LOS ANGELES – The top spot at the box office is rare turf for Kelly Macdonald, a character actress known on the big-screen mainly for supporting roles in such films as No Country for Old Men and Finding Neverland.
With her wild red mane and her killer skills with sword and bow, Macdonald has become the latest in Hollywoods growing line of successful female action heroes.
Except the Scottish actress is a petite brunette who never had to wield a weapon for her role as teenage Princess Merida in Brave, which shot to a No. 1 opening weekend with nearly $67 million in North America and more than $80 million worldwide.
Managing the kind of action role that gets numbers like that during the summer movie season is something Macdonald never expected – and a feat she knows would have been out of her reach if Brave were a live-action film rather than the latest cartoon adventure from Disneys Pixar.
Its a dream come true, says the 36-year-old Macdonald. These roles are much coveted, and theres always A-listers around that would have snapped it up.
Brave and a key role on HBOs acclaimed series Boardwalk Empire have given Macdonald the biggest exposure of her career. She also has a supporting role in Keira Knightleys upcoming adaptation of Anna Karenina.
Ive worked for a long time now, and Ive worked hard and quietly. Ive been sort of well-known within the industry for certain films. Its great to be considered for roles that I might not have been a few years ago, Macdonald said.