Fairly well-known in her native Britain for her work on such television series as Our Friend in the North, The Brass Eye, and The Lenny Henry Show, Gina McKee started earning recognition among transatlantic audiences with her work in a series of films during the late '90s.
McKee made her film debut in 1988, when she had a bit part as a nurse in Ken Russell's Lair of the White Worm, a camp-fest starring a then-unknown Hugh Grant. Although McKee would eventually work with Grant again eleven years later in Notting Hill, in the meantime she played bit roles in such films as The Rachel Papers (1989) and Mike Leigh's Naked (1993). In 1999 McKee could be seen in a major role in the aforementioned Notting Hill; over the course of that same year, she did more substantial work in Michael Winterbottom's ensemble family drama Wonderland, and Women Talking Dirty, the latter of which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. McKee also had secondary roles in Mike Figgis' The Loss of Sexual Innocence and Luc Besson's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.