Natalie Dormer

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Natalie Dormer
Natalie Dormer by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Dormer at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2015
Born (1982-02-11) 11 February 1982 (age 37)
Residence Richmond, London, UK [1]
Alma mater Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active2005–present

Natalie Dormer (born 11 February 1982) [2] is an English actress. Born in Berkshire, she was educated at Chiltern Edge Secondary School and Reading Blue Coat School, and trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She received widespread praise for her portrayal of Anne Boleyn on the Showtime series The Tudors (2007–08), and was nominated for two Gemini Awards for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Drama Series.

Berkshire County of England

Berkshire is a county in South East England. One of the home counties, Berkshire was recognised by the Queen as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the presence of Windsor Castle, and letters patent were issued in 1974. Berkshire is a county of historic origin, a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council. The county town is Reading.

Reading Blue Coat School

Reading Blue Coat School is an Independent, day school for boys with a co-educational Sixth Form in Holme Park in the village of Sonning, in the English county of Berkshire, to the east of the town of Reading. It is situated beside the River Thames, and was established in 1646 by Richard Aldworth, who named it "Aldworth's Hospital".

The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, formerly the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art, was a drama school, and originally a singing school, in London. It was one of the leading drama schools in Britain, and offered comprehensive training for those intending to pursue a professional performance career. During its 100-year history, the Academy produced many established actors of stage and screen, including Angela Lansbury, Julian Fellowes, Shaun Williamson, Antony Sher, Donald Sinden, Hugh Bonneville, Minnie Driver, Amanda Root, Julia Ormond, Terence Stamp, Gregory Finnegan, Rupert Evans, Matthew Goode.


She made her stage debut at the Young Vic in 2010 in the play Sweet Nothings, and portrayed the Duchess of York in Madonna's film W.E. (2011) and Private Lorraine in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). In 2012, her lead performance in After Miss Julie at the Young Vic attracted widespread critical acclaim. Dormer gained international attention with her performance of Margaery Tyrell on the HBO series Game of Thrones (2012–2016), for which she was nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards (2014–2015). She is also known for playing Irene Adler/Moriarty on the CBS series Elementary (2013–15), Cressida in the science fiction adventure films The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and Part 2 (2015), and Sara Price/Jess Price in The Forest (2016).

Young Vic

The Young Vic is a theatre on the Cut, located near the South Bank, in the London Borough of Lambeth. Kwame Kwei-Armah has been the theatre's artistic director since February 2018, succeeding David Lan. Its philosophy is to "produce great plays for great audiences now and in the future".

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Queen consort of King George VI, mother of Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the wife of King George VI and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. She was Queen consort of the United Kingdom and the Dominions from her husband's accession in 1936 until his death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter. She was the last Empress consort of India.

Madonna (entertainer) American singer-songwriter and actress

Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. Referred to as the "Queen of Pop" since the 1980s, Madonna is known for pushing the boundaries of songwriting in mainstream popular music and for the imagery she uses onstage and in music videos. She has frequently reinvented her music and image while maintaining autonomy within the recording industry. Although having sparked controversy, her works have been praised by music critics. Madonna is often cited as an influence by other artists.

Early life

Dormer was born in Reading, Berkshire, the daughter of Gary Dormer and wife Claire Richards. [3] [4] She is of partly Norwegian [5] and half Welsh descent. [6]

Reading, Berkshire Place in England

Reading is a large, historic university and minster town in Berkshire, England, of which it is now the county town. It is in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway. Reading is 70 miles (110 km) east of Bristol, 24 miles (39 km) south of Oxford, 40 miles (64 km) west of London, 14 miles (23 km) north of Basingstoke, 12 miles (19 km) south-west of Maidenhead and 15 miles (24 km) east of Newbury as the crow flies.

Norwegians are a North Germanic ethnic group native to Norway. They share a common culture and speak the Norwegian language. Norwegian people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and South Africa.

Welsh people nation and ethnic group native to Wales

The Welsh are a Celtic nation and ethnic group native to, or otherwise associated with, Wales, Welsh culture, Welsh history and the Welsh language. Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living in Wales are British citizens.

