Natalie Dormer

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Natalie Dormer
Natalie Dormer 2014.jpg
Dormer in 2014
Born (1982-02-11) 11 February 1982 (age 36)
Reading, Berkshire, England
Residence Twickenham, London, England[1]
Nationality British
Alma mater Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art
Occupation Actress
Years active 2005–present
Partner(s) Anthony Byrne (engaged)

Natalie Dormer (born 11 February 1982)[2] is an English actress. Born in Berkshire, she was educated at Chiltern Edge Secondary School and Reading Blue Coat School, and trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She made her screen debut in Lasse Hallstrom's romantic film Casanova (2005), followed by a small part in the dramedy Distant Shores (2005). She received widespread praise for her portrayal of Anne Boleyn on the Showtime series The Tudors (2007–08), and was nominated for two Gemini Awards for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Drama Series.

She made her stage debut at the Young Vic in 2010 in the play Sweet Nothings, and portrayed Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Duchess of York in Madonna's film W.E. (2011) and Private Lorraine in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). In 2012, her lead performance in After Miss Julie at the Young Vic attracted widespread critical acclaim. Dormer gained international attention with her performance of Margaery Tyrell on the HBO series Game of Thrones (2012–2016), for which she was nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards (2014–2015). She is also known for playing Irene Adler/Moriarty on the CBS series Elementary (2013–15), Cressida in the science fiction adventure films The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and Part 2 (2015), and Sara Price/Jess Price in The Forest (2016).

Early life

Dormer was born in Reading, Berkshire, the daughter of Claire Richards and Gary Dormer.[3][4] She is of partly Norwegian[5] and half Welsh descent.[6]

Dormer attended Chiltern Edge Secondary School before moving to Reading Blue Coat School, historically an independent boys' school that admits girls in the sixth form. She has said that she was the victim of bullying while at school, but "still to this day [she] can't place why".[7] At school, Dormer was head girl, a first class student, vice-captain of the school netball team, and travelled the world with her school's public speaking team.[8]

During her school years, Dormer trained in dance at the Allenova School of Dancing.[9] She describes herself as the "academic hopeful" of the family and was provisionally offered a place to study history at Cambridge; but, in her A-level History exam, she did not achieve the A grade she needed to attend.[7] Dormer decided she would audition for drama schools and decided to train at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Her first professional acting role was in the Shakespeare comedy The Comedy of Errors in 2003.


Dormer in March 2013.

Six months after graduating from Webber Douglas, Dormer won the role of Victoria in Casanova.[3] This was her film debut and it was released in 2005. The director, Lasse Hallström, was so impressed with Dormer's comedic timing that he had the script writer expand her part.[3] In 2005, Dormer had a small part in Distant Shores. After the filming of Casanova, Dormer was out of work for ten months, which she ascribes to "bad representation". She was attached to an independent film which kept being delayed because of financial problems. Taken off the audition circuit, Dormer waitressed and worked in data entry to support herself.[3][10] She has said that her being out of work for so long "was the best lesson I could have had in the first 12 months of my career".[8]

In 2007 and 2008, Dormer played Anne Boleyn in the first two seasons of The Tudors, for which she received highly positive reviews. Robert Abele of LA Weekly wrote: "Natalie Dormer presents a painterly exquisiteness and complexity in her portrayal of Anne Boleyn... her enigmatic, time-halting loveliness is a boon for The Tudors, and damn near worth losing your head over".[11] After her character's death at the end of the second season, The Boston Herald noted: "Dormer gave Anne Boleyn life, making her not just a beautiful schemer but a rebellious, defiantly independent tragic hero in the tradition of Rebel Without a Cause and Cool Hand Luke... her departure from The Tudors leaves a tremendous void."[12]

In 2008, Dormer played Moira Nicholson in Agatha Christie's Marple: "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" and appeared in the film City of Life. Dormer's Marple appearance aired in the US in the summer of 2009 as part of the PBS Masterpiece Mystery anthology series. Also in that year, she appeared in Incendiary, but her scenes were cut from the final film. In March 2010, she made her stage debut at the Young Vic theatre in London as Mizi in the play Sweet Nothings. In The Observer, theatre critic Susannah Clapp praised the performances of the cast and wrote: "Natalie Dormer is lissome as a dirty, delightful gadabout, pushing aside an entire chess game in order to put down her hat".[13]

I'm interested in playing women who feel real, who are fighting for something or desire something or are scared, as all real women are – or let’s not make it a gender thing, as all human beings are.

