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Vanessa Kirby Fan aims to bring you the best and most updated news on Vanessa Kirby's career. More recently, you may have recognized her from The Crown as Princess Margaret but we assure you, you will see her in much more! Here you'll find all the latest news, videos, interviews, high quality photos, and more.
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Posted on September 07, 2012 / by Ana in (2012) Three Sisters

A radical version of Chekhov’s classic of family ennui premieres tonight. Alice Jones meets the actresses following in famous footsteps

Traditionalists should look away now. Or at least have the smelling salts to hand. Tonight a radical new version of Three Sisters opens at the Young Vic in London, with three rapidly rising stars – Mariah Gale, Vanessa Kirby and Gala Gordon – in the lead roles. The director is Benedict Andrews, celebrated wild child of the Sydney theatre scene, now making a name for himself over here with his ultra-modern, iconoclastic productions. In the last year he has put Cate Blanchett in a tutu and had her pirouette across the Barbican’s stage in Gross und Klein, retooled Caligula as a gold-Kalashnikov-toting cross between Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi at the ENO, and given Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses the Tarantino treatment at the Young Vic.

The last time he tackled Chekhov – The Seagull at Belvoir Street Theatre in Sydney last summer – he set the action in a shack on Bondi Beach and had the characters call each other “mate”. So it’s safe to assume that his Three Sisters will not be a museum piece. A trailer online which shows the three sisters dressed to kill in designer ball-gowns, sloshing vodka into each other’s mouths, pawing at cake, and whirling around like blissed-out ravers, suggests a more sophisticated name-day party for Irina than the traditional samovar and spinning top. And then there’s Andrews’s script, which has Masha bemoaning her “mindless fucking boredom,” replaces lines from Pushkin’s “Ruslan and Ludmila” with Bowie’s “Golden Years” and peppers speeches with references to the telly and Leonard Cohen lyrics.

“I expect it will be met by a certain degree of consternation. Or even anger,” says Gale, who plays the oldest sister, Olga. “But why not take a risk? Why not do a Marmite production that you might love or hate?” chips in Gordon, aka little sister Irina. “Yes. Why do you want to watch people going round in corsets, [then] leave at the end of the evening thinking: ‘What a story. They were sad, weren’t they?’” asks Vanessa Kirby, middle sister Masha. So they won’t be wearing corsets? “No!”

Aside from Andrews’s bold staging, this feisty threesome is the main reason to get excited by the latest Chekhov revival. It’s not a casting coup along the lines of the Cusack siblings or the Redgrave relatives (see box), but it’s an exciting prospect nonetheless. Kirby, 24, was last seen on stage in The Acid Test at the Royal Court but is known to most from her television roles, including a brief but memorable debut as the murdered debutante in The Hour and as Estella in the BBC adaptation of Great Expectations, opposite Douglas Booth (who subsequently became her boyfriend).

Today, tumbling out of the rehearsal room on their lunch break, all barefoot, with long hair messily piled up, they don’t look particularly alike but you can see exactly why Andrews cast them. Gordon, half South American, is the dark-eyed, sincere one, Kirby the blonde, feline one, prone to wild outbursts, Gale the regally still one – pale, thoughtful and softly spoken. “Benedict said he looked for the essence of the character in whoever walked through the door,” she says. “And I think he got it really well.”

“Gemma Arterton came out of the room before my audition and I thought, ‘there is no way in hell I’m getting this role,’” gossips Kirby, through a mouthful of sushi. “I honestly thought I did a terrible audition.” And yet here they are, finishing each other’s sentences and calling each other affectionate nicknames (Minnie, Nu and Geegee, in case you were wondering).
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Posted on August 03, 2012 / by Ana in news/ rumours

Lulu Kennedy likes a gin and tonic with hers, Emilia Fox dances round the living room to hers, and Tallulah Harlech reminisces about Chanel’s Haute Couture show to hers. The summer song is the aural shortcut to hot sultry nights and devil-may-care days. Evoke the swelter of summer, even when the sun hides behind clouds with Bazaar’s Sounds of the Summer playlist. We call on a few friends to reveal their top summer song:

1. Vanessa Kirby, actress: Holiday, Metronomy
2. Tallulah Harlech, model: Go bang, SBTRKT
3. Becky Tong, model: Running, Jessie Ware
4. Lara Mullen, model: Azealia Banks, 212
5. Eliza Doolittle, singer/songwriter: Thinking about you, Frank Ocean
6. Lulu Kennedy, Fashion East founder: (Love is like a) Heat Wave, Martha and the Vandellas
7. Vanessa Kirby, actress: Houdini, Foster the People
8. Laurelle Gilbert, editor: Florence and the Machine, Spectrum
9. Emilia Fox, actress: Coming up easy, Paolo Nutini
10. Cara Delevingne, model: 1991, Azealia Banks
11. Caroline Seiber, stylist: Bang Bang Bang, Mark Ronson
12. Lara Pulver, actress: Moves like Jagger, Maroon 5
13. Becky Tong, model: No Scrubs, TLC
14. Amber le Bon, model: The way we move, Langhorne Slim
15. Stephanie Rafanelli, Harper’s Bazaar director: The water, Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling
16. The Noisettes, musicians: It’s a shame, Detroit Spinners
17. Jonathan Saunders, designer: Changes, David Bowie
18. Arizona Muse, model: Summertime, Janis Joplin
19. Tali Lennox, model: I want you, Bob Dylan
20. Virginia Bates, vintage icon: I get around, Beach Boys
21. Amber le Bon, model: Free Fallin’, Tom Petty
22. Jennifer Dickinson, Harper’s Bazaar editor: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Somewhere Over the Rainbow


Posted on December 18, 2011 / by Ana in news/ rumours

I know that face from somewhere. You might recognize actor Vanessa Kirby if you were a fan of BBC2’s The Hour – although she did die rather early on in the series. She was the doomed debutante Ruth Elms whose death Ben Whishaw’s character Freddie Lyon had to avenge.

Oh dear, surely it’s not good to be killed off so early on in your career? Au contraire, she’s been forging ahead recently.

I see. Life after death. So what’s she been up to? What hasn’t she been up to! It’s been nonstop on planet Kirby this year: theatre roles up and down the country, including The Acid Test at the Royal Court, and a BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, which we’ll see just after Christmas: she’s playing Estella, Miss Havisham’s adopted daughter.

But no films… Just be patient – to cap it all she’s about to wrap-up filming her first lead role on Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Kate Mosse’s bestselling novel Labyrinth, opposite John Hurt, which is out in 2012.

She says: “I’ve only had the odd day off in the past two years, but I don’t mind – acting is the funnest thing in the whole world ever.”

We say: Take a long hard look at this face and remember it. You’ll be seeing quite a bit of our Nessy come the new year.


Posted on December 12, 2011 / by Ana in news/ rumours

Kirby had a small part in The Hour but made a big impact. Now, she’s starring as the heartbreaker from Great Expectations.

The first time I saw Vanessa Kirby, she was dead within 20 minutes. Yet the rising British star made a considerable impression as the luckless debutante Ruth Elms in this year’s hit BBC2 series The Hour. Beautiful yet fragile, her blonde hair piled high, her presence haunted the show (as well as Ben Whishaw’s enamoured investigative reporter) almost effortlessly. Little wonder Paul Taylor, in these very pages, noted Kirby was “a star if ever I saw one”, when he reviewed this year’s Royal Court production of Anya Reiss’s The Acid Test, in which she starred.

Today, thankfully, she’s very much alive and in good spirits. We meet in the bar of the Covent Garden Hotel. It’s busy and our waiter seems to be rather in a mood when he brings us a pot of tea to share. “Wow, he’s really grumpy,” she whispers. “I don’t see the point of grumpy people.” Dressed in a baggy blue-and-white striped sweater and skinny jeans, Kirby is slender, willowy and blessed with entrancing blue eyes. Next to her is a large handbag, heaving with scripts for the TV mini-series Labyrinth – a Ridley Scott production which she is about to start shooting in France and South Africa, alongside Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay.