Dormer attended Chiltern Edge Secondary School before moving to Reading Blue Coat School. She has said that she was the victim of bullying while at school, but "still to this day [she] can't place why". [7] At school, Dormer was head girl, a first-class student, vice-captain of the school netball team, and traveled the world with her school's public speaking team. [8]

Bullying Use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others

Bullying is the use of coercion, force, or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception of an imbalance of physical or social power. This imbalance distinguishes bullying from conflict. There is no universal definition of bullying. It is widely agreed upon that bullying is a subcategory of aggressive behavior characterized by the following three minimum criteria: (1) hostile intent, (2) imbalance of power, and (3) repetition over a period of time. Bullying may thus be defined as the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another individual, physically, mentally, or emotionally.

Netball ball sport

Netball is a ball sport played by two teams of seven players. Its development, derived from early versions of basketball, began in England in the 1890s. By 1960, international playing rules had been standardised for the game, and the International Federation of Netball and Women's Basketball was formed. As of 2019, the INF comprises more than 70 national teams organized into five global regions.

Public speaking process and act of speaking or giving a lecture to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain a listening audience

Public speaking is the process or act of performing a speech to a live audience. Public speaking is commonly understood as formal, face-to-face speaking of a single person to a group of listeners. Traditionally, public speaking was considered to be a part of the art of persuasion. The act can accomplish particular purposes including to inform, to persuade, and to entertain. Additionally, differing methods, structures, and rules can be utilized according to the speaking situation.

During her school years, Dormer trained in dance at the Allenova School of Dancing. [9] She describes herself as the "academic hopeful" of the family and was provisionally offered a place to study history at Cambridge; but, in her A-level History exam, she did not achieve the A grade she needed to attend after she misread an exam question. [7] Dormer decided she would audition for drama schools and decided to train at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Her first professional acting role was in the Shakespeare comedy The Comedy of Errors in 2003.

University of Cambridge University in Cambridge, United Kingdom

The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university. The university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two 'ancient universities' share many common features and are often referred to jointly as 'Oxbridge'. The history, influence and wealth of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Drama school specializes in the pre-professional training in drama and theatre arts

A drama school, stage school or theatre school is an undergraduate and/or graduate school or department at a college or university; or a free-standing institution ; which specializes in the pre-professional training in drama and theatre arts, such as acting, design and technical theatre, arts administration, and related subjects. If the drama school is part of a degree-granting institution, undergraduates typically take a Associate degree, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or, occasionally, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Design. Graduate students may take a Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Fine Arts, Doctor of Arts, Doctor of Fine Arts, or Doctor of Philosophy degree.

William Shakespeare 16th and 17th-century English playwright and poet

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.


Dormer in March 2013. Natalie Dormer (March 2013) (headshot).jpg
Dormer in March 2013.

Career beginnings

Six months after graduating from Webber Douglas, Dormer won the role of Victoria in Casanova . [3] This was her film debut and it was released in 2005. The director, Lasse Hallström, was so impressed with Dormer's comedic timing that he had the scriptwriter expand her part. [3] In 2005, Dormer had a small part in Distant Shores . After the filming of Casanova, Dormer was out of work for ten months, which she ascribes to "bad representation". She was attached to an independent film which kept being delayed because of financial problems. Taken off the audition circuit, Dormer waitressed and worked in data entry to support herself. [3] [10] She has said that her being out of work for so long "was the best lesson I could have had in the first 12 months of my career". [8]

<i>Casanova</i> (2005 film) 2005 film by Lasse Hallström

Casanova is a 2005 American romance film directed by Lasse Hallström starring Heath Ledger and loosely based on the life of Giacomo Casanova.

Lasse Hallström Swedish film director and screenwriter

Lars Sven "Lasse" Hallström is a Swedish film director. He first became known for directing almost all music videos by pop group ABBA, and subsequently became a feature film director. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for My Life as a Dog (1985) and later for The Cider House Rules (1999). His other celebrated directorial works include What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) and Chocolat (2000).

