Rupert William Anthony Friend
9 October 1981
Rupert William Anthony Friend (born 9 October 1981) is a British actor, director, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for his role as CIA operative Peter Quinn in the Showtime political thriller series Homeland, for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. He went on to collaborate with Armando Iannucci in the film The Death of Stalin, portraying Vasily Stalin, son of Joseph Stalin. In Julian Schnabel's film, At Eternity's Gate, Friend played Theo Van Gogh, Vincent Van Gogh's brother. His previous roles include Lieutenant Kurt Kotler in the 2008 film The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Prince Albert in The Young Victoria, Oliver in the film Starred Up, and Agent 47 in the film Hitman: Agent 47. He will appear in the Wes Anderson film, The French Dispatch, as well as Last Looks in 2020 and the Star Wars television series centered on the character Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Early life and education
Friend was born in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. He grew up in Stonesfield, Oxfordshire and attended The Marlborough School in Woodstock. Friend received his professional acting training at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Originally, Friend wanted to be an archaeologist and travel around the world after seeing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989, but scrapped the idea after realizing that the occupation was perhaps not as exciting as Indiana Jones's adventures had led him to believe. Instead, he turned to acting, in which he was inspired by Marlon Brando who played Vito Corleone, and Daniel Day-Lewis, whom he described as his childhood hero.
Friend played three minor roles in a stage production of The Laramie Project when he was in his third year in drama school, and was spotted by a casting director and made his acting debut as Billy Downs opposite Johnny Depp in the 2004 film The Libertine, for which he was named "outstanding new talent" at the 2005 Satellite Awards. In 2005, Friend had his first starring role as Ludovic Meyer in the film adaption of Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, in which he starred opposite Joan Plowright. In the same year, he portrayed Wickham in Joe Wright's version of Pride and Prejudice. In 2008, Friend and Tom Mison wrote, produced and starred in a short film called The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers. The film won Best Short at the Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival (2010). He founded his own production company called Beat Pictures, and he made his directorial debut with a short film in 2010 called Steve, which starred Colin Firth, Keira Knightley and Tom Mison. In addition to directing, he wrote and produced the film, which was later included in the 2012 compilation Stars in Shorts. Steve won Friend the Rhode Island Film Festival Crystal Image Award, and was nominated for the Santa Barbara Film Festival Bruce Corwin Award for Best Short Film.
Friend also starred in the film Chéri, playing the titular character opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. In addition, he joined the cast of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and played Kurt Kotler, a lieutenant in Nazi Germany. In 2010, Friend played Albert, Prince Consort in Young Victoria. Graham King, producer of Young Victoria, chose Friend to star in the lead role because he remembered his strong performance in Pride and Prejudice. His performance received acclaim, in particular, from historian Alex von Tunzelmann, who praised him for putting in effort in mastering the role.
In 2010, Friend made his stage debut as Mitchell in the UK premiere of The Little Dog Laughed. He followed this with Dennis Potter's Brimstone and Treacle, in which he played the lead character to rave reviews. He stars in the film The Kid, based on the novel by Kevin Lewis. As the film involves boxing, he trained himself so as to improve his physical and psychological shape. He also starred in a French film called Lullaby for Pi, playing a singer called Sam. In 2011, he played Thomas Anders, the protagonist of the film 5 Days of War.
Friend was asked by Kairos 4tet leader Adam Waldmann to write the lyrics for a track on their 2011 album Statement of Intent, and was then asked to write all the lyrics for their 2013 album Everything We Hold, which received rave reviews. His lyrics were sung by Marc O'Reilly, Omar Lye-Fook, and Emilia Martensson.
In 2014, Friend played Oliver Baumer in Fox Searchlight's film Starred Up. His performance was applauded by critics and was nominated for BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2015, Friend starred as Agent 47 in Hitman: Agent 47, a film based on the Hitman video game franchise, replacing Paul Walker. In order to play the role, he had to shave all his hair. He performed most of his own stunts. The production team also sent him copies of all the Hitman games for him to familiarize himself with the character.
