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James McAvoy Welcomes Andrea Riseborough To Welcome The Punch

Andrea Riseborough, who co-starred in a pair of festival darlings last year, is poised to break out in a bigger feature alongside an A-list (or, actually, X-list) leading man.

Riseborough, who had parts in both Made in Dagenham and Mark Romanek’s moody Never Let Me Go, has been cast opposite X-Men: First Class star James McAvoy in the British crime drama Welcome to the Punch, Variety is reporting. No word yet on who the actress would play, though we already know that McAvoy’s a detective forced to form what the trade calls “an unlikely union” with a criminal (played by the formidable Mark Strong of Green Lantern, Kick-Ass and Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes).

No matter the part, this is a step up for Riseborough, a British actress who got her start on UK television – try and find the series Party Animals, where she played Kirsty MacKenzie – and seems to be climbing the ranks into bigger productions and, we hope, better roles. Next she’ll be seen with Abbie Cornish in Madonna’s feature film W.E.<./i>. As for Welcome To The Punch, which is written and directed by Eran Creevy, it starts production on July 18 in London.

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.