Data entry clerk profession

A data entry clerk is a member of staff employed to enter or update data into a computer system. Data is often entered into a computer from paper documents using a keyboard. The keyboards used can often have special keys and multiple colors to help in the task and speed up the work. Proper ergonomics at the workstation is a common topic considered.

2007 – 2011: The Tudors and breakthrough

In 2007 and 2008, Dormer played Anne Boleyn in the first two seasons of The Tudors , for which she received highly positive reviews. Robert Abele of LA Weekly wrote: "Natalie Dormer presents a painterly exquisiteness and complexity in her portrayal of Anne Boleyn... her enigmatic, time-halting loveliness is a boon for The Tudors, and damn near worth losing your head over". [11] After her character's death at the end of the second season, The Boston Herald noted: "Dormer gave Anne Boleyn life, making her not just a beautiful schemer but a rebellious, defiantly independent tragic hero in the tradition of Rebel Without a Cause and Cool Hand Luke ... her departure from The Tudors leaves a tremendous void." [12]

In 2008, Dormer played Moira Nicholson in Agatha Christie's Marple : "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" and appeared in the film City of Life . Dormer's Marple appearance aired in the US in the summer of 2009 as part of the PBS Masterpiece Mystery anthology series. Also in that year, she appeared in Incendiary , but her scenes were cut from the final film.

I'm interested in playing women who feel real, who are fighting for something or desire something or are scared, as all real women are – or let’s not make it a gender thing, as all human beings are.

 – Dormer on her choice of roles. [3]

Following Marple, Dormer went on to film some new roles, including the Duchess of York in Madonna's film W.E. , Pvt. Lorraine in Captain America: The First Avenger , and Niamh Cranitch in the BBC court drama Silk . She returned to The Tudors as Anne Boleyn in a dream sequence for the fourth and final season in mid-2010. [13]

2012 – 2016: Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games and worldwide recognition

From 2012 until 2016 Dormer played Margaery Tyrell in the HBO fantasy TV series Game of Thrones . [14] [15] Dormer, along with the rest of the ensemble cast, was nominated for four Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively, and the cast was awarded the Empire Hero Award in 2015 by the British film magazine Empire . For her performance in the third season of the show, Dormer won the Ewwy Award for Best Supporting Actress - Drama. [16]

In March 2013, she played the Lady Door in the radio play of Neverwhere, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman. Later that year, she appeared in the car racing drama Rush and the thriller The Counselor . She also appeared in A Long Way From Home. In 2013, Dormer played Irene Adler in the final three episodes of the first season of the CBS series Elementary ; she reprised the role in the second season. [17] Dormer played Cressida in the films The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Part 2 . [18] In preparation for the role, she shaved the left side of her head. [19]

In November 2014, it was announced that Dormer was to star as the scandalous 18th-century noblewoman Lady Worsley in a BBC drama called The Scandalous Lady W , based on the book Lady Worsley's Whim by the historian Hallie Rubenhold; it aired in August 2015. [20] [21] [22] In August 2016, Dormer was cast in The Professor and the Madman alongside Mel Gibson and Sean Penn. [23]

Dormer starred in the Lava Bear Films/David S. Goyer-produced horror film The Forest , [24] directed by multiple award-winning music video and short-film director Jason Zada, as his feature film debut. [25] Focus Features has the North American distribution rights to the film, which was released in January 2016. [26] [27]

2017 to present: Picnic at Hanging Rock and behind the camera

In September 2014, Deadline Hollywood announced that Dormer has been cast in Screen Gems' action thriller Patient Zero , alongside Matt Smith and Game of Thrones co-star John Bradley-West. The film was directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Stefan Ruzowitzky and based on a script by Mike Le. [28] Patient Zero was released through video on demand on 14 August 2018, before receiving a limited theatrical release on 14 September 2018, by Vertical Entertainment. [29] In February 2017, it was announced that Dormer was cast as schoolteacher Mrs Hester Appleyard in Picnic at Hanging Rock , an adaptation of the 1967 Australian novel of the same name by Joan Lindsay. The 6 episode feature aired on Amazon Prime [30] and on BBC2 in the United Kingdom. [31] Dormer's performance was described as "commanding" [32] and "delicious". [33]

In May 2018, Dormer starred as a blind pianist in revenge thriller In Darkness which she also co-wrote. [34]

Following her previous audio work on Neverwhere, in August 2018 it was announced that Dormer would narrate the audiobook for Pottermore Publishing’s Harry Potter: A History of Magic. Of the role, Dormer commented that she had “always adored the Harry Potter books” and it was “fun to join the wizarding world family." [35] .

