Tuppence Middleton

Tuppence Middleton (born 21 February 1987) is an English actress. She has appeared in feature films such as Tormented (2009), Chatroom (2010), Cleanskin (2012), Trance (2013), The Lady Vanishes (2013), The Imitation Game (2014), and Jupiter Ascending (2015), as well as in television series such as Bones (2008), New Tricks (2010), Friday Night Dinner (2011), Sinbad (2012), Spies of Warsaw (2013), Black Mirror (2013) and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams (2017). From 2015 to 2018, she portrayed Riley Blue in the Netflix original series Sense8.

Tuppence Middleton
Tuppence Middleton interviewed by Sidewalks Entertainment in 2015.
Born (1987-02-21) 21 February 1987
Years active2008–present
Known forTormented, Sense8, War & Peace

She starred in two British period dramas screened around the same time: Dickensian (2015–16), playing Miss Havisham, and War & Peace (2016), playing Russian princess and villain Hélène Kuragina. She was most recently cast as Lucy Smith, a new and leading character in the 2019 film adaptation Downton Abbey. In 2010, she was nominated for the London Evening Standard Film Awards for Most Promising Newcomer.

Early life

Tuppence Middleton was born on 21 February 1987 in Bristol, England, to Nigel and Tina Middleton.[1] She was named "Tuppence" after the childhood nickname her grandmother gave to her mother.[2] She was raised in Clevedon, Somerset, with older sister Angel and younger brother Josh.[1]

She attended Bristol Grammar School, an independent day school where she was involved in school plays, including Guys and Dolls, in which she played the lead role.[3] She also attended Stagecoach, a performing arts school in Portishead. She appeared in local drama productions, including a pantomime at the Princes Hall, Clevedon, with her sister.[1]

She subsequently studied acting at the Arts Educational School in Chiswick, London, earning an honours degree in acting.[1]


Middleton gained a following for her appearance in the 2009 British horror/comedy Tormented.[4] Her character, head girl Justine Fielding, dates one of the most popular boys in school, only to find that he and his friends were responsible for a classmate's death. She has also appeared in adverts for the chewing gum Extra and Sky TV.

In 2010 she was nominated for the London Evening Standard Film Awards 2010 for Most Promising Newcomer and she starred in Samuel Abrahams's BAFTA-nominated short film "Connect".[5] In 2011, she played the character Tanya Greene in the British sitcom Friday Night Dinner,[6] and Sarah in Sirens. In 2012 she appeared in Cleanskin, a terrorist thriller.[7] In March 2013 she made her professional theatre debut in The Living Room.[8] She also played a minor role in the Danny Boyle film Trance. In 2015, she starred in the Netflix Original Series Sense8 as Riley Blue.

She starred in the 2016 BBC drama War & Peace, playing Russian aristocrat Princess Hélène Kuragina. The series received critical acclaim and featured fellow young actress Lily James also known for her period dramas. The Daily Express said: "Rising star Tuppence Middleton takes on the role of the delightfully evil Hélène Kuragina, who is one half of the incestuous duo. Audiences witnessed her brother getting a little too intimate with his sibling in the first episode before she turned her attentions to Pierre and dug her claws into him. She is a vile character who will use and abuse Pierre without giving him a second thought."[9] Andrew Davies, who adapted War and Peace, described Middleton's Hélène as "the naughtiest woman on TV at the moment".[10]

An August 2018 announcement indicated that Middleton would be among the new cast to join the original series' actors in the feature film Downton Abbey which started principal photography at about the same time.[11]

Personal life

In interviews, she has described her younger self as shy, reclusive, and "geeky" at school but "quite loud and brash" at home. She found youth theatre an "outlet" in which she could be confident.[12][2]



Year Title Role Notes
2009 Tormented Justine Fielding
2010 Skeletons Rebecca [13]
Chatroom Candy
2012 Cleanskin Kate
2013 Trance Young Woman in Red Car
Trap for Cinderella Micky
The Love Punch Sophie
2014 A Long Way Down Kathy
The Imitation Game Helen Stewart
2015 Jupiter Ascending Kalique Abrasax
Spooks: The Greater Good June Keaton
2017 The Current War Mary Edison
2019 Fisherman's Friends Alwyn
Clifton Hill Abby
Downton Abbey Lucy Smith
2020 Possessor Ava Post-production
TBA Mank Sara Mankiewicz Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Bones Vera Waterhouse Episodes: "Yanks in the U.K. (Part 1)", "Yanks in the U.K. (Part 2)"
2010 New Tricks Melanie Higgs Episode: "Fashion Victim"
First Light Grace TV movie
2011 Friday Night Dinner Tanya Green Episodes: "The Date", "The Dress"
Sirens Sarah Fraisor Episodes: "Up, Horny, Down", "I.C.E."
2012 Sinbad Tiger 4 episodes
2013 Lewis Vicki Walmsley Episodes: "Down Among the Fearful – Part 1", "Down Among the Fearful – Part 2"
Spies of Warsaw Gabrielle Miniseries
Black Mirror Jem Episode: "White Bear"
The Lady Vanishes Iris Carr TV movie
2015–2018 Sense8 Riley Blue Gunnarsdóttir Main role
2015 Dickensian Amelia Havisham Main role
2016 War & Peace Princess Helene Kuragina Miniseries
2017 Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams Linda Episode: "The Commuter"
2019 Shadowplay TBA Miniseries; filming


  1. Pickstock, Heather (15 March 2013). "Bristol actress Tuppence Middleton stars in Hitchcock TV thriller ..." Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  2. Williams, Andrew (9 January 2013). "Tuppence Middleton: I'm not stuck in a period piece ghetto". Metro. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  3. "Where did these 11 Bristol celebrities go to school?",Bristol Post, 2 April 2017 (Accessed 4 April 2017)
  4. "Tormented". United Kingdom: The Film Catalogue. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  5. "Film Award Winners". BAFTA.org.
  6. Friday Night Dinner – Episode 1.6. The Date, British Comedy Guide, Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  7. Cleanskin (2012). Internet Movie Database
  8. Billington, Michael. "The Living Room – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  9. Debnath, Neela (12 January 2016). "War and Peace: Who's who character guide". www.express.co.uk.
  10. Thorpe, Vanessa (1 February 2016). "Tuppence Middleton: from Tolstoy's seductress to a Dickensian victim". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  11. Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James Join ‘Downton Abbey’ Movie
  12. Mottram, James (12 July 2013). "Tuppence Middleton proves her worth to Hollywood". The Independent. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  13. "IndieLondon: Tormented". United Kingdom: IndieLondon. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
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