Hayley Atwell is an English actress best known for her roles in the feature films Cassandra's Dream (2007), Brideshead Revisited (2008) and The Duchess (2008).
She also had a starring role as Aliena, Bartholomew's beautiful and intelligent daughter who is the object of William Hamleigh's obsession but the love of Jack's life, in the historical drama television miniseries The Pillars of the Earth, based on the book of the same name by Ken Follett.
Atwell appeared in The Prisoner alongside Ian McKellen and Jamie Campbell Bower. The six-part television series directed by Bill Gallagher is a remake of the 1960s cult classic.
Atwell appeared on stage in a run of Arthur Miller's modern classic, A View from the Bridge alongside Ken Stott and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Her outstanding performance in the lead role of Catherine earned her rave reviews and a best supporting actress nomination at the Olivier Awards.
She also starred alongside Ben Wishaw in Love/Hate. This short film was a runner up in the 2009 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films.
The previous year Atwell starred alongside Keira Knightly in The Duchess, directed by Saul Dibb and based on the bestselling biography by Amanda Foreman, Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire. In this feature film, she played lead character Bess Foster, the Duchess' best friend.
The role earned her two nominations: one for Best Supporting Actress at the British Independent Film Awards 2008 and British Supporting Actress at the London Critics' Choice Awards. In 2009, she was also nominated for the Best Newcomer category at the Empire Film Awards.
In 2008, Atwell also starred in Brideshead Revisited, directed by Julian Jarrold, in which she played the female lead, Julia Flyte.
In 2007 she appeared in Cassandra's Dream a satirical thriller directed by Woody Allen, co-starring Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor. Atwell played the character Angela, an ambitious, rising actress whose path crosses that of two brothers who choose to take a risk and venture in to crime in order to better their lives.
The same year she also appeared in How About You, based on the short story Hardcore written by Maeve Binchy. Directed by Anthony Byrne, Atwell stars alongside Vanessa Redgrave, Joss Ackland, Orla Brady and Joan O'Hara.
On television Atwell won critical acclaim for her performance in the BBC's The Line of Beauty, an adaptation of Alan Hollinghurst's Booker Prize-winning novel. Written by Andrew Davies and directed by Saul Dibb, Atwell played the role of Catherine 'Cat' Fedden and starred alongside Dan Stevens and Tim Mclnnerny.
Her other television credits include Mansfield Park where she played the role of Mary and co-starred with Billie Piper; Ruby In The Smoke directed by Brian Percival and Fear of Fanny directed by Coky Giedroyc.
Alongside television and film, she has appeared in many theatre roles. At the National Theatre she played Barbara Undershaft in Major Barbara.
Her other stage roles include Man of Mode,(National Theatre) directed by Nicholas Hynter and written by George Etherege for which she won critical acclaim; Women Beware Women, (RSC) directed by Laurence Boswell; and Prometheus Bound, (Sound Theatre) directed by