Last year she was revered in Everything I Know About Love – the raunchy BBC mini-series inspired by Dolly Alderton’s best-selling memoir.
But rising star Bel Powley, 31, shows no signs of stopping after landing yet another incredible role as Miep Gies – the infamous guardian of Anne Frank’s diary who helped hide her Jewish family.
She is the main protagonist of A Small Light – an upcoming Disney+ series – with a star-studded cast including Peaky Blinders’ Joe Cole and Hollywood heavyweight Liev Schreiber.
And it’s not the only project she has in the pipeline for release this year, including a historical mini-series about the US Air Force, with a sci-fi romance project also said to be in the works.
Bel’s blossoming career isn’t the only highlight of her glamorous life. This summer will mark two years since her engagement to fellow actor Douglas Booth – who she met on the set of Mary Shelley in 2016.
Bel Powley, 31, shows no signs of stopping because as this spring she has landed yet another incredible role as Miep Gies
The star is also besties with Gemma Chan, with the pair often snapped at events together, and Emma Appleton – her co-star on Everything I Know About Love – with Lily James acting as her mentor as well as being a close friend.
Here, FEMAIL looks at how Bel became showbiz’s hottest property – from her early proclivity for the arts to a nationally beloved – and hilarious – portrayal of Princess Margaret.
A BORN STAR
Performing is in the blood for London native Bel Powley, daughter of actor Mark Powley and former dancer-turned-casting-director Janis Jaffa.
Although you might not recognise Mark’s name, there is a high chance you’ll know his face, for he has popped up in everything from The Bill and Casualty to Hollyoaks and Next Of Kin. He married Janis in 1989, though it is thought their marriage later broke down.
Their daughter Bel was raised in Shepherd’s Bush and began her acting career while still a pupil at Holland Park School.
Following a handful of smaller roles – including a part on The Bill – Bel landed a lead in CBBC action series M.I. High, about a team of undercover teenage spies juggling school life with their jobs as secret agents.
She received critical praise when, aged just 16, she appeared in Polly Stenham’s play Tusk Tusk at the Royal Court.
Performing is in the blood for Bel, daughter of actor Mark Powley and former dancer turned casting director Janis Jaffa, pictured at their wedding in 1989
Mark Powley, left, in TV show Life Of Riley. Although you might not recognise Mark’s name, there is you’ll know his face
She then appeared in the Broadway production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, which was seen by every casting director on the continent — one of whom cast her in the scorching coming-of-age gem Diary Of A Teenage Girl.
Despite her success, Bel insists that her parents’ career choices didn’t sway her inclinations for the arts.
In fact, she says it was quite the opposite, telling a recent interview in The Times that they had hoped she would attend university and get a ‘proper’ job.
Bel has once said she had a place at the University of Manchester – but in the end decided not to attend.
CEMENTED AS BRITISH SCREEN STAR
Bel’s first burst onto the scene was followed by a hilarious portrayal of Princess Margaret in A Royal Night Out, a picture that imagined what Princess Elizabeth and her sister got up to on VE Day.
The actress, who is engaged to The Riot Club actor Douglas Booth, tried her hand at a grown up spy drama in Amazon Originals Informer before being cast alongside Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston in award-winning Apple TV series, The Morning Show.
Bel plays Claire Conway, a researcher who beds the much older weatherman.
Before the coronavirus crisis, Bel had been in the U.S. filming the second season of the hit series.
Bel pictured as Margaret, Sarah Gadon as Elizabeth and Rupert Everett as King George VI – in A Royal Night Out
Bel plays Claire Conway, a researcher who beds the much older weatherman. Before the coronavirus crisis, Bel had been in the U.S. filming the second season of the hit series
She spent lockdown in East London, at the house she shares with Douglas.
The couple are thought to have met on the set of Mary Shelley, filmed in Dublin and Luxembourg in 2016.
In July of 2021, the couple shared enigmatic posts announcing they had taken their relationship to the next level.
Douglas’s post suggested he had proposed, while Powley referred to him as her ‘husband’.
During lockdown, the couple had been dedicating themselves to ‘cooking and eating’ – and watching old films, such as Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn, and Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand.
She spent lockdown in East London, at the house she shares with Douglas. The couple pictured together
Douglas’s post suggested he had proposed, while Powley referred to him as her ‘husband’. Both pictured in 2021
The couple are thought to have met on the set of Mary Shelley, filmed in Dublin and Luxembourg in 2016
BRUSHING ELBOWS WITH A-LISTERS
Bel has also starred opposite SNL star Pete Davidson in The King Of Staten Island.
She spent time living in the New York City borough to pick up the local dialect for her part in Judd Apatow’s film.
The actress has raved about her experience shooting Everything I Know About Love on Instagram, writing: ‘I have had an absolute blast shooting this beautiful, hilarious and unbelievably apt (millennial women get ready) show by the incredible @dollyalderton.
