Jessica Hynes is an English actress and writer, best known as one of the creators, writers and stars of the British sitcom Spaced. She was known professionally as Jessica Stevenson until 2007.
Hynes was born in Lewisham, London, on 15 November 1972, but grew up in Brighton, where she attended Dorothy Stringer school. As a teenager Hynes was part of the National Youth Theatre company, and made her professional début in Peter Greenaway's 1993 film The Baby of Mâcon, playing the first midwife. For the first fourteen years of her career, she used her maiden name as a stage name. Early in her career she teamed up with future Spaced co-star Katy Carmichael in a comedy double-act called The Liz Hurleys, appeared in two productions at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, and played parts on television in the nursing drama Staying Alive (1995-1997) and short-lived sketch shows Six Pairs of Pants, (Un)natural Acts and Asylum - where the Spaced team (Stevenson, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright) first assembled.
In 1998 she was cast in the supporting role of Cheryl in the surprise hit sitcom The Royle Family and then in 1999 co-wrote and starred in Spaced. In 2004 she played a minor part as Yvonne in horror comedy Shaun of the Dead, again working with Pegg and Wright. In the same year she was also cast as Magda, friend of the titular character, in the Hollywood sequel Bridget Jones' Diary 2. In 2005 Hynes took the lead role in the BBC One sitcom According to Bex (which she thought was so bad that she sacked her agent for putting her up to it), and had a starring role in British comedy Confetti alongside Jimmy Carr, Martin Freeman, and Mark Heap. In early 2007 she took the lead female role in the film Magicians, starring alongside comic duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb.
Hynes most recently appeared in Learners, a comedy drama television movie which she wrote and starred in, shown on BBC One in November 2007. In addition to her appearance in the television series Doctor Who in the 2007 episodes "Human Nature" and "The Family of Blood", Hynes had previously appeared in Big Finish's Eighth Doctor audio adventure Invaders from Mars based on the programme (which also starred her Spaced colleague Simon Pegg). She also played Mafalda Hopkirk in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
She has cowritten Phoo Action, based on the cartoons of Jamie Hewlett, which first transmitted on BBC 3 in early 2008.
In the same year Hynes appears in the film Faintheart and in a revival of Alan Ayckbourne's The Norman Conquests at the Old Vic. She plans to pursue a solo career as a standup comedian.
She will have a role in the upcoming movie The Worlds End, the third movie in the Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy."
Husband and children
She met her husband, Adam Hynes, when she was 18, and married him in 2002. They have three children.