Most recently, she was in Sky Atlantic’s epic historical drama Britannia and we will soon see her in the new six-part BBC1 series The Split.
She lives in Hastings with her husband, actor Ciarán McMenamin.
How would you describe your style?
I like simple styles and I’m into the androgynous look, so I love suits, high-waisted trousers and waistcoats. I’ve spent a lot of time in Italy and I really love how the Italians dress.
What colours and shapes suit you best?
I have to be dragged out of black and grey. Because I’m quite small, I feel like black makes me look a bit more elegant. With the job, you end up being put in colours you would never think of, though – for example, I’ve found out pastel blue suits me quite well.
I used to dance, so my legs are one of my favourite parts of my body, so hemlines that end just above the knee are good on me. I like strapless shapes, too. They make me feel powerful and I think shoulders are really sexy.
Annabel admires the androgynous look when it comes to dressing
If you don’t feel good in what you’re wearing, it shows
Which is your favourite fashion era?
I really love the 1920s, although it’s not necessarily the one that would suit me most. My bob hairstyle is definitely inspired by actresses of that era, like Louise Brooks and Clara Bow. I like the androgyny of the 30s, too. It was very statuesque.
Who is your style icon?
I love Marion Cotillard. She looks brilliant in everything she wears and I think French women are very stylish. I love Audrey Tautou, too, but she’s so teeny that I’d never be able to copy her style.
Tell us about The Split…
It’s a drama about a family of divorce lawyers in London. It’s light on the law side and instead focuses more on the close family bonds. I play the middle sister, Nina, who’s the wild child of the family. She’s a bit lonely, lost at work and not that serious about the job, but she’s very much the centre of the family.
The 1920’s are a style inspiration for Annabel
What were your costumes like?
We had a really lovely wardrobe. I had lots of tailoring from places like The Kooples and wore silk shirts and high heels.
What is the best costume you’ve ever worn for a role?
I had some amazing costumes on the Medici: Masters Of Florence drama I did. They were really beautiful and made from scratch. In my first appearance as Contessina, I was wearing a stunning brocade medieval dress filming in a castle with Dustin Hoffman.
And the worst?
I did one scene in Being Human with Aidan Turner where we were in a bathroom and I was in a denim miniskirt and vest top covered in this sticky red fake blood. I remember we were freezing and I felt really gross. It was very unglamorous.
Which are your favourite high-street stores?
Massimo Dutti, which is a recent discovery. I find the stuff really elegant and simple and it fits me well. I also really like & Other Stories.
Annabel’s Mulberry handbag is her most expensive accessory
Do you own anything vintage?
A couple of things: a black Dior skirt from a really great vintage shop in Hastings where I live, a 1930s jacket from a shop in New York and an amazing Russian coat that looks like something Anna Karenina would wear. I’d probably be more into vintage jewellery than clothes, though. My engagement ring is a 1920s Art Deco style.
Are you a hoarder or do you clear out your wardrobe regularly?
I’m a very neat person in general but I’m a bit of a pig with my clothes – they’re not organised at all. I still have things from when I was 16. As an actress, I always think I might need something for an audition.
What is the most expensive item in your wardrobe?
My Mulberry handbag. It was a present from a job, which I was ecstatic about as I’d always wanted one but never had the nerve to spend that amount of money. I absolutely love it.
How many shoes and handbags do you own?
I’m not really a shoes girl but I’ve got about 40 pairs. I prefer boots, which I tend to buy in Italy as the quality of the leather is so good. I’ve got about 10 handbags, large and small. I’m quite practical with my spending on shoes and bags.
Annabel confesses she doesn’t trend to buy too many shoes
Have you ever had any fashion disasters?
I wore a dress on a red carpet once and there was a little bit too much showing at the side. In my defence, I was doing a play later that night where I had to dress up as Lisa Simpson, so my mind wasn’t really on fashion that evening.
What is your best beauty secret?
When I was in Sri Lanka recently, I was given some sandalwood cream, which is really moisturising and apparently amazing for fine lines. I’m blessed with my mum’s good skin and she’s never used any expensive products.
What’s the best piece of fashion advice you have ever been given?
Wear what makes you feel comfortable. If you don’t feel good in what you’re wearing, it shows.