing scripts and doing voice-overs for commercials. She joined a drama club in her school and took part in its stage production during her second year. Hurd-Wood dispelled the false rumour that her uncle is Hugh Laurie in a 2009 September–October interview for the magazine Little White Lies: The An Education Issue and then again in a 2010 live Myspace web chat for the film Tomorrow, When the War Began. “My uncle lives in Wales and is an artist”, she says.[1][4][5][6]


Rachel Hurd-Wood attended Rodborough Technology College in Milford, Surrey from 2001 to 2006 for her GCSEs with Art, English Literature, Psychology and Philosophy as subjects.[7] She had tutored lessons during the filming of Peter Pan in Australia during 2002 to 2003 as her work lasted for a span of 8 to 9 months.[3][5] She later attended sixth-form Godalming College from 2006 onwards to study for her GCE Advanced Levels with Art, Psychology and Philosophy as subjects.[7][8] Hurd-Wood had considered becoming a marine biologist because of her deep love for dolphins. She gave up on the idea when she discovered that it would require studying science because she thought she was not very good at it.[9] She became interested in working with children who have special needs or disabilities. Hurd-Wood studied linguistics at University College London, having completed her first year in 2009, but left the course incomplete before travelling to Australia for the filming of Tomorrow, When the War Began, when she decided to focus entirely on her career in acting.[10]

Charity support

Rachel Hurd-Wood along with celebrity supporters of the charity Shooting Star CHASE, Keeley Hawes, Matthew MacFadyen and Max Clifford joined more than 50 children with life-limiting illnesses and their families for the event on Sunday, 20th December 2009. The charity worked with Coca-Cola and the Merlin Group, which runs Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures and the London Eye, to transform Christopher’s (CHASE) Hospice in Guildford, Surrey into a winter wonderland and gave the children at hospice a wonderful Christmas surprise.[11]



Rachel Hurd-Wood's career in acting started in 2002 when, despite having very little acting experience, she was picked for the role of Wendy Darling from thousands of hopefuls, after her grandparents spotted a television clip that said P.J. Hogan was searching for a "young English rose" for the feature film Peter Pan. She traveled to Gold Coast, Australia for eight months for filming.[12][13] Her performance received good reviews and was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor, and a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress.[14]

Rachel Hurd-Wood had a role in the TV film Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking, as a 13-year-old victim of a serial killer.[15]

She had a major role in the thriller An American Haunting, as a girl who is haunted and tormented by an unrelenting demon. Her performance came in for some praise, one critic remarking, "The actors are the saving grace… Hurd-Wood a mix of radiant [sic] approaching womanhood and animal terror. Their impassioned performances make you really care what happens to these people…",[16] another reviewer comments, "Rachel Hurd-Wood… delivers a fantastic and nuanced performance as Betsy Bell, the very central role that essentially carries the entire movie."[9] Hurd-Wood was nominated for the 2006 Teen Choice Awards in the category Movie - Choice Scream for her role.[17]

In 2005 she appeared in an adaptation of the bestselling novel by German writer Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. Set in 18th century France, Hurd-Wood portrayed Laura Richis, the red-headed virgin daughter of a politically connected merchant played by Alan Rickman. She had her brunette hair dyed red. She was nominated for the “Best Supporting Actress” award at the 33rd Saturn Awards by The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films for her role.[18]

In 2007 Rachel Hurd-Wood starred as a waitress in the music video for the song "A Little Bit" by Madeleine Peyroux.[19] She appeared alongside the musicians in the music video for "Fatherhood/Motherhood" by Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man.[20]

In the 2008 film Solomon Kane, she played Meredith Crowthorn, a Puritan captured by a band of marauders who killed her family and whom Kane sought to rescue. Her younger brother Patrick appears in the film as her brother Samuel. During filming, Hurd-Wood studied for her GCSE A-levels at Godalming College in Surrey.

Later in the year she acted in the film Dorian Gray based on the Oscar Wilde novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. She was in the small but key role of the young budding actress Sibyl Vane, with whom Gray falls in love. She was studying in the first year of the linguistics course at UCL while working in this film.[1]

In her first contemporary role, Rachel Hurd-Wood was cast as Corrie Mackenzie, one of the principle characters in the 2009 Australian action/adventure film Tomorrow, When the War Began based on the novel by John Marsden.[21][22][23] (The novel was one of the books she read while being tutored for the filming of Peter Pan.)[6] At this point she discontinued studying for a Linguistics degree to concentrate full-time on acting.[5][24][25] She learned an Australian accent for the role.[5][6] The film became the highest grossing movie for that year in Australia.[5][6][21][25][26][27][28]

Rachel Hurd-Wood portrayed the lead character Mae-West O'Mara in the 2010 film Hideaways, narrating a story to her 6-year-old daughter, about the strange powers of the men in the Furlong family. Her performance was well-received by critics, calling her “charismatic”[29] and “… the heart and soul of the film, the one the girls will relate to and the guys are going to love…”.[30] “If the film works it's due in large part to her stellar performance.” says a reviewer.[30] Another reviewer commented, “When the light hits Mae's eyes, it's like you can see whole worlds being born and being destroyed ad infinitum.”, “Hurd-Wood's chemistry with Treadaway is instant, the two are a joy to watch, and their romance is the heart of the film…”, “… [Rachel's and Harry's] two great central performances…”.[31]

She played the younger version of the character played by Jenny Agutter in the short film The Mapmaker.