 – Dormer on her choice of roles.[3]

After six months of playing Mizi, Dormer went on to film some new roles, including the Duchess of York in Madonna's film W.E., Pvt. Lorraine in Captain America: The First Avenger, and Niamh Cranitch in the BBC court drama Silk. She then went on to her next stage role of Pat in .45 at Hampstead Theatre in November 2010. She returned to The Tudors as Anne Boleyn in a dream sequence for the fourth and final season in mid-2010.[14]

From 2012 until 2016 Dormer played Margaery Tyrell in the HBO fantasy TV series Game of Thrones.[15][16] Dormer, along with the rest of the ensemble cast, was nominated for four Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively, and the cast was awarded the Empire Hero Award in 2015 by the British film magazine Empire. For her performance in the third season of the show, Dormer won the Ewwy Award for Best Supporting Actress - Drama.[17]

Dormer at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2015

In March 2012, she returned to the Young Vic to play the title role in After Miss Julie by Patrick Marber.[18] Her performance received critical acclaim, with reviews describing her as "little short of sensational",[19] "outstanding",[20] and "the perfect Miss Julie".[21] The online theatre magazine Exeunt wrote that her portrayal of Miss Julie contained "all the anger, desire, wit, loneliness, merriment, melancholy and desperation of the casts of several plays together... Dormer has still more presence and eerie beauty than is apparent from her appearances on-screen, and she shape-shifts almost supernaturally between seductress, child, and tormentor."[22] In March 2013, she played the Lady Door in the radio play of Neverwhere, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman. Later that year, she appeared in the car racing drama Rush and the thriller The Counselor. She also appeared in A Long Way From Home. In 2013, Dormer played Irene Adler in the final three episodes of the first season of the CBS series Elementary; she reprised the role in the second season.[23] Dormer played Cressida in the films The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Part 2.[24] In preparation for the role, she shaved the left side of her head.[25]

In September 2014, Deadline Hollywood announced that Dormer has been cast in Screen Gems' upcoming action thriller Patient Zero, alongside Matt Smith and Game of Thrones co-star John Bradley-West. The film is to be directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Stefan Ruzowitzky and based on a script by Mike Le.[26] It is set to be released in 2017. Dormer starred in the Lava Bear Films/David S. Goyer-produced horror film The Forest,[27] directed by multiple award-winning music video and short-film director Jason Zada, as his feature film debut.[28] Focus Features has the North American distribution rights to the film, which was released in January 2016.[29][30]

In November 2014, it was announced that Dormer was to star as the scandalous 18th-century noblewoman Lady Worsley in a BBC drama called The Scandalous Lady W, based on the book Lady Worsley's Whim by the historian Hallie Rubenhold; it aired in August 2015.[31][32][33] Dormer is to star in In Darkness, a revenge thriller. The film was co-written by Dormer and has been in production since 2015.[34] In February 2017, it was announced that Dormer was cast as schoolteacher Mrs Hester Appleyard in Picnic at Hanging Rock, an adaptation of the 1967 Australian novel of the same name by Joan Lindsay. The 6 episode feature will air on Amazon Prime.[35]

Personal life

Since 2011, Dormer has been engaged to film director Anthony Byrne,[36] whom she met in Dublin while filming The Tudors in 2007.[7] Dormer has stated that Cate Blanchett has been an influence in her career as an actress.[37] She identifies as a feminist, saying "it upsets me that the younger generation of women think it’s a dirty word, and associate it with a kind of militantism or a sense of female superiority. It's not. It just means liberation, and equality."[38]

I think sex and romance is a huge part of human motivation. So long as it's informing the story then I don't see what the problem is. Obviously no one likes gratuitous sex or gratuitous misogyny, the same way people shouldn't like gratuitous violence. But I think [Game of Thrones] is quite good in that way. The violence is quite naturalistic. It's not hyper-stylised. It's not glamorised. And the sex is quite real and dirty as well. It's about those raw, visceral qualities of human life that make good drama.

