Charlotte Louise Riley is a celebrated actress from the United Kingdom. She is popular for portraying the role of Sarah Hurst in the film, ‘Easy Virtue’. She is also known for playing Catherine Earnshaw in the popular television film, ‘Wuthering Heights’. She has even appeared in many Hollywood blockbusters and TV dramas like ‘Edge of Tomorrow’, ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ and ‘London Has Fallen’. Charlotte is admired in England, for she played The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton in the award-winning TV film, ‘King Charles III’. This charming actress is endowed with brilliant entrepreneurial skillsas she owns several restaurants and food chains all over London. Charlotte, being an avid football lover, owns a Football Team named ‘Grindon Angels’ and has also launched her own brand of Vodka, Pure Wonderiley. She has also penned scripts for many stage plays and short films. She is a recipient of the prestigious Festival Prize, given at the London Independent Film Festival.
Childhood & Early Life
Charlotte Riley was born on 29 December 1981 in Grindon, County Durham, England. She is the third born child of Michael, an engineer and Margaret, a nurse & bereavement counsellor. Charlotte is a decade younger than her siblings, Joanne and Simon.
She was born into an upper class family in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham. Charlotte received her formal education from the prestigious Teesside High School. She started her professional training in acting at LAMDA, right from a tender age.
Later she graduated from St Cuthbert’s, Durham University in 2003 with a major in English and Linguistics. During her University days, Charlotte performed in several stage plays and musicals with the Durham Revue.
She became a notable member of the Durham Revue and since thenhas written numerous scripts for plays and musicals,along with her friend Tiffany Wood.
After their graduation, they went on to write and perform the play, ‘Shaking Cecilia’. Charlotte was still undecided about her future. So she spent a phase of her life teaching drama to young adults and children with disabilities. The experience she gained from it finally made her to pursue acting, and eventuallyshe landed in London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
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Charlotte made her debut in an episode of the British sitcom, ‘Grownups’, aired in 2007. She was seen playing the character of Chloe. Critics gave the series the thumbs down and hence Charlotte went unnoticed.
She went on to play guest roles in ‘Holby City’ and ‘Inspector George Gently’ the same year, but both the series received average reviews.
The following year, she appeared as Emma in the short film, ‘Survey No. 257’. Charlotte then made her film debut in the 2008 British romantic comedy, ‘Easy Virtue’. The film was an adaptation of the 1928 silent film of the same name directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Although the film received average reviews, Charlotte’s performance as Sarah Hurst was spot on.
Her breakthrough role came in the 2009 telefilm, ‘Wuthering Heights’, which was an adaptation of the novel of the same name authored by Emily Brontë. Charlotte’s portrayal of Catherine Earnshaw gained her significant attention.
In 2009, shewent on to play Maggie Summers in 4 of the episodes of the British drama, ‘The Take’. Around the same time, she starred in another TV film titled, ‘Spanish Flu: The Forgotten Fallen’.
In 2012, she starred in the miniseries, ‘World Without End’ which was an adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name by Ken Follett. The series turned out to be a milestone in Charlotte’s career. She mesmerized the audience with her portrayal of the character, Caris Wooler. She even bagged a nomination at the Saturn Award for the Best Actress on Television.
In the fall of 2012, Charlotte appeared in a thriller titled, ‘Entity’ which was a massive hit. The film won awards under categories, Best Low Budget Film and the Best Sci-Fi/Horror Feature at the London Independent Film Festival.
Charlotte debuted on BBC Two with the gangster series, ‘Peaky Blinders’ in October 2014. She played May Carleton, an aristocratic First World War widow, who trains racehorses.
Charlotte was overwhelmed when she was offered to play The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton in the 2017 historical telefilm, ‘King Charles III’. The telefilm was banned initially, for it displayed some incidents that supposedly posed threat to the dignity of the royalties.
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Meanwhile, Charlotte ventured into perfumery and launched her luxury perfume, With Love from Charlotte. She then started her own apparel line, Charlotte Riley Seduction.
Charlotte will be next seen with Ben Chaplin in the BBC one drama series, ‘Press’. Created by Mike Bartlett, this six-episode series is a BBC Studios/Deep Indigo production, and is all set to go on the floor in 2018.
Easy Virtue – Charlotte debuted in mainstream films with this adaptation of the play of the same name by Noël Coward. Released on 7 November 2008, the film recorded an average performance at the box office.
Wuthering Heights – Charlotte gained fame for playing Catherine Earnshaw in the made-for-television film‘Wuthering Heights’, released in January 2009.
World Without End – Charlotte appeared in this eight-part series, set in medieval England. She performed as Caris, the daughter of an alderman who supports her ambitions to become a doctor. The series aired its first part on 4 September 2012.
Awards & Achievements
Sunday Times National Student Drama Festival (2004) – Charlotte shared the best play awardwith her friend Tiffany Wood for composing the play, ‘Shaking Cecilia’.
London Independent Film Festival (2013): She accepted this prestigious award for‘Entity’under the category,the best low budget film.
She got into a romantic relationship with actor Tom Hardy in 2009 when they were working together in ‘Wuthering Heights’. The couple got married in 2014.
They welcomed their first child, a boy, in October 2015.