Saturday, September 14, 2013

September 14: Jessica Brown Findlay – “Labyrinth“ & Lady Sybil Crawley in “Downton Abbey” – is 24-years-old today.


On Downton Abbey, she played Lady Sybil , the youngest of the three Crawley sisters The others were Lady Mary (portrayed by Michelle Dockery, a professional jazz singer)  and Edith (Laura Carmichael.)

Jessica Brown Findlay was born 14 September 1989. She is from Cookham, Berkshire. Brown Findlay trained with the National Youth Ballet and the Associates of the Royal Ballet.

At age 15, she was invited to dance with the Kirov at the Royal Opera House for a summer season. She attended Furze Platt Senior School in Maidenhead. At the end of her GCSEs, Brown Findlay chose to go to the Arts Educational School.

She attended for two years and in her second year had three operations on her ankles, the last of which went wrong; after this she was told that she would never dance again. She said that she always had acting in the back of her mind. After receiving encouragement from an art teacher, she finished her education at Arts Educational School, Tring Park and then onto a Fine Art course at St Martin’s. While there, she took up acting classes.

Brown Findlay was cast in the lead role of Emelia in the film Albatross, directed by Niall MacCormick. She was subsequently cast in two episodes of the E4 programme Misfits and in Downton Abbey. She also appeared in the second episode of Channel 4's Black Mirror.

In 2012, she became the face of Dominic Jones' jewelery line and was cast in Not Another Happy Ending by John McKay, and in the miniseries Labyrinth, portraying Alaïs Pelletier. In 2012, she was cast as Beverly Penn in a film adaptation of the novel Winter's Tale. Tim Burton considered Brown Findlay for the lead in his adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, but ultimately gave the role to Australian actress Mia Wasikowska.

Jessica is perhaps best known for her role as Lady Sybil in Downton Abbey. When her three-year contract was up in 2011, she decided not to sign up for a further two. “I reasoned that there was nothing I could learn by staying on that I hadn’t learnt already. So I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers, and leapt into the abyss.”

Jessica has said she has always enjoyed music. “I shout at the radio when someone starts talking over the end of a song. Shut up! I don't want to hear that the DJ has just found a mouldy sandwich in the corner of the studio. “I have endless playlists on my iPod so will throw on, say, Bruce Springsteen or The Smiths, depending on what kind of day I'm going to have.”


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