Lovely & Amazing
“If there’s any guiding impetus, it’s that I’m trying to do different things all the time.” Emily Mortimer
One of British cinema’s most versatile actresses, Emily Mortimer is an attractive and gifted performer who has impressed with performances in diverse ventures like historical dramas, modern day thrillers as well as comedies. Kicking off her film career in The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), Mortimer attracted attention with her outstanding supporting turn, as Elizabeth Marks, on the comedy Lovely & Amazing (2001). The role won the actress an Independent Spirit Award, a Central Ohio Film Critics Award and a Chlotrudis Award, as well as brought her a Chicago Film Critics Association and Golden Satellite nominations. She also netted an Empire nomination in the David Mackenzie-directed Young Adam (2003) and a European Film nomination in the drama Dear Frankie (2004). However, the arresting dark-haired actress is probably most known for playing Angelina Tyler, the star of the film-within-a-film, in Wes Craven’s Scream 3 (2000).
Additionally, Mortimer has dotted her resume with memorable roles in such films as Elizabeth (1998), Notting Hill (1999), Disney’s The Kid (2000), A Foreign Affair (2003), Match Point (2005) and Pink Panther (2006). Her upcoming film credits include Chaos Theory (2007), Transsiberian (2007), Lars and the Real Girl (2007), Barry Munday (2007) and Number 13 (2008).
Along with her busy film schedule, Mortimer, who got her acting start on British mini-series “The Glass Virgin” (1995), has been frequently seen in TV films and miniseries. Among her notable works are portraying Miss Flynn in Cider With Rosie (1998), a “Masterpiece Theatre” (PBS) presentation penned by her father, and as Esther in NBC’s miniseries “Noah’s Ark” (1999).
“I wasn’t prepared for the inexplicable, overwhelming feeling of love and protection, or how hard it would be to have to leave this little thing in the morning. The good thing about movies is that while you work hard for three or four months, you can have three months or so off afterward. Hopefully, it all works out. I’m trying to avoid, you know, guilt, even though before the child is born, you’re already thinking you’re doing things wrong. . . . Why do I think that will probably carry over until the day you die?” Emily Mortimer on having her son
On her personal life, Mortimer is the wife of Boston, Massachusetts-born actor Alessandro Nivola, whom she married in 2003. They have a four-year-old son named Sam. Her love life was once linked to British actor Nick Moran.
Childhood and Family:
Daughter of well-known mystery novelist John Mortimer, best remembered for writing the popular “Rumpole on the Bailey” mystery series, and Penelope Glossop, Emily Mortimer was born on December 1, 1971, in London, England. She has a younger sister, Rosie Mortimer, and two older half-siblings, from his father’s previous marriage to author Penelope Fletcher Dimont.
Emily was raised in an academic, middle-class household. She studied at St. Paul’s Girls School, Barnes London, in which she acted in several student productions, and continued to study English and Russian at Lincoln College, Oxford, graduating in 1994. In Oxford, she also found herself starring in a number of plays.
On January 3, 2003, Emily was married to actor Alessandro Nivola (born June 28, 1972), whom she met on the set of 2000’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. A Mexican punk band played at their wedding. The couple welcomed their first child, son Sam Nivola, on September 26, 2003.
“...acting was something I pretended I didn’t want to do as I was growing up.” Emily Mortimer
Emily Mortimer took parts in a number of student productions while in high school and later in Oxford. Despite her talent for the stage, however, she never really saw acting as being a viable profession. She chose to become a writer, penning articles for the Daily Telegraph and later becoming the screenwriter for a screen adaptation of Lorna Sage’s memoir, Bad Blood. Though writing appealed to her, the call of the stage was too powerful to overlook that she soon received the offer to have a supporting role in a TV miniseries adaptation of Dame Catherine Cookson’s “The Glass Virgin” (1995), playing the titular character Annabella Lagrange. A string of TV works followed, including in the made-for-TV film Sharpe’s Sword (1995), before she made her feature debut as the wife of Val Kilmer in 1996’s period adventure The Ghost and the Darkness.
Mortimer then was seen as Romy, the unachievable dream girl of Jared Leto’s love-struck Frankie, in the Irish coming-of-age drama The Last of the High Kings (1996), rejoined Val Kilmer in a cameo role of woman on plane in Kilmer’s vehicle The Saint (1997) and appeared as Kat Ashley in director Shekhar Kapur’s Academy Award-nominated epic Elizabeth (1998), starring Cate Blanchett. Also in 1998, she played the role of Miss Flynn in Cider With Rosie, a “Masterpiece Theatre” (PBS) presentation wrote by her father.
It was not until a year later, however, that the actress increased her profile outside the United Kingdom. She offered a fine turn as Esther in the NBC miniseries “Noah’s Ark,” starring Jon Voight and Mary Steenburgen and directed by John Irvin, and had a small, but pivotal role as the ill-fated “Perfect Girl” dropped by Hugh Grant in the popular romantic comedy Notting Hill. Mortimer’s growing status was further confirmed in 2000 when she was cast as Angelina Tyler in Wes Craven’s Scream 3. The upscale slasher flick introduced the actress to a an all new audience as well as gave her the chance to portray Neve Campbell’s hard to kill Sidney in the horror-flick-within-a-horror-flick Stab 3. The same year, Mortimer found herself acting with her future husband Alessandro Nivola in Kenneth Branagh’s musical adaptation of Love’s Labour’s Lost, and undertook her biggest role in American production to date, as Bruce Willis’ spirited British love interest in Disney’s The Kid. Additionally, she did a voice-over in the 2000 animated feature The Miracle Maker, opposite Ralph Fiennes and Michael Bryant.
In 2001, Mortimer joined the cast of the ensemble comedy Lovely & Amazing (opened theatrically in USA in 2002) including Catherine Keener, Raven Goodwin and Brenda Blethyn. For her brilliant performance as Elizabeth Marks, one of trio sisters who apparently have nothing in ordinary, in this Toronto-screen movie, she was handed an Independent Spirit, a Chlotrudis and a Central Ohio Film Critics for Best Supporting Actress. She also earned two nominations, a Chicago Film Critics Association for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Satellite for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Comedy or Musical.
Mortimer had a major role opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Carlyle in 2001’s The 51st State, offered a supporting performance in the straight-to-video period romantic comedy The Sleeping Dictionary (2003, received a Best Supporting Actress DVD Exclusive nod), was notable as a young television journalist acting as a translator between two brothers (David Arquette and Tim Blake Nelson) and budding Russian brides in the dark comedy A Foreign Affair (2003) and nabbed an Empire nomination for Best British Actress for her effort in the little seen Young Adam (2003), an erotic drama starring Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton. Next, she starred as Lizzie in the drama Dear Frankie (2004), a performance that brought her an Audience nod for Bets Actress at the 2005 European Film Awards, provided the voice of young Sophie in Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) and costarred with Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Scarlett Johansson in the Woody Allen crime/drama Match Point (2005). In 2006, she can add The Pink Panther, the incomprehensible remake starring Steve Martin, to her impressive resume.
The 36-year-old performer will next be seen in Chaos Theory (2007), a story within a story about a neurotically organized man (Ryan Reynolds) who discovered he is sterile and that his daughter was fathered by his best friend. She is also set to play roles in the forthcomings Transsiberian (2007, with Woody Harrelson and Ben Kingsley), Lars and the Real Girl (2007, opposite Ryan Gosling and Patricia Clarkson) and Barry Munday (2007, attached). She also will costar with Dan Fogler, Ben Kingsley and Ewan McGregor in Number 13, a mystery/thriller for 2008 release.