A Passage North
by Anuk Arudpragasam
2021 Booker Prize Judge
Natascha McElhone was a Booker Prize judge in 2021. She is a film and theatre actor.
Natascha McElhone established herself as a leading actor when she left drama school to play the lead in her first film, Merchant Ivory’s Surviving Picasso, opposite Anthony Hopkins. She quickly followed this with Peter Weir’s film, The Truman Show; Alan J. Pakula’s The Devil’s Own, with Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford; and John Frankenheimer’s action epic Ronin, in which she co-starred with Robert De Niro.
She also played Rosalind to Kenneth Branagh’s Berowne in his musical version of William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. Her theatre credits include Richard III, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Cherry Orchard, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Honour and most recently Queen Anne for the RSC.
She also starred in the Golden Globe-winning Showtime series Californication and the Netflix show Designated Survivor, playing the First Lady, Alex Kirkman. She most recently appeared in The First co-starring Sean Penn, a Hulu/Ch 4 co-production, created by Beau Willimon. McElhone is currently shooting Halo, based on the video game franchise for Showtime (due for release 2021/22). Her independent films include Ladies in Lavender with Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Judi Dench, and the adaptation of John Banville’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Sea, co-starring with Rufus Sewell and Ciaran Hinds. She has three sons and lives in London.