Shadow and Bone

Zoë plays Baghra, a stern teacher, in this major new fantasy series for Netflix, based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels. Release date: 23 April.


Zoë stars as physicist Marianne, opposite Peter Capaldi, in the Donmar Warehouse's revival of Constellations at the Vaudeville Theatre, London. The play explores a relationship through a cosmological lens. Performances: 23 June to 24 July. Tickets from Nimax Theatres.


Filming for the third series of Sky Atlantic's epic drama about the Romans invading ancient Britain, starring Zoë as vengeful Queen Antedia, took place in 2020-21. Release date TBA.


Shadow and Bone: new clip featuring Zoë, online premiere event and first reviews

22 April 2021 14:17

In anticipation of tomorrow's release of the Netflix Shadow and Bone fantasy series, we're being treated to another compelling look at formidable Baghra's training sessions with Alina. Head over to Twitter, where spoken and written word app Scribd has shared the exclusive video, featuring Zoe and Jessie Mei Li.

For even more Shadow and Bone content, you can watch the Sneak Peak Premiere Event on YouTube. It starts at midnight tonight (UK time) and will be broadcast simultaneously in other countries too. The event will feature cast members, behind-the-scenes moments, exclusive clips and a 10-minute preview of episode one.

The epic show has already garnered a number of encouraging reviews. For example, Variety emphasises that Shadow and Bone 'creates a smart, immersive world', and Den of Geek says it 'brings the magic'.

The Hollywood Reporter's review, while less enamoured with the series overall, remarks that Jessie Mei Li enjoys 'great scenes with Zoë Wanamaker as her strict tutor, and having an actress of Wanamaker's stature even in a minor role offers a big boost of credibility to the entire series'.

Roll on 23 April!

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BBC Radio 2 interview: Zoë and Peter Capaldi to discuss Constellations on 23 April

21 April 2021 19:01

Set your alarm clocks for Friday morning, folks!

Zoë and her Constellations co-star, Peter Capaldi, will be special guests on the 23 April edition of BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball Breakfast Show. They’ll chat about preparing for this summer’s West End revival of Nick Payne’s cosmology-inspired, smash-hit play (for which tickets are on sale from Nimax Theatres).

So that’s Zoë-with-dots-over-the-‘e’ being interviewed by Zoe-without-dots-over-the-‘e’ at some point between 6:30 and 9:30 am (the exact time isn’t specified in the programme information, so we’ll just have to play it by ear).

Incidentally, the Netflix Shadow and Bone fantasy series Zoë filmed just over 12 months ago will be released on Friday. Perhaps that’ll be discussed too.

If you miss the interview or want to listen again, it’ll be available on the BBC website shortly after it airs.

Thanks to @Tempus_Fugit0, via Twitter, for the link to the programme information.

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News round-up: BBC and Independent interview Zoë; reasons to be a fan; special event for drama students

21 April 2021 18:40

Zoë’s insights into Prince Philip’s Globe patronage

On the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, Zoë appeared on a special BBC One programme, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh Remembered, to discuss his decades-long involvement with Shakespeare’s Globe as royal patron.

Speaking to presenter Huw Edwards, Zoë shed light on Prince Philip’s friendship with her dad, who founded the extraordinary theatre on London’s South Bank. ‘I think the reason Sam Wanamaker, my father, got on so well with him is because they were tenacious people’.

Like its founder, Prince Philip ‘was very, very passionate about the Globe,’ Zoë emphasised.

As a result, the Queen’s late husband certainly wasn’t a patron in name only. In Zoe’s words, ‘he was always enthusiastic and always there’.

The brief interview, which begins about 49 minutes into the programme, is available on the BBC iPlayer.

Zoë discusses ‘extraordinary’ arts in the Independent

‘The sciences and the arts are the lifeblood of a country,’ Zoë emphasises in an excellent interview with the Independent newspaper, published on 18 April.

With live performances thin on the ground for much of the pandemic, the arts sector has really struggled (hence Zoë’s support for the Theatre Artists Fund). Thankfully, there are plans to reopen venues, with Zoe herself set to star in Constellations in the West End.

‘She lights up when we discuss theatre’s return’, the interviewer, Isobel Lewis (who has said on Twitter that speaking to Zoë ‘was a joy’), points out. For Zoë, the arts are ‘extraordinary’ and should be celebrated.

The interview covers much more besides, from appearing in Netflix’s ‘intriguing’ Shadow and Bone fantasy series to having the courage to speak out ‘if something’s not comfortable’ when you’re working.