Friend played a major role as Peter Quinn in the political thriller series Homeland. Introduced in season two as a supporting character, his role became significantly larger after season three. His performance received widespread acclaim and he was nominated for three different awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series in 2013. Friend reprised his role as Quinn in the fifth season of Homeland, which was filmed entirely in Berlin, Germany and premiered on 4 October 2015 and was mourned by the press after the sixth (his final) season. In the same year, Friend provided narration for Nick Knight's folk horror fashion film, The Face of a Dying Dog.
Friend has become known as a "sneaky MVP when it comes to comedic supporting performances", appearing in Paul Feig's A Simple Favor, starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively in which he was offered the lead role, but turned it down to play a funny cameo instead. He also displayed "serious comedic chops" in Armando Iannucci's five-star reviewed The Death of Stalin.
In 2018 Friend performed a new audio drama by John Patrick Shanley, titled Last Night in the Garden I Saw You, which featured Michelle Williams (actress). The following year, Friend was asked by internationally renowned screenwriter David Koepp to narrate his debut novel Cold Storage for HarperCollins AudioBooks. He voiced the character of Peter Hardy in the 2019 Gimlet scripted podcast Motherhacker.
In an interview on BBC Radio 4's The Film Programme, James Bond casting director Debbie McWilliams stated that Friend was asked if he'd like to be considered for the role of James Bond but he turned the screentest down. After his worldwide success with Homeland, however, there was renewed speculation that he is on the shortlist to succeed Daniel Craig as 007.
From 2005 to 2010, Friend dated English actress Keira Knightley, whom he met when filming Pride & Prejudice. He met American athlete and actress Aimee Mullins in 2013, and they became engaged in December 2014. Friend and Mullins were married on 1 May 2016.
|2004||The Libertine||Downs||Ischia Film Festival Award for Best International Newcomer|
Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer
|2005||Pride & Prejudice||Mr. Wickham|
|2005||Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont||Ludovic Meyer||Satellite Award for Outstanding New Talent|
|2007||The Moon and the Stars||Renzo Daverio / Spoletta|
|2007||The Last Legion||Demetrius|
|2007||Virgin Territory||Alessandro Felice|
|2008||The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas||Lt. Kurt Kotler|
|2009||The Young Victoria||Prince Albert|
|2009||The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers||Bourbon||Short film, won Winner Best Short at the Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival|
|2010||The Kid||Kevin Lewis|
|2010||Lullaby for Pi||Sam|
Won - Rhode Island International Film Festival Crystal Image Award 2011
Nominated - Santa Barbara International Film Festival Bruce Corwin Award Best Live Action Short Film
|2011||5 Days of War||Thomas Anders|
|2012||To Write Love on Her Arms||David McKenna|
|2013||The Zero Theorem||Man in Street Commercial|
|2014||Starred Up||Oliver||Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|2014||Meet Me in Montenegro||Stephen|
|2015||Hitman: Agent 47||Agent 47|
|2017||The Death of Stalin||Vasily Stalin||Nominated for BAFTA - Outstanding British Film of the Year|
|2018||At Eternity's Gate||Theo van Gogh||Nominated for Best Film - Venice Film Festival|
|2018||A Simple Favor||Dennis Nylon|
|2021||The French Dispatch|
|TBA||Last Looks||Wilson Sikorsky||Post-production|
|2012–2018||Homeland||Peter Quinn||58 episodes|
Nominated – PAAFTJ Television Awards for Best Guest Actor In A Drama Series (2013)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (2013)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
|2018–2020||Dream Corp, LLC||Patient 62|
|2018–2019||Strange Angel||Ernest Donovan|
|2021||Anatomy of a Scandal||James Whitehouse|
|2022||Obi-Wan Kenobi||Filming; Upcoming minseries|
|2010||The Little Dog Laughed||Mitchell||London|
|2012||Brimstone and Treacle||Martin||London|
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