Childhood & Early Life
Lucy Punch was born on December 30, 1977, in Hammersmith, London, into a well-settled business family. She grew up with a brother. Her parents, Michael and Joanna, owned a market research company. Her mother loved theater and often took Lucy along with her to various shows, which sparked Lucy’s interest in acting.
Lucy loved dancing too, but never took any professional dance lessons. She was never shy and often danced to Madonna’s hits in front of her family. She knew she wanted to be a performer when she was just five years old.
The support from her parents gave her a lot of confidence. While studying at the ‘Godolphin and Latymer High School’ in London, she honed her acting skills by participating in school theater productions. At the age of 15, she joined the ‘National Youth Theatre.’ The audition process for the enrollment was very difficult, but she did it and learned the nuances of professional acting.
She remained a part of the ‘National Youth Theatre’ until 1997. Meanwhile, she completed high school and enrolled at college. She learnt French and art history at ‘University College London.’ By then, she had already started auditioning for roles. Following this, she received a few small roles. Once she started getting paid for the roles, she dropped out of college and started concentrating on acting.
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Lucy made her acting debut in 1998 with a one-episode role in the period action-adventure series ‘The New Adventures of Robin Hood,’ in which she played the role of a queen.
The next year, she appeared in a 13-episode role in the series ‘Renford Rejects,’ in which she played the role of ‘Sue White.’ She followed it up with three more roles in the series ‘Let them Eat Cake,’ ‘Days Like Thes’ and ‘Big Bad World.’
In 2000, she made her highly anticipated film debut with the TV film ‘Cinderella’ and followed it up with a comedy film ‘Greenfingers.’ With time, she took on more diverse roles, such as that of a murder victim in ‘Midsomer Murders.’
She started the early 2000s with significant roles in three TV films, namely, ‘Goodbye, Mr. Steadman,’ ‘Second Nature,’ and ‘Come Together.’ The 2004 film ‘Ella Enchanted’ was her first major acting breakthrough, and the film released to a wide audience in both the US and Europe.
In 2004, she became part of the highly acclaimed film ‘The Life and Death of Peter Sellers,’ a film made exclusively for TV. Although Lucy played a small role in the film, its critical success both at the ‘Emmy Awards’ and the ‘Golden Globe Awards’ did a lot for her career as an actor. The same year, she portrayed a major role in the comedy–drama film ‘Being Julia.’
In 2005, she starred in a low-budget independent dark comedy ‘Festival,’ which was well-known in the film-festival circle. She continued appearing on TV, and from the early to the mid-2000s, she played several guest roles in series such as ‘Dinotopia,’ ‘My Family,’ ‘Doc Martin,’ and ‘The Class.’ ‘The Class’ had her playing a recurring role for 13 episodes.
On the big screen, she was mostly considered for low-budget indie films. In 2006, she played the lead role in another independent film ‘Are You Ready for Love?,’ for which she was awarded the ‘Best Actress’ award at the ‘Monaco International Film Festival.’
In 2007, she played a major role in the critically and commercially acclaimed comedy ‘Hot Fuzz,’ and followed it up with another comedy ‘St. Trinian’s.’
Over the next few years, she starred in a few more independent features, such as ‘1%,’ ‘Big Breaks,’ and ‘(Untitled).’
Despite her performances being critically acclaimed, the number of roles she was offered reduced significantly in the late 2000s. This led to a depressive phase, where she was ready to quit acting and switch to teaching in some school. Around the same time, director Woody Allen was casting for his next film, in which Nicole Kidman was slated to play one of the most crucial roles.
However, a fortunate turn of events had Lucy becoming part of Woody Allen’s ‘You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,’ as Nicole had to pull out at the last moment. The multi-starrer film featured Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins in the lead roles and premiered at the ‘Cannes Film Festival.’ Despite being one of the most-awaited films of the year, it received average reviews from critics, upon its release in 2010. However, the movie was successful in infusing new life into the drowning career of Lucy Punch.
The same year, Lucy played a key role in the ‘BBC Two’ comedy series ‘Vexed.’ The series told the story about a strange pair of detectives who argued with each other instead of solving crimes.
She bagged another major role in the 2011 film ‘Bad Teacher,’ which also happened to star Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel in leading roles. She played ‘Amy Squirrel,’ a school teacher. The film received positive reviews.
She was made a part of the TV series ‘Powers,’ as the main lead, but the series could not go further than the pilot episode. In 2012, she played a supporting role as ‘BJ’ in 16 episodes of the series ‘Ben and Kate.’
In 2016, she played the role of ‘Amanda’ in the ‘BBC’ comedy series ‘Motherland.’ In mid-2010, she appeared in films such as ‘She’s Funny That Way,’ ‘Stand Up Guys,’ and ‘Stars in Shorts.’ In 2017, she was seen in the black-comedy series ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events.’