Stars of Tomorrow 2022: Rosy McEwen (actress) | Features


When Rosy McEwen was 13, a casting director came to her west London school looking for young girls to star in. Atonement.

She reached the bottom two for the role of Briony, losing to Saoirse Ronan who went on to be nominated for an Oscar. But the experience made McEwen an agent, setting her on a path that now sees her – at the age of 28 – with her first starring role in a feature film: Georgia Oakley’s BBC Film and BFI-backed drama. blue jean as a lesbian basketball teacher in 1980s Newcastle, dealing with her own sexuality at a time when Section 28 – a law banning the “promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities – was enacted.

While still in school, McEwen appeared in episodes of television series Cranford and wake the dead but, at the time, wanted to be a teenager more than an actor. “I remember there was a party that I missed because of filming, and I was so sad,” she laughs.

Eventually she went to the University of Leeds to study art history but was not happy. “In my third year, I was like, ‘What am I doing?’ Then she remembered the joy she had found in acting. “I googled ‘Leeds play auditions’ and found this whole area of ​​drama companies. I found my niche, as well as my happiness.

She graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theater School, got her current agent and changed her name from Rosy Byrne – McEwen is her mother’s maiden name. His first job was The cherry orchard at the Bristol Old Vic, then at the Manchester Royal Exchange, before director Michael Boyd took him to the Royal Shakespeare Company. “Then I started auditioning for screen stuff.”

McEwen was a revelation as the villainous Libby in Netflix’s second season the alienist. She followed it up with the Channel 4 thriller Near me and dystopian science fiction Vespers, playing a clone robot opposite Eddie Marsan. As for blue jean, developed through the iFeatures scheme and performed by Bafta and several Bifa nominees Shaheen Baig, the role was written as a woman in her 40s, but “the emotions she was feeling, I could relate to. Jean has to put on a front everywhere she goes, and that was so exciting for me.

McEwen just finished playing ‘a bitchy dancer’ opposite Julia Garner in director Relic’s 1960s horror thriller Natalie Erika James Apartment 7A and begins Othello at the National Theater in October. “Eddie Marsan’s career is my dream,” she notes. “Where you make amazing plans, always playing something that’s far from yourself. I never wanted to be famous. I want to be that actor that people [say]’She’s great’, but no one recognizes you when you walk down the street.

Contact: Sam Turnbull, Curtis Brown

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