Every year, a fairy tale comes to life for a young actress. In 2006, that honor was bestowed upon Jodie Whittaker, following her performance in the critical film favorite, "Venus." Cast alongside lege...
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The hazel-eyed, blonde-haired actress was born in 1982 and grew up in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England. She then moved to London and trained in acting at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama. While attending the school, she played Miss Marcy/Mrs. Cotton in "I Capture the Castle," and Cressida Troilus in "Cressida." Her onscreen acting career started in 2006 on several shows aired on the British Broadcasting Company. She first appeared in an episode of "The Afternoon Play" (BBC, 2003- ), followed by a role in the drama series "Doctors" (BBC, 2000- ) before appearing in several productions in Shakespeare's Old Globe Theater in London.
Whittaker's big break came in the form of the film, "Venus," directed by Roger Michell, of "Notting Hill" (1999) fame, and written for the screen by Hanif Kureishi. The movie was released in the USA in December 2006, just six months after Whittaker graduated from Guildhall. Not a bad graduation gift for the up-and-comer. Whittaker played Jesse, a young woman who meets and befriends an old man (O'Toole), changing both of their lives forever. It took four auditions before she landed the role. Whittaker described the "Venus" experience as an amazing character journey and a fantastic role for a young girl. It also called for an actress with a northern England accent, which she naturally had, having grown up in Yorkshire. Whittaker's performance lit up the screen, and she held her own opposite seasoned acting veterans O'Toole, Leslie Phillips and Vanessa Redgrave.
A two-episode stint on "Dalziel and Pascoe" (BBC, 1996- ), a TV show based on the books by Reginald Hill, followed Whittaker's breakout role in "Venus," as did a role in "This Life + 10" (BBB, 2007) and a co-headlining stint in a London stage production of Neil LaBute's "Bash" at Trafalgar Studios. On a roll, Whittaker's was next scheduled to co-star alongside Viggo Mortensen in "Good" (2008), a movie about the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany.
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