Dormer will play Vivien Leigh in mini-series Vivling. The series will focus on Leigh's classic films, including Gone With The Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire , and Dormer will also develop and produce the show. [36] . Vivling will be Dormer’s first series of a first-look production deal with Fremantle which was announced in November 2018. [37] .

On the stage

March 2010 saw Dormer make her stage debut at the Young Vic theatre in London as Mizi in the play Sweet Nothings. In The Observer , theatre critic Susannah Clapp praised the performances of the cast and wrote: "Natalie Dormer is lissome as a dirty, delightful gadabout, pushing aside an entire chess game in order to put down her hat". [38] She then went on to her next stage role of Pat in .45 at Hampstead Theatre in November 2010. [39]

In March 2012, Dormer was back on the stage at the Young Vic to play the title role in After Miss Julie by Patrick Marber. [40] Her performance received critical acclaim, with reviews describing her as "little short of sensational", [41] "outstanding", [42] and "the perfect Miss Julie". [43] The online theatre magazine Exeunt wrote that her portrayal of Miss Julie contained "all the anger, desire, wit, loneliness, merriment, melancholy and desperation of the casts of several plays together... Dormer has still more presence and eerie beauty than is apparent from her appearances on-screen, and she shape-shifts almost supernaturally between seductress, child, and tormentor." [44]

Dormer returned to the stage at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in October 2017 for the lead role in David Ives' Venus In Fur . The Telegraph described her performance as "sensational" [45] while Lyn Gardner wrote that Dormer was "dominant in every way". [46]

Personal life

Dormer identifies as a feminist, saying "it upsets me that the younger generation of women think it’s a dirty word, and associate it with a kind of militantism or a sense of female superiority. It's not. It just means liberation, and equality." [47]

Dormer has expressed a desire to stay away from social media and a fear of being taken out of context online, highlighting that she has often been misquoted regarding controversial elements of her career. Regarding discussions relating to her nude appearances in television and film, Dormer has said, "To set the record straight, I have never been comfortable doing sex or nude scenes. Are you joking? How many people would be? My job specification is finding motivation in the text. I’ve turned down roles this year that have involved sex, solely because of the way I’ve been misrepresented. I’m so terrified at the moment of perpetuating that clickbait image of me." [48]

...You couldn’t make The Tudors now, exploit the female body like that. When I took [that role], I was 24 and just grateful to be on set. I didn’t know I could query things, say if I felt uncomfortable. Now I have some profile and influence on a project."

 – Dormer in an interview with Suchandrika Chakrabarti for the New Statesman in November 2018 [49]

Dormer co-wrote the film In Darkness, released in July 2018, with her ex-fiancé Anthony Byrne and both have described the process of writing together as "challenging". [50] [51] The film was criticised for what some critics called "gratuitous nudity". [52] [53] Dormer dismissed this in an interview with The Guardian , saying that "There has to be sexuality in the power play of a thriller. We have all got bodies, after all. In this film the sex scene, which for me was a love-making scene, is a metaphor for the way my character connects with the part played by Ed Skrein. Nakedness is a good equaliser and the shower scene also shows the tattoos on my character’s body and makes it clear she is not quite who you think." [54]

