At 28, Vanessa Kirby is having a busy year: She’s starring in Netflix’s first U.K.-produced series, “The Crown,” as well as three films — romance “Me Before You,” actioner “Kill Command” and period drama “Genius.” On stage, she follows a February turn in “Uncle Vanya” in London with “A Streetcar Named Desire,” now in previews ahead of its New York opening at St Ann’s Warehouse.
EARLY INSPIRATION: Kirby attended local plays as a teen, but it wasn’t until she saw a National Theatre production of “The Cherry Orchard” with Vanessa Redgrave that she fully comprehended her passion for acting. “I got so drawn into it that I left thinking, ‘I wanna do what they’re doing somehow — tell stories in some kind of way that might move people,’ ” she says.
ROYAL RIDE: In “The Crown,” which centers on the British royal family after WWII, Kirby plays Princess Margaret, the sister of Queen Elizabeth II, who fell in love with divorced war hero Peter Townsend but was forced by the government and the royals to end the affair. “We had the most wonderful time exploring that love story,” she says. “And it kind of broke my heart and made me completely fall in love with both of them.”
MEDIUM COOL: Her focus is on working with people who inspire her, and on portraying a wide range of characters. “It’s about experiencing a different life or learning something new about myself or the human condition.”