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I met Rory Kinnear after I had seen him perform the title role in Shakespeare's play Hamlet at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham in February 2011. He was very friendly and easy to talk to, and I was able to have a long chat to him about acting.
Rory Kinnear was born in London in 1978, and grew up in Roehampton. He has two older sisters, Kirsty (now a casting director) and Karina. Their parents Roy Kinnear and Carmel Cryan were both actors.
Roy Kinnear was the son of a prominent Scottish rugby league player Roy Muir Kinnear, and started out in the early 1960s with Joan Littlewood's experimental Theatre Workshop, and became famous as part of the
of the BBC's satirical show That Was The Week That Was. He was one of the most popular actors of hisgen
his generation, with films like Help! (1965) and the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) alongside a host of TV shows. Roy Kinnear was killed after being thrown from a horse whilst filming a scene for The Return of the Three Musketeers. Rory's mother Carmel Cryan
Carmel Cryan in
Rory was often taken to the National Theatre by his father, and watched many plays there with a very keen interest. He firstly attended Tower House School and laterm
Cryan is a character actress best known as Brenda Boyle in the soap EastEnders.
St Paul's School in Barnes
later moved to St Paul's School in Barnes, Middlesex. It was here thathe
that he began acting, playing the part of Cyrano de Bergerac when only fifteen years old. He moved on to Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied English, whilst also acting in various drama
drama productions. Towards the end of his University course, he decided to pursue acting as a career (rather than music - he plays the trumpet & piano), and took a 2-year course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).
Eve Myles & Rory Kinnear in The Taming of the Shrew
Rory Kinnear's first professional role was as Konstantin in Chekhov's The Seagull at Northampton in 2002, followed by a successful run as Caliban in The Tempest in Plymouth the following year. He then had an eighteen month spell with the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford
Stratford, appearing in three plays, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tamer Tamed and Cymbeline
Cymbeline in 2003. Two West End roles followed in 2004, Michael in Festen at the Almeida and Laertes in Trevor Nunn's production of Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Old Vic.
Rory Kinnear as Sir Fopling Flutter in
The Man of Mode
Rory Kinnear with his
Rory Kinnear as Pyotr in Philistines
With Michelle Dockery in Burnt By the Sun
Rory Kinnear as Angelo in
Measure for Measure
Rory Kinnear & Katherine Manners in
The Revenger's Tragedy
Rory Kinnear as Hamlet
Ruth Negga & Rory Kinnear in Hamlet
Rory Kinnear with his
Evening Standard Award
Two major Shakespeare roles followed in 2010 - Angelo in Measure
With Julie Walters in The Last of the Haussmans
Measure For Measure at the Almeida, and the title role in Hamlet at the National Theatre. These won him an Evening Standard Drama Award for 'Best Actor'. The Hamlet production went on tour early in 2011 visiting Salford,
Salford, Plymouth, Milton Keynes & Nottingham before ending in Luxembourg
ending in Luxembourg of all places! Rory's latest stage role was as Nick in Stephen Beresford's new comedy The Last of the Haussmans, with Julie Walters, at the National Theatre in 2012. In 2013 he is all set to star alongside Adrian Lester in a new version of Shakespeare's Othello at
Theatre programme for Hamlet
the National Theatre.
Rory Kinnear made his TV debut in 2001 in an episode of Judge John Deed. After more small roles in productions like Ultimate Force (2002) and The Second Coming (2003), moresu
Rory Kinnear & Martin Neave in Judge John Deed
more substantial parts in TV movies - Andrew in Judas (2004), Nickin
Nick in Secret Smile (2005) and Rushworth in Mansfield Park (2007) - brought him greater recognition amongst a wider viewing public.
He played the writer Alan Simpson
As Father Dillane in The Second Coming
Kate Ashfield & Rory Kinnear in Secret Smile
Simpson in the TV movie The Curse of Steptoe (2008) about the actor Harry H Corbett who found fame and disillusionment as the character Harold Steptoe. Then, in thesame
the same year, he was cast as Denis Thatcher in Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley (2008) a light-hearted retelling of the story of the future prime minister, and her early attempts to be selected as an MP.
