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Imelda Staunton

SCREEN GEM: Antonia & Jane (1991)

Imelda Staunton, Antonia & Jane
Image credit: Antonia and Jane: The Everett Collection

Great role: Imelda Staunton in ''Antonia & Jane''

PREMISE Lifelong friends Antonia (Saskia Reeves) and Jane (Staunton) are secretly envious of each other. Frumpy bohemian Jane covets Antonia's sleek looks and well-ordered life; married Antonia, in turn, wishes she had Jane's intellect and independence.

FUN FACT ''I don't look a certain way, the star way,'' Staunton, who plays a similarly frumpy role in Vera Drake, said in a recent interview. But she's not holding her breath waiting for Hollywood to come calling and make her over. ''You need to accommodate yourself if you want to play those Hollywood types of roles,'' she said. ''You can be very famous without being a great actress, and that's not good for me.''

WHY IT'S GREAT Hiding behind owlish glasses, Staunton gives a standout comic performance as a seething woman with a richly strange inner life.

Originally posted Feb 16, 2005
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