Hayley Atwell Central

Hayley Atwell attends the British Independent Film Awards held at Old Billingsgate on December 10, 2017 in London. You can go to the gallery to take a look to the photos. Hayley looks perfect! Please, credit this site if you take the pics.

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British Independent Film Awards – Press Room
British Independent Film Awards – Backstage
British Independent Film Awards – Show
British Independent Film Awards


After a stint playing a Marvel heroine the actress has come back to the UK to brighten our Sunday nights in a new take on Forster’s novel

In all but one way, the role and the actress are a perfect match. Hayley Atwell, like Margaret Schlegel, the heroine she plays in the BBC’s immaculate new classic serial, Howards End, is clever, morally alert and strong-willed. Like Margaret, Atwell has mixed heritage, although Atwell is Anglo-American rather than ancestrally German. Being half an outsider, she thinks, makes you “nosy” and curious about people. Yet both Atwell and Margaret speak cut-glass received English, so the natives never guess that they are spying.

Professionally it is a good fit too. Atwell comes to the part after a spell in America, where she stunned as Marvel’s Agent Carter, but where her next TV series flopped. Her return from Hollywood is its loss and our gain. “I was clear,” she tells me over lunch in a London restaurant, where beneath our table snoozes her pet chihuahua, Howard, “that this was the kind of work I wanted to do and these were the kinds of people I wanted to work with.” These people include Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Margaret’s widowed suitor, Henry Wilcox, the series director, Hettie Macdonald, and Kenneth Lonergan, the writer and director of Manchester by the Sea, who adapted EM Forster’s novel.

My only caveat is that Atwell, besides being, at 35, a few years older than Margaret, doesn’t really fit Forster’s description in his novel of a woman of “meagre” figure whose face “seemed all teeth and eyes”. Atwell has the figure and face of a star from Hollywood’s bulb-popping prime. It is a matter of pride to her that she has been defined by neither, and nor is her Margaret.

“I think with Margaret Schlegel, she’s quite an evolved human. She is able to say, ‘Henry Wilcox might not be as morally honest as I am, or he might be a bit confused and he might have his values a little bit skewed — but I’m not going to seek to change him in any way.’ She’s not going to use his soul as raw materials. That would be contemptible and unfair.”

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I have added new photoshoots of Hayley Atwell to the gallery. It makes me think on order a new layout. Let’ see.

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Photoshoot #001
Photoshoot #002
Photoshoot #003
Photoshoot #004


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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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 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.

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Harper’s Bazaar Women Of The Year Awards 2017