Dormer has appeared in nude scenes in various TV series such as The Tudors, Game of Thrones and The Fades and films such as Rush and The Scandalous Lady W. [55] [56] [57] [58] Despite this, she told Suchandrika Chakrabarti of the New Statesman in November 2018: "To set the record straight, I have never been comfortable doing sex or nude scenes," [59] and has made clear that she sees nude scenes as a requirement of "being an actress who's under a certain age in the industry." [56] Dormer has also criticised the way previous comments of hers on the topic of nudity have been reported to portray an image of her as an actress focused on sexual roles, saying "I’ve turned down roles this year that have involved sex, solely because of the way I’ve been misrepresented. I’m so terrified at the moment of perpetuating that clickbait image of me." [60]

Charities and advocacy

Dormer has run the London Marathon twice; first in support of Barnardo’s in 2014 [61] and then in 2016 for Childline. [62]

On World Humanitarian Day in 2016, Dormer gave a speech at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The event aimed to highlight the plight of refugees around the world. Dormer specifically highlighted the violence suffered by women and girls and called for men and boys to be engaged in the conversation. [63]

In 2017, Dormer visited Tanzania with the development and humanitarian organisation Plan International. The visit was part of a drive to ban child marriage in the country. [64]



2005 Casanova Victoria
2007 Flawless Cassie
2009 City of Life Olga
2011 W.E. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Captain America: The First Avenger Private Lorraine
2012Electric Cinema: How to Behave Lauren Bacall Short film
2013A Long Way from HomeSuzanne
Rush Nurse Gemma
The Counselor The Blonde
The Ring CycleMillieShort film
The BrunchersHer
2014 The Riot Club Charlie
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Cressida
2015 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
2016 The Forest Sara Price
Jess Price
2018 In Darkness SofiaAlso writer
Patient Zero Dr. Gina Rose
2019 The Professor and the Madman Eliza Merrett


2005 Distant Shores Mobile WomanEpisode #1.1
Rebus Phillippa BalfourEpisode: "The Falls"
The Tudors Anne Boleyn 21 episodes
2009MasterworkMo MurphyPilot
Agatha Christie's Marple Moira NicholsonEpisode: "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?"
2011 Silk Niamh Cranitch6 episodes
The Fades Sarah Etches
2012–2016 Game of Thrones Margaery Tyrell 26 episodes
2013–2015 Elementary Jamie Moriarty/Irene Adler 6 episodes
2015The Scandalous Lady W Seymour Worsley Television film
2018 Picnic at Hanging Rock Mrs Hester Appleyard6 episodes
2019 Penny Dreadful: City of Angels MagdaMain cast
2019 The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

Video games

YearTitleVoice roleNotes
2014–2015 Game of Thrones Margaery Tyrell Based on the TV series of the same name
2017 Mass Effect: Andromeda Dr. Lexi T’Perro

Music videos

2015"Someone New" Hozier


2003 The Comedy of Errors AdrianaThe Cliveden Open Air Theatre
2010Sweet NothingsMizi Young Vic
.45Pat Hampstead Theatre
2012 After Miss Julie Miss Julie Young Vic
2017 Venus in Fur Vanda Jordan Theatre Royal Haymarket

Awards and nominations

2008Monte-Carlo TV FestivalOutstanding Actress - Drama SeriesThe TudorsNominated
Gemini Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role Nominated
2009 Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role Nominated
2014NewNowNext AwardsBest New Lead Film ActressThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1Won
Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (shared with the cast)Game of ThronesNominated
2015 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (shared with the cast)Nominated

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Patient Zero is a 2018 action horror film directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky and written by Mike Le. The film stars Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer, Stanley Tucci, Agyness Deyn, and Clive Standen. The plot involves a group of survivors who set out to find an antidote for a highly contagious virus that turns the infected into a ravenous but highly intelligent new species.

<i>In Darkness</i> (2018 film) 2018 film

In Darkness is a 2018 thriller film directed by Anthony Byrne and written by Byrne and Natalie Dormer. It stars Dormer, Emily Ratajkowski, Ed Skrein, Joely Richardson, Neil Maskell, James Cosmo and Jan Bijvoet. The film was released on 25 May 2018 in the United States by Vertical Entertainment and on 6 July 2018 in the United Kingdom by Shear Entertainment.


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Further reading