Kaya Scodelario : A Different Actress

Kaya Scodelario is an English actress who is best known for her role as Effy Stonem on the E4 teen drama Skins. She has also appeared in such films as Clash of the Titans, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and The Maze Runner. In this blog, we will take a look at Kaya Scodelario’s life and career thus far.

Early life

Kaya Scodelario was born in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, England, to a Brazilian mother, Katia (née Bulhões), and an English father, Roger Humphrey. Her surname comes from her mother’s Italian grandfather. Scodelario has a sister, Maya, who is also an actress.

Scodelario’s first acting role was in the 2002 short film After Hours as Sarah in 2002. She had her breakthrough as Effy Stonem in Skins (2007), for which she received Best TV Drama Actress at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards. She later reprised the role of Effy across Skins’ sixth and seventh series before it ended in 2013.

In 2009, she made her feature film debut as Franky Fitzgerald in E4 teen comedy-drama film Penny Woolcock’s acclaimed Mischief Night. In the same year, she starred as Nancy Carter in breakfast television soap opera EastEnders on BBC One.


Kaya Scodelario began her acting career as Effy Stonem on Skins (2007), a role she would play for the next three years. She made her feature film debut as Teresa in Moon (2009) and later appeared in Clash of the Titans (2010), Shank (2010), Wuthering Heights (2011), and Skins Fire (2013). Scodelario reprised the role of Effy in Skins Rise (2013) and starred as Katarina Johnson-Thompson in the UK comedy film Colombiana(2011).

In 2014, Scodelario signed on to star as the female lead, Theresa “EC” Collins, in the Maze Runner film series, based on the novel series of the same name by James Dashner. She reprised her role in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015) and will return for Maze Runner: The Death Cure(2018). In 2016, she played Cara Delevingne’s girlfriend in action-comedy movie Suicide Squad.

Personal life

Kaya Rose Humphrey was born in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, to Richard Humphrey, a business owner, and Katia Scodelario, a Brazilian model. Her mother left Brazil when she was six months old and moved to England; Scodelario did not learn to speak Portuguese. Her father died from a heart attack when she was 14. In 2003, at the age of 11, she started attending the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London’s West End; she left school at 15 after being cast as Effy Stonem on Skins.


Scodelario made her film debut in 2004 drama The First Time, where she played Holly. Later she had a small role in the film Stormbreaker as Chloe. In 2006 she appeared as April Johnson in Second Chance and as Sally Muldoon in Skins. In 2007, she played Annabelle Fritton in the St Trinian’s film. She also had a lead role in Anuvahood as Kayla.

In 2009, Scodelario reprised her role of Effy Stonem for two episodes of the third series of Skins. In 2010, she co-starred alongside Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson in Dustbin Baby, based on Jacqueline Wilson’s bestselling novel of the same name. She played Helena Hutton, anaphylactic to almost everything. She then starred opposite Jack O’Connell and Sam Claflin in Skins Fire, the fourth and final series of Skins.

In 2014 Scodelario was cast as Teresa Agnes in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, the second installment of The Maze Runner trilogy. Based on the James Dashner novel of the same name, the film was released on 18 September 2015. In December 2014 it was announced that Scodelario will star as Evelyn Unlocking Evelyn Salt in Eddie The Eagle alongside Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman .

She has also been cast as Carina Smyth, a female pirate character inspired by real-life pirate Mary Read, for Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales alongside Johnny Depp reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow which will be released on 2017


Scodelario won the Breakthrough of the Year Award at the 2009 Bafta Orange British Academy Film Awards. She has also been nominated for a Teen Choice Award, an Evening Standard Award, and a Satellite Award.


Kaya Scodelario has been nominated for several awards throughout her career. In 2009, she was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film Moon. She was also nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor for her role in the film The Maze Runner.

Critical reception

Kaya Scodelario’s breakthrough role as Effy Stonem in Skins (2007–2010) attracted considerable media attention and earned her numerous nominations at the British Soap Awards, winning “Best Actress” in 2008. In 2009 she played the title character’s daughter, Katie Jarvis, in Andrea Arnold’s fish-out-of-water drama Fish Tank. The film won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and Scodelario was awarded the Empire Award for Best Newcomer. She was nominated for both a Teen Choice Award and a Satellite Award for her performance.

In 2010 she starred opposite Nicolas Cage in Paul Schrader’s chamber drama Fireflies in the Garden. The film received mixed reviews but Scodelario’s performance was praised by some critics. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote that “she brings an essential stillness and mystery to the film”. In 2011 she appeared as Frankye Potente’s daughter in Martin Scorsese’s computer-generated 3D thriller Hugo, based on Brian Selznick’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret; her performance was once again praised by some critics. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly called her “the most natural and soulful” of all the actors in 3D roles that year.


On 23 April 2009, the entertainment news website Digital Spy announced that Scodelario had been cast as Effy Stonem in the E4 teen drama Skins. The character was a “ruthless and manipulative girl who is attracted to danger”. She made her first appearance in the second series, broadcast in 2008, and became one of the show’s central characters until 2010 when she departed at the end of the fourth series.

In 2010, Scodelario reprised her role as Effy in the fifth series while she simultaneously starred as Catherine Earnshaw in Andrea Arnold’s film adaptation of Wuthering Heights. For her performance, she won the Best Actress award at the British Soap Awards 2010. In January 2009, it was announced that Scodelario would star as Teresa Agnes in James Dashner’s dystopian science fiction novel The Maze Runner, which would be adapted for film.

The Maze Runner was released on 18 September 2014 and became a commercial success grossing $348 million worldwide. Scodelario reprised her role as Teresa Agnes in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, which was released on 18 September 2015. She will reprise her role again in Maze Runner: The Death Cure set to be released on 26 January 2018.

Scodelario’s views on acting

Kaya Scodelario has said she does not “chase roles” and that she is drawn to projects that are “interesting and original”, rather than those that are purely “commercial”. She has also stated her preference for independent films, saying that she enjoys the freedom that they allow her to experiment.

Scodelario’s views on Hollywood

In an interview in October 2014, Scodelario stated that she “hated Hollywood” when she had first moved there at age 17 and found it “very superficial”. She said that it took her “a long time to adjust” and that it was only recently that she had started to enjoy living there. She elaborated: “Now I really love it here. I’m one of those people that when they find something they like, they go all in and dedicate themselves and give 110%”.

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