Sam Riley

photo Sam Riley Manfred Werner,
Name: Sam Riley ( Sam Riley )
Born: January 08, 1980
Age: 44 years old
Height: 6 Feet 1 Inch
Occupation: movie industry, singer
Tags: actor, movie
Relationship Status: married
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    Sam Riley: biography

    The actor's career focuses on big films: in 2007, Sam Riley made his debut in the movie Control. The movie is about the biography of lan Curtis, frontman of the British band Joy Division, and since then the actor has made success on the Hollywood Olympus. The artist himself has a connection to the music. For several years he was the singer of the band 10,000 Things and worked as a model, but he gave up these activities and became fully involved in the movie industry. Among his works are Hollywood hits such as Maleficent, 13, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

    Childhood and youth

    Sam Riley was born on January 8, 1980, in Menston, West Yorkshire, England. His mother, Amanda Riley, is a nursery school teacher, and the father, Andrew Riley, is a textile agent.

    The actor Sam Riley
    The actor Sam Riley

    The boy graduated from the prestigious Uppingham School in Rutland, where he became involved in acting, starring in the school production called Nicholas Nickleby. However, Sam turned out to be such an impressionable child that, getting used to the image, he experienced an emotional breakdown, after which his parents had to take him out of school, and for some time the teenager needed to recover.

    Sam Riley in his youth

    However, Riley was still dreaming of acting. After graduating in 1998, he auditioned for The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, with no success. The guy was also refused admission to The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


    Then he found a vent in the music, playing in the band 10,000 Things, created in his hometown of Leeds. Sam's brother, George, was a bass player, and Sam himself, as the unique voice owner, was entrusted with vocal parts. It must be said that the band enjoyed considerable success with the youth, and in 2005 even released the album of the same name. The musical background was a great help to the young Riley in his debut movie project. In 2007, Sam received approval to star in the movie Control by Dutch-British photographer Anton Corbijn. The debutant portrayed a cult rock musician Ian Curtis, the frontman of the punk band Joy Division.

    Sam Riley portraying Ian Curtis (from the movie Control)

    The newcomer managed to get into the image of a talented rocker masterly.

    The actor depicts Curtis in the last years of his life, exhausted by the frequent attacks of epilepsy, painful relationships with his wife and girlfriend, but all the while giving himself to the stage and music. Corbijn's work brought Riley the British Independent Film Award for "Most Promising Newcomer," as well as the nomination for the BAFTA Awards. The movie itself was awarded more than ten prestigious international film awards, including the Edinburgh, Stockholm, and Bratislava Film Festival Awards. Unknown Riley, in one moment became famous, and his game deserved recognition of the most venerable critics.

    Riley's next work was the utopian movie Franklyn (2008). In the center of the plot are the parallel developing stories of the three main characters. Riley played one of them - Milo, a young man, reflecting on his unsuccessful personal life. It is noteworthy that this role was initially planned for the star of the film-musical Moulin Rouge, actor Ewan McGregor. But later, the producers decided to make a choice in favor of a younger actor.

    Sam Riley (from the movie 13)
    Sam Riley (from the movie 13)

    In 2010, two movies starring the Britishman - 13 and Brighton Rock - are released at once. Both of them are sharp crime dramas. In the first one, Sam plays Vincent, a young electrician, who by chance becomes a participant in a dangerous adventure - an underground sweepstake, acting on the principle of Russian roulette.

    The second movie is a film adaptation of the novel by the famous British writer Graham Greene. Riley's character - Pinkie, a young cynic with a criminal record. He knows that the murder he once committed has a witness. He is going to eliminate her by marrying this woman.

    Sam Riley and Angelina Jolie (from the movie Maleficent)
    Sam Riley and Angelina Jolie (from the movie Maleficent)

    In 2011, the filmography of the British actor joined another biographical role. The actor has played a famous writer, a representative of the bit-generation Jack Kerouac ( in the movie the image is represented by his alter ego under the name of Sal Paradise), who goes on a trip to America in the company of his friends-writers. Riley's colleagues on the set were such stars as Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Steve Buscemi.

    2014 brought the already famous Riley truly stellar fame. The widely publicized fantasy movie Maleficent with Angelina Jolie in the lead role comes out on the screens. Riley plays the role of Diaval, rescued by fairy Maleficent from the true death and turned into a human being. Diaval becomes a faithful friend and assistant to the fairy, helping her to create a prosperous kingdom.

    Sam Riley and Lily James (from the movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)
    Sam Riley and Lily James (from the movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)

    Another box office blockbuster appeared in the filmography of the British man in 2016 - the movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The movie was a parody of the classic tape Pride and Prejudice based on the novel of Jane Austen. The creators filled it with special effects from the traditional horror movie. Mr.Darcy (played by Sam Riley) and Elizabeth Bennet (played by Lily James) are fighting dead zombies on their way to love.

    In 2017, Riley began acting in the series SS-GB in the role of private detective Douglas Archer, who one day took on a mysterious case, leading him directly to big politics and public affairs.

    Personal life

    Back on the set of his first movie Control, Sam became acquainted with a German actress of Romanian origin, Alexandra Maria Lara. Young people immediately liked each other and in 2009 got married. In 2014, the couple had their first child - a son named Ben. Now Sam Riley and his family live in the hometown of Alexandra - Berlin.

    Embed from Getty Images
    Sam Riley and his wife, Alexandra Maria Lara
    "I feel quite safe and isolated in Germany. My wife is very well known there. But I am only looked at when I am holding her hand," the actor admits in an interview.

    And he adds that he misses Yorkshire's sense of humor and things like Yorkshire pudding.

    It is known that the British man is indifferent to social networks and does not have an account on Instagram or Facebook. Although he doesn’t have an official Instagram account, there are many fan pages filled with images of the actor.

    Sam Riley now

    In 2019, the fantasy film Maleficent will be continued on the screens. The new part is called Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and scheduled to be released on October 18, 2019.

    Embed from Getty Images
    Alexandra Maria Lara and Sam Riley in 2019

    Sam will return to his role as Diaval, and Angelina Jolie will play the main character again. Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Skrein will join the star cast in the 2nd part.

    According to some online sources, Sam Riley has a net worth of $1 million.


    • 2007 – Control
    • 2008 – Franklyn
    • 2010 – 13
    • 2010 – Brighton Rock
    • 2011 – On the Road
    • 2014 – The Dark Valley
    • 2014 – Maleficent
    • 2016 – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
    • 2017 – SS-GB
    • 2019 – Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

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