Imogen Poots (born 3 June 1989) is an English actress. She is best known for playing Tammy in the post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film 28 Weeks Later (2007), Linda Keith in the Jimi Hendrix biopic Jimi: All Is by My Side (2013), Debbie Raymond in the Paul Raymond biopic The Look of Love (2013) and Julia Maddon in the American action movie Need For Speed (2014).
Poots was born at the Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in Hammersmith, London, the daughter of Trevor Poots, a current affairs television producer from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Fiona Goodall, a journalist and voluntary worker from Bolton. She has an older brother, Alex, who is a model.
Raised in Chiswick, Poots was privately educated in west London, attending Bute House Preparatory School for Girls in Brook Green, Queen’s Gate School in South Kensington, and Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith. While intending to become a veterinarian, she began spending Saturdays at an improvisation workshop hosted by the Young Blood Theatre Company at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. She abandoned her original career aspiration after fainting at the sight of veterinary surgery during work experience. Attaining three A grades at A-level, she won a place at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2008, but had it deferred for two years in order to pursue her acting career.
Poots first appeared on-screen in an episode of Casualty and had a non-speaking role in V for Vendetta, but she was largely unknown when, at the age of 17, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo cast her in 28 Weeks Later. Since then, she has appeared in films such as Cracks, Centurion, and the 2011 remake of Fright Night. Although Poots has never formally trained as an actress, according to Giles Hattersley, she developed her acting skills through a practical apprenticeship that may have served her well, as she is “compellingly natural” in front of the camera.