Jessica Henwick

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Jessica Henwick
Born (1992-08-30) 30 August 1992 (age 30)
Surrey, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 2010–present

Jessica Yu Li Henwick (born 30 August 1992) is an English actress. She is the first actress of East Asian descent to play the lead role in a British television series.[1][2][3]

Early life

Henwick was born and raised in Surrey, the daughter of a Singaporean Chinese mother and a Zambian-English father.[4] She trained at Redroofs Theatre School and the National Youth Theatre.[5]

Career

In June 2009, it was announced that Henwick had been cast in the lead role of Bo for the BBC show Spirit Warriors.[6] For the role, Henwick trained in wushu with martial arts choreographer Jude Poyer.[7] The show was nominated for several awards, including the Broadcast Awards 2011.[8]

In early 2013, Henwick made her professional theatre debut in the international premiere of Running on the Cracks, based on the book by Julia Donaldson. Allan Radcliffe of The Times praised her "excellent" and "understated" performance,[9] while the Guardian wrote, "with tremendous physical presence, Henwick captures the sense of adolescent righteousness, passion and confusion of a girl trying to create order in an unfair universe."[10] Theatre critic Joyce McMillan wrote that Henwick was "outstanding as Leo".[11]

Later that year she was cast as Jane Jeong Trenka in the drama Obsession: Dark Desires, which aired January 2014. The adaptation details Trenka's stalking in Minnesota, 1991, which she details in her book The Language of Blood.[12] Henwick also joined the cast of Silk as new barrister pupil Amy. She reprised her role for the spin-off radio series Silk: The Clerks' Room.[13]

In 2015 Henwick joined the cast of the HBO series Game of Thrones in Season 5 as Nymeria Sand, with Oscar-nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers playing her sisters. The process included six months of training to use a traditional bullwhip.[14]

Henwick played the X-wing pilot Jess Pava in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Her full name is established as Jessika "Testor" Pava in the spin-off novel The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure, which establishes her is an admirer of Luke Skywalker.[15][16] Her character has become extremely popular within the Star Wars fandom.[17]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2014 Balsa Wood Scotty Short film
2015 Dragonfly Paula Reid
2015 The Heart of the Forest
2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Jess Testor[18] Character also called Jessika Pava.

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2009–2010 Spirit Warriors Bo Season 1
2012 The Thick of It Charlotte Season 4
2014 Obsession: Dark Desires Jane Jeong Trenka Season 1
2014 Silk Amy Lang Season 3
2014 Lewis Chloe Season 8
2015–present Game of Thrones Nymeria Sand Season 5-6

Stage

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Running on the Cracks Leo National tour

Radio

Year Title Role Notes
2011–2012 North by Northamptonshire Helen BBC Radio Four
Sony Radio Award Nomination
2013 Monday to Friday Julie BBC Radio Scotland
2014–2015 Silk: The Clerks Room Amy Lang Seasons 1 & 2

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey Enu / Hanna Roth Episode 2, 3, 4

References

  1. "New Statesman". Newstatesman.com. Retrieved 4 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Reflections on Actors: Minority Identity Actors in the Creative Industries of Contemporary Britain Simone Knox / University of Reading - Flow". Flowtv.org. Retrieved 4 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Actors of Colour". Media Diversified. Retrieved 4 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Where exactly are my British Chinese role models?". New States Man. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "BBC One - Silk - Amy Lang". BBC. Retrieved 16 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Bo and the Spirit World casting news". ScreenTerrier. 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Press Office – Spirit Warriors press pack: cast interviews". BBC. Retrieved 18 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Broadcast Awards 2011: shortlist announced | News | Broadcast". Broadcastnow.co.uk. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Twitter / helencadbury: Hurray! @katieposner @JHenwick". Twitter.com. Retrieved 18 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Mark Fisher (18 February 2013). "Running on the Cracks – review | Stage". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Theatre review: Running On The Cracks, Tron, Glasgow". The Scotsman. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Shows". Crime and Investigation. Retrieved 4 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "TV drama Silk in radio spin-off". BBC News. 20 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Daggers drawn: The Sand sisters vs Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones Season 5, The Telegraph, Calcutta, India, 29 March 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  15. http://makingstarwars.net/2015/07/meet-star-wars-the-force-awakens-new-female-hot-shot-pilot/
  16. http://makingstarwars.net/2015/11/new-tv-spot-reveals-jessika-pava-and-nien-nunb-in-star-wars-the-force-awakens/
  17. http://www.dailydot.com/geek/star-wars-force-awakens-jessika-pava-pilot-fandom/
  18. Lovett, Jamie (26 November 2014). "Star Wars: The Force Awakens Adds Jessica Henwick To Cast". Comicbook.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links