That unpredictably lasted into adolescence. Annette - who eventually started going by Lewella, her middle name – was unstoppable in every sense of the word. She constantly was being reprimanded for talking too much at school, for pushing other children when they upset her, for falling other girls names when they shamed her. But Lewella was bright and outgoing, situating herself in a position where she was popular but not too popular; a trouble-maker at heart, she was constantly focused on friends more than schoolwork. Her family supported her and encouraged her to be kind, but took Lewella’s personality in stride, understanding that she was just a strong, independent person, even as a child. Lewella’s father doted on her the most – they were similar but opposite, two parts of a whole, best friends through all of Lewella’s mood swings and temper tantrums.
In November of 1990, however, things changed drastically for the Lécuyer family. Étienne, having been battling mental health issues for the majority of his life, committed suicide alone in the family home. Lewella, always home from school before her mother was home from work, was the first person to stumble across him. Two weeks later, Winifred packed her daughter up and returned to her native London, running away from the emotional strife of her husband’s passing.
From there, things felt as if they got worse. Lewella’s behaviour, already quite erratic, became worse. She fought at school, didn’t pay attention, and was constantly sneaking out of her mother’s house. Medication became the solution, and while likely needed, it was certainly not the fix that Lewella needed. She was encouraged by her therapist to develop interests in school that weren’t academic, and Lewella chose theatre, feeling as if it were the best fit for someone who was so keen on being the centre of attention and also burning off some of her energy. It was a blessing in disguise – Lewella flourished, a natural on the stage, and by 2004, Lewella had been cast as Fleur Delacour in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a small role in what was a major franchise.
The same year of the release of the film, Lewella moved to New York, accepting a hard-earned position at New York University in the English department. It was her means of quietly mourning her father, who had been a professor at the Université de Lyon as professor of English Literature; she felt connected to him in a way she had been unable to achieve in London. Simultaneously, Lewella continued to gain work, largely in France, building her resume while gradually working towards a Bachelor’s degree.
Though she wouldn’t have considered it a big break, Lewella’s most major role came in the form of Wichita in Zombieland, a 2009 comedy film. It was not the direction she wanted her career to take, but Lewella latched on to any semblance of success, keen to have a foot in the door. Her career continued to grow from there – she had a small part in The Social Network, and took a lead role in an small-scale film, Smashed. Things seemed to be looking up, Lewella’s career making small jumps and leaps towards both popularity acclaim.
2014 was arguably her most successful year. Lewella warranted an Oscar nomination for her role as Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything, a film outlining Stephen Hawking’s marriage to his first wife and his struggle with his ALS diagnosis. Though she did not win, Lewella did receive some acclaim for her role in The Clouds of Sils Maria, her acceptance speech for her Cesar more eloquent and charming than anyone could have imagined. Since, Lewella has focused her attention on taking roles that inspire her, though it has been hard for her to turn down higher paying roles that she feels are “selling out”. She’s not content, but she’s close, working hard to manage her explosive personal life while maintaining a relatively positive public image.
• Attended NYU from 2005-2011. Took six years to finish her degree in English Literature not because she was a bad student, but due to the business of her schedule.
• Has a total of three tattoos: a deathly hallows symbol on the back of her neck, her father's signature underneath her left breast, a calligraphy 'L' that she shares with her siblings on the inside of her right wrist.
• Was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at age fourteen. She was medicated to moderate her attention and her behaviour; at twenty-five, she made the decision to stop taking them, claiming that they make her "foggy".