From Serendipity to Underworld, Kate Beckinsale has been a Hollywood mainstay since the early 2000s. At 47, Beckinsale still has the acting chops to pull off the dramatic roles, while maintaining the physicality to run and fight like a true action star. Read on for these bloodsucking facts about Kate Beckinsale.
1. Age Ain’t Nothing…
Beckinsale recently got some renewed paparazzi interest due to her relationship with 25-year-old comedian Pete Davidson. The two met a Golden Globes party in 2019. They were later spotted at a New York Rangers game, tongue-battling in the stands. Beckinsale has made it clear she finds the interest in a woman’s love life “old-fashioned” and doesn’t appreciate it.
Beckinsale deleted all of her Instagram pictures in March of that year, likely due to all the negative comments concerning her and Davidson.
2. Sixth Time’s the Charm
Underworld fans will be dismayed to know that Beckinsale has put her foot down on doing a sequel. Beckinsale confirmed in a 2018 interview that she is not open to doing another film since she’s “done plenty.”
If you want to get in Beckinsale’s good books, make sure to compliment the dating effort she makes. On The Late Show with James Corden, Beckinsale recalled a date where a guy took her to Disneyland. The man, who remained unnamed, didn’t compliment her on the fact that she wore Disney ears. Being over 40, Beckinsale viewed the ears as a huge commitment and felt slighted. Lesson fellas: Appreciate your date’s effort.
4. Tables Have Turned
Beckinsale and Davidson view the fascination with their relationship as part of a double standard. The relationship has drawn criticism for the age gap (that’s not my criticism), like David Spade commenting “you like them young” on a video of Beckinsale playing with a cheetah cub. Davidson points out that men often date women significantly younger than them and even took part in an SNL sketch where he listed 15+ male figures who have dated women significantly younger than them, such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Mel Gibson.
Spade is one example Davidson didn’t mention. The 54-year-old has a daughter with a 33-year-old and dated a 32-year-old back in 2017.
5. Take a Step Back
Beckinsale’s desire to step away from the Underworld series appears to be part of a wider desire to avoid big-budget action films. Beckinsale has stated that her most miserable filming experiences have been on blockbuster films, although she doesn’t offer details. Beckinsale never studied drama formally and viewed her early career as an apprenticeship where she could experiment with different roles.
She began with indies and enjoyed the experience, but found it intimidating to do bigger films where her posters were displayed “on the side of every single bus.”
Beckinsale studied French and Russian literature at Oxford University’s New College, and now speaks both languages, along with German (showoff). Beckinsale pursued Russian specifically since she always loved Russian literature and wanted to read classics like Chekhov in their original language. Additionally, the first play Beckinsale ever did was an adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull.
7. East to West
Beckinsale is part Burmese through her paternal grandfather. She credits his genes for her hair, which “sticks out all over the place.” I’m sure many women would be happy to trade places.
8. Is Someone Cutting Onions?
Kate’s dad Richard Beckinsale was an actor best known for his role on The Lovers and Porridge. Richard died of a heart attack at age 31, when Beckinsale was five. Beckinsale has remarked that the passing gets less painful with time, but there are still moments where grief hits her, such as when she realizes she is older than her dad ever was.
Back in 1997, Beckinsale was best known for period pieces such as Emma and Cold Comfort Farm. At the time, Beckinsale stated that she was sticking to these roles since most original screenplays didn’t interest her. She also remarked that her “posh accent” fits the roles. Maybe 2019 Beckinsale would look back on her old self and think she sounds pretentious.
10. Digging Deep
Beckinsale went through a period of anorexia when she was fifteen. She attributes the phase to her father’s earlier death, viewing it as a late manifestation of trauma brought on by puberty. The diagnosis isn’t just Beckinsale’s, she requested Freudian analysis when she realized she had a problem.
Beckinsale’s mother Judy Loe is also an actress, who is best known for roles in shows such as Woodstock and Casualty. Kate also has an older half-sister, Samantha, whose last acting credit was in 2014’s Decline of an Empire.
12. Venn Diagram
Beckinsale has a daughter, Lily (20), with ex Michael Sheen. The two still celebrate Christmas together with Lily, and Beckinsale credits their relationship to their desire to put their daughter first. Sheen and Beckinsale worked together on Underworld, which is how Beckinsale met her future husband, director Len Wiseman.
Lily also appears in Underworld, playing a younger version of Kate’s character. Kate’s exes also worked together for Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, with Wiseman directing and Sheen playing the lead.
13. Honor Roll
Despite her action-packed 2000s roles, Beckinsale was never much of an athlete. She hated PE as a kid and says it was her worst subject. While Beckinsale loved making a name for herself as an action heroine, she views herself as an action “fraud” since she is most associated with the genre that is the biggest stretch from her roots. Beckinsale’s first love is a comedy but she didn’t want to try to emulate her father’s success with that genre, since he was a well-known comedy figure in England.
