Jessica Brown-Findlay[dot]com • •
Welcome to Jessica-BrownFindlay.Com your #1 fansite for the beautiful and talented British actress. Best known for playing Lady Sybil Crawley in the ITV series Downton Abbey but you may also know her from Albatross, The Riot Club and Lullaby. Jessica is set to star alongside Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy as Lorelei in Victor Frankenstein (2015). Please browse the site and visit our image gallery featuring over 20,000 photos. The site is still growing and we will continue to bring you daily Jessica updates! If you have any questions comments or donations please contact us xoxo
By Ana • July 26, 2021 • 0 Comments

Hi everyone! My name is Ana and have decided to adopt Jessica Brown-Findlay (dot) com and finally update this amazing site to what Jessica’s been up to! You may know me from more sites (see here), so I hope I fill in your requests and give this site the love it so much deserves.

By Ana • November 09, 2017 • 0 Comments
By Ana • October 29, 2017 • 0 Comments
By Ana • September 17, 2017 • 0 Comments

A DREADED sunny day so I meet Jessica Brown Findlay in a hotel near the cemetery gates. This morning she’s in the Caledonian in Edinburgh, opposite St Cuthbert’s (where Thomas de Quincy is buried, if you’re interested). It’s the morning after the night of the world premiere of her new film England is Mine at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. That’s the new Morrissey film, if you didn’t know.

She does enjoy a good cemetery, does Brown Findlay. “I love cemeteries. I find them comforting. There are so many in London, really beautiful ones. There’s a great one in Stoke Newington. I go when I have a day. I like to go to the Good Egg in Stoke Newington for brunch and then walk through the cemetery with my partner.”
She doesn’t have a day just now, though. There is a film to promote. Jessica, let’s get down to it. Morrissey. Tortured genius or knob? “Oh God … Well, it’s the music that has always got me. Certain things can be said of the artist …”

Brown Findlay is a massive Smiths fan. All-the-albums-on-vinyl-sized. And maybe the fan in her hesitated before committing to England is Mine in case it all went Smiths up. “But the script was so beautiful,” she says.
Plus, it wasn’t about the flowers and the band and the theatrics. The film, she explains, is about “the world and soul and mind of someone before that”.

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By Ana • September 07, 2017 • 0 Comments

Britain’s BBC says it will broadcast in 2018 the stage production of Hamlet, starring Sherlock alum Andrew Scott as the title character.

Angus Wright plays Claudius, Jessica Brown Findlay plays Ophelia and Juliet Stevenson plays Gertrude.

Directed by Robert Icke and based on the classic work by William Shakespeare, the play transferred to the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre for a limited season following a sell-out run at the Almeida this year. It will wrap at the Harold Pinter Theatre on Sept. 2.

“Andrew Scott’s Hamlet is utterly thrilling. His performance makes each familiar word of the play feel like it is being newly discovered. The staging in a modern-day Denmark makes for a startlingly resonant and challenging production. I am delighted that it is coming to BBC Two,” Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two, said in a statement.

“It has been a real joy to work with such a gifted and dedicated company of actors on bringing this most-famous play to audiences in 2017. The production has been on a wonderful journey from the Almeida to the West End, and I am very much looking forward to this next step on BBC Two. To be able to offer our version of Hamlet to as wide and diverse an audience as possible has always been of paramount importance to us, and now we are thrilled to be able to bring it to people across the country,” Icke added.

By Ana • September 07, 2017 • 0 Comments

A biopic about the early days of Morrissey is a portrait of the artist as a young mope. It’s “authentic,” but where’s the fire?

“England Is Mine” is a biopic about the early days of Morrissey, the lead singer of the Smiths, that features two minutes of Morrissey singing and 97 minutes of Morrissey moping. There are Morrissey fans who would swear that makes it one of the most accurate biopics ever made. Yet even for some of us who are Smiths believers, the movie is a bit much. At certain points in the middle of it, you may think “I’m miserable now,” though not in the way that Morrissey had in mind.

In the ’80s, everyone loved to talk about how Morrissey was the most sensitive and misunderstood guy on the planet. He had quite an image: exquisitely depressed, a swooning (but celibate!) gay vegetarian wallflower, awash in the poetic romance of self-pity. I was shocked when I finally saw him onstage, because he was every inch a rock star — like a statue by Michelangelo who swayed, his dark hair tall but trim at the nape of the neck (a style as shockingly “straight,” in its way, as Bryan Ferry’s was in the early ’70s), with movements that expressed the reverent ecstasy that his lyrics kept telling you life had denied him. But then, that was the beautiful yin-and-yang of Morrissey: He fashioned terminal shyness into a rebel gesture, and made a lot of masochistically alienated too-smart-for-the-room kids feel as if they, too, had a voice.

His own voice was gorgeous, a sweetly plaintive tenor that could reach up and carry you away, to the point that it almost didn’t matter if his melodies all sounded like they were improvised around the same three notes (kind of like “Three Blind Mice” with variations). All that began to coalesce in 1982, when Morrissey, who had just turned 23, teamed up with Johnny Marr (only 19 at the time), who caressed his guitar into producing roiling sunlit waves of sound.