This Christmas, Kirby will be on our screens again in a new three-part BBC version of the Charles Dickens classic Great Expectations. She’s playing that most heartless of characters, Estella, following in the footsteps of Jean Simmons, Francesca Annis and Gwyneth Paltrow. Kirby “deliberately” didn’t revisit any previous versions. “I only really looked at the novel and the script. And I wrote pages of notes. I stuck them all around my bedroom. She’s such an ambiguous character. Really difficult, actually. Nothing about what’s happening outside is going on inside. There’s never a moment where she is at one with herself.”

Adapted by Sarah Phelps, who previously wrote a 2007 version of Oliver Twist, it forms the centrepiece of the BBC’s celebration of all things Dickens as we approach the bicentenary of his birth in 2012. “It’s very loyal to the novel,” says Kirby, “but I think there’s a raw edge to it and a darkness that isn’t in some of the other adaptations.” She praises the way it’s been cast. Douglas Booth (recently Boy George in Worried About the Boy) plays the orphaned Pip, who falls for the “vile” Estella. “Douglas is 19 and in the previous versions the actors have all been a bit older.”

Likewise, Gillian Anderson, who plays the bride-that-never-was, Miss Havisham. Kirby recalls numerous people comment “she’s very young” when she’s told them that the 43-year-old X-Files star was playing Miss Havisham. “But it’s more tragic if you’re this stunning woman who has psychologically deteriorated, rather than physically,” she argues. That may be true, though Anderson has aged up, looking almost ghost-like in the role. “She looks pretty scary. I remember seeing her for the first time on set, going, ‘Wow, is this who Estella has been brought up with?’ It made a lot of sense seeing her.”

Fortunately, for the 24-year-old Kirby, her Estella will reach the screens before Mike Newell’s rival film version, starring Holliday Grainger in the role and a rather glamorous-looking Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham. She seems unconcerned with this; indeed, very little seems to faze her. “I try to focus on each day and try to be the best I can be today,” she says. I’m trying not to worry. I remember a casting director – John Papsidera.

Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Inception] told me, ‘The industry thrives on fear.’ But the best thing to do is relax.”

A wise head on young shoulders, there’s something about Kirby that suggests she’s in it for the long haul. Certainly, you sense she’d be happy if her career remained in the theatre. Born and raised in London, the middle child of three, it was after seeing a National production of The Cherry Orchard with Vanessa and Colin Redgrave in her early teens that she truly knew she wanted to act. “Sometimes I spoke about it – and I don’t think my parents totally thought it was the best thing. I remember my Dad being like, ‘You should go and do marketing or PR.’ And I was like, ‘No, Dad, I’m going to be an actress.'”

At 17, she applied to the Bristol Old Vic – and was told to come back the following year because she was too young. Instead, she took a year off, went to Africa and worked in hospices and schools. “I was teaching people my age… and I felt less judged there than I did here, weirdly.” I ask what she means by “judged”? “When you’re 18, it’s about what you look like or who’s going out with who. Very teenage concerns. I went to a very academic school but I never really quite… I think because not that many people were particular creative or arty, I felt a little bit different.”

While she speaks of her “lovely childhood” – her father is a prostate cancer surgeon, her mother a former editor of Country Living – you can’t help but think she might inspire jealousy in others. When she was living in a flat outside Cape Town, her flatmate – an English girl – set upon her. “She was just really drunk and she literally beat me up. She got sent straight home. We’d been reasonably good friends before. She’s just a very angry person. At the time it was absolute horrible. I was really bruised everywhere – but nothing broken. In a way I was quite pleased. I’d survived.” Ironically, she’d been studying a module in conflict resolution at the nearby university at the time.