14. Full Circle
2016’s Love and Friendship, a Jane Austen adaptation, is part of Beckinsale’s return to the period pieces she started with. Beckinsale plays Lady Susan, and says that she has always been drawn to characters who “aren’t really likable but you sort of like despite yourself.” While Susan is charming and intelligent, she is also selfish and ruthless.
15. Oscar for Best Screenplay Goes To…
Beckinsale’s stepdad, Roy Battersby, is a director and she knew early on that she didn’t want to follow in his footsteps. While watching her stepdad work made Beckinsale avoid directing, she recently co-wrote a screenplay. The film is a dark comedy exploring the relationship between a mother and daughter, and Beckinsale swears it’s not autobiographical.
16. Right Place, Right Time
Beckinsale believes that Underworld wouldn’t have been as successful if it was released nowadays. She views the current blockbuster market as heavily dominated by comic book films, remakes, and other adaptations. For Beckinsale, Underworld is the “grandma of Twilight” and was able to break into the scene before vampires and werewolves became more common.
Since having a child, Beckinsale has been more prone to getting starstruck; falling in love with whatever actor or actress her daughter is into. Beckinsale’s most recent was the “wonderful actor that played Lafayette” in Hamilton (Daveed Diggs). Beckinsale saw the play twice with her daughter and happened to run into Diggs while doing publicity for a film in New York. She admits she “basically licked him on the face”…and probably made his day.
18. Never Back Down
Beckinsale returned to Instagram late March, after the publicity firestorm concerning her and Davidson. She posted her first pic with the simple caption of “Back to business.” Haters can’t keep her down.
19. The In-Laws
Beckinsale’s relationship with Davidson eventually got pretty serious, as evidenced by him meeting her parents. The couple were spotted driving Beckinsale’s mom and stepdad to L.A’s Nobu for dinner back on March 19, 2019. The date also marked the 40th anniversary of Richard Beckinsale’s passing.
20. Dramatic Irony
While Beckinsale is pretty critical of remakes, she does own up to being in a few herself, such as Total Recall. She believes there is a time and place for them, especially if the original wasn’t “perfect to begin with.” There are others (which she doesn’t name) where she thinks they shouldn’t be touched. The funny thing is, most people would say the original Total Recall should have been left alone.
21. Wild N’Out
If you like the Davidson and Beckinsale coupling, Nick Cannon wants to take credit for it. According to Cannon, he is the one who gave Davidson the courage to pursue an older woman, after telling Davidson that older women don’t play games. An anonymous friend has said that Davidson gets along with Beckinsale’s daughter and that Lily realizes her mom deserves to have fun.
As the friend said: “Men are fools for Kate. Not the other way around.” The “friend” also says Kate loves the increased media attention.
22. Seven Days
Beckinsale might be known for action or drama, but she could have been a scream queen if she had her way. She auditioned the lead role of Rachel in 2002’s The Ring, but lost out since producers thought she looked too young for the part.
After Underworld, Beckinsale gained some attention for signing on for Van Helsing, another film with vampires and werewolves. When asked if that was part of her career plan, Beckinsale responded she doesn’t have a plan, she takes roles one at a time and sees how they go. She was reluctant to take on Van Helsing but viewed the role as different enough since she wasn’t playing a vampire this time around.
24. 5, 6, 7, 8
Beckinsale had little time to train for Van Helsing since shooting began shortly after Underworld wrapped. However, her Underworld training paid off, especially when it came to stunt work. Co-star Hugh Jackman recalls practicing a stunt with Beckinsale’s stunt double, who messed up and ended up landing on Jackman’s shoulder. In contrast, Beckinsale pulled the stunt off three times in a row in practice runs. You’re doing something right when Wolverine says you’re “very athletic.”
25. Make the Dream Work
Although Beckinsale has remarked that blockbusters have been “her worst experiences,” she did have a “profound experience” working on Van Helsing. While she struggled with some personal issues (doesn’t give details) during filming, she felt like part of a team when working with director Stephen Sommers and Hugh Jackman. They allowed her to rise above her personal issues and she thanks Van Helsing for preparing her for her role in The Aviator.
Beckinsale had a hospital scare back in January, thanks to a ruptured ovarian cyst. She is good to go now, but posted a pic of herself in the hospital bed with an oxygen tube running up her nose. Some fans criticized the pic as a cry for attention, but Beckinsale responded that she took the pic since she noticed paparazzi snapping pics of her leaving the hospital in a wheelchair.
She wanted to control the narrative, hence the Instagram pic (taken by her mom).
According to Beckinsale, as of 2004, Hugh Jackman was the nicest guy in Hollywood. The Wolverine actor arrived on the set of Van Helsing with that label and Beckinsale was initially convinced the persona would turn out to be a hoax, “we hoped this guy was a complete phony.” In true Jackman fashion, he held up to his reputation.
