Britain might not have a film and TV industry that matches America’s Hollywood. Still, it has created some of the biggest fantasy franchises ever, from the Harry Potter series to The Chronicles of Narnia. Both series, built on child actors, have produced some of the most popular faces on the planet. A few of them have become adult stars, like Georgie Henley, who famously played Lucy Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia.
She starred in all three movies, to critical acclaim. Now an adult, Georgie has forged her own path, starring in theatre plays, films, and TV shows that reflect the intelligent mind that brought her into the limelight as a child. From her personal life to her career post-Narnia, here is the life of Georgie Henley today.
Her Drama Teacher Helped Secure Her Role in The Chronicles of Narnia
Georgina Helen Henley was born on July 9, 1995, in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, England. She was born to British parents – Mike and Helen Henley. Growing up, she attended Moorefield School for Girls before proceeding to Bradford Grammar school.
Upon graduation, she went on to acquire a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Cambridge in 2016. During her school days, Georgie joined a local drama theatre group called Upstagers and performed popular folklore stage. Some of her popular plays include The Pied Piper, Babushka, and A Christmas Story.
While she was at Moorfield, Georgie Henley’s drama roles began the process that led to her debut onscreen as Lucy Pevensie. At the time, Georgie, who had been acting in her school plays, presumed she was auditioning for a local pantomime play in Bradford.
After realizing what she was truly in for, her excitement was met with a temporary reluctance by her parents. They were worried about their daughter’s wellbeing, knowing fully well what became of some child actors. However, with her sister’s help, Georgie secured the role of a lifetime and became an icon to generations of fantasy fans.
Georgie Henley’s Filmography and Her Most Successful Works
In 2005, Georgie Henley opened a wardrobe, and the world was introduced to the world of Narnia. The film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, was the first onscreen role of the actress and the first of a successful trilogy.
The first film, released in December 2005, was a global success, making $745 million at the global box office. Georgie Henley returned to both sequels, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, in 2008 and 2010, respectively.
Both films grossed more than $800 million combined, giving young Georgie Henley a cumulative box office return of $1.5 billion for her first three movies. In between the trilogy, she made only one appearance, as Young Jane Eyre in the miniseries, Jane Eyre. Offscreen, she played Jill, in the stage play, Babes in the Wood.
After the third film in 2010, Georgie Henley did not appear onscreen until 2014, presumably because of her return to college. Since graduation and return to onscreen work, she has appeared in a couple of films, and a TV show.
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For a while Halloween for me was always synonymous with feeling left out at school and ‘not pretty enough’ or ‘tough enough’, as well as bored kids running around in masks scaring old people. But now Halloween always makes me think of a film I made when I was 17 called The Sisterhood of Night. It’s a story about girls and witches and bad-ass bitches. It’s about rumour and hysteria and pain and friendship and technology and desire and truth. At the time of filming I was having a really hard time at school and had ingested the misogynistic idea that a room full of women was a ‘bitchy / catty’ place to be. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. I spent two months surrounded by fucking incredible women and girls, telling a story we all believed in and making magic together. Playing Mary Warren and working with these people was so special for me. Kara, Willa, and Olivia were all around 14 when we were filming and for the first time I could be an older sister rather than always being the youngest on set. Mary understood her power and playing her was a challenge every day because I was so unaware of my own power. And sometimes I still am. But the confidence and knowledge of myself that being involved with this film gave me is immeasurable. The phrase ‘witch hunt’ has become overused in recent discourse, appropriated by cowardly predators who have used it to discredit movements such as MeToo and Time’sUp. What they care to ignore is that witch hunts happened because society was scared of female power. In TSON, the girls are subjected to intense public scrutiny, ridicule, malice: their secret makes them powerful in a way which is terrifying to society. They are not heroes. But they are teenage girls navigating everything the world throws at them in the best way they can and if that isn’t fucking heroic I don’t know what is. FUCK THE NOISE. TREASURE YOURSELF. KNOW YOUR POWER. Also Caryn thank you and I love you, but you already know that. 📷 @caryn7 and @oliviabee ✨
Henley starred alongside Abigail Breslin in the crime drama Perfect Sisters in 2014. The film, however, was poorly received. The following year, she played Mary Warren in Sisterhood of the Night, a mystery thriller. Unlike Perfect Sisters, the film received mixed reviews.
Her Later Works and Career as an Adult
Since becoming a full-time actress, Georgie Henley has had limited onscreen appearances. One of the reasons is the actress’s insistence on playing characters with depth. After her double movie roles in 2014, she did not appear in a film or TV show until 2017, in the comedy-drama, Access All Areas. In it, she played the lead character, Natalie, but the film was a critical flop.
In 2019, she began appearing as Princess Meg Tudor in the miniseries, The Spanish Princess. It was her first role in a TV series since she was a child actress. She played Meg Tudor across six episodes, and her performance, along with the show, received positive reviews.
Asides from movies, Henley has appeared in stage plays as well. In 2013, she appeared in We will Rock You where she portrayed Scaramouche. In her varsity days, Henley featured in Woody Allen’s Play it again, Sam; The Penelopiad written by Margaret Atwood; and Anthony Burgess’s The Trojan Women: A Clockwork Orange, etc. In 2018, she played five characters in the Southwark Playhouse play, Angry.
Perks She has Earned from Acting
So far, Georgie Henley, albeit a popular face, is still a rising actress. However, thanks to her child acting days, she has received thirteen award nominations for her performance in The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy. She has four nominations from the Young Artist Awards, three of which are individual awards.
The English actress won only one of them, for Best Performance in a Feature Film. Other awards and nominations in her resume include National Movie Awards, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, Critics Choice Award, and Online Film & Television Association awards, among others. She won an additional two, for her performance in the fantasy series.
Additionally, The Chronicles of Narnia has made her rich. Thanks to the films’ commercial success, her salary, and royalties, the actress has an estimated net worth of $6 million. Aside from money and awards, Georgie has also written and directed her own projects. She directed the musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, After Seymour and the short film, Tide, which she also wrote.
What to Learn About Georgie Henley’s Personal Life
With fame, especially one gotten via the entertainment industry comes a public interest in your personal life. Georgie Henley is not immune to this. Over the years, we have learned a few things about the life of The Spanish Princess star outside of her screen work.
Her Sister is also an Actress
The amazing actress came from a conservative English family. She was born to Mike and his wife, Helen. She grew up with her two older sisters, Rachael and Laura. Her sister, Rachel is also an actress, best known for playing the older version of Lucy Pevensie’s character in British-American fantasy film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Henley also credits Rachel for convincing her parents to allow Georgie star in The Chronicles of Narnia. According to Georgie, convincing her parents was a major contributor to her success and fame as an actress. Outside of playing her sister’s older version onscreen, she has also appeared in films like The Code, Perfect Sisters, and Confession.
She Has Dated a Couple of Actors
Georgie’s love life is something many have gotten curious about since she got old enough to date. Although the actress has been in a few relationships, she is yet to make it down the aisle. Henley had a brief relationship with a Canadian actor named Keanu Pires back in 2009. The two were together for a few months before going their separate ways.
Before their relationship, the actress reportedly dated the American actor and singer named Luke Benward from 2006 to 2008. Luke is best known for his role as Billy Forester in the film How to Eat Fried Worms.
Just recently, rumors began to fly around that the stunning actress is dating her Chronicles of Narnia co-star, Skandar Keynes. The news saw the light of the day shortly after the pair was spotted recently sharing a kiss. However, it is still unclear what the true status of things are between both young TV stars.