Geraldine James Biography
Geraldine James, OBE is an English actress. She is famously known for her role as Portia in the 1989 Broadway revival of The Merchant of Venice. For her role, she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.
She also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play. Geraldine also won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 1989 Venice Film Festival for She’s Been Away. For all her characters, she ranks amongst the great English classical actresses.
For four times, James has been nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress. She was nominated for Dummy (1977), The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Band of Gold (1995) and The Sins (2000).
She is also famously known as Mrs. Pincher, the breastfeeding mother in Little Britain (2004). She has appeared in a number of films and Television shows. Her film credits include Gandhi (1982), The Tall Guy (1989), Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Alice in Wonderland (2010).
She has also appeared in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and 45 Years (2015). Since 2017, she has starred in the Netflix series Anne with an E.
Geraldine James Age
Geraldine James was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire, England. She was born on 6th July, 1950. Her current age is 69 years old as of 2019.
Geraldine James Family | Geraldine James Brother
Geraldine James was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire, to a cardiologist father. More details about her father still remain unknown. We also have no information about her mother. She was educated at Downe House, a girls’ independent school in Newbury, Berkshire.
She began her career in repertory theatre after graduating from the Drama Centre London in 1973. We have no information about her brother too. We will update you immediately we get any information about her family, parents or siblings.
Geraldine James Husband | Geraldine James Daughter
Geraldine James is a married woman. She got married to her husband Joseph Blatchley in the year 1986. The couple has lived happily together since then. It is however not clear about the actual date the couple tied the knot. Geraldine and her husband are blessed with a daughter called Ellie Blatchley.
Geraldine James Movies And Tv Shows | Geraldine James Downton Abbey | Top 5000 Geraldine James
Geraldine James Movies
- The Dumb Waiter (1979) as Sally
- Bloody Kids (1980) as Ritchie’s Wife
- Sweet William (1980) as Pamela
- The Bridge (1992) as Mrs Todd
- Words Upon the Window Pane (1994) as Mrs. Henderson
- Alice in Wonderland (2010) as Lady Ascot
- Made in Dagenham (2010) as Connie
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) as Cecilia Vanger
- Arthur (2011) as Vivienne Bach
- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) as Mrs Hudson
- 45 Years (2015) as Lena
- Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) as Lady Ascot
- Rogue One (2016) as Jaldine Gerams (Blue 3)
- Downton Abbey (2019
Geraldine James Television Shows
- Shirley Glass in The Sweeney: Pay Off (1976) – TV debut
- Sandra X in Dummy (1977)
- Barbara Kirk in The History Man (1980)
- Emma Hamilton in I Remember Nelson (1981)
- Rose Garrety in Band of Gold (1995-1997)
- Eleanor Harker QC in Kavanagh QC (1995-1999)
- Beatrice in Rebecca (1997)
- A Harlot’s Progress (2006)
- Cornelia in Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (2006)
- Barbara Turney in The Last Enemy (2008)
- Joanna the Concubine in Heist (2008)
- Gwendolen in the 2012 ITV adaptation of the Ruth Rendell thriller Thirteen Steps Down
- Milner: An MI5 spy in Utopia Channel 4 (2013 drama)
- Chief Constable Carolyn Jarecki in Black Work (2015 Drama)
- Julie Wells in The Five Television Series (2016)
- Marilla Cuthbert in Anne with an E (2017-Present)
Geraldine James Interview
Q: You’ve had an amazing career, have you ever been out of work?
Geraldine James: When my parents were going, ‘Oh God, are you going to be an actress?’ I decided I’d give it my best shot until I was 30, and as I hit 30 it all started taking off, just in the nick of time. But I’ve had tough times. I had difficulties getting into telly, because people say that if you’ve been in the theatre you’ll shout, but then I did telly and I didn’t shout. As a woman, sadly, you go from the girl to the love interest to the wife to the mistress to the mother to the granny – and so the stereotype goes on. But it’s getting better. Don’t get stuck in a rut. I try to go, ‘No thanks, I don’t want to do that again.’
Q: You don’t come from a showbiz family, do you?
Geraldine James: No, my father was a heart surgeon. I was the middle child and I felt I wasn’t being listened to. I felt very left out, and if you see pictures of me I’m usually doing a handstand or a somersault to get noticed. I went to a terrifying boarding school and everyone was a brilliant singer or musician or artist, and I wasn’t good at any of those things, so I became the school clown. Someone spotted me, cast me as the Artful Dodger in a play and that was it.
Q: What did your parents make of you wanting to be an actor?
Geraldine James: Dad kicked me out several times. When I announced I wanted to be an actress he said, ‘You are NOT going on the stage, I will not support you in this!’ And I said, ‘Up yours, Daddy, I’m going to go and do it by myself.’ To give him his due, the first time I was nominated for a BAFTA, he wrote me a letter and sent a cheque for £100 to buy a frock and said, ‘I was wrong, I’m glad you didn’t listen to me.’
