Encountering great success in her first professional acting experience, Rachel Clare Hurd-Wood surely has scored such a rare achievement that many thespians of her age hardly accomplish. Born to Phillip and Sarah Hurd-Wood on August 17, 1990 in Surrey, England, this British actress actually has been familiar to acting since she was still a little girl due to her father's work which involves performing, writing scripts, and doing voice-over for commercials. She also joined a drama club in her school and even took part in its stage production during her second grade before she moved to Surrey at the age of 8. Even so, the lovely starlet had never really thought to develop an acting career as she already set her mind on becoming a marine biologist, a profession that certainly could satisfy her deep fondness for dolphins.
Her course of life as an ordinary girl, however, started to change direction when her grandparents learned from TV about an open casting call for the role of Wendy Darling in a new version of J.M. Barrie's book, "Peter Pan." Thinking that Rachel had the potentiality to fit that part, they immediately phoned Sarah and suggested her to let their granddaughter try for it. "When I came home from school, my mother put me against the wall and measured me and smiled and said, "How would you like to audition for 'Peter Pan,' the film?" she recalled. "I said I would love to give it a go." Underwent three sessions in the audition, this attractive beauty did not really have high hopes of securing the role despite her family's optimistic view. "I never thought in a million years I would get the part," she said.
Much to Rachel's surprise, the casting people unexpectedly called her home to inform that she had been chosen to portray the character on one morning when she was still sleeping. "My mom came in and woke me up and said they made an offer," she remarked. "And then I woke up, running around the house screaming and I nearly fell over because I was really, really tired and half asleep. I was just so happy, it was incredible." As her appointment as Wendy officially ended the search which had been carried out in three continents, she then headed for Australia together with the other cast, like Jason Isaacs and Jeremy Sumpter, to film the picture for eight months under the direction of P.J. Hogan, loving every second of the process.
"Peter Pan" finally encountered its wide release on December 26, 2003 and quickly soared to be a box-office hit as it successfully garnered almost 122 million dollar U.S. during its international run which ended in April the following year. Subsequently gained large public attention around the world through this wonderful result, Rachel confidently began to pave her way in entertainment industry, thus ventured into small screen production to join Rupert Everett in BBC's TV movie of "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking" (2004). Moved further into Hollywood film scene, she next was included in the cast of "An American Haunting" (2005) together with Donald Sutherland and Sissy Spacek, followed by an appearance opposite Dustin Hoffman in "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" (2006) while attending Godalming College in Goldaming, Surrey, England.