Freema Agyeman


Freema Agyeman

Infobox actor


imagesize=150px
name=Freema Agyeman
birthdate= birth date and age|1979|3|20|df=yescite web|title=Thank You Letter From Freema Agyeman|url=http://community.livejournal.com/freema_love/154559.html] |accessdate=2008-04-08]
birthplace=London, England
occupation=Actress
yearsactive=2001 – present

Freema Agyeman (born Frema Agyeman on 20 March, 1979) is an English actress of Ghanaian and Iranian descent who is best known for playing Martha Jones, former companion of the Tenth Doctor in the BBC science fiction television series "Doctor Who", and its related spin-off "Torchwood".

Background

Freema Agyeman grew up on the Woodberry Down council estate in the London Borough of Hackney.cite web|author=Jury, Louise|title=From council estate to Tardis: rise of the Timelord's sidekick
publisher=The Independent|url=http://news.independent.co.uk/media/article2383877.ece|date=2007-03-23|accessdate=2007-09-18
] Her mother, Azar, is Iranian and her father, Osei, is Ghanaian. They divorced when she was a child. She has a younger brother, Dominic, and an older sister, Leila.cite web|author=Jury, Louise|title=From council estate to Tardis: rise of the Timelord's sidekick
publisher=The Independent|url=http://news.independent.co.uk/media/article2383877.ece|date=2007-03-23|accessdate=2007-09-18
] She attended Our Lady's Convent, a Catholic school in Stamford Hill and the Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington. She studied performing arts and drama at Middlesex University, graduating in 2000.cite web|author=Jury, Louise|title=From council estate to Tardis: rise of the Timelord's sidekick
publisher=The Independent|url=http://news.independent.co.uk/media/article2383877.ece|date=2007-03-23|accessdate=2007-09-18
] She has martial arts skills which prompted speculation that she would bring a more physical approach to the role of the Doctor's companion.cite news| url=http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,23569-2256654.html|title=Sidekick whose time has come| author=Adam Sherwin
publisher=The Times
date=2006-07-05
accessdate=2006-07-05
] The tattoo she has on her upper forearm is symbolic of her ancestry, containing an Iranian word 'baha', meaning 'free', under an image of a butterfly. [http://uktv.co.uk/drama/stepbystep/aid/595754]

Career

Early career

When Agyeman began her professional acting career, she chose to use a different spelling of her birth name, Frema, as her professional name, to avoid pronunciation problems. [Citation|last=Hugo|first=Simon|title=Where's Your Head At? Freema Agyeman|newspaper=Torchwood Magazine|pages=60|year=2008|date=June 2008]

Before securing the part of Martha Jones, Agyeman's most famous television role was playing the character of Lola Wise in the revived series of ITV soap opera Crossroads. [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1303956] She also had small guest roles in other TV series such as "Casualty", "Mile High" and "The Bill". In 2005, she played the character Mary Ogden in an episode of "Silent Witness". She starred as the character Nana in the independent film "Rulers and Dealers", written and directed by Stephen Lloyd Jackson. [http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/9/prweb433428.htm]

"Doctor Who"

Freema Agyeman auditioned for three roles in the 2006 series of "Doctor Who". On 24 June 2005, she auditioned for the part of Sally Jacobs in "The Christmas Invasion", but was ultimately unsuccessful, losing out to Anita Briem, who the production team felt worked better as an "ice cool blonde".Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 373, Companion Piece, by Russell T Davies] She later auditioned for the roles of Esme and Adeola Oshodi, in the "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel" and "Army of Ghosts", respectively. Esme was ultimately cut from the final script,Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 373, Companion Piece] but Freema was successful in her audition for Adeola. She filmed her role in the series in December 2005 and appeared on screen as Adeola on 1 July 2006. [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0756449/] Quote_box |width=35% |align=left|quote="When we cast the character of Adeola, I met Freema [Agyeman] for this part- actually, I met her for two parts- and when I met her, as soon as she walked through the door, I knew she was going to be quite exceptional. When she walked in, I thought I was looking at Halle Berry English-style.."|source=—Graeme Harpercite web|url=http://www.aintitcool.com/node/31058|title=Doomsday!! Gaspode Chats Up The Director of WHO’s Second-Season Finale!!|publisher=Ain't It Cool News|accessdate=2008-07-16] The production team were impressed by the versatility shown by Agyeman across her three auditionsDoctor Who Magazine: Issue 373, Companion Piece] and called her back as a serious candidate for the new companion. She attended another audition (under the guise of Torchwood)Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 373, Companion Piece] and the production team remained impressed. The next step was to take a screen-test with the Tenth Doctor actor, David Tennant. Tennant left a reassuring note under the door of Agyeman's hotel room, and this helped calm any nerves the actress had.Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 372, Meet Martha, an interview with Freema Agyeman] She was ultimately successful and received notice of her success in February 2006.Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 372, Meet Martha, an interview with Freema Agyeman] Following months of speculation on who would replace Billie Piper, Freema was confirmed to the press as new companion Martha Jones on 5 July 2006. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2006/07_july/05/agyeman2.shtml]

