Here’s a fact for you: Emily Watson was turned down by a number of theatre schools after she graduated from university.

TV and film fans are grateful that she persevered, because she has enjoyed a raft of enviable roles in her hugely successful career.

We take a look at her TV and film highlights.

Angela’s Ashes

Based on the Frank McCourt memoir, Angela’s Ashes is the heartbreaking story of the author’s poverty-stricken childhood in New York and Limerick.

Emily plays Frank's mother Angela, who navigates devastating family issues and financial problems caused by her husband’s alcoholism. She was nominated for a Best Actress Bafta and won a London Film Critics Circle award for her performance.

Punch Drunk Love

This unique romantic drama sees Emily star opposite Adam Sandler.

It tells the story of Barry Egan (Sandler), who uses phone sex lines to help alleviate his loneliness – until he meets Emily’s Lena Leonard who change everything.

Apple Tree Yard

Emily stars in this four-part thriller as a married scientist who begins an affair with a mysterious man she meets after presenting in the House of Commons.

The fact that she doesn’t really know who this man is has more dangerous implications than just the affair.

Apple Tree Yard is available to watch on BritBox


Chernobyl is one of the well-received dramas of the last decade, and at one stage was the top-rated TV show on IMDB.

Emily’s character Ulana, a nuclear scientist, is based on several scientists who investigated the real-life accident.

Chernobyl is available to watch on Sky Atlantic with the NOW Entertainment Membership

Why you should watch Chernobyl

The Third Day

The Third Day is the most ambitious piece of television in recent times, with Emily starring alongside Jude Law, Naomie Harris and Paddy Considine.

In this psychological thriller-horror, Emily plays mysterious pub landlady Mrs Martin.

The Third Day is available to watch on Sky Atlantic with the NOW Entertainment Membership

3 reasons to watch The Third Day

Too Close

Emily’s psychological-themed acting is given another workout in this thriller, in which she plays forensic psychiatrist Dr Emma Robertson.

The mini-series explores her relationship with Connie Mortensen (Denise Gough), who is accused of a heinous crime but claims she doesn’t remember anything.

Too Close will air on ITV in April 2021

Watch all the TV you love on BT TV

Catch your favourite shows and all the best sport with our flexible TV packages.  Entertainment packs include Netflix and Sky channels from NOW.