10 Things You Never Knew About Keeley Hawes
Keeley Hawes is a guest on this week's episode of The Graham Norton Show, where she'll be talking about not one but two upcoming TV projects: Finding Alice, a black comedy series she co-created and stars in, and Russell T Davies's AIDS crisis drama It's a Sin.
This is pretty fitting, because the British actress has definitely been "booked and busy" since she broke through in the late '90s. She's starred in BBC spy series Spooks, cult BBC America show Ashes to Ashes, costume drama Upstairs, Downstairs, and made a guest appearance in the 2014 Doctor Who episode "Time Heist."
Since then, she's picked up BAFTA nominations for her performances in Line of Duty and Bodyguard, then won one for her role opposite Ruth Wilson in Mrs Wilson. Ahead of her latest encounter with Graham Norton, here are some things you might not know about this consistently impressive actress.
1. Her well spoken accent is a product of elocution lessons at London's Sylvia Young Theatre School, which she attended from the age of nine.
"I wasn't part of the acting world," Hawes told The Big Issue in 2017. "The school happened to move into premises across from my house at a time when I was really enjoying being in the primary school play. If they hadn't, I probably wouldn't have gone to that school. I wouldn't have known such a thing existed."
She added: "There were no actors in my family – my dad's a black cab driver. There were six of us in the house in the estate in Marylebone being brought up by one person and we didn't have a lot of money. I got a grant to go to the school. It was quite an unusual situation I suppose."
2. One of her stage school classmates was Emma Bunton – a.k.a. Baby Spice.
They even shared an apartment for six months and went on caravanning holidays together. "It was a long time ago. People didn’t go on big glamorous holidays then, certainly coming from my background, and her background, and lots of people's," Hawes told The Guardian in 2019, adding: "I'd quite like to go caravanning with her again. The awful part about this is that she looks exactly the same as she did when we went caravanning. Just gorgeous."
3. She was a real grafter from a young age – and used to work in McDonald's.
"I had so many part-time jobs," Hawes told GoThinkBig.co.uk in 2014. "McDonald's was one, but that wasn’t even bad! I enjoyed it and the hard work. I worked in [grocery store] Sainsbury’s on a Saturday, I worked in McDonalds after school in the evenings, and I worked on a stall in an antiques market on Saturday mornings. And while I was at school, I did things like commercials and dramas and things as well. So yeah – lots going on."
4. Before she became famous, she also starred in a TV commercial for Wrigley's chewing gum.
Don’t let Graham Norton see this or he’ll end up showing it during Hawes’ next appearance on his show!
5. In 1997, she starred in music videos for two U.K. Top Ten hits.
They were: "Saturday Night" by Suede and "She's a Star" by James.
6. As a teenager, she was spotted by a modeling scout on London's Oxford Street.
"It was only when I modeled for six months that I began to get a clue how to dress," she told The Big Issue. "I got a bit better but not a lot. I wasn’t drinking or smoking. I was quite boring I think. My parents wouldn’t have had much to worry about. I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was 17. No one was very interested. I think it was a bit of an ugly duckling thing. I mean, looking back I wasn’t ugly but it took a while for things to fall into place. And then I was scouted in the street by a model agency. It took me by complete surprise, I had no idea such things existed. But actually, I had a lovely six months making friends and traveling, though I wasn’t the greatest model."
7. She's spoken candidly in interviews about her experience with depression.
"It’s something that never goes away. I think it's in your DNA if you suffer with it," she told You magazine in 2019. "I have become better equipped at looking after myself. I’ve tried various things over the years. Keeping busy helps, being forced to carry on, because inevitably it will pass."
8. While she was appearing in zeitgeist-grabbing BBC drama series Bodyguard, in which she portrayed a fictional Home Secretary, she bumped into the real-life Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, at a restaurant.
Hawes recalled the potentially awkward encounter on The Graham Norton Show, and revealed that Rudd was just as gripped by Bodyguard as everyone else.
9. She and actor husband Matthew Macfadyen (Succession, Quiz) keep a tidy home.
“He’d hate it if I said he was, but he likes order, which is great because you couldn’t live with me if you didn’t like it,” she told The Times in 2014. “I thrive on things being orderly. I’m very tidy and very clean. Very clean. In a life which can be quite complicated, the house has to be ordered. And having three children as well — I don’t know how people cope with a mess."
10. She took a little memento from her guest role as Ms. Delphox/Madame Karabraxosos on Doctor Who.
Hawes reveals all on this Friday's episode of The Graham Norton Show, which airs 11pm EST on BBC America. Check out a preview clip below.
Do you have a favorite Keeley Hawes moment or role?