Alice in 28 WEEKS LATER
Born in Alton, Hampshire in England, Catherine McCormack graduated from the Oxford School of Drama and was first brought to the attention of international audiences when she was cast as William Wallace’s childhood sweetheart in Mel Gibson’s Oscar-winning film Braveheart.
Now an accomplished film, TV and stage actress McCormack was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category at the 2001 Olivier Awards for her role in the National Theatre production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons opposite Julie Walters and Ben Daniels.
Following Braveheart, McCormack was cast in the World War II drama The Land Girls opposite Rachel Weisz and Anna Friel and went on to star in Dancing at Lughnasa with Meryl Streep and Michael Gambon, Dangerous Beauty opposite Rufus Sewell, the British comedy This Year’s Love with Dougray Scott, The Debtors with Michael Caine and Randy Quaid, Tony Scott’s Spy Game with Brad Pitt and Robert Redford, John Irvin’s The Moon and the Stars, The Tailor of Panama with Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis, Shadow of the Vampire opposite John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe, Kathryn Bigelow’s The Weight of Water with Sean Penn and A Rumor of Angels with Vanessa Redgrave and Ray Liotta.
As well as TV roles such as the three-part British TV drama Armadillo by William Boyd, McCormack’s wealth of stage experience has included The 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre, Kiss Me Like You Mean It at the Soho Theatre, Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind, Roger Michell’s Honour and White Horse for director Neil Jordan, Anna Weiss and more recently the National Theatre production of Simon Bowen’s Free.
Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was attracted to McCormack’s incredible on screen presence “It was a kind of love at first sight – I watched all her movies and thought she was amazing. The role of Alice the mother in 28 WEEKS LATER is limited, so we needed somebody you can’t forget. Alice is a menace but at the same time she’s a mother” explains Fresnadillo “and I think Catherine played both sides and introduced something into the story that was really real and really honest”
Alice’s role is integral to the story – her eyes have different coloured irises which the audience later finds out, denotes a genetic immunity to the rage virus. We later discover that her son Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) has also inherited her unusual eye pigmentation. When her husband Don (Robert Carlyle) leaves her behind in the cottage they’ve been taking refuge in, he assumes she’s been killed as it is infiltrated by the infected as he flees, but it transpires that she has survived.