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Creator / Hayley Atwell

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"Ultimately, if you have talent, it will always be there. If you depend too much on your beauty or a visual presence in films, you’re in for a shock when people don’t want you any more because they only wanted you for one thing."

Hayley Elizabeth Atwell (born 5 April 1982 in London, England) is an English-American actress. Her mother is English, and her father's American of Native American/Irish ancestry.

She's best known for the role of Peggy Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before gaining fame from her turn at Peggy in Captain America: The First Avenger, she took part in films like Cassandra's Dream, Brideshead Revisited, The Duchess, and theater productions such as A View from the Bridge and Prometheus Bound.

Film, Television, and Theater appearances:

Tropes that apply to Atwell's works include:

  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: A rare, and very attractive female version.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Miss Atwell is a lovely lady and her projects often take advantage of that.
  • No Stunt Double: She frequently did her own stunts in fight scenes for Agent Carter, though this tended to not end well for the stuntmen. invoked
  • invokedSmurfette Breakout: A major example of this. Few were expecting Peggy Carter to be the surprise star of the Captain America films, especially since her character in the comics is at best an important footnote and Doomed by Canon to die of Alzheimer's. But Atwell's strong depiction of Peggy's independence even in the 40s coupled with great chemistry with Chris Evans left fans clamoring for more of her, resulting in her getting her own TV show, several cameos in subsequent films, the very last scene of Avengers: Endgame involving her character, and eventually an alternate universe Peggy (voiced by Atwell) having a big role to play in What If...?, in which she becomes the Super-Soldier Captain Carter in the place of Steve Rogers, eventually reprising the role of Captain Carter in live action in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
  • Star-Making Role: As Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger. invoked
  • Throw It In!: The hilarious bit of Peggy getting a quick feel of Steve's new muscles in The First Avenger.
    Hayley Atwell: When Chris Evans first took his shirt off on the set of Captain America, I just instinctively grabbed his man boob. They kept it in the film. So we did a couple of takes of me being really inappropriate with my hand on his pec for the duration of the scene. invoked
  • Typecasting: She jokes about often being cast in period pieces. invoked
  • What Could Have Been:
    • For a while she showed interest to play the title role of Doctor Who, even joking that she'd "reserved" the part if it was ever decided to make the Doctor a woman. She then publicly stated she'd lost interest in it shortly before Jodie Whittaker was instead chosen as the first female Doctor. (She has done several voices for Big Finish Doctor Who, though.) invoked
    • One reason why she hasn't played in more blockbusters/high profile roles outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that she's been dissatisfied with many of such roles that were proposed to her over the years. That apparently changed with the role of Grace in the Mission: Impossible film series starting with Dead Reckoning Part One, which she adores.