Rory Kinnear

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Rory Kinnear
Rory Kinnear 2012 (cropped).jpg
Kinnear in 2012
Rory Michael Kinnear

(1978-02-17) 17 February 1978 (age 43)
EducationBalliol College, Oxford
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
OccupationActor, playwright
Years active2000–present
Partner(s)Pandora Colin
Parent(s)Roy Kinnear
Carmel Cryan

Rory Michael Kinnear (born 17 February 1978)[1][2][3] is an English actor and playwright who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. In 2014, he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of William Shakespeare's villain Iago in the National Theatre production of Othello.

He is known for playing Bill Tanner in the James Bond films Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre and No Time to Die, and in various video games of the franchise. He is the youngest actor to play the role of Bill Tanner. He also won a Laurence Olivier Award for portraying Sir Fopling Flutter in a 2008 version of The Man of Mode by George Etherege, and a British Independent Film Award for his performance in the 2012 film Broken. On TV, he played Michael on the BBC comedy Count Arthur Strong (2013–2017), Lord Lucan in the two-part ITV series Lucan, Frankenstein's monster in Penny Dreadful and the lead role of Prime Minister Michael Callow in "The National Anthem", the first episode of the anthology series Black Mirror.

Early life

Kinnear was born in Hammersmith, London, the son of the actor Roy Kinnear and actress Carmel Cryan.[4] His sister Karina died from COVID-19 in May 2020.[5] He has another sister, Kirsty. He is the grandson of the Scottish international rugby union and rugby league player Roy Kinnear and the godson of actor Michael Williams.[6] He was educated at Tower House School (leaving in 1991),[7] St Paul's School, London, and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read English. He then studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.[8]



Kinnear's performances in Phyllida Lloyd's production of Mary Stuart and Trevor Nunn's Hamlet, in which he played Laertes, met with acclaim. He also achieved recognition as the outrageous Sir Fopling Flutter in The Man of Mode at the National Theatre, winning a Laurence Olivier Award and Ian Charleson Award. Other notable theatre work includes the lead in Thomas Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy, the role of Pyotr in Maxim Gorky's Philistines and the role of Mitia in a stage adaptation of the Nikita Mikhalkov film Burnt by the Sun, all for the National Theatre.

In 2010, he played Angelo in Measure for Measure at the Almeida Theatre.[citation needed] Later in 2010, he played the title role in Hamlet at the National Theatre.[9] The two portrayals won him the best actor award in the Evening Standard drama awards for 2010.[10]

Kinnear appeared in The Last of the Haussmans by Stephen Beresford at the National Theatre during the summer of 2012. The production was broadcast to cinemas around the world on 11 October 2012 through the National Theatre Live programme.[11]

He starred as Iago opposite Adrian Lester in the title role of Othello in 2013 at the National Theatre throughout the summer of 2013. Both actors won the Best Actor award in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for their roles; the award is normally given to only one actor, but the judges were unable to choose between the two men.[12]

From September 2013, the Bush Theatre in London staged Kinnear's debut play The Herd, directed by Howard Davies.[13] The play ran at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago beginning 2 April 2015.[14] In October 2017, he appeared in the title role of Young Marx, the premiere production at the Bridge Theatre.[15] He returned to the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre to star as the title role in Macbeth with Anne-Marie Duff from February 2018.


For The Threepenny Opera (a "play with songs") at the Olivier Theatre from May to October 2016, Kinnear found his "dormant" singing voice for the role of Macheath.[16][17] In February 2017, he made his directing debut with The Winter's Tale, a new opera written by Ryan Wigglesworth and based on Shakespeare's play, for English National Opera.[18]


Kinnear currently portrays Bill Tanner in the Daniel Craig era James Bond film series after taking over from Michael Kitchen. He is the fourth person to play the character. He has appeared in Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015) and No Time To Die (2021). As well as the films, Kinnear also lends his voice and likeness to the Bond video games; GoldenEye 007 (2010), James Bond 007: Blood Stone (2010) and 007 Legends (2012). In 2014, he played the fictional character, Detective Nock, in The Imitation Game based loosely on the biography Alan Turing:The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. In January 2017, he portrayed Ellmann in the Netflix film iBoy. He played Henry Hunt in Mike Leigh's 2018 film Peterloo.


Further to his theatre work, Kinnear received particularly positive reviews for his sympathetic portrayal of Denis Thatcher in The Long Walk to Finchley (2008), a BBC dramatisation of the early years of Margaret Thatcher's political career, which also starred Andrea Riseborough and Samuel West.

He also starred alongside Lucy Punch and Toby Stephens in the BBC Two series Vexed. Broadcast on 19 October 2010, he was the co-lead in the BBC4 TV drama, The First Men in the Moon written by and co-starring Mark Gatiss.

