Lucy Punch grew up in London and was a member of the National Youth Theatre in her late teens before going to University College London to read History. While she was there she auditioned for TV roles and eventually dropped out to concentrate on acting.
She learned a lot, she says, from working on the short-lived TV series Let Them Eat Cake (1999) with Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French and although she has played many serious roles on TV and in film since, it's her comic skills that have shone.
After several years of steady TV and film work at home, she moved to Los Angeles in the mid-2000s and soon found work there on another short-lived comedy show, The Class (2006) and has stayed in the US ever since, appearing on TV and in movies to increasing acclaim.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Punch saw Esmé as someone living in a gilded cage, who say Olaf's arrival as a rebirth for her. She wanted to be loved and to be seen, and Punch used Isabella Bow, famous for wearing high fashion couture, as an inspiration. One of her favorite scenes was the Library of Records scene in "The Hostile Hospital: Part One," as she found Esme is more demented and emotional than Olaf, which makes her terrifying, but also sympathetic.
It look Lucy Punch a long time to get ready for filming, as in order to become Esmé Squalor, she had to be wigged, put into body makeup, have her eyebrows blocked out, and change her nails. There was sometimes "an entire nail production line just to get the Esmé nails ready." Punch thought that the difficult costume helped her keep in character, as she was, for example, "very conscious to keep [her] beautifully manicured fingernails in place." She also noted that she loved the latex octopus costume from The Grim Grotto episodes.
Her boots for her Officer Luciana Costume were repurposed stripper boots, and it was her and Cynthia Summers's idea for Esmé to have a smaller hat underneath her large one in The Ersatz Elevator: Part One. Summers referred to Punch as "an incredibly physical performer and a comic genius."
Punch also noted that Esmé received more crazy outfits in Season Three, as the character was trying desperately to keep Olaf's attention and affection, and to reflect "an increasing desire to be seen."
|2001||Goodbye, Mr Steadman||Linda Mortimer|
|2003||Second Nature||Car Rental Girl|
|2004||The Life and Death of Peter Sellers||Lead Stewardess|
|2004||Being Julia||Avice Crichton|
|2006||Are You Ready for Love?||Melanie|
|2007||Hot Fuzz||Eve Draper|
|2007||St. Trinian's||Verity Thwaites|
|2007||Ladies and Gentlemen||Alice|
|2010||You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger||Charmaine|
|2010||Dinner for Schmucks||Darla|
|2011||A Little Bit of Heaven||Sarah Walker|
|2011||Take Me Home Tonight||Shelly|
|2011||A Good Old Fashioned Orgy||Kate|
|2011||Bad Teacher||Amy Squirrel|
|2012||The Giant Mechanical Man||Pauline|
|2012||The Wedding Video||Saskia|
|2012||Stand Up Guys||Wendy|
|2014||Someone Marry Barry||Melanie Miller|
|2014||She's Funny That Way||Kandi|
|2014||Into the Woods||Lucinda|
|2017||The Female Brain||Lexi|
|2017||You, Me and Him||Olivia|
|1998||The New Adventures of Robin Hood||Queen Stephanie||One Episode|
|1999||Renford Rejects||Sue White|
|1999||Days Like These||Helen Foreman|
|1999||Let Them Eat Cake||Eveline|
|1999-2001||Big Bad World||Melissa|
|2000||The Tenth Kingdom||Sally Peep|
|2001||People Like Us||Kate||One Episode|
|2001||Midsomer Murders||Melissa Townsend||One Episode|
|2002||I Saw You||Esther||One Episode|
|2004||My Family||Sarah||One Episode|
|2004||Doc Martin||Elaine Denham|
|2005||Survivors||Juliet Savage||One Episode|
|2005||Agatha Cristie's Poirot||Susannah Henderson||One Episode|
|2006-2007||The Class||Holly Ellenbogen|
|2008||Fairy Tales||Fenola Gay||One Episode|
|2010||Vexed||DI Kate Bishop|
|2012||Playhouse Presents||Venitia||One Episode|
|2012-2013||Ben and Kate||BJ|
|2013||Hello Ladies||Mother||One Episode|
|2014||Robot Chicken||Daenerys Targaryen / Arya Stark / Janice Rand||One Episode|
|2018||The Book of Dog||Tinkerbell||One Episode|
|2018-2019||A Series of Unfortunate Events||Esmé Squalor|