Rupert Friend

Rupert William Anthony Friend (born 9 October 1981) is a British actor, director, screenwriter, producer and lyricist. He is known for his work in comedies and dramas, both in television and film. For his role as Peter Quinn on the Showtime series Homeland, he was nominated for an Emmy in 2013. He went on to collaborate with Armando Iannucci in the movie The Death of Stalin in which he played Vasily Stalin, son of Joseph Stalin, and he played Theo Van Gogh, Vincent Van Gogh's brother, in Julian Schnabel's movie At Eternity's Gate. He has also worked with Wes Anderson on The French Dispatch, and previous roles include Lieutenant Kurt Kotler in the 2008 film The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Prince Albert in The Young Victoria, and Agent 47 in the film Hitman: Agent 47.

Rupert Friend
Rupert William Anthony Friend

(1981-10-09) 9 October 1981
OccupationActor, director, screenwriter, producer, lyricist
Years active2004–present
Aimee Mullins (m. 2016)

Early life and education

Friend was born in Cambridge, UK 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]


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 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,[3] and Daniel Day-Lewis, whom he described as "mind-boggling".[4]

He 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[5] 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.[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.[6] In 2008, Friend and Tom Mison wrote and starred in a short film called The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers.[7][8] 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.[9] In addition to directing, he wrote and produced the film, which was later included in the 2012 compilation Stars in Shorts.[10] Steve won Friend the Rhode Island Film Festival Crystal Image Award,[11] and was nominated for the Santa Barbara Film Festival Bruce Corwin Award for Best Short Film.

He also starred in the film Chéri and played 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.[12][13] 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.[14] His performance received acclaim, in particular, from historian Alex von Tunzelmann, who praised him for putting in effort in mastering the role.[15]

In 2010, Friend made his stage debut as Mitchell in the UK premiere of The Little Dog Laughed.[16] He followed this with Dennis Potter's Brimstone and Treacle, in which he played the lead character to rave reviews.[17] He stars in the film The Kid, based on the novel by Kevin Lewis.[18] As the film involves boxing, he trained himself so as to improve his physical and psychological shape.[5] He also starred in a French film called Lullaby for Pi, playing a singer called Sam.[19] In 2011, he played Thomas Anders, the protagonist of the film 5 Days of War.[20]

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.[21][22] 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.[23] In 2015, Friend starred as Agent 47 in Hitman: Agent 47, a film based on the Hitman video game franchise, replacing Paul Walker.[24] In order to play the role, he had to shave all his hair.[25] 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.[26]

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.[27] His performance received widespread 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[28][29] and was mourned by the press[30][31] after the sixth (his final) season.

Friend has become known as a "sneaky MVP when it comes to comedic supporting performances",[32] appearing in Paul Feig's A Simple Favor,[33] starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively in which he was offered the lead role, but turned it down to play a funny cameo instead.[34] He also displayed "serious comedic chops"[35] in Armando Iannucci's five-star reviewed The Death of Stalin.[36]

Friend played the role of rebellious wildman Ernest Donovan in Strange Angel from 2018 to 2019, and his performance was praised as being "an open book in a language no-one can read".[37]

Friend was asked by internationally renowned screenwriter David Koepp to narrate his debut novel Cold Storage for HarperCollins AudioBooks.[38] 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.[39] After his worldwide success with Homeland, however, there was renewed speculation that he is on the shortlist to succeed Daniel Craig as 007.[40]

Personal life

From 2005 to 2010, Friend dated English actress Keira Knightley, whom he met when filming Pride & Prejudice.[41][42] He met American athlete and actress Aimee Mullins in 2013,[43] and they became engaged in December 2014.[44] Friend and Mullins were married on 1 May 2016.[45]



2004The LibertineDownsIschia Film Festival Award for Best International Newcomer
Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer
2005Pride & PrejudiceMr. Wickham
2005Mrs. Palfrey at the ClaremontLudovic MeyerSatellite Award for Outstanding New Talent
2007The Moon and the StarsRenzo Daverio / Spoletta
2007OutlawSandy Mardell
2007The Last LegionDemetrius
2007Virgin TerritoryAlessandro Felice
2008JoleneCoco Leger
2008The Boy in the Striped PyjamasLt. Kurt Kotler
2009The Young VictoriaPrince Albert
2009The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide BrothersBourbonShort film
2010The KidKevin Lewis
2010Lullaby for PiSam
Won - Rhode Island International Film Festival Crystal Image Award 2011
Nominated - Santa Barbara International Film Festival Bruce Corwin Award Best Live Action Short Film
20115 Days of WarThomas Anders
2012To Write Love on Her ArmsDavid McKenna
2013The Zero TheoremMan in Street Commercial
2014Starred UpOliverNominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2014Meet Me in MontenegroStephen
2015StrykaCallenShort film
2015Hitman: Agent 47Agent 47
2017The Death of StalinVasily StalinNominated for BAFTA - Outstanding British Film of the Year
2018At Eternity's GateTheo van GoghNominated for Best Film - Venice Film Festival
2018A Simple FavorDennis Nylon
2020The French DispatchPost-production
TBAWaldoWilson SikorskyPost-production


2012–2017HomelandPeter Quinn55 episodes
Nominated – PAAFTJ Television Awards for Best Guest Actor In A Drama Series (2013)[46]
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)
2018–2020Dream Corp, LLCPatient 62
2018–2019Strange AngelErnest Donovan


2010The Little Dog LaughedMitchellLondon
2012Brimstone and TreacleMartinLondon


  1. 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. "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. Hirschberg, Lynn. "Homeland's Rupert Friend Is Still Obsessed With Daniel Day-Lewis, His Childhood Hero". W Magazine. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  5. Harrod, Horatia (14 September 2010). "Rupert Friend on his new film The Kid". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
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  38. David Koepp – Audio Books, Best Sellers, Author Bio |
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