28. What’s Her Secret?
Beckinsale has stayed in shape throughout her career and a part of that is the work of her trainer, Gunnar Peterson. Peterson’s clients include athletes and other celebrities, like Chris Hemsworth. However, he still ranks Beckinsale as one of his hardest working clients. Beckinsale works with Gunnar six days a week to avoid a mom bod. Her workouts mainly consist of compound movements (e.g. squats, deadlifts) and upper body workouts like pushups and pullups, along with yoga. Brb, off to the gym.
Irish singer Ronan Keating isn’t Beckinsale’s biggest fan, since she apparently cut in line at the GQ Awards. As Keating recalls, he and other figures like “the lady from Game of Thrones—Brienne of Tarth,” were having a chat while waiting in line. An actress then walked past them and cut to the front of the line. Keating would not name the actress, but said she is a British one who “seemed like a laid back person” and stars in a film about an important moment in World War II (Beckinsale starred in Pearl Harbour).
30. You Should Be Very Proud
Beckinsale was slated to play Wonder Woman in the mid-2000s, back when Joss Whedon was attached as a director. Whedon’s script was leaked online in early 2019 and got mixed reviews, to put it lightly. Beckinsale wasn’t a fan of the Whedon script and was also hesitant about playing a costumed hero, “I don’t know if I was desperate to be in a leotard.”
Aside from having a celebrity trainer, Beckinsale practices discipline with her diet in order to stay lean. She doesn’t drink alcohol, partly due to the calories, and partly because she’s a lightweight, “I’ve never actually had an entire glass of anything alcoholic.” Beckinsale also follows a plant-based diet.
33. Dodged a Bullet
Beckinsale can recall meeting Harvey Weinstein when she was seventeen, while wearing a bathrobe. The two would meet again over the years and Beckinsale adds that Weinstein threw some profanity her way when she eventually made it clear that she did not want to work with him.
UK Mother’s Day is in early April, and Kate got her mom an inflatable, ahem, appendage for the big day. Kate captured her mom on Instagram, with the fully-inflated gift in hand. It seems Judy Loe has a sense of humor—no wonder Beckinsale likes her comedians.
35. Netflix and Chill
Beckinsale made her return to TV in 2019, after twenty years away. The Widow follows Georgia (Beckinsale), whose husband is reported dead in a plane crash in Congo. When Georgia sees her husband on the news, three years later, she journeys to Africa to uncover the truth. Beckinsale was drawn to TV since the format allows characters to be fleshed out more, and she realizes that TV is much more popular and revered now than it was when she started acting.
36. The Holy Trinity
Beckinsale has a small list of things she misses about England: Black cabs, her mom, and Marks & Spencer (a retail store). Beckinsale also adds that she finds American men as a whole have a greater sense of “machismo” than English men, which makes her miss the self-deprecating humor of the Brits. Along came Pete Davidson—at least, for a little bit. They ended up calling it quits in April 2019.
37. Bentley, Benz or Uber
Beckinsale has yet to learn how to drive. It “used to be cute…but now it’s become quite weird.” It might be weirder now since Beckinsale’s daughter learned how to drive before she did. According to Beckinsale, a lot of the Uber drivers in LA are Armenian, so she is able to show off her Russian while they drive her somewhere.
38. Received Pronunciation
Kate’s daughter, Lily has spent a great deal of time growing up in the US, but Lily has her mom’s accent. According to Beckinsale, the secret was reading the Harry Potter series to Lily before bedtime.
39. Don’t Leave Home Without It
What do you carry with you to cheer you up when you’re feeling down? Beckinsale carries a horse costume. She bought the pantomime costume with her first acting wages, back when she was sixteen. She most recently used the costume while on the set of 2019’s The Widow. She even let her friend Sarah Kavanaugh join her in the costume, with Kavanaugh taking the horse’s front end.
Beckinsale singles out her role in Farming as the oddest she has done yet. The film is an autobiographical tale written and directed by Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje, who may be best known as Killer Croc in Suicide Squad. As a child in the UK, Agbaje’s Nigerian parents “farmed” him out to a white family. Agbaje then lived with a racially insensitive and abusive foster mom (played by Beckinsale) before joining a gang of racist skinheads.
Even Beckinsale wondered why Agbaje wanted to cast her, and Agbage responded that he felt like she was a star that could be relatable and lovable.
41. So Emotional
Beckinsale has sometimes been accused of being a diva on set, and stories like the GQ line-hop don’t help. However, Beckinsale has stated that the rumors are partly due to the “innate sexism” in Hollywood where women’s opinions are treated with more hostility than men’s. Beckinsale believes she, and women as a whole, have to put in more effort to avoid having their opinions come across as combative.
42. I Bay-g Your Pardon?
Beckinsale doesn’t look back on Pearl Harbour fondly, mainly due to her experiences with Michael Bay. She didn’t understand why Bay wanted her to lose weight for her role as a nurse, remarking that Bay must have been baffled “because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head and I wasn’t blonde.” She also didn’t like the fact that Bay would publically state he picked Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett for their talent, while saying Beckinsale was picked because she wasn’t attractive enough to alienate the female audience.
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44