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Anne-Marie Duff Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (19)  | Personal Quotes (32)

Overview (2)

Born in Southall, London, England, UK
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Anne-Marie Duff is an English actress, born on 8 October 1970 in Southall, London. Her parents, Brendan and Mary (née Doherty), are from Donegal, Ireland. Her father worked as a painter and decorator and her mother worked in a shoe shop.

She first came to the attention of the British public for her role as Margaret in The Magdalene Sisters (2002) and as Fiona Gallagher in the successful TV series Shameless (2004), where she met her future husband, James McAvoy. She went on to play Queen Elizabeth I opposite Tom Hardy's Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester in the four-part miniseries The Virgin Queen (2005).

In Nowhere Boy (2009), Duff played John Lennon's mother, Julia, a role for which she won British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. She played Violet Miller in Suffragette (2015), a working-class woman who introduces Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) to the fight for women's rights in east London. "Violet is extraordinary, she's a firebrand - a tornado that comes into Maud's life and changes it forever. I found her thrilling," says Duff. In 2017, she will appear as Hyzenthlay in a new BBC animated miniseries of Watership Down.

Duff has also taken on many theatre roles, including Joan of Arc in George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan" in 2007 and Alma Rattenbury in Terence Rattigan's "Cause Célèbre" at The Old Vic, London in 2011.

She has been married to McAvoy since 11 November 2006. They have one child, a son named Brendan after Duff's father. On 13 May 2016, Duff and McAvoy announced their decision to divorce.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Mel G

Spouse (1)

James McAvoy (11 November 2006 - 2016) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (19)

She was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2000 (1999 season) for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in "Collected Stories" at the Haymarket Theatre.
Her parents, Brendan and Mary, were from counties Donegal and Meath in Ireland and met in England. She has one brother, Eddy.
She studied at The Drama Centre in London.
Met ex-husband James McAvoy while filming Shameless (2004).
Nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for her performance in "King Lear" at the RNT.
Ex-sister-in-law of Joy McAvoy.
Gave birth to her first child at age 39, a son Brendan Duff McAvoy on 26 February 2010 at St Mary's Hospital, Praed Street, Westminster. The child's father is her husband (now ex-husband), James McAvoy.
Returned to work 9 months after giving birth to her son Brendan in order to begin performing in "Cause Célèbre" at The Old Vic theatre.
Duff grew up on a council estate in Hayes, a suburb of west London.
Attended The Drama Centre, the drama school in north London that produced near contemporaries such as John Simm, Paul Bettany and Helen McCrory.
Duff said her son is named after her dad Brendan, a painter and decorator who moved to Britain with his wife Mary from Ireland. She and her husband James McAvoy chose not to know the sex of the baby before his birth in London in 2010.
Despite playing her daughter on Shameless (2004), Duff is only 7 years younger than Annabelle Apsion.
Almost turned down her role in Shameless (2004). However, her mother changed her mind, saying that the script rang true because "it is about what people have when they don't have anything except laughter, sex and the stars".
Beginning her run as "Mona", a young alcoholic, in Owen McCafferty's "Days of Wine and Roses" at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre, London. [March 2005]
Appearing as "Joan of Arc" in George Bernard Shaw's "St. Joan" at the Royal National Theatre in London's South Bank. Play runs until end September 2007. [August 2007]
Her parents are from Donegal, Ireland.
She is of Irish descent.
Of Clan MacDuff.
Won the Evening Standard Best Actress Award for 'Saint Joan'.

Personal Quotes (32)

