Susannah Fielding is an award-winning English actor who is known for portraying an array of characters in theater, film, TV, and radio projects. A 'Guildhall School of Music and Drama' alumna, she began her acting career through stage, and that too, with one of the most coveted theaters in the UK, the 'National Theatre.' Interestingly, Susannah initially did odd jobs at the 'National,' but her passion for acting led her to enter the theater’s circle of actors. She has performed at the 'Almeida' and the 'Sheffield Crucible' theaters, too. Susannah was awarded the 'Ian Charleson Award' for portraying ‘Portia’ in 'The Merchant of Venice.' She eventually ventured into films and TV. She has appeared in multiple British and international series, such as the sitcom 'The Great Indoors,' in which she was a series regular. She has also made recurring appearances in series such as 'Pete Versus Life,' 'High & Dry,' and 'This Time with Alan Partridge.' Susannah has a few voice-over credits, too.
Childhood & Early Life
Susannah was born Susannah Glanville-Hearson, on June 10, 1985, in Poole, England. She grew up in a little town called Havant, located between Portsmouth and Chichester.
She completed her ‘A’ levels from the 'Christ's Hospital' school in Sussex. Susannah was there for 2 years, and that was when she developed an interest in acting. The school often had companies that organized stage plays for students visiting them.
To polish her acting skills, Susannah joined the 'Guildhall School of Music and Drama' and graduated in 2006. 'Guildhall' provided her the opportunity to deliver stage performances on a larger scale. Susannah played several classic characters, such as ‘Trinculo’ in 'The Tempest' (directed by Patsy Rodenburg) and ‘Myrrah’ in 'Tales from Ovid' (directed by Christian Burgess).
Six months before performing as a regular at the 'National Theatre,' Susannah worked as an attendant there and sold ice cream in the foyer. She often sneaked out in her breaks just to watch the actors rehearse and perform on the 'Olivier' stage.
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Susannah’s first professional role was that of ‘Rosa’ in the revival of Tennessee Williams's 'The Rose Tattoo.' She was cast to play the daughter of the character played by Zoë Wanamaker. The play was directed by Nicholas Hytner, who assumed charge after the first director, Steven Pimlott, had an untimely death.
She was cast in two more plays in 2007, both directed by Nicholas. However, those two plays were considered as her final-year projects, and she was later granted a valid degree. That year, Susannah appeared as ‘Polya’ in 'Philistines' and as ‘Hero’ in 'Much Ado about Nothing.' She was also part of the 'National Theater' production 'The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other' in 2008.
Susannah simultaneously made her TV debut, as ‘Kate Hardcastle’ in the 2008 TV movie version of the comedy play 'She Stoops to Conquer' by Oliver Goldsmith. She also made an appearance as ‘Sonja Hokberg’ in an episode of the British series 'Wallander.'
She continued making appearances in TV series such as 'The Bill,' 'Doctor Who,' 'Comedy Lab,' and 'Midsomer Murders.' Susannah had a brief recurring role as ‘Chloe’ in the 'Channel 4' sitcom 'Pete versus Life.'
Her performance as ‘Petra’ in the play 'An Enemy of the People,' staged at the 'Sheffield Crucible' in 2010, earned her an 'Ian Charleson Award Commendation.' That year, she made her first big-screen appearance, as ‘Jas’ in the crime thriller '18.104.22.168.' She also appeared as ‘Debbie’ in the opera-themed comedy '1st Night' and played ‘Annie’ in the short 'Watching.'
Susannah had an incredible experience playing the classic character of ‘Portia,’ the protagonist of 'The Merchant of Venice,' first at the 'Royal Shakespeare Theatre' in 2011 and then at the 'Almeida Theatre' in 2014. The latter appearance earned Susannah her second 'Ian Charleson Award.' Her “faultless American accent” was highly appreciated by British theater director and producer Michael Grandage.
Another 'Almeida Theatre' production that Susannah did was the musical 'American Psycho' (December 2013), in which she played ‘Evelyn Williams.’
She appeared as ‘Dawn’ in the British comedy–horror film 'Kill Keith.' Susannah’s last 'National Theatre' performance to date has been in 'The Beaux' Stratagem' in 2015. The play featured her as ‘Mrs. Sullen,’ a witty, sexually alive feminist trapped in an unhappy marriage.
Around that time, she was more active in TV productions and made a bunch of single-episode appearances. Susannah played the role of ‘Emma’ in six episodes of the 'BBC One' sitcom 'I Want My Wife Back.'
Meanwhile, Susannah ventured as a voice artist, too, and lent her voice to the character ‘Amy Simpson’ in the second, third, and fourth installments of the open-world racing video game 'Forza Horizon.' She also voiced ‘Shani’ in the 2015 action role-playing game 'The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.'
In 2016, Susannah was seen as ‘Brooke’ in the 'CBS' sitcom 'The Great Indoors.' She was featured as ‘Sandra’ in four episodes of the 'Channel 4' sitcom 'High & Dry.' In 2018, Susannah played ‘Margery Pinchwife’ in Wycherley's 'The Country Wife,' staged at the 'Minerva Theatre,' Chichester.
In 2019, Susannah appeared as ‘Jennie Gresham’ in six episodes of the 'BBC One' comedy 'This Time with Alan Partridge,' along with Steve Coogan.
Family & Personal Life
Susannah had previously dated her 'Wallander' co-star Tom Hiddleston. They broke up in November 2011.
Growing up, she was highly influenced by the 'Royal Shakespeare Company' plays that her school would arrange for the students. She cherishes the memories of watching 'The Tempest,' set on a huge moving boat, and 'The Taming of the Shrew' with Rory Kinnear.
Acting was not always Susannah’s first choice of career. She initially wanted to become a veterinary nurse, as she is an ardent animal lover. She enjoys spending time rescuing stray cats and mending squirrels.
She idolizes Juliet Stevenson, Julie Walters, Jessica Hynes, Julia Davis,
At ‘Guildhall,' Susannah was introduced to the 'National Theatre' head of casting, Wendy Spon, who later cast her in the role of an Italian girl despite the tanned look she had got from her Thailand vacation.