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In Memoriam: Helen McCrory

A tribute to Helen McCrory and her extensive filmography

by Carly Horne | April 17, 2021 | The Courier

Following the announcement of Helen McCrory’s death on Twitter by husband Damian Lewis, comes the reflection of a life and career so full of exuberance and love. Although hers was a life cut far too short, it was also one marked by displays of endless generosity and incomprehensible levels talent which will surely be missed by all.

My first exposure to Helen McCrory came with the release of Skyfall in 2012. Something about her portrayal of Clair Dowar MP, a minor role relative to the scale of the film, just mesmerised me.

As Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, she shone. The mother of school bully, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) and wife to notorious Death Eater, Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) – Narcissa could easily have been a two-dimensional character. A ‘bad’ character. It’s hard to get away from the fact Narcissa Malfoy was a prejudicial pure-blood, but Helen McCrory brought so much humility and poise to what might have otherwise been an insignificant role.

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Categories Fearless Five Gold Rings Interviews Medea MotherFatherSon Peaky Blinders Print Media

Helen McCrory on Peaky Blinders and Her Best Supporting Men

Receives Rave Reviews for Every Character She Plays

by Megan Conner| Red Women | September, 2019

SHE WEARS SEQUINS TO THE SCHOOL GATES, HAS A HUSBAND WHO PULLS HIS WEIGHT AND RECEIVES RAVE REVIEWS FOR EVERY CHARACTER SHE PLAYS. ONE MIGHT SAY
HELEN McCRORY IS ACING IT. BUT, AS SHE TELLS MEGAN CONNER, SHE’S NOT ONE TO REST ON HER LAURELS…

Oh yes…’ frowns Helen McCrory, settling her tiny 5ft 2in frame on to a wide couch on the mezzanine level of a photographic studio in north London. ‘For some reason, I said I’d do the interview before the hair and make-up.’ She runs a hand through her crop of wet curls. ‘Now, tell me,’ she instructs, with all the authority of someone who is used to projecting her voice across the country’s greatest theatres, ‘Do I look like a small boy?’

She deadpans, but laughter follows. It’s the morning after one of the biggest annual summer shindigs in London – the Serpentine Summer Party – and McCrory is feeling fragile. ‘Oh, I did get a little lie-in,’ she says, flapping a hand. ‘Damian [Lewis, her husband of 12 years] got the kids to school while I had a shower.’ (So recent is the shower, her hair is still damp.) ‘But I’m thankful for this,’ she says, holding up her takeaway cappuccino. ‘I’ve been waiting for this.’

In truth, McCrory looks marvelous. Today, she’s dressed monochromatically in a pair of wide-leg checked trousers, worn with a hoodie and trainers. Her hair, the shortest I’ve seen on her, makes her look gorgeously gamine.

‘My daughter was a little confused when I picked her up from school yesterday in a pink and white sequinned jumpsuit,’ she says, chuckling. ‘I got her on the way to the party and she said, “Oh, of course.”’ She mimics her 12-year-old rolling her eyes. ‘But they’re used to it by now,’ she explains. ‘I’ll often come down the stairs and Damian will say, “Of course you are. Right let’s go. Your mother’s dressed for the walk in her ball gown again.”’

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Categories Fearless

The Real McCrory: Fearless Interview

A 21st Century Heroine

by Scarlett Russell | The Times, Culture | July, 2017

That Helen McCrory is starring in a new prime-time thriller called Fearless is rather apt. This is a woman no stranger to playing feisty, fiery, even controversial characters.

Her stage roles range from Lady Macbeth, Medea and, most recently, Hester Collyer in Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea, while on film she has played Cherie Blair and Queen Elizabeth I. She’s perhaps most loved as matriarch Polly Gray in the BBc’s Peaky Blinders or Madame Kali in Penny Dreadful.

Her latest role is the lead in new ItV political drama Fearless. She plays the chain-smoking, vodka-swilling, but brilliant solicitor, Emma Banville, who is known for defending some of society’s most abhorred suspects. The plot follows her as she attempts to free a man she believes was wrongly convicted of killing a schoolgirl in east anglia. As she delves deeper into the case, she sees that there is much more to it than she first imagined – and that police and intelligence services around the world will do anything to stop her.

Fortunately, there is nothing fierce about McCrory in person. the 48-year-old actress sits poised and elegant in London’s Soho hotel where she has arrived, right on time, for our interview. It’s midday and so she apologises when, halfway through our chat, a spinach omelette arrives.

“Do you mind?” she asks politely. “I’ve already had a breakfast very early today so I’m having another.” While not intimidating, McCrory certainly knows her mind. Between dainty mouthfuls, she carefully considers questions before answering them in her well-spoken lilt. Sharp and astute, her self-confidence is unwavering and a mark of her successful career playing complex characters.

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Categories Fearless Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Interviews Peaky Blinders Print Media

Helen McCrory Interview: The Scotsman

Human Rights Lawyer: Fearless

by The Newsroom | The Scotsman | June 24, 2017


Fake news, post-truth, a world where there are no facts, only interpretations, if ever the time was right for a character like Helen McCrory’s human rights lawyer in ITV’s six part legal thriller, Fearless, it’s now.

Emma Banville believes in truth and the ability of the British legal system to uphold it, but not without a fight, and the tenacious lawyer is up for that fight. Known as a champion of lost causes, she sets out to prove the innocence of a convicted killer, who has served 14 years in jail for the murder of a schoolgirl, amid a backdrop of official conspiracies and cover-ups.

“Emma is a hunter for the truth, fearless and brave. She believes in Britain’s legal system and that it will strive for a just and fairer society, and that nothing is above the law,” says McCrory over the phone from the Fearless press junket.

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