Hayley Atwell's impressive body of work has established her as one of the finest actresses of her generation. This past summer, she played the lead female role in the John Ridley directed, Jimi Hendrix biopic Jimi: All is By My Side, alongside Imogen Poots and Andre Benjamin. In early 2015, she will star in the Kenneth Branagh directed Cinderella, alongside Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett and Lily James.
Atwell's work in film is extensive. Her role as Bess Foster was the object of Ralph Fiennes' Duke of Devonshire's affections in 2008's The Duchess, directed by Saul Dibb and also starring Keira Knightley. The same year audiences saw her in Brideshead Revisited, alongside Emma Thompson, Matthew Goode and Ben Whishaw. She also collaborated with Ben Whishaw in Love/Hate, a short film which was awarded runner-up at the 2009 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films. In 2011 she became a box office sensation for her role as Agent Peggy Carter in the film Marvel's Captain America: The First Avenger, and reprised the role for the 2014 sequel, Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in which she starred alongside Chris Evans, Samuel L Jackson and Scarlett Johansson. Her other film credits include the noir thriller feature I, Anna, alongside Charlotte Rampling, Eddie Marsan and Gabriel Byrne, and Nick Love's film adaptation of the popular '70s TV series The Sweeney, in which she starred alongside Ray Winstone and Damian Lewis.
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. She appeared in the ITV remake of the 1960s cult classic The Prisoner alongside Ian McKellen and Ruth Wilson. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress for her performance in the Channel 4 drama Pillars of the Earth, based on Ken Follett's novel. She also starred on Channel 4 in Any Human Heart. Her other television credits include Mansfield Park, Ruby in the Smoke, and Fear of Fanny. Late 2012 saw Atwell star in William Boyd's TV adaptation of Restless, for the BBC, alongside Rufus Sewell. She was also seen in Sky Arts' Play House presents: The Man, in which she starred opposite Stellan Skarsgard, Zoe Wanamaker and Stephen Fry. She was also seen in the series Life of Crime, commissioned by ITV and produced by Ecosse Films.
Atwell is also well-known as an accomplished stage actress. In September 2011, she completed a run of The Faith Machine at the Royal Court Theatre. For the National Theatre she played Barbara Undershaft in Major Barbara and also starred in The Man of Mode, directed by Nicholas Hytner and written by George Etherege. Her outstanding performance in the role of Catherine in A View from the Bridge, alongside Ken Stott and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, earned her rave reviews and a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 2009 Olivier Awards. She was recently seen starring in Alexi Kaye Campbell's Olivier Award winning play The Pride, directed by Jamie Lloyd and starring alongside Mathew Horne, Harry Hadden-Paton and Al Weaver.