Among the list of films’ favorite vampires, Kate Beckinsale features somewhere between Robert Pattinson (The Twilight Series) and Tilda Swinton (Only Lovers Left Alive). But her role as Selene in the Underworld series of films has made her a household name.
The 45-year-old British actor made her on-screen debut by appearing in small roles in television series while she was still studying at the University of Oxford.
She began her rather modest and largely unsuccessful modeling career in 1997 and has since featured in a number of television commercials, most notable of which was one she did opposite Orlando Bloom in 2002 which was directed by Cameron Crowe (of Jerry Maguire fame).
But more than her professional life, she is known for her personal life. Recently rumors of her romance with Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson are doing the rounds. Beckinsale is fresh off her divorce from director Len Wiseman and Davidson was in the news because he called off his whirlwind engagement with singer Ariana Grande.
Before her marriage to Wiseman, Beckinsale was in an eight-year relationship with famed actor Michael Sheen with whom she has a daughter. However, Beckinsale broke off the relationship when she fell in love with Wiseman on the sets of the first Underworld movie.
She began her career in the United Kingdom and chose to move to Hollywood in 1998. In the United Kingdom, ner most noted performances were in ITV’s Emma in 1996. Though Gwyneth Paltrow featured in the same role in a movie a few months before the series was aired, critics found her performance much better than that of Paltrow.
A critic from The New York Times said: “Ms. Beckinsale’s Emma is plainer looking than Ms. Paltrow’s,” she is “altogether more believable and funnier.”
Jonathan Brown of The Independent has described Beckinsale’s interpretation as “the most enduring modern performance” as Emma.
In the span of her acting career, Beckinsale is known primarily for her roles in action movies like Underworld, Van Helsing (2004), Whiteout (2009), Contraband (2012) and Total Recall (2012).
However, at the same time, she makes sure that she does not lose touch with her dramatic acting background by featuring in small drama pieces like Snow Angels (2007) Nothing But The Truth (2008) and Everybody’s Fine (2009).
Though she says that she loves doing action movies, her first love has always been small, independent feature films. After featuring in a number of action films post-2003, she took a break from them and returned to do small indie films in 2007.
She has always been around on the screen with small roles in movies like The Aviator and Click. These movies were lauded by critics and the audience though no mention of her acting chops was ever mentioned.
She also featured in the critically acclaimed Love and Friendship (2016) through her last venture on film, The Last Living Boy in New York was critically panned. In Love and Friendship, she re-teamed with her Last Days of Disco creators, Stillman and Sevigny.
Noted Hollywood media house Variety described the role as “one of the most satisfying screen roles of her career. Beckinsale magnetizes the screen in a way that naturally underscores how far ahead of everyone else she is: an effect that doesn’t always work to the movie’s advantage.”
Beckinsale’s latest offering is the ITV series, that is also streaming on Amazon Prime, ‘The Widow’. The show has opened to mixed to poor critical reviews. It has been called a wannabe ‘The Missing’ but failing to garner any eyeballs through her performance in the series has been lauded by the audience.