She returned home to study English at the University of Exeter – a further indication that she felt no need to rush her entry into acting. The key moment came in one crazy weekend. Offered a place at drama school Lamda, she was then called in to audition for the Olivier-winning director David Thacker, the current artistic director at Bolton’s Octagon theatre. A 40-minute chat turned into an intense three-hour session, which saw him offer Kirby roles in All My Sons, Ghosts and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “He said, ‘Are you going to accept? I’ll give you the weekend [to decide]. But I think you should do it. It would be the biggest mistake if you didn’t.'”

Kirby took on the trio of roles, withdrawing from Lamda. “That was quite difficult. I’d always thought I was going to drama school to train. That’s what everybody did do, and I just thought ‘that was the way’. But I had to let that go.” Following her trio of roles with that most complicated of Shakespearean heroines, Rosalind, in a West Yorkshire Playhouse production of As You Like It, Kirby then found herself in Women Beware Women at the National, opposite Harriet Walter. As a result of this glut of high-profile theatre work, she was nominated in two consecutive years for the prestigious Ian Charleson Awards.

Already, she’s been to LA and has an American agent – but is hesitant about Hollywood. “I remember someone saying, ‘Go in there and tell them your five-year plan.’ And I remember thinking, ‘No!’ I know what quality of work I want to do, and I know what type of people I’d love to work with. But if you set yourself up… I hate the idea of massive fame. I think the scariest thing for an actor is when your name becomes bigger than your craft or what you can do. Rosamund Pike and Hayley Atwell are actresses who have done it totally the right way round for me. They’ve got such a solid base of amazing work.”

It’s a refreshing attitude, one that indicates Kirby has ambitions beyond simply getting sucked into the Hollywood machine. “I want to develop a really good foundation of work here before I think of doing that,” she says. Of course, it helps when your next gig is with Scott Free, the company formed by Ridley and Tony Scott. Labyrinth, it should be noted, is not a remake of the 1980s fantasy movie. “People all keep saying that!” she giggles. “There’s no David Bowie!” Rather, it’s an adaptation of the best-seller by Kate Mosse, in which two women – centuries apart – are linked by the Holy Grail. She’s licking her lips at the prospect of working with a cast that includes John Hurt. “I’ve got really long scenes with him. I can’t wait! Apparently, he’s great on a night out!”

Confidence seems to ooze out of her. After The Hour, coming up against her hero Ben Whishaw, she stopped getting intimidated, she says. “I saw Hamlet three times when he did it. So that was really scary! Sometimes I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is Ben Whishaw!’ But you kinda get used to it. You have to, or you’ll be a nervous wreck.” Truly, she just doesn’t look the sort.

Posted on September 17, 2010 / by Ana in news/ rumours

A year into an acting career, Vanessa Kirby is playing Shakespeare’s biggest female role in Leeds. Nick Ahad met her.

THE start Vanessa Kirby has made to her acting career is impressive enough to demand an interview.

It turns out to be even more impressive than at first thought.

How does it feel to have a CV loaded down with awards and brilliant roles just a year after leaving drama school, has to be the first question?

“I didn’t actually go to drama school,” says Kirby, coyly, almost apologetic.

I’d been misinformed. It turns out that Kirby landed a place at drama school – the high profile LAMDA – but she turned it down.

All the training she has had – aside from three years of student productions at the University of Exeter – has been on the job.

The breakthrough came last year, when she met with David Thacker, the artistic director of Bolton Octagon.

At the end of a first meeting, Thacker offered Kirby the opportunity to appear in the theatre’s next three plays: Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, Ibsen’s Ghosts and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“He asked if I was going to say yes and I said, ‘I’m supposed to be going to LAMDA’,” says Kirby.

“He told me he would give me the weekend to think about it.”

Weekend over, decision made, LAMDA spoken to, Kirby accepted the job offer from Thacker and set off on a remarkable career journey.

How remarkable? There was a weekend between the end of the last performance at Bolton Octagon and the start of her next job – at the National Theatre.

When that job finished, she had a fortnight of meetings in LA, arrived back in Blighty and half a week later started rehearsals at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds for the role of Rosalind in As You Like It.

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