Kelly Reilly established her initial reputation on the British stage. Besides the protagonist in ‘After Miss Julie’, she has played Desdemona in the 2009 production of ‘Othello’, which garnered her a Laurence Olivier Award nomination.
According to Reilly, she learned the deeper nuances of the craft from British filmmaker and theatre personality Karel Reisz. Between 1997 and 2006, she appeared in four plays of dramatist and director Terry Johnson, ‘Elton John’s Glasses’ (1997), ‘The London Cuckolds’ (1998), ‘The Graduate’ (2000) and ‘Piano/Forte’ (2006).
The play ‘Piano/Forte’ (2006) was written by Johnson exclusively for her. He has dubbed her the “the most natural, dyed-in-the-wool, deep-in-the-bone actress I've ever worked with”.
When she was 16 years old, she penned a letter to the producers of the television drama ‘Prime Suspect’, stating that she wished to work in the show. Six months later, she gave a successful audition for the character Polly Henry.
She made her TV debut in the short-lived drama series ‘The Biz’ in 1995. That year, she also appeared in ‘Prime Suspect’, acting opposite Helen Mirren.
In 1996, she was cast in yet another suspense thriller show, ‘The Ruth Rendell Mysteries’.
In 1997, she played the recurring character Clarice in the TV miniseries ‘Rebecca’.
In 2005, she portrayed Maureen in the comedy film ‘Mrs Henderson Presents’ and earned the Empire Award for Best Newcomer in 2006. In 2005, she was also cast as Caroline Bingley in Joe Wright’s rendition of ‘Pride & Prejudice’.
She was one of the three actors to play Wendy, a British Erasmus student, in the film ‘L'Auberge espagnole’ (2002) and its two sequels, ‘Les Poupées russes’ (2005) and ‘Casse-tête chinoi’ (2013).
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In ‘Me and Orson Wells’ (2008), Reilly worked with Zac Efron, Claire Danes, and Christian McKay. She was cast alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in ‘Sherlock Holmes’ (2009) and ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ (2011).
In 2012, she shared screen space with Denzel Washington in Robert Zemeckis' ‘Flight’, for which she received the Spotlight Award at the 2012 Hollywood Film Festival.
On the small screen, she has portrayed the high-profile role of Anna Travis in ITV’s ‘Above Suspicion’ (2009-12), Vince Vaughn’s character’s wife Jordan Semyon in HBO’s ‘True Detective’ (2015), and Canti princess Kerra in Amazon Video’s ‘Britannia’ (2018).
She also had the starring role in the short-lived ABC psychological medical drama ‘Black Box’ (2014). Reilly currently portrays Beth Dutton in Paramount’s western drama ‘Yellowstone’. She is set to star in the upcoming horror feature ‘Eli’.
Kelly Reilly appeared in Patrick Marber’s play ‘After Miss Julie’ that was based on August Strindberg's naturalist tragedy, ‘Miss Julie’ (1888). The play opened on stage at the Donmar Warehouse in London on November 20, 2003, running for three successive months. Reilly received almost universal acclaim for her portrayal of the titular character.
For her performance in ‘After Miss Julie’, she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actress of 2003. She is the youngest nominee in the history of the award.
Family & Personal Life
Kelly Reilly previously dated British-American actor JJ Field from 2000 to 2002. She began dating Israeli actor Jonah Lotan sometime in 2006. They were even engaged at one point but eventually parted ways.
There were rumours in 2008 linking her to British filmmaker Guy Ritchie, but she has denied them, claiming that they were simply two professionals who were working together.
In 2010, Reilly started a relationship with financier Kyle Baugher. A short while later, they got engaged. In 2012, they exchanged wedding vows in a lush ceremony organised in Somerset, England.