Rory Kinnear & Andrea Riseborough in
Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley
As James Mitchum in Waking the Dead
Rory Kinnear & Philip Glenister in Ashes to Ashes
2009 was a year when Rory Kinnear appeared in a number of popular TV series at that time. These included one episode of Minder; one episode ofAs
Rory Kinnear as Rushworth in
of The Thick of It; one episode of Beautiful People and two episodes of the multi-award winning mini-series Cranford in which he played Septimus Ludlow.
of Ashes to Ashes; two episodes of Waking the Dead; one episode of The
Kinnear as Septimus Ludlow in Cranford
Rory Kinnear as Ross Kemp in
In Lennon Naked (2009) the biographical TV movie of the Beatle John Lennon, Rory Kinnear plays Brian Epstein, whilst in the TV adaptation of a lesser-known H G Wells novelthefirstmen
novel The First Men in the Moon (2010), he stars as Bedford, with Mark Gatiss as Cavor, the mad scientist.
Christopher Eccleston & Rory Kinnear in
With Mark Gatiss in The First Men in the Moon
More TV work followed. In the adaptation of D H Lawrence's Women in Love (2011) - which combines the novels Women in Love
In the unfinished Charles Dickens story (completed in the BBC's adaptation by Gwynneth Hughes) The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012), Rory Kinnear is cast as the Rev Septimus Crisparkle, described as 'the Minor Canon of Cloisterham Cathedral who is a luminously good and decent man and an energetic, no-nonsense pillar of the local community'
Rachel Stirling & Rory Kinnear in Women in Love
With Amber Rose Revah in The Mystery of Edwin Drood
In the first episode (entitled The National Anthem) of an intended series by writer Charlie Brooker called Black Mirror (2011), Rory Kinnear plays the Prime Minister Michael Callow forced into the invidious position where he is required to have sex with a pig in order to save a young member of the Royal Family from assassination!
Rory Kinnear as Michael Callow in
Black Mirror: The National Anthem
Rory Kinnear has won many plaudits for his portrayal of Bolinbroke (with Ben Whishaw in the title role) in Richard II (2012), an episode in the television mini-series The Hollow Crown. These were new adaptations of four of Shakespeare's historical plays for the BBC's Cultural Olympiad.
Ben Wishaw & Rory Kinnear in
The Hollow Crown: Richard II
Rory Kinnear as Henry Bolinbroke in
The Hollow Crown: Richard II
Rory Kinnear only has a small number of big-screen credits
Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner in Quantum of Solace
Your Eyes Only (1981) and Michael Kitchen in both GoldenEye (1995) and The World is Not Enough (1999). Kinnear appears again as Tanner (M's long-suffering sidekick) in the latest Bond film Skyfall (2012).
Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner in Skyfall
Between the two Bond films, Rory Kinnear was seen in the role of Gerry Bailey in the crime comedy Wild Target (2009) starring Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt. An altogether more demanding role followed
Emily Blunt & Rory Kinnear in Wild Target
followed in the film Broken (2012) where he plays Bob Oswald, a recently widowed father of three daughters, whose psychopathic tendencies result in thuggish violence.
Rory Kinnear as Bob Oswald in Broken
Rory Kinnear on BBC Breakfast in March 2011
Rory Kinnear is marriedt
married to actress Pandora Colin who, as Pandora Ormsby-Gore (the stage name Colin is taken from her mother's
her mother's maiden name), is the daughter of the 5th Lord Harlech, a former President of the British Board of Film Classification. Rory and Pandora have a son (b. 2010).
Rory Kinnear with his wife Pandora
Rory Kinnear has signed this rehearsal photograph to me
The National Theatre, where as a young boy, Rory would sit with his father in the auditorium, and was mesmerised by what he saw on the stage,
stage, became the place where he would achieve much recognition asan
as an actor. In 2005, he played the outrageous Sir Fopling Flutter in the Restoration comedy The Man of Mode, which won him both a Laurence Olivier Award and also an Ian Charleson Award. Later National Theatre roles include Pyotr in Philistines (2007), Vindice in the Jacobean play The Revenger's Tragedy (2008) and Mitia in Burnt By the Sun (2009).
in Love and its prequel The Rainbow - Rory Kinnear plays Rupert Birkin alongside Rachel Stirling as Ursula and Rosamund Pike as Gudrun. Filmed entirely in South Africa, the movie is notable for its explicit
explicit scenes showing full-frontal nudity.
credits at present, but they are significant in terms of raising his profile with cinema audiences. In the James Bond film Quantum of Solace (2008) he plays Bill Tanner, Chief of Staff at MI6. This character has appeared in earlier Bond films, played by Michael Goodliffe in The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), James Villiers in For youreyes