Hayley Atwell was born in London, the only child of Allison a motivational speaker, and Grant Atwell, a massage therapist, photographer, and shaman. Hayley’s mother is English and her father, an American from Kansas City, Missouri, is of part Native American descent. Hayley also holds dual citizenship of the UK and the US. After secondary education at Sion-Manning Roman Catholic Girls’ School, West London, Hayley took A-levels at the London Oratory School and trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama graduating in
Her first feature film role was in Woody Allen’s 2007 film ‘Cassandra’s Dream’, in which she took the part of a stage actress opposite Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell. In 2008, she appeared in the film ‘The Duchess’ as Bess Foster and the film ‘Brideshead Revisited’ as Lady Julia Flyte, earning praise and nominations from the British Independent Film Awards and the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards.
In January 2009, Hayley made her West End début in Lindsay Posner’s revival of ‘A View from the Bridge’ at the Duke of York’s Theatre which earned her a Laurence Olivier Award nomination. Hayley appeared as “415” in AMC Television’s November 2009 miniseries, ‘The Prisoner’, a remake of the 1967–68 series by the same name.
Hayley played perhaps her most widely recognized role as Agent Peggy Carter in the 2011 superhero film ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ and MTV Networks’ NextMovie.com named her one of the Breakout Stars to Watch for in 2011 and she will reprise the role in the film’s 2014 sequel, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’.