Agyeman began filming for the third series in August 2006 and finished in March 2007. She made her screen debut as Martha Jones on 31 March 2007 in the episode "Smith and Jones". Martha's physical similarity to Adeola Oshodi was explained as Martha being Adeola's cousin. [cite episode | title = Smith and Jones | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Russell T Davies, Director Charles Palmer, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC | station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2007-03-31] Agyeman continued to portray the character Martha Jones throughout every episode of the 2007 series.

Despite her character's departure from the TARDIS in the 2007 season finale "Last of the Time Lords", Agyeman returned as Martha in series 4 for five episodes, which consisted of "The Sontaran Stratagem", "The Poison Sky", "The Doctor's Daughter", "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End". She guest-presented "Blue Peter" on 24 June 2008 to promote the "Doctor Who" finale.

Following Martha's departure with Captain Jack Harkness at the end of the Series 4 finalé it is unsure what her future in the Doctor Who universe will hold. However, Freema has said in various interviews that she would like to continue playing Martha Jones. DWM 398, Freema Agyeman - She walks in her own way]

She has appeared in three episodes of series 2 of "Torchwood", [cite web | author= | title=More Martha!| publisher=BBC Official Doctor Who site | language=English | url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/news/cult/news/drwho/2007/07/02/46692.shtml| date=2007-07-02 | accessdate=2007-07-02] appearing in "Reset", "Dead Man Walking" and "A Day in the Death", between "Doctor Who" series three and four. Freema also had a starring role in the "Torchwood" Radio Play, Lost Souls, broadcast on BBC Radio Four on the 10th of September 2008 to promote the turning on of the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN research facility. [http://www.gallifreyone.com/cgi-bin/viewnews.cgi?id=EkpAkZFFkZpKezjobI&tmpl=newsrss&style=feedstyle]

Freema Agyeman has read abridged audio book adaptations of four of the "Doctor Who" New Series Adventures novels featuring Martha Jones, "The Last Dodo", [http://www.eyeofhorus.org.uk/content/news/2007/06-june07.html] "Wetworld", [http://www.denofgeek.com/Reviews/43610/doctor_who_wetworld_audio_cd_review.html] "The Pirate Loop"http://homepage.ntlworld.com/john.seymour1/ukbookguide/forthcomingReleases.html] and "Martha in the Mirror". [http://www.amazon.co.uk/Doctor-Who-New-Adventures/dp/140840057X]

Recent work

Agyeman often appears on "The Bedtime Hour" on CBeebies reading a story shortly before 7pm. She narrated BBC Three's hospital documentary series "Bizarre ER" which ran from 14 February 2008 [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1224605/ Bizarre ER episode 1] to 3 April 2008. [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1224612/ Bizarre ER episode 8] She hosted a "Doctor Who"-themed portion of the BBC Proms on 27 July. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/2008/whatson/2707.shtml]

On 25 April 2008, Agyeman appeared on "The Paul O'Grady Show".

She will be appearing as Tattycoram in the upcoming BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Little Dorrit", alongside her fellow Torchwood stars Eve Myles and Ruth Jones. [cite web|author=Holmwood, Leigh|title=Jones to appear in BBC Dickens drama|publisher=The Guardian|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/may/06/bbc.television1|date=2008-05-06|accessdate=2008-06-10]

As confirmed by the BBC press release, Agyeman will star in the BBC 1 remake of the cult TV series "Survivors", to be broadcast mid-autumn 2008. She will play the character of Jenny Collins, a bright and lively young teacher in a primary school who must face choices beyond anything she could have imagined. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2008/05_may/30/survivors.shtml] [http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/s4/news/latest/080602_news_01]

She will star as court prosecutor Alesha Phillips in "", a spin-off from the popular US Law and Order franchise . [http://www.people.co.uk/showbiz/showbiz/tm_method=full%26objectID=20641437%26siteID=93463-name_page.html]

