Hayley Atwell Central

Hayley Atwell:’I don’t want to be in a costume that wears me, I want to veg out’

Hayley Atwell plays Margaret Schlegel in BBC One’s new adaptation of Howards End. She talks corsets with Georgia Humphreys

It’s been nearly 25 years since Emma Thompson won an Oscar for the role of Margaret Schlegel in film Howards End. And now it’s Hayley Atwell’s turn to take on the pioneering character in a new, four-part BBC mini-series.

EM Forster’s 1910 novel follows three families in its exploration of turn-of-the-century England: the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, the wealthy business-focused Wilcoxes and the working-class Basts.

But any pressure Atwell felt about starring in the TV adaptation of such a beloved story was quashed when the 35-year-old actress spoke to Thompson ahead of filming.

“She (Thompson) played my mum years ago and she is a mentor and a friend,” reveals Atwell (the pair worked together on the 2008 adaptation of Brideshead Revisited). “And she said, ‘Don’t watch the film. You are she and she is you; never do that, that’s just rule number one’.”

The period drama is certainly a change in direction for London-born Atwell, whose career has undeniably been shaped by action-adventure roles across the pond.

After first portraying Marvel’s Agent Peggy Carter in 2011 film Captain America: The First Avenger, cinematic successes such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man followed.

With two seasons of leading the cast in Marvel TV series Agent Carter on ABC also under her belt, Atwell is known by fans the world over for her ass-kicking role.

But she seems to have settled in just fine to the rather juxtaposed, corset-wearing world of Howards End.

“One of the things Hettie (Macdonald, Howards End director) was saying at the beginning, which has been really helpful, is we don’t want to be in costumes that wear us,” discloses Atwell while on set in Harrow in London, where they’re filming an important concert scene. Read More



Hayley Atwell: My new role in Howards End is no damsel in distress

Hayley Atwell believes many British period dramas are too “stiff” and says she is delighted that her character in Howards End is not another “damsel in distress”.

The actress, 35, also revealed she sought advice from Emma Thompson, who won an Oscar for playing the same role — Margaret Schlegel — in the 1992 film version.

Atwell stars with Australian newcomer Philippa Coulthard in the BBC’s new four-part take on E M Forster’s novel. She told the Standard: “I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever had the pleasure to work on. It’s clever, it’s nuanced, it’s mature, it’s sophisticated without being pretentious, it’s accessible, it’s warm, it’s witty.

“Yet we steered very clear and stayed well away from it being another stiff British period drama that felt up its own arse or felt in any kind of way impenetrable.

“We made the characters feel very real and the kind of people you’d run into in the modern day.”

Forster’s 1910 novel follows three families in England, including the half-German Schlegels. Atwell said: “The Schlegels are of the intellectual set but there are also contradictions, hypocrisies, self doubt as they make their way through the world with the tools they have. It’s a dream to be given a female character that is so nuanced.

“I feel like Margaret is rare because there are few characters like her, even in literature, as the centre of the piece. She has many facets to her character and she grows and changes throughout it instead of being someone who is linear, or being the downtrodden damsel in distress — the victim of something, which so many female roles are. She’s never a victim.” Read More



‘Howards End’: Hayley Atwell & Kenneth Lonergan Talk Female Empowerment & Class In Starz Period Drama – Q&A

Hayley Atwell may be best known for starring in superhero fare such as Agent Carter and Avengers: Age of Ultron, but in Starz and BBC One’s forthcoming adaptation of Howards End, she plays Margaret Schlegel, the chief protagonist of E.M Forster’s classic novel.

Atwell, speaking at the premiere of the four-part drama in London, said that she’d never read a script that had given her so much time to figure out the “many facets of her character”.

“My character starts off with self-doubt… she’s contradictory, contrary and hypocritical and curious and inquisitive, all of these characteristics that I see present in my life but I don’t necessarily see it as much on screen. So, for me, I wanted to tread carefully because I thought it was beautiful and nuanced and wasn’t earnest or sentimental,” she added.

That script, which was written by Manchester By The Sea writer/director Kenneth Lonergan, follows the story of two independent and unconventional sisters, and the men in their lives, as they seek love and meaning in an ever-changing world.