 – Dormer in an interview with The Daily Telegraph in August 2015[39]

Dormer is noted for frequently appearing in nude scenes in TV series such as The Tudors, Game of Thrones and The Fades and films such as Rush and The Scandalous Lady W.[39][40][41][42] She has said that she is comfortable doing nude scenes,[39][40][41] telling the London Evening Standard in January 2016: "Sex is part of life, ergo it’s part of art. If you’re representing real life, then you will represent sex."[41]

Upon the release of In Darkness in July 2018, which Dormer co-wrote with her fiancé, and features Dormer and her co-star Emily Ratajkowski in several nude and sex scenes, the film was criticised for what some critics called "gratuitous nudity".[43][44] Dormer dismissed this in an interview with The Guardian, saying that "There has to be sexuality in the power play of a thriller. We have all got bodies, after all. In this film the sex scene, which for me was a love-making scene, is a metaphor for the way my character connects with the part played by Ed Skrein. Nakedness is a good equaliser and the shower scene also shows the tattoos on my character’s body and makes it clear she is not quite who you think."[45] Dormer argued that nude scenes do not "undermine" the feminist approach she takes to her work; she has previously said that "my personal experience has been to work on phenomenal jobs in which the men are objectified as much as the women. Actors suffer from it, too. Wasn't there a thing about Aidan Turner in Poldark? It's a visual medium, so to a certain extent you get judged on the way you look."[42]



Year Film Role Notes
2005 Casanova Victoria
2007 Flawless Cassie
2009 City of Life Olga
2011 W.E. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Captain America: The First Avenger Private Lorraine
2012 Electric Cinema: How to Behave Lauren Bacall Short film
2013 A Long Way from Home Suzanne
Rush Nurse Gemma
The Counselor The Blonde
The Ring Cycle Millie Short film
The Brunchers Her
2014 The Riot Club Charlie
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Cressida
2015 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
2016 The Forest Sara Price
Jess Price
2018 In Darkness Sofia Also writer
Patient Zero Dr. Gina Rose
The Professor and the Madman Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Distant Shores Mobile Woman Episode #1.1
Rebus Phillippa Balfour Episode: "The Falls"
The Tudors Anne Boleyn 21 episodes
2009 Masterwork Mo Murphy Pilot
Agatha Christie's Marple Moira Nicholson Episode: "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?"
2011 Silk Niamh Cranitch 6 episodes
The Fades Sarah Etches
2012–2016 Game of Thrones Margaery Tyrell 26 episodes
2013–2015 Elementary Jamie Moriarty/Irene Adler 6 episodes
2015 The Scandalous Lady W Seymour Worsley Television film
2018 Picnic at Hanging Rock Mrs Hester Appleyard 6 episodes

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2014–2015 Game of Thrones Margaery Tyrell Voice
2017 Mass Effect: Andromeda Dr. Lexi T’Perro

Music videos

Year Title Artist
2015 "Someone New" Hozier


Year Title Role Notes
2003 The Comedy of Errors Adriana The Cliveden Open Air Theatre
2010 Sweet Nothings Mizi Young Vic
.45 Pat Hampstead Theatre
2012 After Miss Julie Miss Julie Young Vic
2017 Venus in Fur Vanda Jordan Theatre Royal Haymarket

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result
2008 Monte-Carlo TV Festival Outstanding Actress - Drama Series The Tudors Nominated
Gemini Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role Nominated
2009 Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role Nominated
2014 NewNowNext Awards Best New Lead Film Actress The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Won
Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (shared with the cast) Game of Thrones Nominated
2015 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (shared with the cast) Nominated


