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Strike Lethal White: Holliday Grainger’s career-defining roles, from The Capture to Animals

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Hollie Richardson
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Holliday Grainger TV roles

Holliday Grainger is back this weekend with Lethal White, which is the fourth season of JK Rowling’s Strike series. To celebrate the brilliant actor’s return to the screen, here are seven of her best roles so far, from period dramas to tense thrillers.

Strike is the BBC crime drama series based on the detective novels written by JK Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith (The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm and Career of Evil). This weekend, fans are looking forward to the fourth season – based on Lethal White – hitting screens at 9pm on Sunday night (30 August).

Holliday Grainger plays clever and competent Robin Ellacott, who is half of the series’ investigative double-act with Tom Burke’s Cormoran Strike. Quite frankLy: it’s perfect casting.

Following the huge success of her recent role in BBC surveillance thriller The Capture, people (including us) are fast becoming obsessed with Grainger’s projects. This means that new fans have two big questions: 

Who is Holliday Grainger

And what TV shows and films has Grainger been in before? 

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We’re predicting big things for the Manchester-born actor, especially after her refreshingly raw performance in last year’s indie hit film Animals

So we decided to take a look back at all the shows and films that she’s absolutely nailed her roles in. 

  • Great Expectations, 2012

    Holliday Grainger in Great Expectations.
    Holliday Grainger in Great Expectations.

    Like many before her, Grainger’s breakthrough role was thanks to an adaptation of a Charles Dickens book. Starring alongside Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes, she played Estella in Great Expectations, which she has described as being her perfect role. 

    “In the novel you never see it from Estella’s point of view, throughout it’s like you’re watching her. And so it’s only really at the end that you figure out exactly why she’s become who she is,” she told the Irish Independent

    “It’s such a complex history of emotional damage really, and that kind of fascinates me. It’s such a deep level of hurt and anger and how she’s managed to restrain that and still maintain that kind of composure, I’ve always found her fascinating.”

  • Cinderella, 2015

    Holliday Grainger in Cinderella.
    Holliday Grainger in Cinderella.

    Grainger’s next big film role came in 2015’s Cinderella as one of the step sisters, Anastasia, alongside actors Cate Blanchett and Lily James

    “I’ve had a lot of fun in my posh period bitchy corsets,” she told What’s On TV, talking about the role. “I enjoy playing the slightly haughty, flirty bitches. It’s an outlet for something I don’t like to be in real life.”

  • The Capture, 2019

    The Capture
    Holliday Grainger in The Capture.

    Last year, Grainger confused the whole nation in her new BBC surveillance thriller, The Capture. She played the ambitious and curious DI Rachel Carey, working on solving a kidnapping case in a world of false news and fake evidence. 

    Fans of the show will be excited to hear that it’s been commissioned for a second season, which Grainger has been confirmed to star in.

  • Patrick Melrose, 2018

    Holliday Grainger in Patrick Melrose.
    Holliday Grainger in Patrick Melrose.

    Grainger’s fabulous character, Bridget Watson Scott, in the Showtime series Patrick Melrose is a mood. The show is based on a series of semi-autobiographical novels by Edward St Aubyn. Bridget is the hippy-turned-socialite who ends up (unhappily) marrying into money. Patrick (Benedict Cumberbatch) encounters her at various stages in their lives throughout the series. 

    She also knows how to rock a red dress. 

  • Animals, 2019

    Animals film sex scene with Holliday Grainger
    Holliday Grainger in Animals.

    Grainger starred in the film adaptation of Emma Jane Unsworth’s book, Animals, about two party-loving friends who are approaching 30. Writer Laura (Grainger) meets a straight-laced pianist who quickly lures her into a calmer way of life, which causes tension with her best friend Tyler (Alia Shawkat). Many women in their 30s have related to the nuanced highs and lows of the story. And, perhaps surprisingly, the excruciating oral sex scene is something that a lot of us can relate to

  • Any Human Heart, 2010

    Holliday Grainger in Any Human Heart.
    Holliday Grainger in Any Human Heart.

    Any Human Heart was a Channel 4 drama miniseries based on the 2002 novel of the same name by William Boyd. 

     It follows the story of novelist Logan Mountstuart’s tumultuous and unpredictable journey through the 20th century, with Sam Claflin, Matthew Macfadyen and Jim Broadbent playing the protagonist at different parts of his life. 

    Grainger briefly stars as Mountstuart’s first lover, farm girl Tess Scabius.

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Image: Getty, BBC, Showtime, Disney, Channel 4

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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