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If you’ve already “discovered” British actress Bel Powley, say in her breakout role as Minnie in 2015’s Diary of a Teenage Girl, or in other recent films like A Royal Night Out (2015), or Equals (2015), then you may already know what a force she is. If not, let’s take a moment to catch up with this young actress, who is clearly on the verge… of something really great (not in a Girl on the Train kind of way). If your interest just spiked, you can look for her in the rite of passage film, Carrie Pilby, as a former child prodigy trying to manage a social life, premiering this week on Friday, March 30:

Here’s what we’ve learned about Powley and why we’d like to see more of her:

1. She’s very, very honest.
Her delightful sensibility shines through during her first trip to the Sundance Film Festival, hosted annually in Salt Lake City, Utah. She embraces her fish out of water status when chatting with Rolling Stone writer Peter Travers. Powley exclaims, “I’m a Sundance virgin!” Welp, there’s a first time for everything… You can check out how the Sundance experience went down in the below clip:

2. She goes that extra step.
Powley talked to Variety about setting up an audition for the film Diary of a Teenage Girl, in which she ultimately landed the lead role. “I’d never done this before,” she admitted, “but I tagged an extra bit onto my audition tape and said these are the reasons I’m so passionate about the project, please don’t think I’m crazy and please have a conversation with me.” We give her an “A” for effort. Here she is in the trailer for the role she worked so hard to secure:

3. She has an opinion.
The 25-year-old may be taking on teen roles — it happens — but she’s no shrinking violet. She has an opinion and isn’t shy to put it out there. During an interview with W Magazine, the young actress talked about watching her own love scenes in Diary of a Teenage Girl, where she plays a 15-year-old who sleeps with her mother’s boyfriend. “When I saw the sex scene on a massive screen, I thought, Whoa, girl — that was brave!”

4. She doesn’t overshare.
She’s honest and speaks her mind, but she hasn’t plastered her thoughts and selfies all over the internet for the world to see. She’s not on every social media channel — and that’s quite alright — but we can still find a tastefully curated portfolio of snaps through her Instagram. It’s a nice way for her to engage with fans, but also keep hold of her privacy:

(Photo: Instagram)
(Photo: Instagram)

5. She’s no overnight star.
It may seem like this fresh face has come out of nowhere, but that’s really not the case. Powley has been a working actress for over a decade, securing her first role back 2007, when she played Emma Clayson in ITV drama The Whistleblowers. She also starred in British shows like Murderland and Benidorm. Here’s a look at Powley in her “spy days” as MI9 agent Daisy Millar from M.I High:

(Photo: BBC)
(Photo: BBC)

6. She has Kristen Wiig’s stamp of approval.
The folks at Click on This caught up with Powley’s Diary of a Teenage Girl co-star Kristen Wiig, who plays her absentee mom in the film. The host of the series, Stuart Brazell, asked Wiig what she hopes the audience takeaway is, in the below clip. And, what was her answer? She’s excited for the world to meet Powley, saying, “She is UNbelievable in this movie.” You can check out the moment where Wiig lights up when gushing over Miss Bel at 2:02:

7. She’s going to star in The Bell Jar.
Kirsten Dunst
is set to direct the much anticipated film adaptation of Sylvia Plath‘s groundbreaking book, premiering in 2018. The semi-autobiographical novel, first published in 1963, tells the story of a 19-year-old college student, played by Dakota Fanning in the film, who suffers a breakdown. It’s not known what role Powley will play, but the film is on our watch-list. Here’s a peek at the book’s cover:

(Photo: Heinemann)
(Photo: Heinemann)

8. She doesn’t take herself too seriously.
She may be a serious actress, vying for more mature roles, but she’s not too grown-up to enjoy some birthday pajama fun:

What do you reckon — is Bel Powley on her way? We think so! 

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By Brigid Brown