British actress, Anne Marie Duff rose to prominence with the portrayal of Fiona Gallagher in the series Shameless.
Apart from Shameless, Duff has worked in numerous movies like Enigma, Notes on a Scandal, The Last Station, Suffragette. Here, we will discover more about Anne-Marie in seven facts.
7. Duff is of Irish Descent
The 49 years old actress grew up in Hayes, West London. However, her parents came from a rural area of Donegal and Meath in Ireland and met in England.
Duff's father, Brendan Duff, worked as a painter and decorator in Meath while her mother, Mary Doherty, worked in a shoe shop in Donegal.
Her parents were of a generation of Irish people who immigrated to England because of a lack of opportunity in their hometown. Nevertheless, the 49-years old actress his happy to belong to the Irish background, learning hardship in her formative years that helped her grow as a person.
6. She Attended Prestigious Drama Centre
When Duff turned 11, her parents persuaded her to join a youth drama group so that she could become socially confident. After working in a non-professional theatre company called Argosy Players, this is when Duff's interest in acting sparked.
Having been rejected by a few drama schools, she went on to study film and theatre to enhance her acting skills. Later, at the age of 19, she attended the British drama school, Drama Centre London, alongside prominent actors like John Simm, Anastasia Hille, and her good friend, Paul Bettany.
5. Has Worked in Numerous Production of Royal National Theatre
The 49-years old actress has worked in myriad production of the Royal National Theatre. The theatre, which is funded publicly, is one among UK's three most prominent performing arts venues.
Duff's work in such productions has been critically acclaimed, including her portrayal of the title character in Marianne Elliott's production of Bernard Shaw's play called as Saint Joan. For the production, Duff won the Evening Standard Award in the category of Best Actress.
Moreover, her performance in Helen Edmundson's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace has also earned her significant recognition. Her recent work includes Royal theatre stage production called Macbeth, where she played as Lady Macbeth.
4. Explored History Books to Play as Elizabeth I
In 2005, the 49-years old actress joined the cast of four-part mini-series, The Virgin Queen, based on the life of Queen Elizabeth I.
Duff portrayed the main character Queen Elizabeth I, 16th century Queen of England and Ireland. While doing so, she was unaware of the history related to Queen Elizabeth. So, to adapt to her character, she started researching about the past, reading books related to Elizabeth. With BBC, she stated,
"When I was in school we were taught modern history, it was not very fashionable to be taught about the kings and queens, and my family are not English so I did not really have any sense of it all. I went off and did tons of research and read everything I could."
In the process, she began admiring the queen, adding,
"I love her vanity and her pig-headedness and bloody-mindedness; for an actor to play such a fireball is great fun. She was very single-minded, very independent, and I think that came from her having such an astonishing intellect, and the confidence that that brings. And also maybe the fact that she stared death in the face so many times as a young girl."
Duff earned two nominations for her performance in the mini-series in the category of best actress: British Academy Television Awards and Irish Film and Television Awards.
3. Was About to Turn Down Shameless
Duff achieved significant recognition globally when she played as Fiona Gallagher in the British series Shameless. Garnering five different award show nominations and ultimately winning three in the category of best actress, the series marks her most successful venture up to date.
However, Duff had almost turned down the role of Fiona Gallagher, had her mother not convinced her to take the role. In an interview with The Guardian, the 49-years old talked about her mother liking the truth of the script, stating, "it is about what people have when they do not have anything except laughter, sex, and the stars."
2. Was Married to James McAvoy
The Scottish actor, James McAvoy, and Duff met on the set of series Shameless. McAvoy and Duff played as an on-screen couple in the series. Later, they married on married on November 11, 2006. After four years, in 2010, the couple became a parent to a son, Brendan McAvoy, who they named after Duff's father.
However, after staying together for almost ten years, the couple divorced on May 13, 2016. Despite the separation, Duff and McAvoy still share a home in North London so as not to let the divorce affect their son.
1. Plays as Ma Costa in His Dark Materials
Duff, along with McAvoy, is working in the television series His Dark Materials based on the book of the same name by Philip Pullman. In the series, the 49-years old actress plays as Ma Costa, a Gyptian woman. Along with Duff and McAvoy, Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, Clarke Peters, James Cosmo, Ariyon Bakare, Will Keen, Lucian Msamati also have a prominent role in the series.
Moreover, Duff is also all portraying the character in Erin Wiley in the second season of the Netflix series Sex Education.
She is the main cast of the show along with actors Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey, Connor Swindells, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Aimee Lou Wood, Tanya Reynolds and many more.