Rory Kinnear

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Rory Kinnear
Rory Kinnear 2012 (cropped).jpg
Kinnear in 2012
Born (1978-02-17) 17 February 1978 (age 37)
London, England
Alma mater St Paul's School, London
Balliol College, Oxford
Occupation Actor, playwright
Years active 2000–present
Partner(s) Pandora Colin
Children 2
Parent(s) Roy Kinnear
Carmel Cryan

Rory Kinnear (born 17 February 1978) is an English actor and playwright who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre.

He is best known for playing Bill Tanner in the James Bond films Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre, and in various video games of the franchise. He is the youngest actor to play the role of Bill Tanner. He also won a Laurence Olivier Award for portraying Fopling Flutter in a 2008 version of The Man of Mode, and a British Independent Film Award for his performance in the 2012 film Broken. In 2014, he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Shakespeare's villain Iago in the National Theatre production of Othello.

Early life[edit]

Kinnear was born in London, England, the son of actor Roy Kinnear and actress Carmel Cryan. He has two sisters, Kirsty and Karina. Through his father, a well-known British comedy actor, he is the grandson of the international rugby union and rugby league player Roy Muir Kinnear, and he is the godson of actor Michael Williams. Educated at Tower House School and St Paul's School, London, he read English at Balliol College, Oxford and then studied acting at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.[1]



Kinnear's performances in Phyllida Lloyd's production of Mary Stuart and Trevor Nunn's Hamlet, in which he played Laertes, met with acclaim. He also achieved recognition as the outrageous Sir Fopling Flutter in The Man of Mode at the National Theatre, winning a Laurence Olivier Award and Ian Charleson Award. Other notable theatre work includes the lead in Thomas Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy, the role of Pyotr in Gorky's Philistines and the role of Mitia in a stage adaptation of the Nikita Mikhalkov film Burnt by the Sun, all for the National Theatre.

In 2010, he played Angelo in Measure For Measure at the Almeida Theatre.[2] Later in 2010 he played the title role in Hamlet at the National Theatre.[3] The two portrayals won him the best actor award in the Evening Standard drama awards for 2010.[4]

Kinnear appeared in The Last of the Haussmans by Stephen Beresford at the Royal National Theatre during the summer of 2012. The production was broadcast to cinemas around the world on 11 October 2012 through the National Theatre Live programme.[5]

He starred as Iago opposite Adrian Lester in the title role of Othello in 2013 at the National Theatre throughout the summer of 2013. Both actors won the Best Actor award in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for their roles; the award is traditionally given to only one actor, but the judges were unable to choose between the pair.[6]

In 2013, he wrote the play The Herd which premiered at Bush Theatre in London directed by Howard Davies.[7] From September 2013 the Bush Theatre in London staged Rory's debut play.[8] The play ran at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago beginning April 2, 2015. [9]


He currently portrays Bill Tanner in the Daniel Craig era James Bond film series after taking over from Michael Kitchen. He is the fourth person to play the character. He has appeared in Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). As well as the films, Kinnear also lends his voice and likeness to the Bond video games; GoldenEye 007 (2010), James Bond 007: Blood Stone (2010) and 007 Legends (2012).


Further to his theatre work he received particularly positive reviews for his sympathetic portrayal of Denis Thatcher in The Long Walk to Finchley (2008), a BBC dramatisation of the early years of Margaret Thatcher's political career, which also starred Andrea Riseborough and Samuel West.

He also starred alongside Lucy Punch and Toby Stephens in the BBC Two series Vexed. Broadcast on 19 October 2010, he was the co-lead in the BBC4 TV drama, The First Men in the Moon written by and co-starring Mark Gatiss.

In 2011, he provided narration during the BBC Proms production of 'Henry V – suite' arranged by Muir Mathieson during their Film Music Prom.[10] He appeared in the lead role of Prime Minister Michael Callow in 'The National Anthem', the first instalment of Charlie Brooker's miniseries Black Mirror.[11]

In July 2012, Kinnear appeared as Bolingbroke in Richard II, a BBC Two adaptation of the play of the same name, with Ben Whishaw as King Richard and Patrick Stewart as John of Gaunt.[12]

He starred in the BBC series Count Arthur Strong as Michael and also appeared in the Channel 4 drama Southcliffe.

In December 2013 he appeared as the main character Lord Lucan in the two-part ITV series Lucan.

He appeared as Frankenstein's monster in the Showtime television series Penny Dreadful, which premiered 11 May 2014.[13]


In 2010, he played Flugkapitän Jürgen Rahl in the BBC Radio drama Slipstream as a disaffected German pilot who joins a mission to steal an alien spacecraft harboured by the Nazis.

