Birth Name: Hayley Elizabeth Atwell
Birthday: 5 April 1982
Height: 5′ 7″ (1,7 m)
Born in London, England, Hayley Elizabeth Atwell has dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and the United States. An only child, Hayley was named after actress Hayley Mills. Her parents, Alison (Cain) and Grant Atwell, both motivational speakers, met at a London workshop of Dale Carnegie’s self-help bible “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Her mother is English (with Irish ancestry) and her father is American; he was born in Missouri and is partly of Native-American descent (his Native American name is Star Touches Earth). Her parents divorced when she was age two. Her father returned to America and Hayley remained with her mother in London, but she spent her summers in Missouri with her father. Hayley’s mother saw theater as an important communal experience, so she was introduced to theater from a young age. At age 11, she had memorable trip to see Ralph Fiennes playing Hamlet. She would later work with him on The Duchess (2008).
She went to Sion-Manning Roman Catholic Girl’s School in West London where she excelled academically. She took her A-levels at the London Oratory School. She took two years out of her education, traveling with her father and working for a casting director. In 2005, she graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a degree in Acting. Hayley began her career with parts on a few BBC television productions. Her first big break came in the television miniseries, The Line of Beauty (2006). The following year, she got her first film role in How About You… (2007). She followed this with Woody Allen’s Cassandra’s Dream (2007). Her breakthrough role came four years later as British agent Peggy Carter in Captain America: First Avenger (2011).
She reprised the role in the 2013 short film Agent Carter, the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and in the 2015 films Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. As Carter, she appeared in two episodes of the television show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and as the lead role in Marvel’s Agent Carter, which aired from 2015 to 2016. Agent Carter was officially canceled by ABC on 12 May 2016. She provided Carter’s voice in Lego Marvel’s Avengers.
In February 2016, Hayley was cast to star in an upcoming legal drama pilot for ABC, Conviction.
As a teenager, she went on anti-vivisection and Free the Dolphins marches.
At age 8, she became a committed vegetarian after seeing Loyd Grossman put a live lobster into boiling water.
Is an only child.
Shares a birthday with her Cinderella co-star Lily James who is only 7 years her junior, coincidentally both actresses are alumnus from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
“Nude scenes can be very liberating. I feel very human. This is me, with all my little imperfections.”
“My first job was a Greek tragedy, and ever since, one job just seemed to roll onto the next. I’ve been terribly lucky.”
“I think it will be a balance of creative and commercial choices, going forward. People say critical acclaim and box office success don’t go hand in hand and that may be true but I don’t really think I’d live much on the salary of a full-time theatre actor. I mean, I could, but I really like going out to dinner…”