Gemma shows versatility in a variety of TV roles
Gemma Whelan is a renowned star of British drama and comedy, graduating from London Studio Centre in 2004, she has established herself an all rounded career on and off screen. Gemma is best known for playing the role of Yara Greyjoy in the drama TV series Game of Thrones yet also has a highly recognisable flare for her talents in comedy, as she was awarded the Funny Women variety award for stand-up comedy in 2010. She is now starring in a range of television programmes including the dark comedy-drama The End of the F**king World and the hit Netflix series, The Crown.
Gemma winning the Funny Women award in 2010
After graduating from Middlesex University, Gemma undertook the One-Year Professional course at London Studio Centre where she performed with the college’s music theatre company, Seedtime. She is now an established actress, however the course provided Gemma with training in all disciplines of music theatre including dancing and singing. She even began her career as a member of the Beaux Belles dance troupe!
With her ability to adapt to different roles, Whelan established herself as an extremely diverse artist. She appeared in Hollywood films such as The Wolfman (2010) as well as a variety of roles in live theatre including One Man, Two Governors (UK Tour and West End) and Dark Vanilla Jungle (UK Tour, Soho Theatre). A review for the Telegraph described Whelan as giving ‘a tremendous performance, working hard to give both light and shade’. Gemma can even be heard as a voiceover for some well-known video games including Soul Sacrifice and Mass Effect Andromeda.
Gemma playing the role of Andrea in the play Dark Vanilla Jungle
But it is within television that Gemma has made the most impact. In 2012 she was cast as the fierce and powerful Yara Greyjoy in HBO’s award-winning fantasy-drama Game of Thrones. Yara began as supporting character for several years, but in last year’s series she became a central character featuring in all episodes.
Gemma as Yara Greyjoy in the TV series Game of Thrones
Last year, Gemma starred in the challenging role of Karen Matthews for the BBC’s stark drama The Moorside which received much praise from critics. She also played more comedic roles such as Kate Shakespeare in the BBC’s Upstart Crow as well as D.C. Eunice Noon in Channel 4 and Netflix’s The End of the F**king World.
Gemma playing DC Eunice Noon in End of the F**king World
Gemma demonstrated her versatility again whilst appearing as Patricia Campbell in The Crown, Peter Morgan’s biopic of Queen Elizabeth II. This more sensitive role is a big contrast to the harsh armour-wearing character she’s best known for in Game of Thrones and is a true credit to Gemma’s versatility. Gemma really is the perfect illustration of the diverse and fantastic successes that come out of LSC. Who knows in what roles she could end up next!
Gemma playing Patricia Campbell in The Crown on Netflix