Jodhi May is a British actress, who started her career during her middle school years. She is now becoming famous for landing the role of Queen Calanthe in Netflix fantasy series “The Witcher”, though the audience was not quite unequivocal about her performance.
Early life and family
Jodhi Tania Edwards May was born on 8 May 1975, in Camden Town, London England – her zodiac sign is Taurus, and she holds British nationality. Jodhi was born to a French-Turkish mother and a German father. Jodhi once shared that her mother, Jocelyn Hakim, being a student, paid £50 to Malcolm McLauren, an artist and designer from London, to marry him to get the citizenship.
— Sonoma Christian Home (@SonomaChristian) June 14, 2015
They married in 1972, but the divorce process eventually cost £2,000, paid by Malcolm’s grandmother. Later Malcolm’s wife was Vivienne Westwood. Jodhi doesn’t talk about her father, who left her mother when she was several months old. She also remembers her mother created ‘a highly protective environment around her’, probably because Jocelyn was a single parent.
Jodhi attended Camden School for Girls, matriculating in 1993. Then she enrolled at Wadham College, Oxford University, graduating with a BA in English in 1997. Later Jodhi took acting classes in various art schools of London and Oxford.
Even though Jodhi got her first role in the movie “A World Apart” when she was only 11 years old, she returned home after filming and continued her studies: ‘There was never any question of me leaving education. Not even for a moment. I’ve always enjoyed school and have always been very academically driven’, she recalls her early years in her interview to The Independent in 2006.
Early acting career
Jodhi debuted in a movie at the age of 12, in the role of Molly Roth in the political thriller “A World Apart” (1988) – director Chris Menges wanted to have someone ‘fresh-faced’ for the role. During her summer holidays Jodhi joined the cast in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 1987. The movie told the story of apartheid in South Africa, though it couldn’t be filmed there at those times.
For her performance, Jodhi received Cannes Film Festival award as the Best Actress, becoming the youngest person to ever receive the award. Jodhi also won the Laurence Olivier Award in the category Most Promising Newcomer. Even though her acting career had a very successful start, she filmed movies only during her summer holidays. Thus, she played Miriam Weiss in “Max and Helen” (1990), Ewa in “Eminent Domain” (1990) and Rose Kellner in “For the Greater Good” (1991). She also landed minor roles in “The Last of the Mohicans”, “Second Best”, “Sister My Sister” and some other movies – her performances invariably impressed the audience and the critics.
Further acting and theatre career
Along with her appearances in such movies as “The House of Mirth” (2000), “The Other Boleyn Girl” (2003) and “The Mayor of Casterbridge” (2003), Jodhi also found herself in the theatre. In 2002 she acted in the French play “Far Away”; the production was written and performed in French, and Jodhi’s French roots helped her considerably to feel the role better. In 2006 she landed the main role in the production entitled “Blackbird” – based on the story written by David Harrower, the play tells the story of a middle-aged man who spent several years in prison for the seduction of a 12-year-old girl. The two meet each other again when the girl is an adult woman, and the life of her former seducer which he is rebuilding, falls to pieces.
Jodhi admits that such stories can’t compete with major Hollywood stories, so she uses her fame to promote her plays, though “Blackbird” is ‘daring show, extremely provocative and challenging and exciting’, in her own opinion.
Among her latest works in big movies and series one can see “A.D. The Bible Continues” (2015 – present), “The Warrior Queen of Jhansi” (2019) and “Down a Dark Hall” (2018). Jodhi also appeared in several episodes of the super popular “Game of Thrones” series, landing the role of Maggy, the fortuneteller.
Queen Calanthe on “The Witcher”
Jodhi’s latest role of Queen Calanthe, the ruler of Cintra and the grandmother of princess Ciri in the highly awaited Netflix series, also attracted attention to the fact that the Queen Calanthe Jodhi portrayed in the first episode of “The Witcher” had nothing to do neither with the book version of the character nor… with good acting. A lot of viewers noticed her unnatural facial expressions and gestures, carefully admitting that her appearance didn’t suit the Queen of the North, as in fact Cintra, which was ruled by Calanthe according to the plot of the book series, was located in the Northern area, and Jodhi wasn’t even made blonde, which caused a lot of negative discussions on fans forums.
However, Jodhi doesn’t seem to worry about the audience and critics opinion, admitting she doesn’t pay much attention to such things: ‘When I finish a job, I surrender it completely <…> To place any kind of importance on what other people think would be … well, it would send me down a rather dangerous path, don’t you think?’, she reflects in her interview to The Independent.
Jodhi has always been secretive about her private life. She’s never shared any information about her boyfriends, nor appeared with someone at any event. This situation provoked rumors about her being a lesbian, especially as Jodhi played a lesbian in the film “Sleep With Me” (2009), along with her fellow-actress Anamaria Marinca, who played Sylvie, the secret lover of Jodhi’s character, Lelia.
The rumors were even stronger after the film was launched, as Jodhi’s acting was very convincing. Jodhi hasn’t confirmed or denied the rumors.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
Jodhi is not at all active on social media platforms – accounts with her name are often removed by Instagram and Twitter, as her fans create fan pages and post Jodhi’s photos, pretending to manage the official account of the actress. Jodhi is convinced that actors should hide their real life from the audience: ‘As an actor, I think it’s really important to be as anonymous as possible. It’s your job to convince people that you are somebody else, and so any recognition I’d get away from the screen – well, it’s not something I actively seek’, she shared in one of her Interviews to The Independent in 2006.
Jodhi once shared that she ‘would die’ to star in one of Woody Allen’s films. In 2006 she bought her first TV set, as her friend and playwright of the movie “Friends and Crocodiles” Stephen Poliakoff, convinced her to buy one at least to watch that movie.
Jodhi has long dark-brown hair and hazel eyes. She is 5ft 8ins (1.72m) tall and weighs around 132lbs (60kgs); her vital statistics are 34-24-36.
Net worth and salary
As of early 2020, Jodhi’s net worth is reported to be around $2 million.