Childhood & Early Life
Saskia Reeves was born on August 16, 1961, in Paddington, London, England, to a Dutch mother and an English father. Her father, Peter Reeves, was an actor, which motivated Saskia to develop an interest in the performing arts early in her life.
She completed high school and enrolled at the ‘Guildhall School of Music and Drama’ to hone her skills. During the formative parts of her acting training, she worked with actors such as Nicholas Hytner and Mike Leigh.
While she pursued her acting course, her father warned her about the lack of opportunities for female actors in the industry. He told her that her drama class had more girls than boys and when she would enter the industry, she would learn how female actors face much more competition than their male counterparts. Nevertheless, Saskia pursued her goals of becoming an actor.
She started her career doing puppet shows and satirical revues at the ‘Convent Garden Community Theatre.’ Simultaneously, she started auditioning for film and TV roles. She got her big break in 1991.
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She started her acting career playing small roles in many TV series in the mid-1980s. She made her acting debut with a 1984 TV film titled ‘Last Day of Summer,’ in which she portrayed ‘Linda.’ She then appeared in small roles in many series, such as ‘Theatre Night’ (as ‘Greta Samsa’ in a production of Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’), ‘Screen Two’ (as ‘Rosie’), and ‘Screenplay’ (as ‘Antonia McGill’).
In 1991, she made her film debut with the Irish film titled ‘December Bride’ and played the small role of ‘Sarah Gilmartin’ in it. The same year, she had her first major breakthrough with the British film titled ‘Close My Eyes.’
The film ‘Close My Eyes’ starred Owen Wilson and Alan Rickman in the main leads, while Saskia appeared as the female lead, ‘Natalie Bryant.’ The film was a major critical and commercial success and ended up winning the ‘Evening Standard Film Award’ for the ‘Best British Picture’ in 1992. This dream beginning for Saskia translated into many more early roles.
Later, in 1991, she also appeared in the comedy film titled ‘Antonia and Jane,’ which featured her in the titular role of ‘Antonia McGill.’
She began 1992 with the lead role of ‘Isobel Heatherington’ in the independent film titled ‘The Bridge.’ The film was critically acclaimed but could not make waves at the box office.
After a 2-year break, Saskia made a comeback, with the lead role (‘Louise Duffield’) in the 1994 Australian film ‘Traps.’ Set in the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the film was a critical and commercial disaster. Saskia’s perpetual failure to register success at the box office harmed her career to some extent.
This resulted in her downgrading from lead roles to supporting roles. In 1995, she appeared in the supporting role of ‘Lynda’ in the film titled ‘I.D.’
The same year, she appeared in the film ‘Butterfly Kiss,’ playing the lead role, ‘Miriam.’ The film was showcased at the ‘Berlin International Film Festival’ and was received well by critics. Saskia’s role as a lesbian was appreciated, but the box-office numbers were not satisfactory.
In the late 1990s, Saskia appeared in key roles in TV films such as ‘Cruel Train’ (as ‘Selina Roberts’) and ‘Christmas Carol’ (as ‘Mrs. Cratchita’).
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In 2000, she had yet another major breakthrough when she appeared as ‘Lady Jessica’ in ‘Frank Herbert’s Dune,’ based on the highly popular science-fiction novel named ‘Dune’ by author Frank Herbert. The series was a major critical and commercial success, as many critics drew comparisons to David Lynch’s 1984 cult classic ‘Dune.’
In 2003, Saskia appeared as ‘Rosa,’ a leading character, in the thriller film titled ‘The Tesseract.’ The film was received moderately by the audiences as well as the critics.
In 2004, Saskia appeared in the supporting role of ‘Cassie Mahy’ in the series ‘Island at War.’ The series ran for one season, spanning six episodes, and earned many good reviews in the USA and the UK. However, it was not renewed for a second season.
The same year, Saskia appeared as ‘Meryl Rodgers’ in the TV film ‘A Line in the Sand.’ The series was a critical success and the ratings were good, too.
In 2008, she appeared in a revival of the play ‘Hello and Goodbye’ by the ‘English Touring Theatre’ at the ‘Trafalgar Studios’ in London.
As she was getting better offers from TV, in the late 2010s, Saskia’s attention shifted largely from films to TV. She appeared in series such as ‘Midsomer Murders’ (as ‘Summer Pitt’ and ‘Marcia Macintyre’), ‘The Fixer’ (as ‘Andrea Greene’), and ‘Wallander’ (as ‘Vanja Andersson’).
In 2013, she appeared in a supporting role in Lars Von Trier’s highly controversial film ‘Nymphomaniac.’ The film landed in trouble due to its explicit sex scenes and blatant nudity.
More recently, she has appeared in films such as ‘Mindscape’ and a number of ‘BBC’ series, such as ‘Shetland,’ ‘The Child in Time,’ and ‘Collateral’.
She also narrates audiobooks and provides her voice to commercials at vocalpoint.net.