If the mark of a good performer is her ability to make sound film choices, Kelly Macdonald would likely rank as one of the more apt actresses working today.


The 31-year-old Scot has worked with some of the most renowned directors and actors in the business since breaking into show business in 1996 with her turn as Diane in Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting.


The list of projects reads like a who’s who of Hollywood talent: late director Robert Altman and Helen Mirren in Gosford Park; Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy in Intermission; and director Marc Forster, Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland.


Not bad for someone who just 11 years ago was working as a barmaid before — and even after — being cast in Trainspotting. Now Macdonald can add a Coen Brothers project to her resumé with her role as Carla Jean in the film No Country For Old Men.


As with her past experiences working with Altman and Forster, Macdonald was floored by the brothers’ intuitive approach to filmmaking.

“They don’t even know what their trademarks are,” she says of the natural flow she saw them bring to the creative process. “Their interest is almost strictly in characters and stories.”

  • No Country For Old Men opens in theatres today.