Talulah Riley is an English actress, writer, and director, known for her roles on the television series "Nearly Famous," "Westworld," and "Pistol." On film, she is known for playing Annabelle Fritton in the British comedy "St Trinian's" and its sequel "St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold." Riley has also been in such films as "Pride Prejudice," "White Frog," "Submerged," and "Father Christmas is Back."
Talulah Riley was born as Talulah Jane Riley-Milburn on September 26, 1985 in Hertfordshire, England. She is the only child of Doug, former head of the now-defunct National Crime Squad, and Una, founder of security systems and public relations companies. For her education, Riley went to Cheltenham Ladies' College, Berkhamsted School, and Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls. She went on to attend the Open University, where she studied natural sciences.
In 2003, Riley made her screen-acting debut in an episode of the British mystery series "Poirot," based on the character created by Agatha Christie. Three years later, she appeared in an episode of another Christie-related series, "Marple." Riley landed her first main role on television in 2007 as Lila Reed, a teen writer with a mentally unwell mother, in the miniseries "Nearly Famous." Her costars included Aaron Johnson, Tunji Kasim, Anna Brewster, and Jimi Mistry. Next, Riley appeared in a couple of episodes of "Doctor Who" as Miss Evangelista.
Riley had her biggest role on television yet from 2016 to 2018, when she played park host Angela on the dystopian science-fiction series "Westworld." After having a recurring role in the show's first season, she became part of the main cast in season two. Riley's next main role came in the 2022 biographical drama miniseries "Pistol," in which she portrays fashion designer and punk icon Vivienne Westwood. Focused on the rise of the English punk-rock band the Sex Pistols, the series also stars Toby Wallace, Anson Boon, Christian Lees, Louis Partridge, Jacob Slater, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Sydney Chandler.
Riley first appeared on the big screen in Joe Wright's 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride Prejudice," playing the middle of the Bennet sisters, Mary. Next, in 2007, she played the lead role of Annabelle Fritton in the comedy "St Trinian's," a continuation of a series of films based on the work of English cartoonist Ronald Searle. Riley reprised her role in the 2009 sequel "St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold." Between the two films, she appeared in Richard Curtis's comedy "The Boat That Rocked," starring Bill Nighy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, and Kenneth Branagh.
In 2010, Riley appeared as the blonde woman disguise used by Tom Hardy's character in the science-fiction action film "Inception." The same year, she appeared opposite Robert Pattinson in the first segment of the direct-to-DVD anthology romance film "Love Distrust." Riley subsequently had a small role in the comedy "The Dilemma," and appeared as herself in the documentary "Revenge of the Electric Car." In 2012, she played the lesbian Ms. Lee in the dramedy "White Frog." Her subsequent credits were the comedies "The Liability" and "In a World…," followed by the Marvel Comics superhero sequel "Thor: The Dark World," in which she played an Asgardian nurse.
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Building on a story idea her father had, Riley wrote the screenplay for the 2015 comedy "Scottish Mussel," which also marked her debut as a director. Additionally, she starred in the film as Beth, a marine conservationist who falls for a pearl poacher played by Martin Compston. Also in 2015, Riley appeared in the comedy "The Bad Education Movie," based on the eponymous sitcom by comedian and actor Jack Whitehall. Her next film was the 2016 survival thriller "Submerged," in which she starred alongside Jonathan Bennett and Rosa Salazar.
In 2018, Riley starred in the thriller "The Last Witness" with Alex Pettyfer, Robert Więckiewicz, and Michael Gambon, among others. Two years later, she played the wife of Vin Diesel's protagonist in the superhero film "Bloodshot." In 2021, Riley played one of four sisters who reunite during Christmas, only to have their estranged father disrupt the holiday, in the comedy "Father Christmas is Back." The other sisters were played by Elizabeth Hurley, Nathalie Cox, and Naomi Frederick, while the father was played by Kelsey Grammer. Also featured in the film were John Cleese, Kris Marshall, and Caroline Quentin.
Beyond the screen, Riley has acted on stage in productions of "The Philadelphia Story" and "Summer and Smoke." In the spring of 2010, she was featured on the cover of Esquire. In other media, Riley penned a novel entitled "Acts of Love," which was published in 2016.
Riley began dating business magnate Elon Musk in 2008. The pair later married in Scotland in 2010. They eventually got divorced in 2012 before remarrying in 2013. Not long after the second marriage, Musk filed for divorce again, but the action was withdrawn. Riley later filed for divorce, which was ultimately finalized in late 2016. In the spring of 2022, Riley began a relationship with actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster, with whom she appears in the miniseries "Pistol."