Rupert Friend

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Rupert Friend
Rupert Friend (cropped).jpg
Rupert William Anthony Friend

(1981-10-09) 9 October 1981 (age 37)
Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
OccupationActor, director, screenwriter, producer
Years active2004–present
Aimee Mullins (m. 2016)

Rupert William Anthony Friend (born 9 October 1981) is an English actor, director, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for his roles as Mr. Wickham in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice, Lieutenant Kurt Kotler in the 2008 film The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Prince Albert in the 2009 film The Young Victoria, Agent 47 in the 2015 film Hitman: Agent 47, and Vasily Stalin, son of Joseph Stalin, in the movie The Death of Stalin. From 2012 to 2017, he portrayed Peter Quinn on the Showtime series Homeland, for which he was nominated for an Emmy in 2013.

Early life and education[edit]

Friend was born and brought up in Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, the son of Caroline, a solicitor, and Nicholas Friend, a cultural historian.[1] He attended The Marlborough School in Woodstock. He moved to take A-levels at the Cherwell School and d'Overbroeck's College in Oxford. Friend received his professional acting training at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.[2] He considered himself a late starter: "I was about to set off sailing around the world when I heard I'd got into drama school. Everyone else there had grown up singing and dancing, whereas I was the opposite."[2]


Friend in 2013

Originally he wanted to be an archaeologist and travel around the world after seeing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989, but he scrapped the idea after realizing that the occupation is not as lucrative as he had expected. Instead, he turned to acting, in which he was also inspired by Harrison Ford, who played Indiana Jones, and Marlon Brando who played Vito Corleone.[3]

He played three minor roles in a stage production of The Laramie Project when he was in second year in his drama school, and was spotted by a casting director, who eventually introduced Friend to a larger role.[4] He made his acting debut as Billy Downs in the 2004 film The Libertine from The Weinstein Company, for which he was named "outstanding new talent" at the 2005 Satellite Awards.[1] In 2005, he 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.[5] In 2008, Friend and Tom Mison wrote and starred in a short film called The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers.[6] 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 Keira Knightley, Tom Mison and Colin Firth.[7] In addition to directing, he wrote and produced the film, which was later included in the 2012 compilation Stars in Shorts.[8]

He also starred in the film Chéri and played the titular character. In addition, he joined the cast of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and played Kurt Kotler, a lieutenant in Nazi Germany.[9][10] In 2010, he played Albert, Prince Consort in Young Victoria. Graham King, producer of Young Victoria, chose Friend to star in the lead role because he remembered Friend's strong performance in Pride and Prejudice.[11] His performance received acclaim, in particular, from historian Alex von Tunzelmann, who praised him for putting in effort in mastering the role.[12]

In 2010, Friend made his stage debut as Mitchell in the UK premiere of The Little Dog Laughed.[13] He stars in the film The Kid, based on the novel by Kevin Lewis.[14] As the film involves boxing, he had to train himself so as to improve his physical and psychological shape.[4] He also starred in a French film called Lullaby for Pi, playing a singer called Sam.[15] In 2011, he played Thomas Anders, the protagonist of the film 5 Days of War.[16]

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.[17] In 2015, Friend starred as Agent 47 in Hitman: Agent 47, a film based on the Hitman video game franchise, replacing Paul Walker.[18] In order to play the role, he had to shave all his hair.[19] The production team also sent him copies of all the Hitman games for him to familiarize himself with the character.[20]

Friend played a major role as Peter Quinn in the political thriller series Homeland. Introduced in season two as a minor supporting character, his role became significantly larger after season three.[21] His performance received acclaim and he was nominated for three different awards. 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.[22][23]

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 turned it down.[24]

Personal life[edit]

From 2005 to 2010, Friend dated English actress Keira Knightley, whom he met when filming Pride & Prejudice.[25][26] He began dating American athlete and actress Aimee Mullins in 2013,[27] and they became engaged in December 2014.[28] Friend and Mullins were married on 1 May 2016.[29]



