A British medieval comedy written and directed by Lena Dunham, Catherine named Birdy is an adaptation of the 1994 novel of the same name Karen Cushman. The film tells a coming-of-age story about unyielding, cheeky 14-year-old girl Catherine (Bella Ramsey), eager to prolong her days as a free-spirited little girl at the expense of her father’s desire to marry her off to pay off his crippling debts.
Catherine, fully aware of her father’s machinations, indulges in whatever tricks she can find to ward off potential suitors. She darns away rags soiled with her menstrual blood so her father, Lord Rollo of Stonebridge (Andrew Scott) is unaware of her initiation into femininity. She spends her days rolling in the mud, playing with her best friend, and doing whatever it takes to frustrate the suitor her father set up for her. Beneath the humble, childish antics lies a young girl confident enough to understand the struggles for gender equality and the systemic oppression of women.
Catherine named Birdy is Lena Dunham’s second directorial effort of 2022 after releasing the mildly provocative and controversial film sharp stick earlier in the year. A director who wears many hats and never shies away from telling stories that elicit strong opinions from critics, Dunhams Catherine named Birdy is probably one of her recent mainstream works. This medieval comedy is brought to life by a lively cast, who lay genuine observations on the social problems of the time with a lightness and humor that belie their overall melancholic tone. We’ve put together this handy guide that explains in detail the key characters so you know who to watch out for in this medieval comedy. Now let’s get straight into that.
Bella Ramsey as Catherine / “Birdy”
Bella Ramsey plays Lady Catherine, a young girl on the verge of womanhood who must fend off her father’s plans to marry her off to a wealthy nobleman to pay off his ever-mounting debt. Whimsical, funny, but confident enough to see the world through her observant but immature eyes, Birdy weathers the trials of medieval girlhood with heart and energy. She loathes her father and the idea of marriage.
Ramsey is best known for her role as Lyanna Mormont on the television series game of Thrones. She played the role of Mildred Hubble in the 2017 BBC TV series The worst witch. Ramsey is set to star in the highly anticipated HBO series The last of us.
Andrew Scott as Lord Rollo
fleasack Star Andrew Scott plays Catherine’s father, the thoroughly unlikeable Lord Rollo. Flamboyant, devious and cunning, Lord Rollo is the medieval father who sees his little girl as a bargaining chip and finds nothing wrong with her. Unfortunately, he meets his counterpart in his daughter, who, while young and humble, does not want to see her life put up for auction. A useless spendthrift in his pomp, Rollo believes he can torment his little girl with guilt into believing that marrying a rich man will bring tremendous benefits to the family and community, when in truth the little girl enjoys all of his see through plans.
One of Scott’s most memorable performances was as Jim Moriarty on the BBC series sherlock for which he won the BAFTA Television Award for Best Supporting Actor. His other film credits include Alice through the looking-glass, A dark place, and the science fiction horror Victor Frankenstein.
As Catherine rejects one suitor after another, it turns out that she has a crush on her handsome and attractive Uncle George. For her he is the only good man. Unfortunately for Catherine, she is unable to act on her feelings and this adds another layer to her already growing frustration.
The Grammy-winning singer and actor is best known for his role as Gideon Brodess in the biopic Harriet. He also played supporting roles in the historical drama Mary Queen of Scots and the black comedy The favourite.
Lady Aislinn is Catherine’s mother and wife of Lord Rollo. According to her husband, her extravagant spending and expensive taste are the reason the once opulent household is on the brink of bankruptcy. After six stillbirths, her daughter Birdy is even less interested in the subject of marriage.
Doctor Who star Billy Piper is perhaps best known for playing Rose Tyler in the sci-fi franchise. Piper was nominated for a British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Karen Mars in the Netflix Original Series security. Her other film credits include City of Little Lights, Rare beastsand the dark comedy Eternal beauty.
While Catherine struggles with her numerous suitors, she finds solace in her frequent correspondence with her brother Edward, a monk living away from family. They share a unique bond and he provides young Birdy with the perfect sounding board for her concerns. Archie RenauxHis most popular role is probably Leo Day in the BBC One mini-series gold digger. He also played Malyen Oretsev in the Netflix fantasy series shadow and bone. He has also appeared in traveler and the superhero movie disease.
While Birdy has a wonderful relationship with her brother Edward, the same cannot be said of her other brother Robert, who harbors plans to become a knight and follow more in his father’s footsteps. Dean Charles ChapmanHis best-known role remains Tommen Baratheon in the legendary HBO drama series game of Thrones. His other credits include the role of Thomas of Lancaster in the epic war film The king and Matthew Connolly in the drama film Here are the young men.
Aelis is Birdy’s friend and confidante, who is also married against her will to a nine-year-old duke. You may remember Isis Hainsworth from Netflix Metal Lords where she played Emily Spector. She also starred in the romantic comedy Emma where she plays Elizabeth Martin. Her other work includes whores, Wanderlustand the horror drama Red rose.
Other cast members appearing in Catherine named Birdy contain Russell Brand, Ralph Ineson, Lesley Sharp, Sophie Okonedo, Paul Kaye, Douggie McMeekin, Rita Bernard Shaw, David Bradley, Michael Woolfitt, Saskia Chana, Mimi Ndiweni, Jamie Demetriou, Bola Latunjiand Lawrence Hodgson-Mullings.
https://collider.com/catherine-called-birdy-cast-and-character-guide/ Catherine Called Birdy Cast and Character Guide