With her star turns as Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall and Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, British actress Claire Foy has become a key actress for period films. Let’s take a look at her surprisingly long resume!
Little Dorrit (2008)
An adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel. I’ll admit, I haven’t watched it because it looks like more poor people being poor in drab bonnets.
Upstairs Downstairs (2010-12)
As the scheming, glamorous younger sister, Persephone, in this 1930s-set sequel to the classic series.
Season of the Witch (2011)
Her very first film role, as the titular witch in this allegedly 13th-century-set supernatural/action/adventure film starring Nicolas Cage. Which sounds truly dire.
The Night Watch (2011)
An adaptation of a Sarah Waters novel about lesbians in World War II London.
White Heat (2012)
A BBC miniseries that follows seven students who first meet while sharing a flat. Each episode covers a different year, from 1965 to 1990.
I have many questions about this, with John Malkovich starring as Blackbeard the Pirate
The Great War: The People’s Story (2014)
A docu-drama about World War I. Foy plays Helen Bentwich, politician and philanthropist who, during the war, helped organize the Women’s Land Army.
Wolf Hall (2015)
As Anne Boleyn in this Thomas Cromwell-focused series. I thought she made a great Anne, given what she was given in the script. She DEFINITELY has the “kind of weird, but beautiful” look that I think Anne probably had.
The Crown (2016-20)
First Man (2018)
As Janet Armstrong, wife of astronaut Neil in this film about the lead up to the Apollo 11 moon mission.
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021)
As the wife of an artist in late 19th-century England.
A Very British Scandal (coming soon)
Foy will play Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, who went through a scandalous divorce in 1963.
What’s your favorite of Claire Foy’s historical costume roles?
Little Dorrit is SO good, and there are some pretty dresses, and fortunes made and lost, and family mysteries, and Matthew MacFadyen is swoon. And a lot is actually said with the costuming and hair. Well worth a binge watch.
First time I saw MacFadyen! So good, I agree! Great cast and production!
Seconded. “Dorrit” is one of those Andrew Davies’ adaptations – he also did “Bleak House” – that’s well written and beautifully cast – and costumed. Foy’s character spends a lot of time in “poor clothes” until the family fortune changes, but there are other characters from other classes and outrageous 1830s dresses and hair make several appearances, such as this red thing Polly Walker is wearing. https://wgbh.brightspotcdn.com/4c/49/69e273c64c2eaac2015ad14d095c/kudmgav-asset-mezzanine-16×9-rvjvrai.jpg
Mater Merdle… she’s not played by Polly Walker, it’s Amanda Redman and she’s a blast in this. Especially when she exchanges teethy niceties with Fanny Dorrit, who is an absolute scene stealer as well. And even in drab, guttery moments, the colourful production design helps the series not falling into visual Dickensian despair. So, yes, another second in favour of the series. It’s SO good. The only Dickens adap I was actually touched by now and then. It also made me realize that I must have a definite weakness for pretty buffoons… One lives and learns.
Whoops! It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it.
I liked her Little Dorrit…not all “poor” clothng plus I like Matthew McFadden a lot…also liked her in Louis Wain a lot. Overall she always adds to a show.
Wolf Hall. Trouble is, I seem to have missed so many frock flicks. I did just see a clip from the new “Cyrano.” The costumes suck.
Lady Persie was the queen of Bitchy Resting Face! LOL!
It looks like that entire dress in Crossbones is made of that sheer blue georgette or whatever it was. If such a fabric was even made back then, can you imagine the expense and time in processing it and then putting the garment together? Not exactly weather-friendly either. Ridiculous.
I really enjoy her performances – she has a perfect face for so many roles. And now I realize I need to check out a few more. I appreciate the heads up to avoid Crossbones too – yikes what a mess!.
My favorite Claire Foy film/show so far is a toss up between Wolf Hall and Upstairs Downstairs. UD is probably the winner as I adore the clothing and glamour of the 1930s. She was so good at being bad in both roles!
Heather, you need to watch The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.
Claire Foy is excellent whether she’s portraying oh-so-sweet and humble Amy Dorrit or arch-bitch Anne Boleyn (still bothered by those crappy French hoods, flimsy veils and wrinkly bodices tho’).
I adore Little Dorrit. I’ve seen it at least six times and given how long it is, that’s an accomplishment. Seen most of these films — plus her terrific and hilarious Arabella Dearheart in their wacky adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal. I haven’t seen Crossbones… but I think I might have to now. Procrastinating on the Louis Wain movie, because… I know the second half is gonna be depressing. :P
Quibble – that last image of the green coat and hat is from the Crown.
I generally adored her Anne Boleyn and her style and verve and, let’s be honest, affected Frenchiness (“Cremuel”) but the hoods in that series are all sorts of wrong. They’re just wide headbands.
I loved her in The Crown.
Those Anne Boleyn costumes are DIRE!! But yes, at least her hair is upl
Margaret Campbell was a real piece of work. But then the Duke seems to have no better. A lot of scandal in the Argyll line from the 8th duke down.
She is positively luminous in Little Dorrit, such a perfectly horrid spoiled brat in Upstairs, Downstairs, brilliant in The Crown and as Anne Boleyn she held her own against Mark Rylance.
She’s just a great actor.
a very lazy, wanting, portrayal of the duchess of Argyle. She real duchess was much older and MUCH MUCH more elegant