Who Is Alias on 'Labyrinth'? Actress Jessica Brown Findlay Should Definitely Look Familiar

The first half of the TV adaptation of Kate Mosse’s novel Labyrinth aired on the CW Thursday night as a miniseries, marking the return of Jessica Brown Findlay to our small screens. Prior to Labyrinth, her most recent and memorable appearance on television left us a little traumatized, so we’re willing to accept that perhaps you simply erased her from your memory. We all have to cope in our own ways. And that’s why you’re here now — you recognized her face but couldn’t place her. And that's also where we come in.

Brown Findlay started acting after her intended career as a dancer was ended by an ankle injury. She spoke about finding the courage to pursue another profession during an interview with the Independent, saying:

I loved it… Then I injured my ankle, had three operations on it, and the last one went wrong. I was told I would never dance again. The disappointment was huge, but I was lucky: I had a great group of friends outside the world who encouraged me to discover who I was without the label ‘ballet dancer’.

With acting now her main outlet for expression, what do her acting roles tell us about the 24-year-old English woman?

The Past Suits Her Just Fine

Most of Brown Findlay’s characters are head-strong females in period pieces. On Downton Abbey (spoilers ahead!), which unfolds during the early half of the 20th century, she portrayed Lady Sybil Crawley, who fought against the social limitations of the time and boldly married someone her family considered below her station. Crawley died unexpectedly and caused widespread mourning on par with the trauma from the recent loss of Will on The Good Wife. Also, early this year she starred in the film Winter Tale with Colin Ferrell, portraying the 19th century character Beverly Penn, and in Labyrinth, she is a 13th century Frenchwoman.

She’s Not Afraid to Take Risks

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Her death on Downton Abbey was so shocking because it seemed like her character had infinite possibilities in terms of storyline. But the actress actually requested to leave the show to prevent from being type-casted. That boldness also expresses itself in the roles she picks. Talking about her decision to appear in the BBC’s adaptation of Jamaica Inn to the Telegraph, she said:

Well I wasn’t looking for anything fluffy [after Downton Abbey]. So often you read a script and the women are just sitting there reading a book or doing a tapestry. But these women go out and do something. There is a fearlessness to them.

She’s Used To Standing Out

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Every film and series the actress stars in may not be a winner, but the consensus is consistently the same: she is awesome. Critics praised her role in 2011’s coming-of-age dramedy Albatross. There is little that goes right in Winter’s Tale ’s convoluted plot but her character was a highlight.

With confidence that she can handle whatever the future holds, look for her to continue to try new and different things in acting. She told the Independent:

…Ever since I had my operation on my ankle, I’ve always felt it best to trust my gut, and to try new things. I have so much more to learn in this industry. The unknown excites me.

Be sure to catch Jessica Brown Findlay one last time in the second half of Labyrinth on The CW on Friday night. She is slated to appear in the drama Lullaby alongside Amy Adams and Terrence Howard later this year, and in the horror flick Frankenstein in 2015 with James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe.

Image: ITV