Barclay in 2012
(1984-10-24) 24 October 1984
Emily Barclay was born in Plymouth to a General practitioner and a landscape designer, and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, where she went to an all-girls school and attended Saturday morning drama classes. At the age of nine, Barclay played Hamlet in a school production and decided to become an actress. At the age of 13, she got herself an agent, and supported herself between TV movies by working in a video store.
Diana Rowan (the same casting agent who discovered Anna Paquin, Keisha Castle-Hughes, and Jonathan Taylor Thomas) discovered Barclay in a school play and cast her as Celia in 2004’s In My Father’s Den, that rose the actress to prominence. For that film, Barclay won Most Promising Newcomer at the 2005 British Independent Film Awards. She followed by moving to Australia – while continuing part-time with her degree in English and gender studies at the University of Auckland – for a role in the critically acclaimed 2006 black comedy Suburban Mayhem directed by Paul Goldman, for which she collected an AFI Award for Best Actress.
Barclay’s performance also lead to an invitation to her first stage performance, on Neil Armfield‘s 2009 production of Gethsemane in Sydney. Armfield later indicated Barclay to Lee Lewis, who cast her in the play That Face. In 2011, she performed in another Belvoir production, The Seagull, and acted opposite Geoffrey Rush in the Melbourne Theatre Company‘s The Importance of Being Earnest. In 2012, Barclay performed opposite Hollywood actors Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin in This Is Our Youth, returned to Belvoir with Strange Interlude and debuted at London’s Young Vic performing on Three Sisters.
Barclay is currently represented by United Agents.
She has cited her favourite actor as being Ewen Leslie.
The actress has had an active involvement in animal rights, working with the organisation Save Animals From Exploitation in anti-cruelty campaigns, including having posters put in her room in In My Fathers Den; she is a vegan.
In 2006, Barclay became an ambassador for Australian animal rights group Voiceless, the animal protection institute. “I’m not against people who eat meat but I’d like them to know what happens in factory farms where highly intelligent animals live horrific lives.”
|2001||No One Can Hear You||Amy Burchall|
|2004||In My Father’s Den||Celia Steimer||British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer
New Zealand Screen Award for Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
|2006||Suburban Mayhem||Katrina Skinner||AACTA Award for Best Leading Actress
IF Award for Best Actress
|2009||Prime Mover||Melissa / Calendar Girl|
|2010||Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole||Gylfie (voice)|
|2012||Mr. Pip||Australian teacher|
|2016||The Light Between Oceans||Gwen Potts|
|1998||Shortland Street||Kelly McKinley||TV series|
|1999||Twist in the Tale, AA Twist in the Tale||Alison Bradley||“The Duellists”, “A Ghost of Our Own”|
|2001||Mercy Peak||Hayley Borden||“Her Secret Passion”|
|2004||Deceit||Katie McCarthy||TV film|
|2006||Silence, TheThe Silence||Evelyn Hutchison||TV film|
|2009||Piece of My Heart||Young Flora||TV film
New Zealand Film and TV Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in General Television
|2010||Lowdown||Abi Hart||“Hart of Darkness”|
|2015-17||Glitch||Sarah Hayes||Regular role|
|2015-16||Please Like Me||Ella||Main role|
|Year||Title||Role||Notes and awards|
|2011||The Seagull||Masha||Nominated – 2012 Sydney Theatre Award: Best Actress in a Supporting Role of a Mainstage Production|
|The Importance of Being Earnest||Cecily|
|2012||This Is Our Youth||Jessica|