In 2011, he provided narration during the BBC Proms production of 'Henry V – suite' arranged by Muir Mathieson during their Film Music Prom.[19] He appeared in the lead role of Prime Minister Michael Callow in "The National Anthem", the first episode of the anthology series Black Mirror.[20]

In July 2012, Kinnear appeared as Bolingbroke in Richard II, a BBC Two adaptation of the play of the same name, with Ben Whishaw as King Richard and Patrick Stewart as John of Gaunt.[21]

From 2013 onwards, he has starred in the BBC series Count Arthur Strong as Michael. He has also appeared in the Channel 4 drama Southcliffe.

In December 2013, he appeared as British peer and suspected murderer Lord Lucan in the two-part ITV series Lucan.

He also appeared as Frankenstein's monster in the Showtime television series Penny Dreadful, which premiered 11 May 2014.[22]

In 2017, he appeared in the British miniseries Guerrilla as a Chief Inspector in the Special Branches.[23]

In 2017, he starred as Robert Lessing in the BBC Two comedy series Quacks, which ridicules the early days of medicine in England.

In 2018, he appeared in the first episode of the fourth series of the BBC One comedy series Inside No. 9, Zanzibar, which being a Shakespearean parody, was written in mainly rhyming couplets, with Rory Kinnear playing identical twins and long-lost sons.

In 2019, Kinnear played Craig Oliver in the Channel 4 television film Brexit: The Uncivil War,[24] and the desperate financial advisor Stephen Lyons in the futuristic series Years and Years.

In 2021, Kinnear played Neo-Nazi Colin Jordan in the television drama Ridley Road.[25]


In 2010, he played Flugkapitän Jürgen Rahl in the BBC Radio drama Slipstream as a disaffected German pilot who joins a mission to steal an alien spacecraft harboured by the Nazis.

Personal life

Kinnear is engaged to actress Pandora Colin.[26] The couple have a son, Riley, born in 2010 and a daughter, Hope, born in 2014.[27][28]

He announced that his sister Karina Kinnear had died from coronavirus at the age of 48 in May 2020.[5]



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Judas Andrew
2008 Quantum of Solace Bill Tanner
2009 Wish 143 Wisham Short film
2010 The First Men in the Moon Julius Bedford
Wild Target Gerry Bailey
2012 Skyfall Bill Tanner
Broken Bob Oswald Nominated—British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2014 Cuban Fury Gary
The Imitation Game Detective Nock Nominated—San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2015 Man Up Sean
Spectre Bill Tanner
2016 Trespass Against Us P.C Lovage
The Roof Yet Another Fan Short film
Daddy My Father Short film
2017 iBoy Ellman
2018 Peterloo Henry Hunt
2021 No Time to Die Bill Tanner
TBA Men Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Judge John Deed Tony Cootes Episode: "Duty of Care"
2002 Menace Kevin 2 episodes
Ultimate Force Policeman Episode: "The Killing House"
2003 The Second Coming Father Dillane Episode: "#1.1"
2005 Silent Witness Paul Episode: "The Meaning of Death"
Secret Smile Nick Television movie
2007 Mansfield Park James Rushworth Television movie
Five Days Kyle Betts 5 episodes
Comedy Showcase Rob Black Episode: "Plus One"
2008 Messiah: The Rapture Stewart Dean 2 episodes
The Curse of Steptoe Alan Simpson Television movie
The Long Walk to Finchley Denis Thatcher Television movie
2009 Waking the Dead James Mitcham 2 episodes
Beautiful People Ross Episode: "How I Got My Plumes"
Ashes to Ashes Jeremy Episode: "#2.3"
Cranford Septimus Hanbury Episode: "Return to Cranford: Part One – August 1844"
The Thick of It Ed Atkins Episode: "#3.1"
2010 Vexed Dan Bishop 3 episodes
Lennon Naked Brian Epstein Television movie
2011 Women in Love Rupert Birkin 2 episodes
Black Mirror Prime Minister Michael Callow Episode: "The National Anthem"
2012 The Mystery of Edwin Drood Reverend Septimus Crisparkle 2 episodes
The Hollow Crown Bolingbroke Episode: "Richard II"
2013 Southcliffe David Whitehead 4 episodes
Nominated—BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actor
Lucan Lord Lucan 2 episodes
2013–2017 Count Arthur Strong Michael 20 episodes
2014–2016 Penny Dreadful The Creature 22 episodes
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television (2015–16)
2015 The Casual Vacancy Barry Fairbrother 3 episodes
2017 Guerrilla Pence 6 episodes
Quacks Robert Lessing 6 episodes
2018 Inside No. 9 Prince Rico / Gus Episode: "Zanzibar"
Watership Down Cowslip (voice) Miniseries
2019 Brexit: The Uncivil War Craig Oliver Television film
Years and Years Stephen Lyons Main role
Catherine the Great Nikita Ivanovich Panin Miniseries
2020 Penny Dreadful: City of Angels Peter Craft Main role
2021 Ridley Road Colin Jordan
TBA Our Flag Means Death Captain Nigel Badminton/Chauncey Badminton Main role, upcoming series


