Helen Elizabeth McCrory is an English actress who has acted in numerous movies, TV dramas and stage plays. Born in Paddington, London to a Welsh mother and a Scottish-born father, she started her career on stage with the 1990 play ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. She later garnered an Ian Charleson Award for her performance as Rose Trelawney in the production of “Trelawney of the Wells” and the Manchester Evening News’ Best Actress Award for acting in National Theatre’s “Blood Wedding”. McCrory’s stage work has continued to earn her appreciation and a large ever-growing fan base. The talented actress is also known for appearing in several small and big screen projects, including ‘Charlotte Gray’, ‘Hugo’, ‘Peaky Blinders’ and ‘Fearless’. She has also tried her hands in production and has over twenty productions under her belt. On a personal note, McCrory had a great childhood. She grew up alongside her two younger siblings. She was educated at Queenswood School and later went on to live in Italy for a year. Upon her return to Britain, she started learning acting at the Drama Centre in London. Her family includes her husband, actor Damian Lewis, and their two kids.
I was a real art freak when I was a teenager.
A script is only as good as the director who’s making it.
To be honest, my husband and my children are my best friends.
What I find most interesting about acting is transforming myself.
I love London, and it’s a privilege for my children to grow up here.
I think change is good because it teaches you that it’s nothing to be frightened of.
Every time, at any point of my life, I think now is always the best age to be.
Actually, I’m looking forward to being 50. Because to me, that’s when a woman is at the pinnacle of her femininity and her womanhood.
People are not considerate of others. They tend not to consider themselves as all living together, but see themselves only as individuals.
I love theatre because it’s just me and the audience. It’s the litmus test in acting, to be able to sustain a performance over one, two or three hours.
Theatre is liberating because it only works if it’s truthful – that’s what it requires. That’s not true of film: the camera does lie.
Alone Time Myself I’m a very positive person. My grandmother taught me that happiness is both a skill and a decision, and you are responsible for the outcome.
Childhood has definitely been invented, hasn’t it? I think that’s because people had children later, and we appreciate and cherish childhood a lot more.
Love Me Acting The only time I ever spend alone is when I am working or when my husband is away filming. I put the kids to bed and have an hour and a half in the evening for myself.
I really love my food. My favourite thing is artichokes. I am not so much interested in desserts or chocolate, though. I also like to cook with my husband Damian.
I had a great start in television; the first thing I did was an episode of ‘Performance’ called ‘The Entertainer’ with Michael Gambon playing Archie Rice.
Together Living People You don’t learn from good people – they’ve found what works for them and are completely original; you learn from the people who are bad. You think: ‘Oh dear, I’m not going to do that.’
Love Grow Children Appallingly, I hadn’t thought about it one jot. I never daydreamed as a little girl of getting married and having children. I was as surprised to discover I was getting married as I was to discover I was up the duff.
I love live performance and have huge admiration for people who can really do it. It’s the same with music: I’ll play a record and think that I’m not really into country or ragga. But, if it’s live and the musicians are good, I’ll listen to pretty much anything.
“When you’re dead already, you’re free.”
Polly Gray, Peaky Blinders, Series 4: Heathens
“Babies don’t have principles.”
Polly Gray, Peaky Blinders, Series 1: Episode 5
“There’s only one thing can blind a man as smart as you, Tommy. Love.”
Polly Gray, Peaky Blinders, Series 1: Episode 6
“You have your mother’s common sense but your father’s devilment. I see them fighting. Let your mother win.”
Polly Gray, Peaky Blinders, Series 1: Episode 1