The Girl Before’s Jessica Plummer Once Shared The Stage With Taylor Swift

Before acting, Plummer has a brief but eventful music career.

Jessica Plummer as Emma in 'The Girl Before'
BBC/42/Amanda Searle

There is a lot to look forward to with the British TV festive lineup. Not least BBE One’s new psychological thriller, The Girl Before. Based on the novel of the same name by JP Delaney, the plot follows Jane, a young woman who falls into a dark situation after moving into a new home built by enigmatic architect Edward. The secrets of the previous owner, Emma, will come to haunt Jane and pull apart her way of life.

Jane and Edward are played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo, respectively, while Jessica Plummer will play the mysterious Emma. Plummer has an impressive CV – including the UK’s biggest soap and even a music career – but what else is there to know about her?

Plummer bagged her first acting gig at age 21 when she appeared on Wizards vs Aliens. That same year, she joined girl group Neon Jungle, whose debut album hit number eight in the UK Album chart and they even performed alongside acts such as Jessie J and Taylor Swift.

On joining the group, Plummer told Country & Townhouse, “I never really considered myself good enough to be a singer. But I was invited to audition for the group, and I went on whim thinking, ‘Why not?’ The next thing I know I’m being signed by Sony.”

After the group disbanded in 2015, Plummer concentrated on her acting career. In 2017 she joined the cast of How To Talk To Girls At Parties alongside Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning.

However, it’s most likely you’ll recognise Plummer from her stint on the British soap opera Eastenders, where she appeared as Chantelle Atkins between 2019 and 2020. Her heartbreaking plot line – playing a domestic abuse victim who is eventually murdered at her husband’s hand – was a harrowing task. Speaking about this role, she told Country & Townhouse, “It was hard but as an actor I’m so grateful to have been able to do it as training – to be able to stretch myself and go to vulnerable places.”

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

She continued, “The main thing for me was that when people watched it, they saw a woman wanting to live – to save her life.”

After leaving the show, she was quickly swept up into I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here. Although a push out of her comfort zone, the show flung her into the next stage of her acting career – landing her biggest role yet: Emma.

“It was amazing being little old me on set with this amazing cast. That in itself made every day an absolute joy,’ she told Country & Townhouse.

As Plummer looks forward to the launch of the BBC series on December 19, she’s already got ambitions for the future. “I’d love to be the next Bond,” she told the publication. “Imagine how fun it would be to film all those stunts? I love anything fast and am a bit of an adrenaline junkie really. But who knows?”

The Girl Before will air on BBC One at 9 p.m. on Sunday, December 19.