British actress Hayley Atwell has scored a major role in the suspense thriller I, Anna, The Hollywood Reporter reveals. The film, the feature debut for writer/director Barnaby Southcombe, “charts the story of a woman’s life being turned upside down after a date gone wrong, and the impossible love of the policeman tracking her down.” She’ll portray the daughter of the film’s title character, played by veteran actress Charlotte Rampling.
The supporting cast is sick: Eddie Marsan (Happy-Go-Lucky), Jodhi May (Tipping the Velvet), Bill Milner (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll), and Bond girl Honor Blackman (Goldfinger‘s Pussy Galore) have already signed on.
I’ve been banging the drum for Hayley Atwell since I first saw her in the BBC mini-series The Line of Beauty (starring Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens). Since that acclaimed 2006 literary adaptation, Atwell has been quietly accumulating choice parts. She starred in Woody Allen‘s film Cassandra’s Dream; she appeared opposite Rampling and Keira Knightley in the period drama The Duchess; and she romanced Matthew Goode in the 2008 adaptation of Brideshead Revisited. None of the above catapulted her into crazy Rebecca Hall/Carey Mulligan “It girl” territory, but they were all solid projects that slowly — methodically — made her an actress to follow.
However, Atwell will garner household name status this summer when she hits U.S. theaters as the female lead in the comic book film Captain America, co-starring Fantastic Four hunk Chris Evans. (Comic book movies have become the domain of British actors, with Henry Cavill, Andrew Garfield, and Christian Bale playing America’s holy trinity of superheroes.)