The Girl in the Café
Emmy winner Kelly McDonald is a sole actress with numerous understated and delicate performances on her belt. So far, she has worked with several of the world’s most celebrated filmmakers and actors and has received nominations from prestigious awards. More recently, she gained a number of recognition for her role as the mysterious woman in the charming television film The Girl in the Café (2005), a role that won her a 2006 Emmy Award and a Golden Globe nomination.
On the wide screen, McDonald first came to the attention of wide public as the acid-tongued school girl in the monster hit Trainspotting (1996), where she earned a BAFTA Scotland nod. She is also memorable for playing roles in Stella Does Tricks (1996), Gregg Araki’s Splendor (1999), Two Family House (2000, received an Independent Spirit nod) and Finding Neverland (2004). In 2002, sharing with her costars, McDonald picked up a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, a Florida Film Critics Circle Award, an Online Film Critics Society Award, a Satellite Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her work in Robert Altman’s Gosford Park (2001). McDonald herself was also nominated for an Empire Award.
Outside the spotlight, brown-eye, brown-haired beauty measures 34B-23-36 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine), and was named one of European films ‘Shooting Stars’ by European Film Promotion in 1999. Romantically speaking, McDonald is the wife of bassist Dougie Payne.
Childhood and Family:
Kelly Macdonald was born on February 23, 1976, in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. His parents divorced when she was only a little girl, leaving Kelly and her younger brother David under the custody of the single mother Patsy. The family then moved to a congress estate in the town of Newton Mearns, in which Kelly was sent to the regional Eastwood High School. She left her family at age 17 to live with a friend in a flat in Glasgow. She studied modern studies in college before dropping out. To earn a living, Kelly took a job as a barmaid.
“We hit off straight away. I just knew.” Kelly Macdonald
In 2000, Kelly met and subsequently fell in love with Dougie Payne, the bassist for the Scottish band Travis. Two months later, they lived together, and finally got married in August 2003. The wedding ceremony was held at Castle Lachlan in Argyllshire, Scotland. Kelly and her husband currently reside in London.
Hailed from Glasgow, Scotland, Kelly MacDonald began acting in an amateur dramatics club when she was a young. Her big breakthrough arrived in 1996, when she landed the supporting role of Diane in director Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, a comedy starring Ewan McGregor. Her fine presentation of an underage seductress won her public’s attention and a Best Actress BAFTA Scotland nomination. The film itself was a massive international hit.
The success of Trainspotting brought McDonald to the limelight, but she was soon broke and returned to her murkiness of being a barmaid in Glasgow. She then undertook a starring role in Stella Does Tricks (1996), a drama about a teen call girl who tries to change her life. Again, she became a favorite of critics. With two victories films under her belt, McDonald made her way to London to further pursue her career.
After starring in the short film Dead Eye Dick (1997), McDonald starred as Hortense Hulot in the period drama Cousin Bette (1998) and had a small role in the historical epic Elizabeth (1998). She offered a notable supporting part as the best friend of Kathleen Robertson in writer/director Gregg Araki’s Splendor (1999). She followed that up with other supporting roles in such films as the romance Entropy (1999, with Stephen Dorff), Mike Figgis’ drama The Loss of Sexual Innocence (1999, opposite Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Saffron Burrows) and the biopic My Life So Far (1999, starred Colin Firth). McDonald, who appeared in television film for the first time in 1996’s Flowers of the Forest, took part in the London-made TV film Tube Tales, in 1999.
McDonald received an Independent Spirit nomination for Best Female Lead for her performance as Mary O’Neary in Raymond De Felitta’s Two Family House (2000), and in House! (2000), she was cast as Linda, a young woman attempting to keep her local bingo house. The same year, she also was noted as the eccentric Laura in Some Voices, along side the forthcoming James Bond Daniel Craig.
Following Strictly Sinatra (2001), an average film saved by another magnificent performance from the actress, McDonald joined the cast of Robert Altman’s ensemble film Gosford Park (2001) that included Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon and Kristin Scott Thomas. Finely playing Mary Maceachran, a maid to Maggie Smith’s Constance Trentham, she was handed an Empire nomination for Best British Actress. With other Gosford Park’s casts, she also took home several ensemble awards like a Broadcast Film Critics Association, a Florida Film Critics Circle, an Online Film Critics Society, a Satellite and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Next up for McDonald, she had a feature role in the television film Brush with Fate (2003), gave a memorable guest appearance as journalist Della Smith in an episode of the BBC short-lived series “State of Play” (2003), teamed up with Cillian Murphy and Colin Farrell in Intermission (2003) and made a small, but remarkable, part as Peter Pan in director Marc Foster’s Finding Neverland (2004), which starred Kate Winslet and superstar Johnny Depp.
In 2005, after an episodic role in “Alias,” McDonald had a cameo role as a correspondent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The same year, she also appeared in such films as Michael Winterbottom’s A Cock and Bull Story, All the Invisible Children, the family picture Nanny McPhee, starring Emma Thompson and Colin Firth, and the adventure/family film Lassie, opposite Peter O’Toole and Samantha Morton. However, it was McDonald’s portrayal of Gina, a mysterious young woman who discovers love in Nighy’s shy politician in Iceland during the G8 summit, in the attractive made-for-TV film The Girl in the Café (2005) that won the accomplished performer glowing reviews, including a 2006 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
McDonald is scheduled to play the supporting role of Carla Jean in the Coen brothers upcoming film No Country for Old Men, which is for 2007 release. Among her costars are Javier Bardem, Richard Barela, Josh Blaylock and Rodger Boyce.
- Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, The Girl in the Café, 2006
- Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Acting Ensemble, Gosford Park, 2002
- Florida Film Critics Circle: Best Acting Ensemble, Gosford Park, 2002
- Online Film Critics Society: Best Acting Ensemble, Gosford Park, 2002
- Satellite: Special Achievement, Outstanding Motion Picture Ensemble, Gosford Park 2002
- Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture, Gosford Park 2002