Anna Friel: Charlotte “Chuck” Charles
Date Of Birth: July, 12th 1976 Lancashire, England
Following a busy 2004 in North America — she starred opposite Rob Lowe in the CBS romantic comedy film, “Perfect Strangers,” won over audiences as defense attorney Megan Delaney in Barry Levinson’s gritty courtroom drama, “The Jury,” for Fox, played a heroin addict in Gary Yates’ film “Niagara Motel,” and appeared as Eddie Griffin’s melodic Irish sweetheart in the feature “Irish Jam” — Friel announced her pregnancy at the start of 2005. The first half of that year kept her busy in the UK filming the first in the popular film series, ”Goal!,” before giving birth to a beautiful baby daughter, Gracie Ellen Mary, on July 9th, with her partner, actor David Thewlis.
“Goal II: Living the Dream” beckoned and Friel returned to work in Spain in the autumn, bringing baby Gracie to her first film set. The first half of 2006 kept her out of the UK again, filming the most grueling role of her career to date, that of legendary Countess Elizabeth Bathory, reported to be the greatest murderess in history. “Bathory” was a long, arduous, but highly rewarding shoot in and around the Czech Republic and the beautiful castles of Eastern Europe. Friel is also currently featured in a highly successful campaign for Pantene in the UK.
Born in North West England to parents who were language teachers, Friel grew up speaking fluent French. She first joined Oldham Theatre Workshop in 1989, performing in numerous productions in theaters across England. The following year she was cast on the BBC series “In Their Shoes,” and also starred in Alan Bleasdale’s critically acclaimed miniseries “G.B.H.”
During the next two years, Friel amassed a long string of UK television credits that led to a gritty regular role, that of Beth Jordache, on the phenomenally popular series “Brookside.” During her last year on “Brookside” she garnered the coveted National Television Award for Best Actress, after which a number of television performances followed — including her much admired depiction of Bella Wilfer opposite Steven Mackintosh in Charles Dickens’ “Our Mutual Friend.”
In 1995 Friel made her first foray into the world of feature film with Stephen Poliakoff’s movie “The Tribe,” opposite Joely Richardson and Jeremy Northam. Other films followed, including “The Stringer,” “The Land Girls,” with Rachel Weisz and Catherine McCormack, “Rogue Trader,” starring alongside Ewan McGregor, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” with Kevin Kline and Michelle Pfeiffer, “Sunset Strip,” “Watermelon,” Barry Levinson’s “An Everlasting Piece,” “The War Bride,” for which she was nominated for a Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, the critically acclaimed “Me Without You,” and the time-travel adventure for Paramount, “Timeline,” alongside real-life partner David Thewlis, Paul Walker, Billy Connoly and Gerard Butler.
In 1997 Friel returned to the stage at the Almeida Theatre in “Look Europe!,” with Harold Pinter. Two years later she starred on Broadway in Patrick Marber’s “Closer,” alongside Ciaran Hinds, Rupert Graves and Natasha Richardson, and was honored with a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, as well as a Special Achievement Award for an Ensemble Performance. More recently she starred in the London stage play “Lulu” at the Almeida, for which she received the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in 2002.