Celia Imrie plays “Phil,” Sam’s aging, eccentric English expatriate mother who inconveniently lives across the street.
Imrie is an Olivier Award-winning and Screen Actors Guild-nominated actress, who was recently honored by Variety as an “Icon” and received the accolade of a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the Women in Film and Television Awards. In addition to her acclaimed film, television and theater work, Imrie is also a Sunday Times best-selling author, having published three novels in just three years.
Imrie is much loved for her film roles in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel series with Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, the Bridget Jones series with Renée Zellwegger and Colin Firth, Calendar Girls with Dame Helen Mirren, Nanny McPhee with Emma Thompson and Colin Firth, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and Finding Your Feet. Most recently she took on a key role in the hugely successful Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again with Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan. Additional credits include Year by the Sea with Karen Allen and Gore Verbinski’s A Cure For Wellness with Dane DeHaan and Mia Goth, plus Malevolent, an independent horror feature from Sigma films, based on the novella by E.M. Blomqvist, starring alongside Florence Pugh and Ben Lloyd-Hughes.
For television, Imrie most recently starred alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in Sky Atlantic and Showtime’s Patrick Melrose, based on the semi-autobiographical novels by Edward St. Aubyn. On stage, in 2016, she returned to The Old Vic in the much-lauded King Lear with Glenda Jackson.
Imrie effortlessly made the transition from being a beloved actress to a talented novelist. Her debut novel, Not Quite Nice, published by Bloomsbury in 2015, appeared in the Sunday Times Top Ten for six weeks and was cited as a “delicious piece of entertainment.” It also reached number five in the Apple iBooks chart and number eight in Amazon’s book chart. Imrie’s second novel, Nice Work If You Can Get It was published in February 2016 while her third, Sail Away, was published in February 2018. In 2011 Imrie’s autobiography The Happy Hoofer was released. Robert McCrum of Observer commented: “For tasty gossip, Celia is the hottest ticket in town... The Happy Hoofer is backstage gossip from the premiere league.”