Year Title Role Theatre Notes
2002 The Seagull Konstantin Royal Theatre (Northampton)
The Tempest Caliban Theatre Royal, Plymouth
2003 The Taming of the Shrew Tranio Royal Shakespeare Company at the Queen's Theatre
The Tamer Tamed N/A Royal Shakespeare Company at the Queen's Theatre
Cymbeline 1st Lord
2004 Festen Michael Almeida Theatre / Lyric Theatre
Hamlet Laertes Old Vic
2005 Mary Stuart Mortimer Donmar Warehouse
2006 Southwark Fair Simon Royal National Theatre, Cottesloe
2007 The Man of Mode Sir Fopling Flutter Royal National Theatre, Olivier Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Philistines Pyotr Royal National Theatre, Lyttelton
2008 The Revenger's Tragedy Vindice Royal National Theatre, Olivier
2009 Burnt by the Sun Mitia Royal National Theatre, Lyttelton
2010 Measure For Measure Angelo Almeida Theatre
Hamlet Hamlet Royal National Theatre, Olivier
2012 Last of the Haussmans Nick Royal National Theatre, Lyttelton
2013 Othello Iago Royal National Theatre, Olivier Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor
2015 The Trial K Young Vic
2016 The Threepenny Opera Macheath Royal National Theatre, Olivier
2017 Young Marx Karl Marx Bridge Theatre
2018 Macbeth Macbeth Royal National Theatre, Olivier


  1. ^ Dobson, Michael. (2016). The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare. Wells, Stanley., Sharpe, Will., Sullivan, Erin. (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 199. ISBN 978-0-19-105815-8. OCLC 1109817839.
  2. ^ TG24, Sky. "Caterina la Grande: Rory Kinnear è il primo ministro Panin". (in Italian). Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  3. ^ "@007". Twitter. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  4. ^ "Rory Kinnear". IMDb. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b Kinnear, Rory (12 May 2020). "My sister died of coronavirus. She needed care, but her life was not disposable". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Rory Kinnear: Good show, sweet prince". Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Alumni – Tower House School | An Opportunity for Every Boy". Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Rory Kinnear: Good show, sweet prince". London Evening Standard. 29 November 2010.
  9. ^ "National Theatre's 2010 Ł10 Season to Feature Grandage Debut and Kinnear's Hamlet". 22 September 2009. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  10. ^ Brown, Mark (29 November 2010). "Kinnear and Carroll land top theatre awards". The Guardian.
  11. ^ "The Last of the Haussmans". National Theatre. 11 October 2012. Archived from the original on 5 June 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  12. ^ Kennedy, Maev (17 November 2013). "Othello and Iago share best actor prize in London Evening Standard awards". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Billington, Michael (19 September 2013). "The Herd: review". The Guardian.
  14. ^ Talaske, Richard H. (2004). "Steppenwolf Theatre". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 115 (5): 2438. Bibcode:2004ASAJ..115V2438T. doi:10.1121/1.4781709. ISSN 0001-4966. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  15. ^ Brown, Mark (19 April 2017). "Karl Marx comedy to kick off first season at new London theatre". The Guardian.
  16. ^ Hitchings, Henry (27 May 2016). "The Threepenny Opera, theatre review: Kinnear really on song". Evening Standard.
  17. ^ Saville, Alice (27 May 2016). "The Threepenny Opera, National Theatre, review: A snarling, sexy beast of a show". The Independent.
  18. ^ Maddocks, Fiona (5 March 2017). "review: The Winter's Tale; Pelléas et Mélisande". The Observer.
  19. ^ "Prom 38: Film Music Prom". BBC. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  20. ^ "Charlie Brooker: the dark side of our gadget addiction". The Guardian. 1 December 2011.
  21. ^ Mike Watkins (May 2011). "BBC Two to air Shakespeare works Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V". ATV Guide. Archived from the original on 4 September 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  22. ^ Reiher, Andrea (16 January 2014). "'Penny Dreadful,' 'Nurse Jackie' and 'Californication' get premiere dates". Zap2It. Archived from the original on 17 January 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  23. ^ Pedersen, Erik (2 August 2016). "'Guerrilla': John Ridley's Showtime Series Sets Male Lead, Rounds Out Cast". Deadline. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  24. ^ Moss, Stephen (7 January 2019). "'They've turned Michael Gove into a vacillating fool' – politicians on Brexit: The Uncivil War" – via
  25. ^ Robinson, Abby (4 October 2021). "Who was Colin Jordan, and was Vivien Epstein a real person?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  26. ^ Day, Elizabeth (19 December 2010). "Rory Kinnear: why he made the headlines in 2010". The Guardian.
  27. ^ "Rory Kinnear on writing his first play". London Evening Standard. 4 September 2013.
  28. ^ Denham, Jess (13 April 2014). "Olivier Awards 2014: Rory Kinnear beats Jude Law and Tom Hiddleston to Best Actor for Othello". The Independent. Retrieved 19 October 2021.

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