Kelly Macdonald: The Voice Behind Merida of Pixar's `Brave'

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Merida (voiced by [c[Kelly MacDonald]]) in Disney/Pixar's Brave - 2011

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Kelly Macdonald is the voice behind Pixar's first animated princess, the feisty redheaded Merida of "Brave." But just who is this Kelly Macdonald? And what makes her so great anyway?


Macdonald was a very young and unknown quantity when Danny Boyle took a chance on casting her as a deceptively older teenage in "Trainspotting." Macdonald made quite a memorable one night stand for Ewan McGregor's Renton who got a really big shock when he discovered she was not quite as mature as circumstances and bedroom acrobatics had led him to believe.

No Country for Old Men

British actors of even substantial talent can have trouble nailing an American accent to the point where you believe that is where they originate. One of the most authentic American accents delivered by a British thespian in movie history occurred in "No Country for Old Men." Kelly Macdonald plays the small-town Texas wife of Josh Brolin and though the part was not big and she was overshadowed by all the testosterone pouring out of this Coen Brothers movie, the impact was large. Kelly Macdonald not only established a presence in "No Country for Old Men" courtesy of delivering an on-point accent, she brought to much fuller life through unspoken technique a role woefully underwritten.

State of Play

To date, Kelly Macdonald's most vital performance took place not on the big screen, but the small. Not the Hollywood remake but the BBC miniseries version of "State of Play" Macdonald one of the juiciest roles for an actor her age in quite some time. Once again Macdonald proved that she could break out even while surrounded by major male talents. An ensemble cast that included the likes of Billy Nighy, James McAvoy and the unforgettable Marc Warren was not enough to overshadow Ms. Macdonald.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Could Kelly Macdonald really call herself a British actress without appearing in the Harry Potter series? The ghosts of Hogwarts provided some of the most memorable or important moments in the series and Macdonald played a pivotal see-thru character in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2." Point of interest: David Yates directed Macdonald in both this and "State of Play."

For more from Timothy Sexton, check out:

"State of Play": The British Miniseries v. the Hollywood Remake

Whatever Happened to the Cast of "Trainspotting"

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