Here's what the cast of 'Mary Queen of Scots' looks like in real life

Focus FeaturesSaoirse Ronan in ‘Mary Queen of Scots.’
  • “Mary, Queen of Scots” tells the story of the friendship and rivalry between cousins Mary Stuart, the Queen of Scotland, and Queen Elizabeth I, who ruled over England and Ireland.
  • The two queens are portrayed by Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie in the upcoming film. But while Ronan is recognisable as Mary, Queen of Scots, Robbie is nearly unrecognizable as Queen Elizabeth I.
  • Here’s what the cast looks like in real life.
  • “Mary Queen of Scots” landed in theatres on Friday.


Saoirse Ronan stars as the titular Mary, Queen of Scots.

Focus FeaturesSaoirse Ronan as Mary Stuart.

Mary was the Queen of Scotland and cousin of Queen Elizabeth I, who ruled over England and Ireland. The two became rivals after Mary attempted to claim her cousin’s throne. She was beheaded at the age of 44.


Ronan, 24, is really Irish, not Scottish.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty ImagesSaoirse Ronan attends the Gucci Cruise 2019 show in 2018.

The 24-year-old actress has been nominated for three Oscars for her roles in “Atonement,” “Brooklyn,” and “Lady Bird.”


Margot Robbie transformed into Queen Elizabeth I with red hair and painted face.

Liam Daniel/Focus FeaturesMargot Robbie stars as Queen Elizabeth I.

Elizabeth ruled over England and Ireland until her death at 69. She was succeeded by her cousin Mary’s son, James VI.


Robbie is an Australian actress.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty ImagesMargot Robbie attends the Chanel Cruise 2018/2019 Collection in 2018.

The 28-year-old actress broke out in the United States after starring in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” She earned an Oscar nomination for playing Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya” and played Harley Quinn in “Suicide Squad.”


Jack Lowden plays Lord Darnley, Mary’s second husband.

Liam Daniel/Focus FeaturesJack Lowden as Lord Darnley.

He was Mary’s cousin and the father of her son, James VI. Darnley was murdered eight months after his son’s birth.


Lowden is also bearded in real life.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty ImagesJack Lowden attends the ‘Dunkirk’ New York Premiere in 2017.

The 28-year-old Scottish actor’s credits include “War and Peace” and “Dunkirk.”


Joe Alwyn portrays Robert Dudley, one of Elizabeth’s good friends and suitors.

Liam Daniel/Focus FeaturesJoe Alwyn in ‘Mary Queen of Scots.’

He was a statesman who worked closely with the queen.


Alwyn is normally blonde.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesJoe Alwyn attends the opening night premiere of ‘The Favourite’ in 2018.

The 27-year-old actor made his film debut in “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.” In 2018, he also starred in “Operation Finale,” “The Favourite,” and “Boy Erased.” He’s currently dating Taylor Swift.


David Tennant had a long beard to play John Knox, a Scottish minister.

Focus FeaturesDavid Tennant as John Knox.

Knox founded the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.


Tennant has a much cleaner shave now.

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesDavid Tennant attends the Los Angeles premiere of the HBO series ‘Camping’ in 2018.

The 47-year-old Scottish star is known for starring on “Doctor Who,” “Broadchurch,” and “Jessica Jones.”


Gemma Chan plays Queen Elizabeth’s friend, Elizabeth Hardwick.

Liam Daniel/Focus FeaturesGemma Chan stars as Bess of Hardwick.

She was a noblewoman and was married four times.


Chan recently starred in “Crazy Rich Asians.”

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesGemma Chan attends the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 10th annual Governors Awards.

The 36-year-old British actress will next appear in “Captain Marvel.”


Guy Pearce has a beard as William Cecil, an advisor to Queen Elizabeth I.

Liam Daniel/Focus FeaturesGuy Pearce in ‘Mary Queen of Scots.’

He served as the secretary of state twice and convinced Queen Elizabeth to go through with Mary’s execution.


Pearce shaved his beard.

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty ImagesGuy Pearce attends a special screening of the Netflix show ‘The Innocents’ in 2018.

Pearce is known for starring on “Mildred Pierce” and in “Memento,” “The King’s Speech,” “Iron Man 3,” and “Alien: Covenant.”


Ismael Cruz Córdova had some long hair to portray David Rizzio, a friend of Mary’s.

Liam Daniel/Focus FeaturesIsmael Cruz Cordova stars as Rizzio.

Rizzio was an Italian member of Mary’s court. It was rumoured that the two were more than friends and Rizzio was murdered in the queen’s presence.


Córdova’s hair is much shorter in real life.

Isaac Brekken/Getty ImagesIsmael Cruz Cordova attends the CinemaCon 2018 Gala Opening Night Event.

Córdova played Mando on “Sesame Street” and will next appear in “Miss Bala.”


James McArdle had quite the beard to portray James Stewart, Earl of Moray and Mary’s brother.

Liam Daniel/Focus FeaturesJames McArdle in ‘Mary Queen of Scots.’

Stewart was actually an illegitimate son of Mary’s father. He served as Mary’s advisor, but didn’t approve of Mary’s marriage to Lord Darnley and attempted to lead a raid on his sister.


McArdle doesn’t look anything like the bearded earl.

Jeff Spicer/Getty ImagesJames McArdle attends the THREE Empire awards in 2017.

The 29-year-old Scottish actor was in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and starred in “Angels in America” on Broadway.


Maria-Victoria Dragus as Mary Fleming, one of Mary’s ladies-in-waiting.

Liam Daniel/Focus FeaturesMaria Dragus as Mary Fleming.

She was a childhood friend of Queen Mary’s.


Dragus is a German actress.

Emma McIntyre/Getty ImagesMaria Dragus attends the closing night world premiere gala screening of ‘Mary Queen Of Scots’ in 2018.

She’s set to star on “Looking for Alaska.”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.