Hayley Elizabeth Atwell (born 5 April 1982 in London, England) is an English-American actress.
She's best known for her role as Peggy Carter, Captain America's love interest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But before gaining fame from her turn at Peggy in Captain America: The First Avenger, she took part in films like Woody Allen's 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:
- Prometheus Bound (2005) as Io
- Cassandra's Dream (2007) as Angela Stark
- Mansfield Park (2007) as Mary Crawford
- Brideshead Revisited (2008) as Julia Flyte
- The Duchess (2008) as Lady Elizabeth 'Bess' Foster
- A View from the Bridge (2009) as Catherine
- The Prisoner (2009) as Lucy
- Love/Hate (2009) as Hate
- The Pillars of the Earth (2010) as Aliena
- Marvel Cinematic Universe as Margaret "Peggy" Carter
- Black Mirror: Be Right Back (2013) as Martha
- Cinderella (2015) as Ella's Mother
- Conviction (2016) as Hayes Morrison
- Avengers, Assemble! (2017) as Margaret "Peggy" Carter (voice) *
- Christopher Robin (2018) as Evelyn Robin
- 3Below (2018 - 2019) as Lieutenant Zadra
- Criminal 2019 (2019) as Stacey
- Mission: Impossible 7 (2021)
Tropes that apply to this actress' works include:
- 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.
- Smurfette Breakout: A major example of this. Few were expecting Peggy Carter to be the surprise star of Captain America, 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, of all things.
- Star-Making Role: As Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger.
- 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.
- Time-Shifted Actor:
- Averted in The Winter Soldier, where she plays Peggy now 70+ years older. Her reprising the role was deemed so important that when makeup tests proved unsatisfactory, Atwell instead played old Peggy with the help of motion capture. It was a huge step in special effects all for the sake of keeping her in the film.
- Averted again in Ant-Man, where Peggy is only 40 years older, and Atwell does wear aging makeup.
- She's since suggested that the MCU crew could write something about Peggy set anywhere from the '50s to the '00s, and then just wait until she's the appropriate age to film it. Yeah, that's how much she loves this role.
- Typecasting: She jokes about often being cast in period pieces.
- What Could Have Been: For a while she really wanted 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.)