You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Antonia Campbell-Hughes: Shined in ‘Star’

Berlin Film Festival: Shooting Stars 2012

Even as Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw smoldered in Jane Campion’s “Bright Star,” a breakout performance was happening in the margins. As the Brawnes’ illiterate housemaid Abigail in the pic, Antonia Campbell-Hughes quietly stole most of her scenes — her performance earning critical raves and a nomination at the 2011 Irish Film and Television Academy Awards.

For the then-27-year-old actress, it didn’t come a moment too soon: “I’d actually been working for quite a long time at that point,” she says, “but mostly in British TV comedy (BBC sitcoms ‘Lead Balloon’ and ‘The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle’) — and really quite old-school TV comedy at that. Which to be honest is not a world I knew all that much about; we never watched much TV in our house. And I suppose I felt a bit … well, ‘stuck’ is the wrong word, because I certainly wasn’t ungrateful to be working — and the people were wonderful. But I did start to wonder if I’d ever get to make movies.

“I grew up loving arthouse cinema, so the chance to work with Jane Campion was obviously something I jumped at. It wasn’t a big part — yet people seemed to warm to Abigail, for some reason, which was really unexpected and gratifying. And suddenly I started to get these other offers.”

She’s since appeared in Alexandra McGuinness’ B&W dramedy “Lotus Eaters,” and Rebecca Daly’s thriller “The Other Side of Sleep,” which saw her return to Cannes; she recently wrapped Kieran Evans’ “Kelly + Victor.” “I’ve continued to work with young directors, and young women, in particular, who, oddly enough, remind me of Jane. She helped turn my career to exactly where I wanted it to go.”

Return to the Berlin Preview >>

More Scene

  • HBO Presents-Night of Too Many Stars

    Jon Stewart, Other A-List Comics Skip Over Louis C.K. at 'Night of Too Many Stars'

    Even as Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw smoldered in Jane Campion’s “Bright Star,” a breakout performance was happening in the margins. As the Brawnes’ illiterate housemaid Abigail in the pic, Antonia Campbell-Hughes quietly stole most of her scenes — her performance earning critical raves and a nomination at the 2011 Irish Film and Television Academy […]

  • Variety Hitmakers Brunch

    Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Hailee Steinfeld Honored at Inaugural Variety Hitmakers Event

    Even as Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw smoldered in Jane Campion’s “Bright Star,” a breakout performance was happening in the margins. As the Brawnes’ illiterate housemaid Abigail in the pic, Antonia Campbell-Hughes quietly stole most of her scenes — her performance earning critical raves and a nomination at the 2011 Irish Film and Television Academy […]

  • The 'Runaways' Praise Series' Diversity at

    'Marvel's Runaways' Stars Praise Series' Diversity at Hulu Premiere

    Even as Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw smoldered in Jane Campion’s “Bright Star,” a breakout performance was happening in the margins. As the Brawnes’ illiterate housemaid Abigail in the pic, Antonia Campbell-Hughes quietly stole most of her scenes — her performance earning critical raves and a nomination at the 2011 Irish Film and Television Academy […]

  • 'The Shape of Water' film premiere

    Guillermo del Toro Calls 'The Shape of Water' a New Type of 'Beauty and the Beast'

    Even as Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw smoldered in Jane Campion’s “Bright Star,” a breakout performance was happening in the margins. As the Brawnes’ illiterate housemaid Abigail in the pic, Antonia Campbell-Hughes quietly stole most of her scenes — her performance earning critical raves and a nomination at the 2011 Irish Film and Television Academy […]

  • Girls Inc. hosts the 2017 LA

    Warner Bros. TV Exec Calls for End to Sexual Harassment: 'Enough Is Enough'

    Even as Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw smoldered in Jane Campion’s “Bright Star,” a breakout performance was happening in the margins. As the Brawnes’ illiterate housemaid Abigail in the pic, Antonia Campbell-Hughes quietly stole most of her scenes — her performance earning critical raves and a nomination at the 2011 Irish Film and Television Academy […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content