Personal life[edit]

Kinnear is engaged to actress Pandora Colin.[14] The couple have a son, Riley, born in 2010 and a daughter, Hope, born in 2014.[15][16]

Selected credits[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2002 The Seagull Konstantin stage play: Theatre Royal, Northampton
2002 The Tempest Caliban stage play: Theatre Royal, Plymouth
2003 The Taming of the Shrew Tranio stage play: RSC
2003 The Tamer Tamed stage play: RSC
2003 Cymbeline 1st Lord stage play: RSC
2004 Festen Michael stage play: Almeida
2004 Hamlet Laertes stage play: The Old Vic
2005 Mary Stuart Mortimer stage play: Donmar Warehouse
2005 Silent Witness "The Meaning of Death" Paul BBC series
2006 Southwark Fair Simon stage play: NT
2007 Five Days Kyle Betts BBC/HBO TV series
2007 Mansfield Park James Rushworth TV film
2007 The Man of Mode Sir Fopling Fluter stage play: NT
2007 Philistines Pyotr stage play: NT
2008 The Curse of Steptoe Alan Simpson TV film
2008 The Revenger's Tragedy Vindice stage play: NT
2008 The Long Walk to Finchley Denis Thatcher TV film
2008 Quantum of Solace Bill Tanner feature film
2009 Burnt by the Sun Mitia stage play: NT
2009 Waking the Dead TV guest role
2009 Wish 143 short film
2009 Ashes to Ashes Jeremy (psychoanalyst) TV series
2010 Measure For Measure Angelo stage play: Almeida Theatre, London)
2010 Lennon Naked Brian Epstein BBC Four
2010 Vexed Dan Bishop BBC Two
2010 GoldenEye 007 Bill Tanner voice, video game
2010 James Bond 007: Blood Stone Bill Tanner voice
2010 Hamlet Hamlet stage play: National Theatre, London)
2010 The First Men in the Moon Julius Bedford feature film
2011 Women in Love Rupert Birkin BBC series
2011 Black Mirror: The National Anthem Prime Minister Michael Callow
2012 The Mystery of Edwin Drood Reverend Septimus Crisparkle
2012 007 Legends Bill Tanner voice
2012 Skyfall
2012 The Hollow Crown, episode 1 Richard II Bolingbroke
2012 Last of the Haussmans Nick stage play:National Theatre, London)
2012 Broken Bob Oswald
2013 Othello Iago stage play: National Theatre, London
2013 Count Arthur Strong Michael BBC Two sitcom written by Steve Delaney and Graham Linehan
2013 Southcliffe David Whitehead TV mini-series, Channel 4
2013 Lucan Lord Lucan TV two-part series, ITV
2014 Cuban Fury Gary
2014 Penny Dreadful The Creature TV series
2014 The Imitation Game Detective Nock[17]
2015 The Casual Vacancy Barry Fairbrother
2015 Man Up[18] Sean
2015 Spectre Bill Tanner
2015 Trespass Against Us
2015 The Trial K stage play: Young Vic, London


  1. ^ "Rory Kinnear: Good show, sweet prince". London Evening Standard. November 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ Bamigboye, Baz (26 September 2009). "Gemma Arterton takes her bow in West End debut". Daily Mail (London). 
  3. ^ "National Theatre's 2010 Ł10 Season to Feature Grandage Debut and Kinnear's Hamlet". 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  4. ^ Brown, Mark (29 November 2010). "Kinnear and Carroll land top theatre awards". The Guardian (London). 
  5. ^ "The Last of the Haussmans". National Theatre. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  6. ^ Kennedy, Maev (17 November 2013). "Othello and Iago share best actor prize in London Evening Standard awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Billington, Michael. "The Herd". The Guardian. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Steppenwolf Theatre". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Proms - Proms 2011". BBC. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  11. ^ "Charlie Brooker: the dark side of our gadget addiction". 2011-12-01. 
  12. ^ Mike Watkins (May 2011). "BBC Two to air Shakespeare works Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V". ATV Guide. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  13. ^ Reiher, Andrea (January 16, 2014). "'Penny Dreadful,' 'Nurse Jackie' and 'Californication' get premiere dates". Zap2It. Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Rory Kinnear: why he made the headlines in 2010". The Guardian. 
  15. ^ "Rory Kinnear on writing his first play". London Evening Standard. 
  16. ^ "Olivier Awards 2014: Rory Kinnear beats Jude Law and Tom Hiddleston to Best Actor for Othello". The Independent. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ Kemp, Stuart (21 January 2014). "Olivia Williams, Rory Kinnear, Stephen Campbell Moore Join British Rom-Com 'Man Up'". Retrieved 16 May 2014. 

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