In theatre, there's the director, the writer, and below them the actor. In film, it's the actors who are most important. That goes against the grain for me. It's been amazing for me to see the self-confidence of actors who insist on having control, because it's going to be their faces 20ft high in the posters. I've been shocked by film actors - 25 and under - having such confidence and cockiness to rewrite a scene. My background is more about the director being in control. It's all about yielding. It's an oddly submissive relationship in which you're moulded, Pygmalion-style.
I don't tend to get asked to do the same thing. I thought after I played Fiona [in Shameless (2004)], "Here we go..." But it's like a fruit machine, I never know what's going to come out.
[on being shy] If you'd asked me to talk to a boy I'd have shat myself. Boys, friends, I didn't have any of that.
[on her time at the Drama Centre in north London] I lost my virginity. I fell in love. I thought, "This is great. It fits."
[on the disciplined atmosphere at the Drama Centre] There were all these rules you had to obey, often for intangible reasons. I was always receiving these letters saying that if I didn't get my s--- together I'd be out. We used to call Central [School of Arts and Drama] Butlin's and they used to call us "the Trauma Centre". It was very tough on women.
[on working on Shameless (2004)] We were living with the young 'uns, in the same block of flats, and because I was playing someone younger, I felt a bit frothy... Manchester's a great city to be in, and none of us were married with kids, so we all had a ball.
[on the influence of Shameless (2004) in career] It was the first time I'd been in anything that was a commercial success. I'd worked very happily on projects up until then, but in terms of commercial profile, it changed things. Ironically, all the classical theatre work I did didn't get me The Virgin Queen (2005). Shameless did.
[on her son] I am very lucky. I have known wonderful romantic love in my life but to actually see this little creature and find him to be the most beautiful creature in the world. I know all mothers and fathers feel that way. Yes, he's just gorgeous.
[on what attracted her to the role of Alma Rattenbury in Terence Rattigan's play "Cause Célèbre"] Well the fact that it was the centenary [of Rattigan's birth] was interesting. The overt sexual language of the play is surprising and Rattigan writes brilliantly for women, he just does.
I was conscious that I didn't fit in with all that Thatcherite crap. Suddenly in the 80s it was all about going to get a job in Barclays and I remember thinking I can't even swallow that, it tastes so foul. You're so self-righteous when you're young.
[on upcoming actors] It's a curious time for young women. There's this obsession with physical perfection. Jesus wept, what teenagers are putting themselves through! That's a terrifying development that luckily I didn't have to confront because one's so self-conscious anyway.
It's never enjoyable watching yourself because you're never as good looking as you hope you are. You're not expecting to be Penelope Cruz... but I'm a female of the species. I have my hang-ups and all of that.
[while appearing in George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan" at the National in 2007, when she tried to banish reviews] I thought, no, I love this, and it's about what we've been through as a company. Then I got in one night and put the telly on and the Late Review was on, and just at that moment Tim Lott and Jeanette Winterson were saying, "Well, she's... all right." My husband was filming away abroad - people are never there when you need them. And I called him and he said, "OK, I'm going to have to tell you about a couple of nice reviews, just to cheer you up."
[on the birth of her son] We thought we were going to have girl, so we had 15 girls' names lined up and a little boy popped out. We had no idea and we had hardly any boys' names. He's a Brendan and it suits him really, really well. I do feel my life's completely expanded since he arrived. When my baby was born, I felt like somebody had spiked my drink and I suddenly was so full of love that it was a little bit as if I was drugged. I didn't think that anyone could feel that way.
[on her time at The Drama Centre] It put me through my paces. I toughened up. I was by no means the star of the year. It taught me to be resourceful, to go away and do the work myself. Invaluable.
[on avoiding reviews] It is better not to look at them; it is like reading someone's diary. What you think about me is none of my business. It's important to keep faith in the project you are working on.
My husband [the actor, James McAvoy] has an extraordinary ability to receive a lot of exposure and still maintain a sense of self without giving anything away. I think it's very powerful.
[on her ideal holiday] Right now, as a working mum: Four Seasons, Bali! No, actually, my favourite would always be a muddy tent holiday. Don't get me wrong: there is nothing more delightful than a dirty martini by the pool but I like being in nature.
I didn't really inhabit myself until I was in my 30s. And motherhood is an epic event. You can't help but be altered by it - and it is important to be.
I'm always dancing in my kitchen. And I love to sing. I've always sung. My father was a lovely singer. Always sang Jim Reeves at parties. I sing to my boy and he sings too.
I am a sanguine individual. Most people are having a difficult time at the moment but still get up in the morning... As a species, we thrive. And I am interested in that ability to thrive. Things have to be about hope. On stage you need to convey hope or you'll lose an audience.
[on her return to the final episode of Shameless (2004)] I made a drunken promise as I was leaving that I'd come back to play Fiona Gallagher for the very last episode - never thinking it would happen! It was extraordinary: same grim and grubby kitchen, same props... It was lovely.
[about her parents] They taught me many things. Most of all that it is vital in life just to turn up. To turn up for people, to be present, to have the conversation. This has emboldened me, given me greater empathy.
I knew if I wanted to do this [acting] for a living, I really had to pursue it. When I was auditioning for drama schools, the girls around me were from very different backgrounds. I remember thinking, "Should I lie about my family?"
How on earth do you teach your child not to be spiteful in the playground when online you can say whatever you like?
[on how she saw herself in her youth] A tomboy - androgynous until I was 19. Desperately shy. The only confidence I had was in drama.
[on a conversation with actor Robert Carlyle, also from a working-class background] We were laughing, the two of us, saying, "Just think: our children know what Parma ham is."
I am not precious about the way I look. Never having been defined as a great beauty makes that easier.
Where I grew up, I suspect the idea of sitting in the Almeida rehearsal room would feel so much further away today. People just don't feel entitled to have aspirations. I don't know how you fix that in young people - it's about making them feel capable.
When I was with Dawn French in Wild West (2002), I had a scene where I had to do this thing where my dress was accidentally tucked in my knickers. Being the method actor I am, I did it really accurately. Dawn was like: no! And tucked them in massively. I was like, oh sorry, I wanted it to be realistic. She said: when Monica in Friends (1994) came out with a turkey on her head, was that funny?
I was bloody minded, but no one took me seriously at all; at school everyone thought I was an arse. It was a real Thatcherite hell, and I was clinging on by my fingernails: just getting into drama school, not having enough money to live on.
[on which male role Anne-Marie would most like to play] Frank Underwood from House of Cards (2013). Let's have a bash at that. There's not enough female Machiavellis!

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