Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Brenda From Agatha Christie's Crooked House Looks So Familiar

The literary works of Agatha Christie have been adapted to stage and screen too many times to count — and rightfully so, as the famed scribe's legendary trove of murder mysteries remain uniquely suited to such adaptations. Big screen versions of Christie's tales have been particularly en vogue of late, with 2017's feature-length "Murder on the Orient Express" becoming a legit blockbuster sensation upon release (per Box Office Mojo). As it happens, "Murder on the Orient Express" wasn't the only feature-length take on Christie's work released that year. Another 2017 film based on a Christie novel, "Crooked House," did not receive anywhere near the same sort of fanfare as "Murder on the Orient Express." Instead, it was ignored by audiences at the time of its release. Thankfully, this crackling little noir flick is getting some love following its recent release on Netflix. 

In "Crooked House," a former spy turned private detective (Max Irons) is hired by his former lover (Stefanie Martini) to determine which member of her family murdered her grandfather. Viewers will no doubt recognize key "Crooked House" cast members, like Gillian Anderson, Glenn Close, and Julian Sands. However, the actor who plays Brenda, the young wife of the deceased grandfather, may look familiar to audiences but might be tricky to place. That actor is Christina Hendricks — here's where you've seen her previously.

On Good Girls, Christina Hendricks leads her friends into a life of crime

If Christina Hendricks looks familiar to you, it could be that you're a fan of the recently canceled crime dramedy "Good Girls." The NBC series follows three struggling suburban moms (Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman) who go on the unlikeliest of crime sprees in Michigan in order to make ends meet. "Good Girls" made its network debut in the early days of 2018, proving itself a modest hit after a thrilling pilot episode that fronted the boundless talent and infectious chemistry of its stars (via Rotten Tomatoes).

"Good Girls" continued to earn largely positive notes during its four-season run, with Hendricks, in particular, earning raves as the crew's unofficial team leader Beth Boland. Unfortunately, like so many beloved shows that came before it, "Good Girls" was canceled just as it was gaining serious momentum, with the series finale airing in June 2021. Hope remains for a possible streaming resurrection for the show, but it seems more likely we've seen the last of these lovably bad "Good Girls."

Christina Hendricks is on the wrong side of the law in Drive

Christina Hendricks is probably best known for her work on the small screen, but "Crooked House" is far from her first feature film. Over the years, the actor has racked up choice roles in films like "God's Pocket," "The Neon Demon," and Ryan Gosling's 2014 directorial debut "Lost River" (via IMDb). Before Hendricks worked with Gosling in "Lost River," she appeared opposite the star in the 2011 cult classic thriller "Drive."

Directed with slow-burn style by cinematic button-pusher Nicolas Winding Refn, "Drive" tells the story of a nameless getaway driver (Gosling) who finds himself wrapped up in the lives of his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), her son, and her husband (Oscar Isaac), a formerly incarcerated convict who owes a debt to some very bad people. One of those people puts the driver and Irene's husband onto a quick-hit heist organized by a shadowy woman named Blanche, played by Hendricks. While her role in "Drive" is brief, Hendricks makes the most of her screen time by delivering a menacing performance fueled by a low-key intensity that lingers long after she leaves the story. 

Mad Men made Christina Hendricks a television icon

If there's one role you likely know Christina Hendricks from, it's as Joan Harris on AMC's immaculate period drama "Mad Men." The lauded series hit the airwaves in 2007 and quickly became a cultural sensation. Seemingly overnight, the stars of "Mad Men" — Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, John Slattery, and pretty much everyone else involved in the series — became household names. This newfound fame included Hendricks, whose work as the icy office manager, and later in the series, junior partner of the show's fictional ad agency earned her six Emmy nominations (via the Emmys official site).

Now revered as one of the best TV shows ever produced, "Mad Men" aired 92 episodes during its seven-season run on AMC (via IMDb). Hendricks' devilishly endearing Joan appeared, to some extent, in every single episode of the show. As Joan, Hendricks was a frequent scene-stealer, serving soul-piercing glares to other characters and delivering soul-destroying one-liners. If there's a single character in the "Mad Men" landscape that deserved even more screen time than she got, it was Joan who — thanks to Hendricks' fiercely restrained work — proved, again and again, the series' most emotionally rich character.