Macdonald at the 2007 New York Film Festival
Kelly Macdonald's career began while she was working as a barmaid in Glasgow. She saw a leaflet advertising an open casting session for Trainspotting and decided to audition, winning the part of Diane, the underage seductress to Ewan McGregor's Renton. Other roles include Mary O'Neary in Two Family House and an actress playing Peter Pan in Finding Neverland. She also had major roles in Robert Altman's British period piece Gosford Park, where she played an aristocrat's maid, as well as in Intermission (2003), as Deirdre.
On television, her highest profile roles have been in two BBC dramas, the Paul Abbott serial State of Play (2003) and the one-off Richard Curtis piece The Girl in the Café (2005). For her performance in The Girl in the Café, Macdonald was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2006, and won an Emmy.
Macdonald starred in the 2005 film Nanny McPhee, as the scullery maid Evangeline, and has since had supporting roles in A Cock and Bull Story (2006) and the Coen brothers' Academy Award-winning No Country for Old Men (2007) for which she was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress. She also played the lead in The Merry Gentleman (2008), as Kate Frazier. She plays Margaret Schroeder on HBO's Boardwalk Empire. In 2010, she played her first comedy role, in the British independent romantic comedy film The Decoy Bride opposite David Tennant.
During 2011, she played the Grey Lady, revealed to be Helena Ravenclaw, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the final instalment of the Harry Potter film franchise. She replaced Nina Young, the original actress in the role. In 2012, she provided the voice of Merida, the heroine of the Disney/Pixar movie Brave and starred as Dolly in Anna Karenina.
Macdonald was born in Glasgow, Scotland. In August 2003, Macdonald married musician Dougie Payne, bassist of rock band Travis.
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