TV & Movies

6 Emerald Fennell TV Shows & Films You Need To Watch ASAP

She acts, she writes, she directs, she wins Oscars. Is there anything the Promising Young Woman creator can’t do?

by Kay Leong
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 25: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this handout photo provided by A.M.P.A.S...
Handout/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Emerald Fennell is a true polymath. She acts, she writes, she directs. And she does all of those things really well. Just a few days ago, Fennell won Best Original Screeplay at the 93rd Academy Awards for her film Promising Young Woman. The film is the latest in the revenge movie genre and follows Carey Mulligan as Cassie, a woman seeking to avenge the death of her best friend, who was raped. It was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director.

It’s not only a significant career achievement for Fennell, but a historical one — she’s one of only seven women and the first British woman to earn a nomination for directing. But before her Oscars success, Fennell has been a stalwart of British TV & cinema The Crown and Call the Midwife and also made appearances in films such as Vita & Virginia and Anna Karenina. So if you fancy recapping her career highlights before she treats us to her next project, here’s a look at Fennell’s best work before Promising Young Woman.

The Crown

Prior to her Promising Young Woman acclaim, Fennell graced our screens as Camilla Shand, the “chain-smoking serial snogger” opposite Josh O’Connor’s Prince Charles. Fennell was riveting as the ‘other woman’ in Charles and Diana’s relationship. And, in an interview with American Vogue, she revealed had her eyes on the role years before she was cast. “I did say, years ago, to my agent, that if they would want, at some point, to portray Camilla, I’d love to go in for it, because I have always felt that she might be someone who maybe hasn’t been treated very fairly,” she said.

Watch The Crown on Netflix.

Killing Eve

Stepping in the shoes of the inimitable Phoebe Waller-Bridge is not easy, yet Fennell pulled it off with panache, as the showrunner of Season 2 of Killing Eve. Evidently, her writing and directing chops were there for us to appreciate long before Promising Young Woman. For this she earned two Primetime Emmy award nominations.

Watch Killing Eve on BBC iPlayer.

Call The Midwife

Prior to The Crown, Fennell’s best known starring role was as nurse Patsy Mount in series 3 to 6 of BBC’s period drama Call the Midwife. Set in the late 1950s and 1960s, the drama centres around a group of nurse midwives working in East London and is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, a nurse and midwife who worked at an Anglican convent in the East End. Fennell’s character Patsy is the romantic partner of another nurse Delia Busby. She has previously said that the show was “still one of the most incredible experiences” of her life.

Watch Call the Midwife on BBC iPlayer or Netflix.

Vita & Virginia

Starring Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki and Isabella Rossellini, Vita & Virginia charts the love affair between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. Fennell plays Vanessa Bell, the English painter and interior designer who was Woolf’s sister and also a member of the Bloomsbury set.

Watch Vita & Virginia on Amazon Prime.


Fennell stars as Ada Lovelace, in the episode “The Green-Eyed Monster” from Series 2 of ITV’s Victoria. In the episode, Lovelace ignites jealousy in Jenna Coleman’s Queen Victoria after Victoria sees Albert (played by Tom Hughes) showing affection towards her.

Watch Victoria on BritBox.

Anna Karenina

In Joe Wright’s 2012 adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s iconic novel, Fennell takes on the minor role of Princess Merkalova, an acquaintance of the titular character Anna Karenina. The story revolves around Anna, played by Keira Knightley, as she sacrifices all to be with Count Vronsky, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Watch Anna Karenina on Netflix or Amazon Prime.