British actress Ella Purnell evokes a superimposed memory of two very different things — a pair of saucer-sized eyes and the city of London! Fantasy has always been Purnell’s forte. She began her journey by playing younger versions of Keira Knightley, Angelina Jolie and Margot Robbie in films such as ‘Never Let Me Go,’ ‘Maleficent’ and ‘The Legend of Tarzan.’ But after the mid-2010s, she emerged from the innocence of a child artist to a complex feminine persona who can shoulder heavier characters. Purnell’s father, who was a businessman, and mother, a homemaker, were separated soon after her birth. She enrolled at the Sylvia Young Theater School as a young girl before joining ‘Oliver!’ in the West End when she was just 12 in 2008. The little actress spent nearly a year as part of a handpicked ensemble of child actors in ‘Oliver!’
Purnell’s first breakthrough in films came in 2010 when she landed a major role in ‘Never Let Me Go.’ Based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro, the movie features Purnell as the younger version of Ruth, Keira Knighley’s character. Her effortless performance as young Ruth helped her to land more roles in projects like ‘Ways to Live Forever’ from Gustavo Ron, ‘Intruders’ directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and the television movie ‘Short Candy’ from BBC. In 2011, Purnell was selected by Screen International as one of the 10 British actors of tomorrow.
She emerged as a promising actor with films such as ‘Kick-Ass 2,’ with Chloë Grace Moretz, ‘WildLike,’ Maleficent’ with Angelina Jolie, Tim Burton’s ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,’ with Asa Butterfield and Eva Green, and ‘Access All Areas,’ with Georgie Henley. In 2017, Purnell played the character of Winston Churchill’s secretary Helen Garrett in the historical drama ‘Churchill’ directed by Jonathan Teplizky. Her major appearances in television include the BBC mini-series ‘Ordeal By Innocence’ and ‘Sweetbitter’ from Starz.
After her coming-of-age phase, the actress started battling with the stereotyping. “Just before I got Sweetbitter I thought, I’m 21, I haven’t had a job in a while, I really don’t know if this is a job I want to continue doing,” she once told Evening Standard, “Just there to be a sex object, portrayed as weak, pretty, nice. I had all these plans to go to university to study English or film or psychology and never did go. I felt really quite lost and didn’t know who I was. Then I read the first line of the breakdown of my character in Sweetbitter: “Tess’s life is a shambles.” I thought: Ha! This is relatable,” she added.
In many ways, the actress reflects the confused, virtual and multi-dimensional psyche of the 21st-century youth, which attributes to her massive fan following on Instagram. So now you must be wondering what is the next Ella Purnell movie or TV show? Well, here’s the list of upcoming Ella Purnell films and TV shows scheduled to release in 2019 and 2020. We can only hope that the latest Ella Purnell movies would be as good as some of her recent ones.
3. Sweetbitter (2018 – )