Michelle Fairley (born 17 January 1964 in Coleraine, Northern Ireland) is a Northern Irish actress, best known for her roles as Catelyn Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones, Dr. Ava Hessington in multiple episodes of USA Network series Suits, and as terrorist Margot Al-Harazi, the main antagonist in 24: Live Another Day.
- The Others as Mrs. Marlish (2001)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as Mrs. Granger (2010)
- Game of Thrones as Lady Catelyn Stark (20112013)
- Suits as Dr. Ava Hessington (2013)
- Philomena as Sally Mitchell (2013)
- 24: Live Another Day as Margot Al-Harazi (2014)
- The White Princess as Margaret Beaufort (2017)
Tropes associated with her work:
- Casting Gag: A Song of Ice and Fire is heavily inspired by Tudor history. So it's only fitting that the actress who played Catelyn in the adaptation stars in The White Princess.
- Creator Breakdown: After filming the Red Wedding, she turned her phone off and didn't reply to emails for a whole week! Even watching it for the DVD commentary, she becomes quite emotional.
- Dyeing for Your Art: A natural brunette, she dyed her hair red to play Catelyn Stark
- Fake Brit: Most of her roles are playing English characters. Of course she has lost her Northern Irish accent completely, so she sounds English to those who don't know the difference.
- The Other Darrin: She did not play Mrs Granger in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets but took over the role for Deathly Hallows.
- The Other Marty: Jennifer Ehle played Catelyn Stark in the original pilot for Game of Thrones, but was replaced with Michelle for the re-shot version. Some of the original scenes are still intact, with Michelle in shot instead of Jennifer. These can be identified because Sophie Turner looks much younger in them (it was filmed over a year before).
- Star-Making Role: Before Game of Thrones she mostly had small parts in major films or guest spots on television.
- Those Two Actors: She and Conleth Hill worked together in the theatre for many years before starring as Catelyn and Varys respectively.
- Typecasting: Often as a strong matriarch Mama Bear in fantasy or period pieces. She's even this in her one major scene in The Others.
- What Could Have Been:
- Judy Davis was originally cast as Margot Al-Harazi for 24: Live Another Day.
- A Song of Ice and Fire actually has Catelyn coming Back from the Dead now as a villain called Lady Stoneheart. The show's fourth season chose to drop this plot completely, and Catelyn is Killed Off for Real at the Red Wedding.