Awards and recognition

In June 2007, Freema Agyeman was named "Best Newcomer" at the 2007 "Glamour Women of the Year Awards". [http://freemaagyeman.com/news/2007/06/05/glamour-awards-2007/#more-363]

She won the 2007 People's Choice category for "Female TV Star" in the 5th annual Screen Nation Film and TV Awards, held on 15 October 2007 at the Hilton Metropole in London. [http://www.screennation.co.uk/pdf/ScreenNation2007WinnerList.pdf]

"The Observer" had an interview with Agyeman in December 2007 and named her as a "face of 2007". [cite web|author=Day, Elizabeth|title=A dizzy year with the Doctor|publisher=The Observer|url=http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,2228100,00.htmlo|date=2007-12-16|accessdate=2008-06-10]

Nominations

In 2003, Agyeman was nominated in two categories in The British Soap Awards for her role as Lola Wise in "Crossroads", as "Best Newcomer" and "Sexiest Female".http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:memorabletv.com/onthebox/profiles/uksoapawards03.htm+Crossroads+-+Freema+Agyeman+www.memorabletv.com/onthebox/profiles/uksoapawards03.htm+&strip=1]

In 2007, she was one of the top four nominations for best actress in the National Television Awards. [http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/article341308.ece]

Filmography

TV

Acting

*"Mile High" (2003, TV series)
*"Crossroads" (2003, TV series) as Lola Wise
*"Casualty" (one episode, 2004) as Kate Hindley
*"The Bill" (one episode, 2004) as Jenna Carter
*"Silent Witness" (one episode, 2005) as Mary Ogden
*"The Bill" (two episodes, 2006) as Shakira Washington
*"Doctor Who" (2006, episode "Army of Ghosts") as Adeola Oshodi
*"Doctor Who" (2007-2008, TV series) as Martha Jones
*"Doctor Who" animated special "The Infinite Quest" (2007, TV serial) as Martha Jones (voice)
*"The Omid Djalili Show" (2007, TV series) as herself
*"Torchwood" (2008, TV series) as Martha Jones
*"Little Dorrit" (2008, TV serial) as Tattycoram
*"Survivors" (TV remake) (Autumn 2008, TV series) as Jenny Collins
*"" (ITV series, 2009) as Alesha Phillips

As Herself

*"The One Show" (2006)
*"Doctor Who Confidential" (2007-2008, "making of" series)
*"Totally Doctor Who" (2007, children's magazine show)
*"Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" (25 May 2007)
*"Richard and Judy" (26 June 2007)
*"Torchwood Declassified" (2008, "making of" series)
*"Bizarre ER" (2008, TV series) as narrator
*"The Friday Night Project" (2008)
*"The Paul O'Grady Show" (2008)
*"Blue Peter" (24 June 2008)

Film

*"Rulers and Dealers" (independent film, 2005) as Nana

Audio/radio

*"The Last Dodo" (abridged "Doctor Who" audiobook) (2007) as narrator
*"Wetworld" (abridged "Doctor Who" audiobook) (2008) as narrator
*"The Pirate Loop" (abridged "Doctor Who" audiobook (2008) as narrator
*"Torchwood: Lost Souls" (Radio 4 Afternoon Play) (2008) as Martha Jones
*"Martha in the Mirror" (abridged "Doctor Who" audiobook) (2008) as narrator

Theatre

*"Twisted Roots" by Emily Nightingale (2001) as Anya Starr [http://www.pop-up.net/productions/twistedroots.html] [http://freemaagyeman.com/biography/]
*"When Snow Falls" by Chris Elwell (2001-2002) as "T" [http://www.halfmoon.org.uk/whatson/halfmoonshowsontour/previousshows.html#when]
*"Lords and Ladies" by Terry Pratchett (2002) as various [http://www.co.uk.lspace.org/fandom/events/plays/lordsandladies/2002/august-rollright-stones.html]

References

External links

* [http://www.freemaagyeman.com freemaagyeman.com]
*imdb name|id=1303956
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/news/cult/news/drwho/2006/08/14/35671.shtml Interview] on "The One Show" (14 August 2006)
* [http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/body_and_soul/article3375049.ece?print=yes&randnum=1203116650860 Interview] in The Times (16 February 2008)
* [http://tv.sky.com/interview-freema-agyeman Interview] at Sky.com (30 June 2008)

Persondata
NAME=Agyeman, Freema
SHORT DESCRIPTION=English actor
PLACE OF BIRTH=London, England


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