Charismatic, erudite, fiercely well read, and irreverent, Carolyn is a principled yet ruthless leader in her field. As a young agent on the ground in Moscow in the '80s, she cultivated one of MI6’s most valuable assets and has since saved the world at least three times.
Carolyn has formed intimate relationships with her foreign counterparts on more than one occasion — an occupational hazard. She’s divorced four times and her only child, Kenny, is living back at home, and working for her — she’s obsessed with her work.
A literal and strategic woman, Carolyn is smart enough to know when someone has a specific talent, and is not shy about pointing out qualities, or perspectives other people have that she might lack. She saw Eve’s ability when everyone else dismissed her, and she admired and encouraged her and then hired her.
In Season 1, Carolyn set up a secret unit and put Eve in charge of it. She needed a group that could be invisible and work without the restraints of typical MI6 protocol — but is Carolyn more entwined with the Russians than she lets on? Whose side is she really on? And is Eve fooling herself that she’s the only one Carolyn has ever singled out for special treatment?
Appointed as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2001 for her contribution to the film, theatrical and televisual arts, Fiona Shaw is one of Britain’s most prized actresses. She has worked with a number of international directors, including Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter), Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot), Bob Raffelson (Mountains of the Moon), Brian DePalma (The Black Dahlia), Franco Zeffirelli (Jane Eyre), Neil Jordan (The Butcher Boy) and Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life). She is known in the US for her television performance as the villainess witch Marnie Stonebrook on HBO’s True Blood.
Onstage, she has excelled in a wide range of performances. In London her roles in Electra, As You Like It and The Good Person of Sichaun won her Olivier awards for Best Actress, and her critically-acclaimed performance in Machinal (Royal National Theatre) won her both an Olivier Award for Best Actress and a London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress. Her outstanding role as the titular character of Medea won her the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress while also earning nominations for the Tony Award on Broadway for Best Actress and the Drama Desk Award for her performance in Waste Land.
She has also recently performed in New York in Happy Days, The Ancient Mariner and John Gabriel Borkman at BAM and The Testament of Mary on Broadway. She was most recently seen in the films Lizzie Colette and for television, Mrs. Wilson (BBC).