Year Title Role Notes
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 Outlaw Sandy Mardell
2007 The Last Legion Demetrius
2007 Virgin Territory Alessandro Felice
2008 Jolene Coco Leger
2008 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Lt. Kurt Kotler
2009 The Young Victoria Prince Albert
2009 Chéri Chéri
2009 The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers Bourbon Short film
2010 The Kid Kevin Lewis
2010 Lullaby for Pi Sam
2010 Steve Director
2011 5 Days of War Thomas Anders
2012 To Write Love on Her Arms David McKenna Also known as Day One
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 Stryka Callen Short film
2015 Hitman: Agent 47 Agent 47
2017 The Death of Stalin Vasily Stalin
2018 At Eternity's Gate Theo van Gogh
2018 A Simple Favor Dennis Nylon
2019 Separation Jeff Post-production
2020 The French Dispatch Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2012–2017 Homeland Peter Quinn 55 episodes
Nominated – PAAFTJ Television Awards for Best Guest Actor In A Drama Series (2013)[30]
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 Strange Angel Ernest Donovan


Year Title Role Notes
2010 The Little Dog Laughed Mitchell London


  1. ^ a b Ornos, Riza (24 February 2015). "'Agent 47' News Update: Paul Walker Replacement Rupert Friend First Images Released, Five Things to Know About the 'Homeland' Actor". International Business Times. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Right on cue: the new breed of screen stars". Daily Mail. UK. 31 January 2009. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  3. ^ "Interview: Rupert Friend". Interview. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b Harrod, Horatia (14 September 2010). "Rupert Friend on his new film The Kid". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  5. ^ Schaeffer, Brittany (20 November 2005). "FRIEND, INDEED. Actor Rupert launches his film career with a triple threat". New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  6. ^ Smith, Lizzie (30 June 2009). "Keira Knightley stars as fairy godmother in rookie writer's film... well, he is her boyfriend". Daily Mail. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  7. ^ Ambler, Eric (19 September 2012). "Interview: STEVE Writer-Director Rupert Friend". Screen Invasion. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  8. ^ MacFarlane, Steve (27 September 2012). "Film Review: Star In Shots". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  9. ^ Smith, Anna. "Cheri review: Dangerous Liaisons 2: Satin Boogaloo". Empire. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Review: The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas (12a, 94mins)". 7 September 2008. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  11. ^ "The Young Victoria production notes" (PDF). Cinematic Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  12. ^ von Tunzelmann, Alex (5 March 2009). "The Young Victoria: less chess, more Hungry Hungry Hippos". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  13. ^ Billington, Michael (21 January 2010). "The Little Dog Laughed". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  14. ^ Jaafar, Ali (2 February 2009). "'The Kid' unveils key cast". Variety.
  15. ^ Mintzer, Jordan (1 December 2013). "Review: 'Lullaby for Pi'". Variety. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  16. ^ DeFore, John (25 August 2011). "5 Days of War: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  17. ^ "2013 Nominations Announced for the 16th Annual British Independent Film Awards". British Independent Film Awards. 13 November 2013. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  18. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (18 February 2014). "Exclusive First Look at Rupert Friend As Agent 47 In The Hitman Sequel". IGN. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  19. ^ Whiteman, Bobby (12 March 2015). "That's a close shave! Rupert Friend debuts new buzz cut as he and fiancée Aimee Mullins enjoy some retail therapy in London". Daily Mail. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  20. ^ "Hitman: Agent 47 Interview - Comic-Con 2015". IGN. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  21. ^ Blyth, Antonia (17 June 2015). "Rupert Friend Q&A: 'Homeland' Season 5 Is "Very Much A Do-Over"". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  22. ^ Hibberd, James (27 April 2015). "Homeland going to Germany for season 5". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  23. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (23 July 2015). "Homeland Season 5, Affair Season 2 Get October Premiere Date". TVLine. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  24. ^ "Mad Max, Jaws, Cartel Land, Casting James Bond". BBC Radio 4. 22 October 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  25. ^ White, Richard (13 January 2010). "Keira's Not Getting It Knightley". The Sun. London. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  26. ^ Hough, Andrew (13 January 2011). "Keira Knightley and Rupert Friend split after five years". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  27. ^ Radnor, Abigail (15 February 2014). "What I've Learnt: Rupert Friend". The Times. London. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  28. ^ Shakespeare, Sebastian (2 October 2014). "Keira's-Ex-Engaged-to-Paralympics-Star". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  29. ^ Petit, Stephanie. "Surprise! Rupert Friend and Aimee Mullins Secretly Got Married One Month Ago". People.
  30. ^ "2nd PAAFTJ Television Awards nominations announced; "Arrested Development" leads" (Press release). Pan-American Association of Film & Television Journalists. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013.

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