Rory Kinnear

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Rory Kinnear
Rory Kinnear 2012 (cropped).jpg
Kinnear in 2012
Born (1978-02-17) 17 February 1978 (age 39)
London, England
Alma mater St Paul's School, London
Balliol College, Oxford
Occupation Actor, playwright
Years active 2000–present
Partner(s) Pandora Colin
Children 2
Parent(s) Roy Kinnear
Carmel Cryan

Rory Kinnear (born 17 February 1978) is an English actor and playwright who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre.

He is known for playing Bill Tanner in the James Bond films Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre, 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 Fopling Flutter in a 2008 version of The Man of Mode, and a British Independent Film Award for his performance in the 2012 film Broken. In 2014, he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Shakespeare's villain Iago in the National Theatre production of Othello.

Early life[edit]

Kinnear was born in London, England, the son of the actor Roy Kinnear and actress Carmel Cryan. He has two sisters, Kirsty and Karina. Through his father, a well-known British comedy actor, he is the grandson of the international rugby union and rugby league player Roy Kinnear, and he is the godson of actor Michael Williams. Educated at Tower House School and St Paul's School, London, he read English at Balliol College, Oxford and then studied acting at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.[1]



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 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.[2] Later in 2010 he played the title role in Hamlet at the National Theatre.[3] The two portrayals won him the best actor award in the Evening Standard drama awards for 2010.[4]

Kinnear appeared in The Last of the Haussmans by Stephen Beresford at the Royal 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.[5]

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 traditionally given to only one actor, but the judges were unable to choose between the pair.[6]

From September 2013 the Bush Theatre in London staged Kinnear's debut play The Herd, directed by Howard Davies.[7] The play ran at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago beginning 2 April 2015.[8]


For The Threepenny Opera (a "play with songs") at the Olivier Theatre in May 2016 Kinnear found his "dormant" singing voice for the role of Macheath.[9][10] 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.[11]


He 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) and Spectre (2015). 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 "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.


Further to his theatre work he 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.[12] He appeared in the lead role of Prime Minister Michael Callow in "The National Anthem", the first episode of the anthology series Black Mirror.[13]

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.[14]

He starred in the BBC series Count Arthur Strong as Michael and also appeared in the Channel 4 drama Southcliffe.

In December 2013 he appeared as the main character 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.[15]


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[edit]

Kinnear is engaged to actress Pandora Colin.[16] The couple have a son, Riley, born in 2010 and a daughter, Hope, born in 2014.[17][18]



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Judas Andrew
2005 Secret Smile Nick Television movie
2007 Mansfield Park James Rushworth Television movie
2008 The Curse of Steptoe Alan Simpson Television movie
2008 The Long Walk to Finchley Denis Thatcher Television movie
2008 Quantum of Solace Bill Tanner
2009 Wish 143 Wisham Short film
2010 Lennon Naked Brian Epstein Television movie
2010 The First Men in the Moon Julius Bedford
2012 Skyfall Bill Tanner
2012 Broken Bob Oswald Nominated—British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2014 Cuban Fury Gary
2014 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
2015 Spectre Bill Tanner
2016 Trespass Against Us P.C Lovage
2016 The Roof Yet Another Fan Short film
2017 iBoy Ellman Netflix Film


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Judge John Deed Tony Cootes Episode: "Duty of Care"
2002 Menace Kevin 2 episodes
2002 Ultimate Force Policeman Episode: "The Killing House"
2003 The Second Coming Father Dillane Episode: "#1.1"
2005 Silent Witness Paul 2 episodes
2007 Five Days Kyle Betts 5 episodes
2007 Comedy Showcase Rob Black Episode: "Plus One"
2008 Messiah: The Rapture Stewart Dean 2 episodes
2009 Waking the Dead James Mitcham 2 episodes
2009 Beautiful People Ross Episode: "How I Got My Plumes"
2009 Ashes to Ashes Jeremy Episode: "#2.3"
2009 Cranford Septimus Hanbury Episode: "Return to Cranford: Part One - August 1844"
2009 The Thick of It Ed Atkins Episode: "#3.1"
2010 Vexed Dan Bishop 3 episodes
2011 Women in Love Rupert Birkin 2 episodes
2011 Black Mirror Prime Minister Michael Callow Episode: "The National Anthem"
2012 The Mystery of Edwin Drood Reverend Septimus Crisparkle 2 episodes
2012 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
2013 Lucan Lord Lucan 2 episodes
2013–16 Count Arthur Strong Michael 13 episodes
2014–16 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 Watership Down Cowslip Upcoming series


Year Title Role Theatre Notes
2002 The Seagull Konstantin Royal Theatre (Northampton)
2002 The Tempest Caliban Theatre Royal, Plymouth
2003 The Taming of the Shrew Tranio Royal Shakespeare Company at the Queen's Theatre
2003 The Tamer Tamed N/A Royal Shakespeare Company at the Queen's Theatre
2003 Cymbeline 1st Lord
2004 Festen Michael Almeida Theatre / Lyric Theatre
2004 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 Fluter Royal National Theatre, Olivier Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
2007 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
2010 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
2018 Macbeth Macbeth Royal National Theatre, Olivier


  1. ^ "Rory Kinnear: Good show, sweet prince". London Evening Standard. 29 November 2010. 
  2. ^ Bamigboye, Baz (26 September 2009). "Gemma Arterton takes her bow in West End debut". Daily Mail. London. 
  3. ^ "National Theatre's 2010 Ł10 Season to Feature Grandage Debut and Kinnear's Hamlet". 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  4. ^ Brown, Mark (29 November 2010). "Kinnear and Carroll land top theatre awards". The Guardian. London. 
  5. ^ "The Last of the Haussmans". National Theatre. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  6. ^ Kennedy, Maev (17 November 2013). "Othello and Iago share best actor prize in London Evening Standard awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Billington, Michael. "The Herd". The Guardian. 
  8. ^ "Steppenwolf Theatre". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Hitchings, Henry (27 May 2016). "The Threepenny Opera, theatre review: Kinnear really on song". Evening Standard. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  10. ^ Saville, Alice (27 May 2016). "The Threepenny Opera, National Theatre, review: A snarling, sexy beast of a show". The Independent. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  11. ^ Maddocks, Fiona (5 March 2017). "An old tale newly minted". The Observer: 27. 
  12. ^ "Proms - Proms 2011". BBC. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  13. ^ "Charlie Brooker: the dark side of our gadget addiction". 2011-12-01. 
  14. ^ Mike Watkins (May 2011). "BBC Two to air Shakespeare works Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V". ATV Guide. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  15. ^ Reiher, Andrea (16 January 2014). "'Penny Dreadful,' 'Nurse Jackie' and 'Californication' get premiere dates". Zap2It. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "Rory Kinnear: why he made the headlines in 2010". The Guardian. 
  17. ^ "Rory Kinnear on writing his first play". London Evening Standard. 
  18. ^ "Olivier Awards 2014: Rory Kinnear beats Jude Law and Tom Hiddleston to Best Actor for Othello". The Independent. 

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