Family & Companions
This talented, strawberry-blond British actress came to art-house audience's attention with her tour de force performance as a woman coping with the death of her lover (Alan Rickman) who seemingly is haunting her, in Anthony Minghella's charmingly offbeat "Truly, Madly, Deeply" (1991). In a role written expressly for her, the actress brought an enchanting wit to a part that required her to negotiate a wide range of emotions. The actress has further demonstrated her capabilities in a handful of other features and TV appearances.
After training at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Stevenson became a company member of the Royal Shakespeare Company where she rose quickly from small roles to leads. Critics often compared Stevenson with the late Dame Peggy Ashcroft, notably for her direct ability to communicate with an audience and her facility with such roles as Isabella in "Measure for Measure" and Rosalind in "As You Like It." She was stunning as the virtuous Madame de Tourvel in Christopher Hampton's version of "Les Liaisons Dangereuse" (opposite Alan Rickman as Valmont), but did not to travel to Broadway with the company. Stevenson went on to join the National Theatre where she further solidified her standing as one of Britain's best stage actresses, tackling roles from "Yerma" to "Hedda Gabler." She more than held her own opposite John Malkovich in the West End production of Lanford Wilson's "Burn This" (1990) and garnered some of her best notices in her award-winning portrayal of a victim of political torture who turns the tables on her tormentor in "Death and the Maiden" (1991). Once again, the actress was passed over for Broadway (Actors Equity would not grant her a work permit and the role eventually went to Glenn Close) and when Roman Polanski directed the 1994 film version, he cast Sigourney Weaver. She finally made her American stage debut in the L.A. production of "Scenes From an Execution" in 1993.
Stevenson had starred in the British TV series "Catherine Cookson's 'The Mallens'" for Granada TV in 1980 and won attention for her supporting work in "Life Story/Double Helix/The Race for the Double Helix" (BBC/A&E, 1987). Discerning American audiences also saw her fine portrayals of Nora in "A Doll's House" and in the title role of "The Politician's Wife" on PBS in 1992 and 1996 respectively.
The actress entered films as one of a trio of woman who share both the same name and a murderous streak in Peter Greenaway's fascinating "Drowning By Numbers" (1987; released in the USA in 1991). Screenwriter David Hare provided Stevenson with a fine role as another grief-stricken woman in "The Secret Rapture" (1993), directed by Howard Davies. She also scored as the manipulative Mrs. Elton in Douglas McGrath's winning adaptation of Jane Austen's "Emma" (1996).
Cast (Feature Film)
Special Thanks (Special)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Starred in the British TV series "Catherine Cookson's 'The Mallens'" (Granada TV)
Stage debut in "Other Worlds" at Royal Court Theatre
Co-starred with Alan Rickman in the stage adaptation of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses"
Had featured role in "Life Story/Double Helix/The Race for the Double Helix" (BBC; aired in the USA on Arts & Entertainment)
Film debut in Peter Greenaway's "Drowning by Numbers" (released in USA in 1991)
Portrayed "Hedda Gabler" in the West End
Co-starred in "Burn This" in the West End
Originated role of Paulina in Ariel Dorfman's "Death and the Maiden" on London Stage; not permitted to recreate role in USA
Breakthrough film role, Nina in "Truly, Madly, Deeply"; starred opposite Alan Rickman
Cast as Nora in TV adaptation of "A Doll's House" (shown on PBS in America)
American stage debut, the L.A. production of "Scenes from an Execution"
Starred in the film version of David Hare's "The Secret Rapture"
Had supporting role of Mrs Elton in Douglas McGrath's "Emma"
Headlined "The Politician's Wife" (aired in USA on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre")
Starred in the British TV-movie "Cider With Rosie"
Acted in the Royal Court Theatre production of "The Country" opposite Owen Teale
Played the mother in the Australian TV-movie "The Road from Coorain"; based on Jill Ker Conway's autobiography
Co-starred in "Mona Lisa Smile" with Julia Roberts and Kirsten Dunst
Starred opposite Jeremy Irons and Annette Bening in "Being Julia"
Cast in Anthony Minghella's ensemble "Breaking and Entering"
Reunites with director Doug McGrath for the Truman Capote biopic "Infamous"
Starred in the British film "Pierrepoint," directed by Adrian Shergold about the life of British executioner Albert Pierrepoint