Meet the Cast

Barbara Spooner
played by Romola Garai


Barbara Spooner played by Romola Garai

Meet Barbara Spooner

Barbara Spooner met William Wilberforce on April 15, 1797 when she was 20 and he was 38. After only two weeks of courtship, they were married on May 30. The pair shared their lives for 36 years until Wilberforce's death in 1833 and produced six children. A great proponent of the anti-slavery cause, Barbara supported Wilberforce throughout his fight to abolish slavery.

About Romola Garai

Romola Garai's first screen role was playing the young Judi Dench in the award-winning series The Last of the Blond Bombshells, after being spotted by an agent in a school production.

Her first leading role was in the television adaptation Daniel Deronda, but she came gained critical attention and a nomination for a British Independent Film Award® as Most Promising Newcomer for her leading role in the film adaptation of Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle, starring alongside Bill Nighy. Her role in Damien O'Donnell's Inside I'm Dancing led to nominations for the London Critics Circle and British Film Awards®. In 2005 she was nominated for an Australian Film Institute Award® for her performance in the title role in the television mini-series Mary Bryant.

On London stage, Romola played the role of James Joyce's wife Lucia, for which she was nominated for an Evening Standard Award® as Outstanding Newcomer.

Since completing Amazing Grace, she has filmed Joe Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's Atonement, starring with Keira Knightley and co-star Benedict Cumberbatch and starred in Kenneth Branagh's Japanese adaptation of As You Like It.