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Creator / Lucy Punch

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Just don't ask her to play Juliet.
Lucy Punch (born 30 December 1977 in Hammersmith, London) is a British comic actress. She is very good at annoying snob roles. It's her shtick!

To wit, there's typecasting, and then there's playing a version of Cinderella's stepsister four times. She just bears a resemblance to one of the sisters from the original animated movie, which subconsciously influenced a lot of people on what an evil stepsister 'should' look like.

Punch attended UCL to study French and art history. She was offered an acting job and subsequently dropped out. That role was Eveline in the period sitcom Let Them Eat Cake. The series bombed, but she quickly became a face on British TV.

By 2004 she had graduated to film work, but migrated to Los Angeles to star in the short-lived sitcom The Class. Then came the rough patch. Finding herself out of work, Punch barely scraped together cash for an economy flight to London, where Woody Allen was holding auditions for You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger after his star, Nicole Kidman, dropped out due to a scheduling conflict.


Her depiction of Esmé Squalor (a female Olaf) was widely considered by fans to be as good as, or better than, the books. She got the tone best out of the adult actors: just absurd enough, yet real enough, and she knew her way around Barry Sonnenfeld’s fast line delivery. And her evil laugh was spectacular. ("She did have quite an annoying laugh.")

Props to the costume designers, too; those outfits were something else. "That's not fire! It's fashion!"


Notable film roles include:

Notable TV roles include:

Tropes associated with Lucy Punch

  • Beauty Is Bad: Must have a really unfortunate resting face to be the go-to bad lady. But she’s barely aged since 2004, and if anything she looks even better.
  • Evil Is Hammy: "WHERE. IS. THE. SUGAR BOWL?"
  • Fake American: She has a gift for accents, and not just American. “I'm a math terrorist with close ties to Al-Gea-bra!”
  • Maniac Tongue: Esmé's signature move in ASOUE. This carries over to her other roles and interviews, too. Go watch Motherland and you'll notice the same tongue quirk.
  • The Other Marty: Punch was cast as Deena Pilgrim, the female lead in the Powers TV pilot. (She's tall, sexy and crazy so she looks like she could be a superhero.) But the role was recast.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • In Poirot, the episode based on After the Funeral, she plays a charity activist and missionary.
    • Fun fact: she plays the non-bitchy best friend in A Little Bit of Heaven and her performance made some viewers cry.
    • A brief role in Cake as a cute nurse.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • Renford Rejects was a teen sitcom concerning a school football team which aired on Nickelodeon UK. Sue White (Lucy Punch) replaced Robin Walker (Holly Davidson) as the team’s solitary female player, before Mia Smith (Megan Bertie) came in for the third and fourth seasons. James Corden and Steve Merchant were also in this.
    • Vexed, the cop comedy show starring Toby Stephens and Lucy Punch. As you'd expect, the central performances are very good. It got a terrible second season, and remains quietly forgotten; Punch had other commitments in America and declined to return for Series 2, so she was replaced by Miranda Raison.
  • Typecasting: She's one of those actors people look up every time they see her, because you know you've seen her in other stuff, but can't really place her.
    • She plays unbearable characters so well. Fans of hers might like to see the UK series Motherland. She was also the rich bitchy girl from a different school in St. Trinians.
    • The first time most Americans saw this actress was in The 10th Kingdom (a TV mini-series which aired in 2000) as the shepherdass Little Bo Peep. Her rendition of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" should come with a Parental Advisory label. "Huff... and puff... and blow aaaaaaaaaall my clothes off!" The male onlookers in the crowd shots were thinking about plowing that field.
    • "Prefers older men. Finger."
    • In The Dinner Game, Darla was merely a mistress described as crazy because she had a lot of dogs. In Dinner for Schmucks, she's a drunken fling from years earlier and a complete psychotic.
    • Punch is frequently cast as one of Cinderella's stepsisters. In addition to the film versions of Hattie in Ella Enchanted and Lucinda in Into the Woods, there were two obscure British versions of the story that feature her: a 2001 TV movie and Fairy Tales, a short-lived BBC series which modernised fairy tales. To be precise, Grimms' 'beautiful, with fair faces, but evil and dark hearts' type of stepsister and not the pantomime 'Ugly Sister'.


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