The Evolution of Kelly Macdonald From Trainspotting to Now

Kelly Macdonald has come a long way from her role as underage seductress Diane in Trainspotting. Back then it might have been believed that she would find a few roles and then move on out of Hollywood’s spotlight, perhaps being seen as little more than a flash in the pan. But Kelly managed to hold onto her career and continued onward towards other roles that will be mentioned in just a bit. Initially she was working as a barmaid in Glasgow when she happened to notice a leaflet that had information about an open casting session for Trainspotting. That was how she managed to audition and then land the part that would begin her trek into films and eventually into the public eye. Her other roles before she really took off as a successful actress came in the movies Two Family House and Finding Neverland, where she played an actress playing the role of Peter Pan. She was also in Gosford Park and in Intermission. So to be honest her career started hitting high notes when she was cast in Trainspotting and then hit a plateau for a short while until she finally got going again. Unless one was noticing her in movies however she might have still been seen as a surprise that no one was expecting.

She even had a spot on the radio when she played the part of Mary in the drama Lifehouse in 1999. I know, radio drama right? One would think that had already become far outdated, but there are still those that see it as a viable platform and honestly no one can really disagree. She’s been big on the BBC starring in State of Play and The Girl in the Cafe. For the latter movie she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Film, and she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. Quite honestly some people scoff at awards and others put way too much stock in them. Those that have awards lining their shelves are often seen as the best of the best when really an award is something that’s granted, rightfully so, to those that were great in that moment and impressed their peers and those that follow them. Any other time an award is a reminder of that greatness that sits and collects dust. There’s no offense intended, but like any trophy or memento that is taken home, everything eventually becomes a memory that doesn’t commemorate one’s present and future existence, and thankfully for Kelly she’s been very active since the beginning of her career.

She starred in Nanny McPhee in 2005 as the scullery maid Evangeline, and was even in No Country for Old Men. She was even nominated for a BAFTA for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for No Country. The story that goes along with her role in that movie however is that she had to fight her agent tooth and nail to even be considered for her role. She denies this however, no matter that it really doesn’t matter any longer since it’s in the past. She also played he role of Kelly Drummond in film In the Electric Mist. She’s played alongside some truly tried and tested individuals that have shown their worth throughout the years and come out on the other side wiser and more experienced each time. Kelly is definitely the kind of person that learns from the things she does and pays attention to her surroundings so that she can soak in as much as is possible in order to make her role that much better.

This helped no doubt when she took over the part of Roweena Ravenclaw in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. The Grey Lady, as she as called, was very instrumental in helping Harry bring down yet another horcrux and wound Voldemort even further. Her portrayal of the character was nothing short of brilliant despite the fact that it was a very short part. It was still very meaningful and added to the movie quite nicely. She also provided the voice of Merida for the Pixar/Disney film Brave, which became iconic as the redhead has managed to make her way into the good graces of many a young girl since the release of the film.

Perhaps one of her greatest performances though came as Margaret Thompson, the eventual wife of crime boss Nucky Thompson on the show Boardwalk Empire. She managed to show up in all five seasons of the show and in 2011 she and the cast received the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. As of now she’s still acting and even took back her role of Diane on the sequel to Trainspotting. So in all honesty it seems like she’s come full circle at this point.


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