Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pink Carnation Spotlight - Hayley Atwell (Jane Wooliston)

I have never attempted to cast Jane till now. Much like her nom du guerre, she has been a mystery, though a mystery who might have been played by Paloma Baeza. Always there, always watching, waiting, the perfect society beauty that could kill you if you only knew. Therefore I wanted an actress that could be that society beauty but could totally kick ass, and that's why only Agent Carter herself could play Jane.

Name: Hayley Atwell

"Dream" Character Casting for the Lauren Willig Miniseries: Jane Wooliston

First Impression: The first time I saw Hayley Atwell was as the fabulous JJ Feild's sister Rosa in The Ruby in the Smoke. What struck me about her was not only her assurance as an actress, but that the character wasn't pretentious and let her heart, not society, lead her choices. Plus she got a kick ass wedding in the follow up, The Shadow in the North. I mean look at that wedding dress!

Why they'd be the perfect actor for the Lauren Willig Miniseries: Demure bride by day, kick ass action hero redefining gender stereotypes by night... who else could play Jane? She has the acting skills to bring off that demure society beauty while the physical skills to beat you down. If you really want to see Hayley at her best, watch the thirteen minute mini pilot that was made for Agent Carter. I actually like it more than the series, despite my love of Jarvis. The reason being she is a lone agent, a rogue who can do anything. Which is what Jane has become.

Lasting Impression: Captain America. As you know I totally saw Captain America for one JJ Feild, but his co-star Hayley really stole the show. She went her own way, put up with no nonsense, and seriously is awesome. She went on to form S.H.I.E.L.D. after all! A strong female lead in a male dominated Marvel franchise is sure to make us women viewers sit up and take notice. We're finally not the damsel in distress, we're saving the day!

What else you've seen them in: The Prisoner, Mansfield Park, Brideshead Revisited (and doing a better job than Diana Quick EVER did), The Pillars of the Earth, and The Duchess. Until her stint in Captain America, Hayley really was the go-to actress for period films, no matter the period. In fact I would very much argue that the reason I love Captain America so much is that it's a period piece that just happens to be part of the Marvel universe. Since Captain America Hayley has been in quite literally almost all Marvel films, which makes me actually watch the others occasionally. And let us not forget she is the first female Marvel character to have her own TV show! How freakin' awesome is that?

Can't believe it's them: Cinderella. And yes, I did for some reason go to this overly Technicolor live action reinterpretation of the cartoon which couldn't figure out which time period it was meant to be in. Seriously, what is with Cate Blanchett? She's dressed for the golden age of Hollywood in rural France! What was so odd though was Hayley playing the bucolic and dying mother of Cinderella who looked like she had stepped out of a painting by Rossetti. Also, seriously, what's up with the blond hair? That is SO obviously a wig!

Wish they hadn't: Any Human Heart. Seriously, DO NOT WATCH this piece of shit show. It is depressing and just weird. I mean Matthew Macfadyen, whom I love and adore, plays such a scumbag, he sleeps with his dead son's girlfriend if I recall correctly. The only reason to watch this would be to see the brilliance of a young Sam Claflin, but as soon as he turns into Matthew Macfadyen, yes they play the same character, just stop. It's not worth it waiting for Hayley to show up, she dies in a bombing raid. Oops, did I spoil it? Good. Now you won't watch it.

Bio: Hayley was born to two motivational speakers in London who soon divorced and she spent her childhood divided between the school year in England and the summer in the US in Missouri, being a dual citizen. But having two such outspoken parents led to some interesting experiences, such as walking on hot coals at the age of nine and going on anti-vivisection rallies as a teenager. Her mother believed that theater was an important communal experience and Hayley was taken to productions at an early age, once at the age of eleven seeing her future co-star Ralph Fiennes as Hamlet. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 2005 and getting her first role in a TV movie about Charles and Camilla starring Laurence Fox as Prince Charles. But it was her role the following year in Andrew Davies's The Line of Beauty that really brought her into prominence, getting a role in a Woody Allen film the following year. Though film and television aren't her only outlets, she is also an accomplished stage actress earning a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for the 2009 revival of A View from the Bridge. Most people site 2011, the year Captain America came out, as her big breakthrough, but I think she's been brilliant from day one, seriously, just watch Mansfield Park. Her rise to fame was just inevitable. Plus she has some wicked Dubsmash skills.


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