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By Ana • June 18, 2017 • 0 Comments
By Ana • April 12, 2017 • 0 Comments

If there’s any doubt that Jessica Brown Findlay has left Lady Sybil of “Downton Abbey” far behind, consider a recent interview with her by phone from London. Findlay was discussing her role as Charlotte, an 18th-century prostitute in Hulu’s drama series “Harlots,” while commuting by bus to perform that night as Ophelia in “Hamlet.”

If others remain fixated on the popular character she last played five years ago in “Downton” — “I think the British press think I might be that person” — she’s focused firmly on the work at hand.

“Harlots” is a bold showcase for Findlay, whose character is a madam’s daughter who went into the family business, and the rest of its female-dominated cast. But women also are the power behind the screen as writers, producers and in other key positions – a change that Brown found richly rewarding.

“Normally, when I’m reading (a script), I’m like, ‘That character’s brilliant’ – and it’s a guy,” she said with a laugh. But in “Harlots,” the women are fully formed and as intriguing as any man.

“It’s really exciting to allow female characters to be frustrating and imperfect and infuriating and funny,” Findlay said. Her co-stars include Samantha Morton as her mother, Margaret, and Lesley Manville as Lydia, a rival madam with a vicious streak. The history-based story was a revelation to Findlay.

“I was aware it was a time when London was exploding economically, doing incredibly well, and with that came lavish lifestyles,” she said. For the prostitutes and madams and catered to men with disposable income, the reward was the ability to “own property, have rights over their own bodies, make a living and survive.”

The idea of survival by any means was the harsh reality for women who lacked connections or a man, whether husband, father or otherwise, as their protector, said Moira Buffini, who created and produced the series with Alison Newman.

A woman without such a safety net might end up in the sex industry, said Buffini, who says the tally is startlingly large when all connected to it are included “One in five women were working as sex workers or in associated businesses, like cleaners or cooks in the house,” she said. “There were three sex shops in Covent Garden; condom makers; back street abortionists, and the child-minders who looked after the prostitute’s children while they worked.”

London’s Covent Garden, now a popular shopping and tourist area, was the city’s version of a red-light district in the 1700s. It even boasted a guidebook to individual prostitutes, “Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies.”

Newman came across a copy, which opened a window for the creative partners on the “amazing outlaw society of 18th-century harlotry” and led to “Harlots,” Buffini said. But it wasn’t Buffini’s first work on the general subject. “Loveplay,” which received an Olivier Award nomination for best comedy play in 2003, dealt with it as well. The inspiration for that was more direct. Early in her career, she taught drama to female prison inmates and discovered how many had supported themselves as prostitutes.

“It struck me they were defined by what they did and not by who they are. Because I knew who they were, it struck me as odd,” she said. She’d already seen the toll it could exact on one individual, an older woman who had been left in a “bad way” by her past life and who Buffini’s mother helped care for.

“You could see the way her job had played out in her life. You could see the damage, not just on her but on her children’s children,” she said.

“Harlots,” with its lavishly costumed and painted prostitutes, looks at both the hard-earned freedom and the anguish such a life accorded. But given the number of people now working in the sex industry, voluntarily or not, why not tackle the modern reality?
Buffini has a ready answer.

“History gives you a fascinating prism through which to look at the contemporary world and to look at contemporary gender politics. History removes you from the dead weight of documentary, if you like, as a dramatist,” she said. “It frees you from that and it gives you a language and gives you a bright, focused color palette in which to explore quite specific things.”

By Ana • February 13, 2017 • 0 Comments
By Ana • January 16, 2017 • 0 Comments

The eight-part series was directed only by women and boasts an all-female writing and producing team. Hulu is intending to even the playing field with its upcoming brothel drama Harlots.

The eight-part series — which stars Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville and Jessica Brown Findlay — promises to show as much male nudity as female nudity and tell its story from the perspective of women.

“It was very important to us from the beginning to make it about the female gaze. We were determined to make something different,” executive producer Alison Owen said Saturday during a panel for the drama at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. “Our hope from the beginning was, ‘Everything from the whore’s eye view.'”

To ensure that the story comes from the perspective of women, only female directors were hired to helm the hourlong episodes. Among them: Coky Giedroyc (Penny Dreadful) and China Moo-Young (Thirteen, Humans). “We really set out to get all female directors. We got the best of the best in the U.K., and it has influenced the show exactly the way we wanted it to,” said executive producer Debra Hayward, who added that the series also has an all-female writing team.
Set against the backdrop of 18th century Georgian London, Harlots explores the city’s “most valuable commercial activity” (i.e. sex) based on the stories of real women. Written by Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre), the drama is based on an original idea by Buffini and Alison Newman.

