Kate Beckinsale - Rotten Tomatoes

Kate Beckinsale



First making an impression on international audiences with her role as the sweet, virginal Hero in Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing (1993), pale-skinned, fine-boned British actress Kate Beckinsale has since stepped beyond period pieces to prove that she is anything but a fragile English rose.



The daughter of a BBC casting director and famed television actor Richard Beckinsale (known for roles on Porridge and Rising Damp), Beckinsale was born July 26, 1973. After her father's death from a heart attack in 1979, the actress was raised by her mother. By her own account, Beckinsale's childhood and adolescence were fairly troubled, marked by struggles with anorexia. She decided to follow in her father's acting footsteps while still a teenager and in 1991, had her major television debut in Once Against the Wind, a World War II drama in which she played Judy Davis' daughter. The same year, Beckinsale enrolled at Oxford, to study French and Russian Literature, and pursued her education until committing herself full-time to acting.

In 1993, while still a student at Oxford, Beckinsale was cast in Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing. Her supporting role was a memorable one, winning the actress a limited amount of recognition amongst American audiences, but it was not until 1995, when she starred in John Schlesinger's adaptation of Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm, that her wattage began to increase, at least in art houses everywhere. The film, which was initially made for BBC television, proved to be a modest hit, bringing in respectable box office and glowing reviews. Beckinsale followed the film's success with another two years later, starring as an altruistic con artist in the quirky romantic comedy Shooting Fish. The film was an unqualified hit in its native country, becoming the third-highest grossing film in England for 1997. The same year, Beckinsale further increased her visibility with the title role in A&E's Emma.



She next graced American movie screens in Whit Stillman's The Last Days of Disco (1998). She received good reviews for her portrayal of a cool and catty WASP college graduate (for which she assumed an American accent), although the movie itself met with a deeply mixed reaction. The following year, Beckinsale, in addition to giving birth to a daughter (fathered by longtime boyfriend Michael Sheen), starred in her first big-budget Hollywood feature. Playing opposite Claire Danes in Brokedown Palace, the actress portrayed an American girl who, while on vacation with best friend Danes in Thailand, gets caught with heroin and is sentenced to 33 years in a Thai prison.



That mid-budgeted film, however, was nothing compared to her next major Hollywood production. After essaying roles in a television production of Alice Through the Looking Glass (1999) and the Merchant/Ivory production of Henry James' The Golden Bowl (2000), Beckinsale was plucked from relative obscurity by director Michael Bay for his lavish World War II epic, Pearl Harbor (2001). Boasting a record-setting, nine-digit price tag and one of the most aggressive marketing campaigns ever waged on the American public, the film featured the actress as Evelyn, a plucky nurse torn between the affections of two soldiers.



Though a brief foray into Laurel Canyon found Beckinsale essaying the low-key role of a Harvard graduate gone astray after a taste of the wild side of life, she once again shifted into high gear for the big-budget vampire versus werewolf battle royal Underworld in 2003. Sporting the sort of gothic vinyl duds that had fanboys crooning, Beckinsale raised arms against a brutal breed of lycanthropes and few could argue that she didn't look good doing it. So good, in fact, that not only a sequel but a prequel followed.



Soon thereafter the starlet was once again doing battle with the undead (opposite X-Men's Hugh Jackman) in the action horror adventure Van Helsing. At the end of

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Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
18% Underworld: Blood Wars
  • Selene
2017
0% The Disappointments Room
  • Dana
2016
98% Love & Friendship
  • Lady Susan Vernon Martin
2016
38% The Face Of An Angel
  • Simone Ford
2015
15% Absolutely Anything
  • Catherine
2015
52% Stonehearst Asylum
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet The Trials of Cate McCall
  • Cate McCall
2013
30% Total Recall
  • Lori Quaid
2012
26% Underworld: Awakening
  • Selene
2012
51% Contraband
  • Kate Farraday
2012
46% Everybody's Fine
  • Amy
2009
7% Whiteout
  • Carrie Stetko
2009
81% Nothing But the Truth
  • Rachel Armstrong
2008
45% Fragments
  • Carla Davenport
2008
56% Vacancy
  • Amy Fox
2007
68% Snow Angels
  • Annie Marchand
2007
32% Click
  • Donna Newman
2006
16% Underworld: Evolution
  • Selene
2006
87% The Aviator
  • Ava Gardner
2004
29% Tiptoes
  • Carol
2004
No Score Yet Van Helsing: The London Assignment
  • Actor
2004
23% Van Helsing
  • Anna Valerious
2004
31% Underworld
  • Selene
2003
68% Laurel Canyon
  • Alex
2003
59% Serendipity
  • Sara Thomas
2001
25% Pearl Harbor
  • Evelyn Johnson
2001
54% The Golden Bowl
  • Maggie Verver
2000
31% Brokedown Palace
  • Darlene Davis
1999
No Score Yet Alice Through the Looking Glass
  • Alice
1998
72% Last Days of Disco
  • Charlotte
1998
57% Shooting Fish
  • Georgie
1998
No Score Yet Jane Austen's 'Emma'
  • Emma Woodhouse
1996
83% Cold Comfort Farm
  • Flora Poste
1996
80% Haunted
  • Christina Mariell
1995
No Score Yet Prince of Jutland (Royal Deceit)
  • Ethel
1994
No Score Yet Uncovered
  • Julia
1994
91% Much Ado About Nothing
  • Hero
1993
No Score Yet One Against the Wind
  • Barbe
1991

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Late Show With David Letterman
1993-2015
  • Guest
No Score Yet Tavis Smiley
2013
  • Guest
No Score Yet The Late Late Show With James Corden
2015
  • Guest
No Score Yet Punk'd
2003-2012
  • Actor
  • Appearing
No Score Yet Masterpiece
1971-2015
  • Emma Woodhouse
No Score Yet Jimmy Kimmel Live
2003
  • Guest
No Score Yet The Talk
2010
  • Guest
91% The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
2015
  • Guest
No Score Yet The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
2014
  • Guest
No Score Yet Conan
2010
  • Guest

Quotes from Kate Beckinsale's Characters