Lucy Boynton was just 12 when she landed her first acting gig, as young Beatrix in 2006’s Miss Potter. But it wasn’t until 2016’s Sing Street—from Once director John Carney—that she really found her groove. “Because I started at such a young age, I went in with a ‘take what comes, do what I’m told’ approach,” says Boynton, now 24. “Sing Street was the first time I’d worked so collaboratively. [Carney] would say, ‘I hate this scene—let’s rewrite the whole thing.’ The amount of control he gave the actors was amazing.” Boynton, who was born stateside to travel-writer parents and moved to the U.K. at age 5, calls those two films “bookmarks” in a résumé that also includes the BBC’s 2008 Sense & Sensibility miniseries and last year’s Murder on the Orient Express.
This fall, Boynton stars opposite Rami Malek in the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. She plays Mary Austin, the Queen frontman’s longtime companion, confidante, and muse, whose place in Mercury’s story is often overlooked. “Their relationship was such an exquisite thing to explore—how deeply supportive they were of bringing out in each other the most honest and real versions of themselves,” Boynton says. Before Bohemian Rhapsody hits theaters, on November 2, Boynton portrays the daughter of an early-20th-century cult leader in the Netflix thriller Apostle, which starts streaming October 12. “The difference between the two demonstrates my favorite thing about this job,” she says. “You get to live so many lives.”
Boynton’s Netflix run continues with The Politician, an upcoming comedy series that’s part of Ryan Murphy’s buzzed-about nine figure move to the streaming giant. (The series also stars Dear Evan Hansen’s Ben Platt and, reportedly, Barbra Streisand and Gwyneth Paltrow.) “It’s kind of terrifying,” Boynton says with a laugh. “It’s impossible not to be aware of the Ryan Murphy empire, but he is so kind and funny, and you feel in such safe hands every day.” As for roles Boynton would love to tackle, there’s a when rather than a who on her bucket list. “It was a bit of a whirlwind year in terms of jumping in and out of different time periods, but I haven’t done anything in the Jazz Age,” she says. “I’d love to do that.”