  2. ^ Chase's Calendar of Events 2015 (McGraw Hill Professional, 2014), p. 119
  3. ^ a b c d e Emily Cronin (20 August 2016). "Natalie Dormer on Game of Thrones, MaxMara and struggling for work: 'I was properly unemployed for 10 months. You're never home and dry'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Want That 'Game of Thrones' Glow? Beauty Tips From Natalie Dormer". The New York Times. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  6. ^ . 16 February 2015  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ a b c Gilbert, Gerard. Golden girl: How Natalie Dormer became the new queen of the screen, The Independent, 17 September 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  8. ^ a b Gilbert, Sophie. Natalie Dormer on playing England's naughtiest queens, London Evening Standard, 12 November 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  9. ^ "Past Pupils". Allenova School of Dance. Archived from the original on 18 July 2006. Retrieved 4 April 2009.  and spent two years with Starmaker Theatre Company, both performing in a number of shows and being choreographer for a Starmaker review.
  10. ^ Marlow Stern (21 November 2014). "Natalie Dormer Talks 'Hunger Games', Feminism, and Why 'Game of Thrones' Needs More Dick". The Daily Beast. 
  11. ^ Abele, Robert. "The Tudors: Heads Will Roll". LA Weekly. 
  12. ^ Perigard, Mark. "'Tudors' rules: Showtimes on a roll with killer season finale". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on 2 June 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  13. ^ Clapp, Susannah (14 March 2010). "Sweet Nothings – Young Vic, London". The Observer. 
  14. ^ "Bill Nighy and Natalie Dormer Set to Star in Peter Straub's Shadowland 3D - Dread Central". Dread Central. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  15. ^ Hibberd, James (23 June 2011). "'Tudors' star joins 'Game of Thrones' cast". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  16. ^ "HBO Signs Game of Thrones Cast Members for Seventh Season". Watchers On The Wall. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "EWwy Awards 2013: Meet Your 10 Winners!". Entertainment Weekly. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  18. ^ Bosanquet, Theo. "Natalie Dormer returns to Young Vic in After Miss Julie". 
  19. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (22 March 2012). "After Miss Julie, Young Vic, review". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  20. ^ "After Miss Julie". Time Out London. 
  21. ^ Stanbury, Kate. "After Miss Julie". Official London Theatre. 
  22. ^ Perry, Sarah. "After Miss Julie at Young Vic". Exeunt Magazine. 
  23. ^ Natalie Abrams (9 April 2013). "Elementary Exclusive: Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer to Play Irene Adler". TV Guide. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  24. ^ Rosen, Christopher (22 August 2013). "Natalie Dormer Cast In 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay' As Cressida". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  25. ^ Farrar, Leah (13 May 2014). "Game of Thrones Natalie Dormer opens up about her shaved head in Hunger Games Mockinjay". Glamour Magazine. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "'Game Of Thrones' Natalie Dormer To Star In 'Patient Zero' For Screen Gems". Deadline Hollywood. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  27. ^ McNary, Dave (21 October 2014). "'Game of Thrones' Actress Natalie Dormer Joins Supernatural Thriller 'The Forest'". Variety. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  28. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (5 November 2013). "Lava Bear Sets Jason Zada To Helm David Goyer-Hatched 'The Forest': Video". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  29. ^ Kit, Borys (22 May 2014). "Focus Picks Up David Goyer Supernatural Thriller 'The Forest'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  30. ^ McNary, Dave (23 May 2014). "David Goyer's 'The Forest' Gets North American Distribution". Variety. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  31. ^ "Natalie Dormer to star in BBC Two's The Woman in Red". Digital Spy. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  32. ^ "Natalie Dormer to star as scandalous Woman in Red for new BBC drama". The Telegraph. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  33. ^ "Natalie Dormer to star in BBC Two factual drama The Woman In Red". BBC. 21 November 2014. Archived from the original on 25 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  34. ^ McNary, Dave. "Natalie Dormer Starring in Thriller 'In Darkness'". Variety. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  35. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (20 July 2017). "Amazon Picks Up Australian Series 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' Starring Natalie Dormer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 27 March 2018. 
  36. ^ Sheridan, Emily (30 July 2013). "She's got some front: Game Of Thrones star Natalie Dormer takes the plunge in a low-cut dress at Hugo gallery party". The Daily Mail. London. [better source needed]
  37. ^ "Tudors beauty: Nude scenes were harrowing". The Tudor News Site. 17 December 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  38. ^ Melissa Locker (22 November 2014). "Natalie Dormer Thinks There Should Be More Male Nudity in Game of Thrones". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 
  39. ^ a b c Olly Grant (9 August 2015). "Natalie Dormer: 'Sex and romance is a huge part of human motivation'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 
  40. ^ a b Richard Godwin; Miranda Bryant (20 January 2016). "Natalie Dormer: I don't regret nude scenes ...and the work has paid off". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 
  41. ^ a b c Richard Godwin (21 January 2016). "Natalie Dormer on nudity, Hollywood's feminist revolution and Margaery Tyrell". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 
  42. ^ a b Daisy Wyatt (11 August 2015). "Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer: Men are objectified as much as women in nude scenes". The Independent. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 
  43. ^ Matt Miller (9 July 2018). "Critics Are Outraged Over the Gratuitous Nudity in Natalie Dormer and Emily Ratajkowski's New Movie". Esquire. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 
  44. ^ Gary Collinson (13 July 2018). "Natalie Dormer defends "gratuitous nudity" in new film In Darkness". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 
  45. ^ Vanessa Thorpe (8 July 2018). "My film's erotic, not sadistic: Game of Thrones star hits back at critics". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 

Further reading

  • Armstrong, S (30 September 2007). "She won't lose her head". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 3 October 2007. 
  • Collins, S (1 April 2013). "Game of Thrones' Q&A: Natalie Dormer on Playing 'the Kate Middleton of Westeros". Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 

External links

  • Natalie Dormer on IMDb
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