Who is Willa Fitzgerald?
Willa Fitzgerald is an American actress born on 17 January 1991, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. She’s perhaps best known for playing the role of Emma Duval in the MTV series “Scream”, based on the popular horror film franchise. The show ran from 2015 through 2016, and gained her recognition with the audience.
Willa has also appeared in other television shows, including “Royal Pains” and “Gotham”, and has further made appearances in films, such as “For the Love of a Dog” and “Freak Show”, along with performing in various theatre productions.
Early Life and Education
Willa grew up with an immense passion for performing arts. Encouraged by her parents, she started acting in local theater productions at a young age.
She attended the Harpeth Hall School, a private college-preparatory school for girls in Nashville, where her love for acting flourished even more. During these years, she starred in many school productions, demonstrating her knack for transforming herself into a myriad of characters. However, after matriculating high school, Willa took a different path, and studied psychology for three years, before moving to New Haven, Connecticut, to attend Yale University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Theater Studies.
Roles in TV Series
Willa made her TV series debut in 2013, when she joined the cast of the comedy drama “Alpha House”, centered on the lives and careers of four fictional Republican senators. Willa appeared in a total of 12 episodes, until the show concluded in 2014.
Her most notable breakthrough on television was in “Scream: The TV Series” in which she played the central character, Emma Duval. This TV adaptation of the popular horror film franchise aired on MTV from 2015 through 2016 and follows a group of high school students who become targets of a masked killer known as ‘Ghostface’. The show received positive reviews for its suspenseful storyline, self-awareness, and nods to the original film franchise. Willa’s performance as Emma Duval was praised for anchoring the series with her compelling portrayal of a young woman caught up in a deadly mystery.
— Willa Fitzgerald (@willafitz) July 7, 2015
Following “Scream”, in 2017 Willa starred alongside Maya Hawke and Kathryn Newton in the TV miniseries adaptation of “Little Women” based on the novel by American author Louisa May Alcott, in which she took on the role of Meg March, the oldest of the March sisters. Meg is a gentle, domestic character who yearns for a conventional life. Willa’s nuanced portrayal reflected the struggles of a young woman in the 19th century, grappling with societal expectations and personal desires.
Following “Little Women”, Willa made appearances in other popular TV series such as “House of Cards”, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings”.
In 2019, Willa joined the cast of “Dare Me,” a TV series centered on competitive high school cheerleading. She played Coach Colette French, a character who was not only a cheerleading coach but also a manipulator of the team’s dynamics.
Willa’s most recent TV series role was in the 2022 action crime drama “Reacher”, created by Nick Santora, and which stars Alan Ritchson as a retired Military Police Officer arrested for murder he didn’t commit.
In 2023, Willa is set to star alongside Mark Hamill and Carla Gugino in Netflix’s upcoming horror mini-series “The Fall of the House of Usher”, based on the works of American poet and novelist Edgar Allan Poe.
Roles in Movies
Willa’s cinematic debut was in the 2007 film “For the Love of a Dog” as Alice, a supporting character in a family-centric narrative. In the following years, she appeared in two short films, “Food of Love” (2012) and “Two Cheeseburgers: Part 3” (2013).
#TBT to the set of Freak Show with this amazing cast! It’s hard to believe that a year ago, Freak Show was released. I’m…
In 2017, Willa played the supporting role of Tiffany in the comedy drama “Freak Show”, directed by Trudie Silver, and also starred alongside Ellar Coltrane in the thriller “Blood Money”.
In 2018, Willa landed a significant role in “Beach House”, an independent thriller, playing Emma, a young woman experiencing a transformative summer at her family’s beach house. Willa’s interpretation of Emma brought forth a character who was conflicted, grappling with personal growth amidst intense and dangerous situations.
In the following year, she was cast in “The Goldfinch”, the movie adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Directed by John Crowley, the movie tells the story of Theo Decker, a young man who survives a terrorist attack at an art museum that claims the life of his mother. The film explores Theo’s life as he grapples with loss, guilt, and the impact of a stolen painting called “The Goldfinch”.
Most recently, in 2023, Willa starred alongside Jack Houston, Robert DeNiro, and John Malkovich in the star-studded action thriller “Savage Salvation”, centered on a recovering opioid addict seeking revenge for the death of his fiancée.
Love Life and Relationships
Willa has always maintained a relatively low profile when it comes to her personal life. However, it’s known that she’s been in a long-term relationship with Gabe Kennedy, an acclaimed chef and TV personality. The two share a passion for creativity, with their respective careers in the arts.
Gabe often shares glimpses of their life together on social media, revealing their shared love for adventure, food, and their dog, Billie.
Interesting Facts and Hobbies
Away from the set, Willa is a voracious reader; she’s often seen recommending books on her social media platforms, ranging from contemporary fiction to classical literature. She’s also a passionate supporter of environmental causes, and frequently uses her platform to raise awareness about climate change and the importance of sustainable living.
Additionally, Willa has a love for singing and playing the guitar. She often shares videos of her singing covers and original songs, revealing another layer of her artistic talent.
In addition, Willa maintains an active lifestyle, and trains at the gym at least four times per week. She loves hiking in her spare time, and is also a big fan of winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.
As of July 2023, Willa’s net worth is estimated to be around $3 million. Her earnings come from her successful acting career in both TV series and movies. Despite her success, Willa is known for her humility and dedication to her craft, rather than a pursuit of wealth.