She was featured in the music video for "Revolver" by Warehouse Republic.[32][33]

She played the role of the babysitter in the 2011 teaser for a proposed feature-length film, Let's Go Play at the Adams, based on the book of the same name by Mendal Jonhson.[34][35] She next played the role of the daughter of the character Teddy, in the short film It Ends Here, directed by her friend Zimon Drake.[36]

Rachel Hurd-Wood was cast in the female lead role of Elisabeth James in the upcoming film Highway to Dhampus, a story about the effect foreigners have on locals in Nepal.


Rachel Hurd-Wood posed for the publicity and poster material for Volstead Putsch, an underground bohemian party organized by The Triumvirate of Fez at the London's Volstead Club in 2008.[37][38] The same year she posed for Raw Riddim Records promoting their merchandise such as chains, t-shirts, hoodies, etc.


Rachel Hurd-Wood has been included in "The Annual Independent Critics List of the 100 Most Beautiful Famous Faces" list every year after she turned 18.

Film festivals

Rachel Hurd-Wood was a member of the international expert jury panel for “European debuts” at the “52nd International Film Festival for Children and Youth” at the Zlin Film Festival held from 27 May 2012 to 3 June 2012 at Zlin in the Czech Republic.[43][44]



(of filming)
(of earliest release)
Title Role Screen time
(as a % of movie duration)[45]
2002 - 2003 2003 (Australia) Peter PanWendy Darling 70% Nominated- Young Artist Awards (Best Performance in a Feature Film) - Leading young Actress
Nominated- Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA: Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
2004 - 2005 2006 (Ireland) An American Haunting Betsy Bell / (Entity voice) 70% Nominated- Teen Choice Awards: Movie - Choice Scream
2005 2006 (Germany) Perfume: The Story of a MurdererLaura Richis 30% Nominated- Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA: Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
2008 2008 (France) Solomon Kane Meredith Crowthorn 11%
2008 2009 (Ireland) Dorian GraySibyl Vane 7%
2009 2010 (Australia) Tomorrow, When the War BeganCorrie Mackenzie 24%
2010 2011 (France) Hideaways Mae-West O'Mara 51%
2010 - The Mapmaker (short film) (young) Isabel -
2011 n/a Let's Go Play at the Adams' (teaser for proposed feature film)(Babysitter) -
2011 - It Ends Here (short film) (Teddy's daughter) -
2012 2013 (Provisional) Highway to Dhampus Elizabeth James -


Year Title Role Notes
2003 BBC Special: Peter Pan (documentary)Wendy Darling
2003 ITV Special: Peter Pan (documentary)Wendy Darling
2004 Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking Imogen Helhoughton

Music videos (as an actress)

Year Title Artist Notes
2007 "A Little Bit"Madeleine Peyroux Appeared as a waitress
2007 "Fatherhood/Motherhood"Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man Appeared with L.S.C. Oakeshott & Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man
2010 "Revolver" Warehouse Republic Appeared with Henry Leroy-Salta

As herself

Year Title Notes
2004 The Making of An American Haunting
2005 The Story of 'Perfume
2008 The Making of Solomon Kane
2009 The Making of 'Tomorrow: When The War Began


  1. ^ a b c Frizell, Nell (September–October 2009). "Rachel Hurd-Wood". Little White Lies: The An Education Issue (25): 56–59. http://issuu.com/lwlies/docs/lwlies25. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Announcement of her engagement by Rachel Hurd-Wood via her tweet
  3. ^ a b IGN Interviews Rachel Hurd-Wood, IGN, 2003, http://movies.ign.com/articles/445/445315p1.html, retrieved 22 March 2012 
  4. ^ Tomorrow When The War Began Live MySpace Web Chat (video). Ustream.tv. 08/10/10. Event occurs at 9:40 minutes (Hurd-Wood says she is not related to Hugh Laurie). http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/8836559. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Tomorrow, When The War Began - Rachel Hurd-Wood interview, indieLONDON, 2011, http://www.indielondon.co.uk/Film-Review/tomorrow-when-the-war-began-rachel-hurd-wood-interview, retrieved 22 March 2012 
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External links