Emily Watson

Last updated on the 26 March 2024 by Evandrus

Emily Watson

Mini Biography

Born: 14 January 1967, Islington, London, England. 

Despite facing initial rejections from drama schools, Emily Watson’s determination never wavered. In 1992, she joined the esteemed Royal Shakespeare Company. Her breakthrough came in 1996 with her captivating portrayal of Bess McNeil in Lars von Trier’s controversial film “Breaking the Waves.” Watson’s raw and nuanced performance garnered international acclaim, earning her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Undeterred by the challenges of the screen, Watson continued to excel in film. Her portrayal of the renowned cellist Jacqueline du Pré in “Hilary and Jackie” (1998) further cemented her status as a leading actress, earning her another Academy Award nomination.

Watson’s diverse repertoire extends to a range of genres, including historical dramas, comedies, and thrillers. She has collaborated with renowned directors such as Mike Leigh, Peter Jackson, and David Cronenberg. Her performances in films like “Angela’s Ashes” (1999), “Gosford Park” (2001), “Red Dragon” (2002), and “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers” (2004) have consistently garnered critical acclaim and audience appreciation.

Beyond her cinematic achievements, Watson has also made significant contributions to the world of theatre. In 2002, she received an Olivier Award nomination for her performance in “Uncle Vanya” at the Donmar Warehouse, London. Her versatility extends to stage productions of Shakespeare, including “Twelfth Night” and “King Lear.”

Emily Watson married her long-time partner, fellow actor Jack Waters, in 1995. The couple have a daughter and a son. Emily Watson is known for her commitment to social causes, particularly those related to environmental conservation and animal welfare.



WINNER|Television: Leading Actress for Appropriate Adult (2012)


Suggested viewing


Appropriate Adult (2011)

Appropriate Adult (2011) poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.4

In 1994, Janet Leach, a volunteer social worker, finds herself unexpectedly entangled in the investigation into serial killer Fred West, who along with his wife, Rosemary, is suspected of murdering several young women. As Janet serves as an “appropriate adult” during Fred’s police interviews, she becomes his confidante, gaining insights into his dark past and ultimately playing a pivotal role in bringing him to justice.

Top cast: Dominic West, Emily Watson, Monica Dolan, Robert Glenister, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Samuel Roukin, Anthony Flanagan, Ben Smith.

Breaking the Waves (1996)

Breaking the Waves

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.8

In a small Scottish fishing village, Bess McNeil, a devout woman with a childlike innocence, falls deeply in love with Jan Nyman, a Danish oil rig worker. When Jan is paralysed in a tragic accident, Bess’s unwavering devotion drives her to embark on a series of sacrificial acts, believing it will bring healing to her beloved husband. Her actions blur the lines between love, faith, and self-destruction, challenging societal norms and questioning the very nature of love.

Top cast: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Katrin Cartlidge, Jean-Marc Barr, Adrian Rawlins, Jonathan Hackett, Sandra Voe, Udo Kieran, Mikkel Gaup.

Angela’s Ashes (1999)

Angela's Ashes

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.3

Based on the autobiographical novel by Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes chronicles the harrowing childhood of young Frankie as he and his family tackle the poverty, squalor, and alcoholism that plague their lives in 1930s Limerick, Ireland. Amidst the bleakness, Frankie’s resilience and his mother Angela’s unwavering spirit shine through, providing a glimmer of hope in a world that often seems determined to crush their dreams.

Top cast: Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen, Michael Legge, Ciarán Owens, Ronnie Masterson, Pauline McLynn, Liam Carney, Eanna MacLiam.

Gosford Park (2002)

Gosford Park poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.2

In 1932, a lavish weekend shooting party at the English country estate Gosford Park brings together a group of wealthy aristocrats and their servants. Amidst the social gatherings and hunting expeditions, a mysterious murder shatters the harmony, and the secrets and hidden desires of the guests and staff are gradually exposed. As Inspector Thompson investigates the crime, the lines between the upstairs and downstairs worlds blur, revealing the interconnectedness of the seemingly disparate social classes.

Top cast: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas, Camilla Rutherford, Charles Dance, Geraldine Somerville, Tom Hollander, Natasha Wightman, Jeremy Northam.

Hilary and Jackie (1998)

Hilary and Jackie

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.3

Hilary and Jackie is a biographical drama based on the life of classical musician Jacqueline du Pré. The film follows the complex relationship between Jacqueline and her older sister, Hilary, as they navigate the world of music and fame. Jacqueline’s meteoric rise to fame is juxtaposed with her growing struggles with multiple sclerosis, while Hilary’s life unfolds more quietly, but with its own challenges. The film explores themes of sibling rivalry, ambition, and the impact of illness on one’s life and relationships.

Top cast: Emily Watson, Rachel Griffiths, James Frain, David Morrissey, Charles Dance, Celia Imrie, Rupert Penry-Jones, Bill Paterson, Auriol Evans.

Chernobyl (2019)

Bftv 9.5 / IMDb 9.4

In 1986, a devastating nuclear explosion at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine unleashed a cloud of radioactive particles across Europe, exposing millions to deadly radiation. Amidst the chaos and government cover-ups, a group of brave individuals risked their lives to contain the disaster and prevent a further catastrophe. Their selfless acts revealed the profound consequences of negligence and the importance of facing reality even in the face of unimaginable danger.

Top cast: Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson, Paul Ritter, Jessie Buckley, Adam Nagaitis, Con O’Neill.


Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


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