‘I couldn’t have wished for a better cast and crew to go on this journey with. @emmajappleton @marlisiu @aliyahodoffin I am so lucky to have worked with you, I love you all! @dollyalderton THANK YOU for trusting us. Stay tuned!!’
In October, Bel posted a snap of herself, Emma Appleton, Aliyah Hodoffin and Marli Siu – who all star in the show – posing in smiling snaps
Earlier this year, Bel shared two photos – one with her fiancé Douglas (left), and other of Gemma (right) – taken by Dominic Cooper, calling the fellow celebs her ‘favourite people’
Bel and her beau Douglas are thought to have met on set in 2016, and announced their engagement in 2021
And the cast still appears closer than ever.
In October, Bel posted a snap of herself, Emma Appleton, Aliyah Hodoffin and Marli Siu – who all star in the show – posing in smiling snaps on what looked to be a holiday; or perhaps, downtime for a shoot.
‘EIKAL ICONS HIT PRAGUE,’ Bel wrote in the caption. ‘I love you.’
Bel is also close friends with Lily James, with the two said to be part of the same North London social circle.
Bel has also starred SNL star Pete Davidson in The King Of Staten Island. The pair pictured together in the show
Bel (right) is also close friends with Lily James (pictured next to her and Jenna Coleman), with the two said to be part of the same North London social circle.
Bel has gone from one success to another since bursting onto the scene. Pictured with Reese Witherspoon in 2020
The rising star has been pictured looking glam at several red carpet events. Pictured in London in 2019
A source has previously told the Mail: ‘Lily and Bel are really good friends. As Bel becomes more and more in the public eye, Lily is there to help her. Of course, few know as well as Lily what it’s like to be talked about a lot.’
Also friendly with the star is Hollywood actress Gemma Chan, of Crazy Rich Asians fame, who often comments on Bel’s Instagram.
Earlier this year, Bel shared two photos – one with her fiancé Douglas, and other of Gemma – taken by Dominic Cooper, calling the fellow celebs her ‘favourite people’.
Bel’s most anticipated upcoming project is Disney+’s ‘A Small Light’, in which she plays Miep Gies.
Speaking to The Times, the star explained that the project was close to her heart – especially so because of her Jewish heritage – and that she felt honoured to portray such an important figure in history.
She added that she got the offer to play her on Holocaust Memorial Day – which felt ‘special’.
‘She was incredibly vivacious, confident and outspoken,’ Bel told the outlet, describing Miep.
Bel’s most anticipated upcoming project is Disney+’s ‘A Small Light’, in which she plays Miep Gies
When finishing her role as the activist last year, Bel shared a smiling snap of herself outside a film trailer
‘She talks about how she loves wearing all the new fashions, going out dancing and getting drunk with her friends.
‘That’s also why I think this show is [identifiable]. I think young women will relate to Miep in that way.’
Miep, who rescued Anne’s diary after the Jewish family was arrested in 1944, died at a Dutch nursing home aged 100 after suffering a fall in 2010.
She and other employees of Anne Frank’s father Otto supplied food, books and news to the family as they hid in a secret annex above his office.
During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, Anne spent 25 months in hiding with her sister, parents, and four other Jewish people.
Speaking to The Times , the star explained that the project was close to her heart – especially so because of her Jewish heritage
Miep, who rescued Anne’s diary after the Jewish family was arrested in 1944, died at a Dutch nursing home aged 100 after suffering a fall in 2010. Pictured: Anne and her family going to Miep and Jan’s wedding
Her diary of their ordeal is one of the most famous and enduring accounts of the Holocaust.
After the apartment was raided by German police on August 4, 1944, it was Miep who gathered up Anne’s notebooks and papers and locked them in a drawer for her return after the war.
When finishing her role as the activist last year, Bel shared a smiling snap of herself outside a film trailer.
‘That’s a wrap on A Small Light!!,’ she wrote. ‘Making this show was hands down one of the best experiences of my life. Thank you so everyone who made it so special.
‘Coming soon to @disneyplus @natgeotv…stay tuned.’
According to IMDb, she’s also lined up for a guest role in another historical mini-series – this time about the US Air Force, called Masters Of The Air.
According to British GQ, the show – which also stars Austin Butler, Rafferty Law and Anthony Boyle and is produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg – details the stories of airmen who fought for the Allies in the skies during World War II.
It’s a sequel to the 2001 hit Band of Brothers.
Deadline also reports that a sci-fi romance starring the actress – called Turn Me On – is in the works.
According to the outlet, it’s set in a world where humanity takes a daily vitamin to hinder the ‘inconvenience of human emotion’ – but a young couple decides to skip their dose and delve into the messy world of feelings.
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-11998717/The-rise-rise-Bel-Powley-whos-starring-new-Disney-show.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270