“It’s a show about economics as much as it is a show about sex work,” said Manville, who plays a madam who threatens Morton’s character, Margaret Wells, as she struggles to reconcile her roles as mother and brothel owner. “What the show does really well is show prostitution from every social angle.”

By Ana • January 15, 2017 • 0 Comments

Gardening, mechanical creatures, library books and neighborly friction figure in a magic-tinged fable starring Jessica Brown Findlay and Tom Wilkinson.
In the gently comic, slightly tart fairy tale This Beautiful Fantastic, a novice gardener named Bella Brown learns to till the soil, to weed and plant and prune. Leading a pitch-perfect cast, Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay plays this “oddest of oddballs,” an orphan whose care as an infant was handled briefly by ducks. As the earth gradually yields to the grownup Bella’s newfound know-how, none of what transpires is earth-shattering, but it’s the way it happens, with the simplicity and sense of wonder of an old-fashioned picture book, that makes her story, however wispy, delightful.

Writer-director Simon Aboud doesn’t push the quirk factor; even when the narrative is at its most playful, he keeps it rooted to a lived-in reality. Mining familiar territory with an earnest clarity, he shapes a mild yet winning fantasy about hearts opening and friendships blooming. The movie should travel well as it books international dates after its North American festival premiere.

In a lead role that had been pegged to Carey Mulligan and Felicity Jones at various times during the production’s development, Findlay combines fresh-faced innocence and a nascent streak of inner steel as Bella, a creature of rigid habit whose world changes after her crotchety neighbor puts her in his sites.

Tom Wilkinson’s Alfie Stephenson is one of those engagingly acerbic misanthropes who are easier to find in literature and film than in life. He delivers crisp, irked assessments of the young woman next door, first in brief bits of voiceover narration and then face-to-face. (His eloquently cutting remarks probably played a key role in the screenplay’s selection for the Brit List, a U.K. version of the Black List of unproduced scripts.) Alfie’s chief complaint: Bella’s criminal neglect of her rented house’s backyard, which has turned into an overgrown English jungle of tangled greenery. Outraged by the abomination, he snitches on her to her landlord, who gives Bella a month to tidy up the garden or be evicted.

From an insult-spewing nemesis, Alfie gradually, and predictably, morphs into a source of inspiration for Bella, goading her to push past her fear of flora and embrace the horticultural blank slate at hand — a smart enticement to a young librarian who dreams of writing and illustrating children’s books but hasn’t yet figured out what she wants to say.

The bargaining chip between them is Vernon, the housekeeper and talented cook who leaves Alfie’s employ for the kinder, if less well-heeled, domain of Bella’s cottage. Played by Andrew Scott (Moriarty on Sherlock) with the right mix of vulnerability and gusto, Vernon is a widowed dad who agrees to resume cooking meals for his demanding former boss if Alfie will help Bella keep her home by sharing his gardening expertise.

Vernon’s culinary exuberance and Alfie’s lush, colorful, quasi-wild garden (played by that of London-based garden designer Peter Beardsley) embolden Bella and chip away at her penchant for orderliness. So too does sweetly bumbling inventor Billy Trantor (Jeremy Irvine), who frequents her workplace and puts Bella at odds with the comically imperious head librarian (Anna Chancellor) — a woman who’s given to spelling out admonishments on a letter board and sometimes resorts to a microphone to amplify her demand for silence. In turn, Bella inspires them too, although the character remains a tad too passive and reactive.

The highlight among Billy’s handcrafted mechanical critters — and one of the most memorable elements in a film that isn’t the stuff of deep, lasting impressions — is a metallic bird named Luna, scruffily elegant and powered by moonlight. (Its brief flight was manipulated by puppeteers who were then digitally painted out, in the film’s sole CGI sequence.)

Though it has been compared to Amelie, the movie has a leaner sensibility, never lapsing into froufrou. Aboud, whose feature debut was the 2012 crime thriller Comes a Bright Day, elicits an unforced energy, with a touch of the elegiac, in the performances and every other aspect of This Beautiful Fantastic. In Ian Fulcher’s costumes, Alexandra Walker’s interiors and Anne Nikitin’s score, the whimsy of the ephemeral proceedings is undeniable but understated. Alfie’s cherished flowers have an abstract radiance in cinematographer Mike Eley’s out-of-focus close-ups; in more straightforward fashion, the intensifying connections among Bella and her new friends have a radiance too.

By Ana • November 29, 2016 • 0 Comments

Yesterday, Hulu announced its mid-season programming slate. The streaming platform will release Season One of Harlots on Wednesday, March 29th. There will be 8 episodes available. Jessica will star alongside Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville and Eloise Smyth.

Synopsis: Margaret Wells (Morton) struggles to reconcile her roles as brothel owner and mother to daughters Charlotte (Findlay) and Lucy (Smyth). When her business comes under attack from Lydia Quigley (Manville), a rival madam with a ruthless streak, Margaret must fight back even if it means losing her family and possibly her life. Harlots is a powerful family drama set in 18th Century London that offers a brand new take on the city’s most valuable commercial activity – sex.