You can read it in full on the Independent’s website.

BBC America’s 10 Reasons to Celebrate Zoë

In anticipation of Zoë appearing in the Netflix Shadow and Bone fantasy series being released on 23 April, BBC America has drawn up a rather wonderful list ‘to celebrate this award-winning and prolific actress’.

‘10 Reasons We’re Huge Fans of Zoë Wanamaker’ highlights some of her most famous TV shows (My Family, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Doctor Who, Killing Eve), acclaimed stage work (such as The Cherry Orchard), the fact her father, Sam Wanamaker, founded Shakespeare’s Globe, and more.

One of my favourite reasons in the article is that ‘She has a magnificent actor’s voice’. Absolutely!

Zoë offers advice to Central drama students

As you may know, Zoë trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, graduating in 1970.

On 14 April, she was invited to take part in a special online event for the Class of 2020 and 2021, as part of Central’s support programme for emerging graduates.

Zoë discussed her career on stage and screen, answered students’ questions and offered advice. No doubt her input is particularly welcome at the moment; this is clearly a very challenging time for drama students and the acting industry in general.

As the event was run exclusively for Central’s emerging graduates, there’s no video or transcript available to the public. However, Central’s blog features a lovely message from Zoë to the students who were involved:

‘It was a pleasure to speak with Central’s students and graduates, look back on my time at Central in 1970, and offer some words of advice to help them address some of the new challenges being faced in 2021, and beyond. I have no doubt that they’ll go far!’

In his own message, Central’s Dr Joshua Abrams highlights Zoë’s ‘fabulous storytelling’ and emphasises that everyone was ‘utterly charmed by her presence’.

With thanks to @Lost_In_Films_ for the heads-up about the TV interview

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Shadow and Bone author Leigh Bardugo praises Zoë's 'exceptional' performance

14 April 2021 10:02

There are fewer than ten days left to wait until the Netflix Shadow and Bone adaptation is released. Recent comments by Leigh Bardugo, who wrote the hugely successful Grishaverse fantasy novels the series is based on, are bound to make you even more excited to stream it.

In an interview published by the Daily Mail, the best-selling author discusses her excitement at seeing key cast members work together. 'I think [Ben Barnes'] chemistry with Jessie [Mei Li, as the mysterious Darkling and mapmaker heroine Alina Starkov, respectively] and with many of the actors is just off the charts, and I can't tell you how much I loved watching him and Zoë [Wanamaker], who plays Baghra.'

Bardugo adds: 'Their scenes are some of my favourite, because it's just these two exceptional actors who are constantly pushing each other.'

Thankfully, we only need to wait until 23 April to see Zoë in action alongside her co-stars. In the meantime, we can enjoy the epic trailer.

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Zoë supports Tree Aid's Future Forest appeal to protect African communities and land

12 April 2021 19:29

Zoë is supporting the Future Forest fundraising appeal, launched today by Tree Aid, the charity she's been a patron of for more than 20 years.

The appeal, which has captured the attention of Sky News and the BBC, aims to save the Metema forest in Ethiopia, which is in danger of turning into desert due to the climate crisis. In addition, Tree Aid is contributing to the Great Green Wall initiative, an African-led movement to create a belt of lush vegetation across Africa and thereby tackle poverty and environmental issues.

The appeal aims to raise £352,875, and here's how the money will be used. The public's donations will support Tree Aid's Great Green Wall contribution and be matched by UK government funding until 11 July. That's fantastic news, as it means the fundraising total will be doubled. The government funding will support the Future Forest project, enabling Tree Aid to provide communities in Metema with tools and training to restore and protect the forest and generate a sustainable income from it.

Something that makes the Metema forest particularly special is that its trees produce frankincense, the precious resin used in essential oils.

Zoë says: 'I have been supporting Tree Aid for over two decades because they don't just plant trees and walk away – they work in partnership with communities to find long-term solutions that tackle both poverty and the climate crisis.

'I encourage people to support the Future Forest appeal if they can, knowing they can have double the impact as their gift will be matched by the government.'

Zoë speaks in more detail about her long-standing support for the charity in the video above. You may remember she presented a Radio 4 appeal on behalf of Tree Aid a couple of years ago (when the photo below was taken), which raised £15,000.

Other well-known people backing the Future Forest appeal include actor Joanna Lumley and naturalist Chris Packham.

If you'd like to support Tree Aid's work, you can donate to the Future Forest appeal online.

Thanks to Vanessa and Sally for their help.

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