The Chronicles of Narnia
"It's gone more quickly than I expected; the time has really flown past. It's a bit like a long and lovely dream and now I'm ready to wake up." Anna Popplewell (on the experience of filming “The Chronicles of Narnia”)
Acting since the age of six, English actress Anna Popplewell made her feature film debut in “Mansfield Park” (1999) and has since appeared in such films as "The Little Vampire" (2000), "Me Without You" (2001), "Thunderpants" (2002), and "Girl with a Pearl Earring" (2003). She garnered international recognition in 2005 when she portrayed Susan Pevensie in the epic fantasy film based on C. S. Lewis's children's fantasy book, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." She recently reprised her role in the sequel, "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" (2008).
This up-and-coming actress is the older sister of actors Freddie Popplewell and Laura Francesca Popplewell (aka. Lulu Popplewell)
“I think the weirdest experience I had was I was on holiday in the summer and I hadn’t seen the trailer in cinemas. I’d only seen the tape of it and I went with some friends to see 'War Of The Worlds' and I didn’t know the trailer was on it and they’d only just met me and they didn’t know about the film and I got this sudden [points] ‘Is that you?’ It was really embarrassing; a really weird experience.” Anna Popplewell
Childhood and Family:
On December 16, 1988, Anna Katherine Popplewell was born on London, England. The eldest of three children born to Andrew Popplewell, a barrister, and Dr. Debra Lomas, an immunologist, Anna has one younger sister, Laura Francesca Popplewell (aka. Lulu Popplewell, actress; born on January 15, 1991; appeared in Richard Curtis' “Love Actually,” 2003), and one younger brother, Freddie Popplewell (actor; born in November 1994; played Michael Darling in the film “Peter Pan,” 2003). Her paternal grandfather, Sir Oliver Popplewell, is a distinguished former High Court judge.
Anna was trained at Allsorts Drama for Children and North London Collegiate School, a prestigious girls' private school where she was named “Head Girl” in her final year. Since 2007, she has been a student of English at Magdalen College, in Oxford. She has successfully completed her first year and is very active in student drama productions. She starred in a student production of “Five Kinds of Silence” and earned the Cuppers Prize in 2007 for Best Supporting Actress. That same year in December, she played Lady Macbeth in a student production of William Shakespeare's “Macbeth” at the OFS Studio in Oxford.
“I'm absolutely terrified of rodents. I thought the director was winding me up. I don't think he understood just how much of a phobia it was. He called me over one day and had a mouse in his hand and I just burst into tears.” Anna Popplewell
Anna currently resides in Highbury, in North London, England. She is friends with “Peter Pan” (2003) star Jeremy Sumpter.
“It can be bizarre. Today I had a normal day at school, then I went to Armani Couture and spent three hours looking for a dress to wear to the premiere, then I went home to do my essays.” Anna Popplewell
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Anna Popplewell began acting at the age of six when she attended drama classes at the Allsorts Drama School. At 10, she began acting professionally by appearing in the TV movie version of Daphne Du Maurier's 1942 historical novel, “Frenchman's Creek” (1998), starring Tara Fitzgerald. The following year, she made her film debut in Patricia Rozema's film adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel, "Mansfield Park" (1999), with Embeth Davidtz, Jonny Lee Miller, Alessandro Nivola, Frances O’Connor, and Harold Pinter.
Entering the new millennium, Popplewell got her first significant acting role as Anna Sackville-Bagg, the little sister of a child vampire, in Uli Edel's take on German author Angela Sommer-Bodenburg's children's fantasy novel, "The Little Vampire" (2000), starring Jonathan Lipnicki. That same year, she was also in the made-for-television movie based on Michael Dibdin's novel, "Dirty Tricks" (2000).
In 2001, Popplewell auditioned for Hermione Granger in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,” but didn't get a callback. Meanwhile, she acted with her sister Lulu in the BBC TV miniseries based on Nancy Mitford's 1949 novel, "Love in a Cold Climate" (2001), and portrayed the younger version of Anna Friel's character Marina, the troubled, unpredictable girl with a seemingly glamorous father and Valium-addicted mother, in writer/director Sandra Goldbacher's dramatic film "Me Without You" (2001; also starring Michelle Williams).
The following year saw Popplewell in Peter Hewitt's family film starring Bruce Cook, "Thunderpants" (2002; also featuring Stephen Fry, Paul Giamatti, Ned Beatty, and Rupert Grint), and the TV movie version of George Eliot's 1876 novel, "Daniel Deronda" (2002), starring Hugh Dancy. She was then featured as Maertge in Peter Webber's critically acclaimed drama film inspired by the novel by Tracy Chevalier, "Girl with a Pearl Earring" (2003), alongside Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson, and Cillian Murphy. Meanwhile, she also auditioned for the part of Wendy in “Peter Pan” (2003), but lost to Rachel Hurd-Wood. It was through this audition that her brother got his role in the film.
"I can relate to Susan. She thinks in terms of practicality. There are certain areas where we're very similar and certain areas where we're not. I feel very defensive of her. If anyone accuses Susan of being an outright cynic, I'll say, 'No, she's not. There's a perfectly logical explanation for it all. Don't talk about her like that!’" Anna Popplewell (on her character in “The Chronicles of Narnia”)
Popplewell, who read “The Chronicles of Narnia” books when she was seven years old, auditioned for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (2005) almost two years before production began. She received several callbacks before finally landing the part of Susan Pevensie, the second eldest child of the four Pevensie children. Her work in the fantasy film, which was directed by Andrew Adamson and based on the first book of C. S. Lewis's children's series, won her a Camie Award for Best Ensemble Acting at the Character and Morality in Entertainments.
“It's a laid-back set and everyone's very friendly. Andrew is so relaxed that it makes everyone else relaxed.” Anna Popplewell (on the set of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”)
Popplewell recently reprised the role of Susan in the sequel "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" (2008), which generally received positive reviews.
Character and Morality in Entertainment: Camie Award - Best Ensemble Acting for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," 2006