Lonergan said that he was drawn into the project because of the way that the Schlegel family, in 1907, was actively trying to assess what was happening with the class system in Britain. “You don’t often see that done in such an anthropological way. It’s very unusual territory to explore,” he said.

The last major adaptation of Howards End was done 25 years ago as a Merchant Ivory-produced feature film starring Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins and Vanessa Redgrave.

Lonergan said he was pleased to have had four hours to tell the story rather than 90-minutes. “I’ve tried to adapt novels for feature length films and most of the work is trying to figure out what to cut and how to allow the book to survive in a shorter format so having four hours to experiment is wonderful.” Read More



New photos of Hayley Atwell added

I have added some new photos of Hayley Atwell to the gallery. Please, credit this site if you take the pics.

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November 10th, 2017



Hayley Atwell at the Harper’s Bazaar Women Of The Year Awards 2017

Hayley Atwell attends Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year Awards at Claridge’s Hotel on November 2, 2017 in London. You can go to the gallery to take a look to the photos. Please, credit this site if you take the pics.

If you like the updates and want to help this site to get everything of Hayley, please, feel free to go here to donate. Every little bit helps.

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Harper’s Bazaar Women Of The Year Awards 2017



Hayley Atwell at the ‘Howards End’ – Special Screening

Hayley Atwell attends a special screening of ‘Howards End’ at the BFI Southbank on November 1, 2017 in London, England. You can go to the gallery to take a look to the photos. Please, credit this site if you take the pics.

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‘Howards End’ Screening – After Party
‘Howards End’ – Photocall & Special Screening



“Social media was making me very lonely”

For the new issue of the Idler, says Tom Hodgkinson, I went to interview the lovely Hayley Atwell to talk about playing the role of Margaret Schlegel in the new BBC adaptation of EM Forster’s Howards End. Here are a few highlights.

Why Hayley ditched Twitter and Facebook
Tom Hodgkinson: Tell us about your attitude to different social media, Facebook, Twitter?
Hayley Atwell: I came off Twitter. I had close to a million followers and I had women, girls in particular, saying, “Thanks to your character, I’m seventy days self-harm free”. They would project a lot on to me, that I was their saviour. I understand it was a fifteen-year old girl thing. I’m sure I did it when I was that age. But I didn’t quite know what to do with it. I wasn’t sure what I felt either way so I came off it for a bit. And I came off Facebook. I found that there were probably only about ten people on Facebook that I actually would have gone for a cup of tea with. The other thing I felt is that it stopped me from being able to have face-to-face conversations with people. I would know what my godchildren were doing and looked like, but not because I’d spent any time with them. My best mate doesn’t know that I’ve seen all this. It’s not a conversation. So I actually found that social media was making me very lonely. I would see other people’s posts, and we only project what we want the world to see, so it was all bullshit. So I came off of it and went back on Instagram. But I made some social media rules that I now live by, which is to never post when hungry, angry, lonely or tired. Don’t look up ex-boyfriends. Don’t look up people that you’re jealous of. Don’t Google yourself. Do not read comments. Contribute positively. Don’t engage in controversy or become too political.

Hayley on bohemia, money and talented women
HA: Yes, my parents were self-made and I was as well. So I relate more to the Basts [Leonard Bast is the lowly clerk, longing for a richer intellectual life, in Forster’s book] in that respect, as opposed to the Schlegels, who were born into security.
TH: You didn’t have the trustafarian private income. Read More



Hayley Atwell at the 61st BFI London Film Festival Awards

Hayley Atwell attends the 61st BFI London Film Festival Awards on October 14, 2017 in London, England. I have added some photos to the gallery ans Hayley looks so beautiful. Please, credit this site if you take the pics.

If you like the updates and want to help this site to get all the stuff of Hayley, please, feel free to go here to donate. Every little bit helps. I am trying to get some money to buy some great HQ shoots of Hayley.

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61st BFI London Film Festival Awards – Winners Room
61st BFI London Film Festival Awards
61st BFI London Film Festival Awards – Cocktail Reception



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