Geraldine James: My mum was an alcoholic, but she was supportive in her own way. I did a musical in Coventry and Mummy came to see it and she just said, ‘Ah, why can’t you wear nice blue eyeshadow like the other girl?’ Her heart was on my side, but she’d always manage to say something like that. I did theatre with Ben Kingsley and we were the only two people in the play. My mother came to see it and I said, ‘Ben was good, wasn’t he?’ And she said, ‘Now, which one was he?’ Wonderful.
Q: What would they think if they could see everything you’ve achieved now?
Geraldine James: They’d be chuffed. And critical. Mum was very ill when we were young, but she was wonderful for 20 years. They were divorced, because alcoholism is a tough thing to live through, and they died three weeks apart in 1987. Mummy always held a candle for Daddy, and I think she gave up when he was ill. I learnt something, though. There is no limit to the amount you can love, but there is a limit to the amount you can grieve.
Q: Where do you keep all your awards?
Geraldine James: In the attic. It’s quite a good attic, though… I was so thrilled to get an OBE. I haven’t a clue why I got one, but the Queen was so gloriously lovely.
Q: Most showbiz moment?
Geraldine James: Charlie Dance and I went to a party at Downing Street. We were in America for Jewel In The Crown, we got Concorde to London from New York and got taken straight to Number 10 for an actors’ party. I am not a great fan of Margaret Thatcher , who was in power then – and the main thing I remember was she was astonishingly short – but I was like, ‘This is Number 10, I have to go.’
Q: Have you ever been starstruck by anyone you’ve worked with?
Geraldine James: Robert Downey Jr. It’s like being in the room with a firecracker, he’s incredible. And Jude Law , and Dustin Hoffman, and Elliott Gould is one of the nicest men I’ve ever met. And Morgan Freeman . I had to roll around in the hay with Morgan in Moll Flanders. It was like, ‘Hello, how do you do? Now lie down…’ Extraordinary. And terrifying.
Geraldine James: But the greatest of them all was Dame Peggy Ashcroft. My first job was as a dresser at the Royal Shakespeare Company and I met her and she asked if I was interested in acting and told me I could ask her anything. I thought, ‘If I ever set foot on a stage, that’s how I would like to behave.’ I’m thrilled to say we became very close on Jewel In The Crown, she even read at my wedding.
Q: Do you get recognised much?
Geraldine James: I’m an actor, I’m not a star. I find the whole fame thing quite odd. People don’t go, ‘Oooh!’ when they see me. They go, ‘Christine?’ And I go, ‘Sorry, I’m not Christine,’ as happened to me with a woman the other day. She would not let me go.
I do not get recognised as Marilla – to the point where we were at the airport and a woman got so excited to see Amybeth McNulty, who plays Anne, and RH Thomson who plays Matthew, because he’s a big star in Canada, she nearly passed out. And then she gave me her camera and got me to take a photo of her with them. She hadn’t the faintest idea who I was.
Q: How did a very British person like you end up with such an iconic Canadian part?
Geraldine James: Everyone in Canada has read Anne Of Green Gables, a lot of people are devoted to it. My first question was, ‘Why do you want me to play this Canadian?’ And then I had to go through a Netflix test, where they had to decide whether I was the right person to do this. Who knows what they were talking about in the privacy of their own offices, but I was given the go-ahead, and then it was all, ‘Off you go to Canada’, very quickly.
Q: Marilla wouldn’t be much fun at parties, would she?
Geraldine James: You wait. She’s developing, She’s just a shy person, a shade hugger, all, ‘We know how our lives go, let’s not shake any sails’. But once change happens, it changes her too.
Q: You have to leave your vanity behind, don’t you?
Geraldine James: Oh God. I go into makeup and say, ‘Really, are you sure? Can’t we at least do makeup that doesn’t look like makeup?’ But no, not a scrap.
Q: At least it didn’t take too long to get ready…
Geraldine James: Just scraping my hair back into that bun, and painting my hair black and grey. And then it was a case of getting me into a corset and layers of thermal underwear.
Q: What’s it like watching yourself looking like that?
Geraldine James: I don’t generally watch myself. Because I believe I’ve done it right and then I look at it and go, ‘No, that wasn’t right, that wasn’t what I meant.’ It can be very disturbing and disheartening. But I did watch this with my family. I was on the floor behind a cushion as I always am. My husband is my greatest friend and my greatest critic and he just went, ‘You were great. It’s great.’ I said, ‘Is it? Thank God for that.’
Q: You do play a lot of baddies, don’t you?
Geraldine James: Before I started on Anne With An E, I’d just played a horrifically nasty person in a film called Beast. I’m known for playing baddies, but this went beyond to a whole new level. I was like, ‘I can’t do this any more, it’s too upsetting.’ Bad characters are the most interesting, but at times I say, ‘That’s enough now.’
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