Sophie Rundle (born 21 April 1988) is an English actress, best known for portraying Ada Thorne in the BBC One historical crime drama television series Peaky Blinders, Ann Walker in BBC One and HBO's period drama Gentleman Jack, Vicky Budd in the BBC television series Bodyguard, code-breaker Lucy in the ITV drama series The Bletchley Circle and Labia in the British/American television sitcom Episodes. She also played Alice in Sky One's 2017 drama Jamestown.
|Born||21 April 1988|
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England
|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (BA)|
Rundle was born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. She has two brothers. She attended Bournemouth School for Girls. In 2011, Rundle graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in Acting.
Rundle started her career in the British horror comedy film Small Town Folk in 2007 opposite Warwick Davis. Later in 2012, she starred in the ITV four-part television miniseries period drama, Titanic, created by producer Nigel Stafford-Clark and written by Julian Fellowes, which is based on the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Later that year, she guest-starred as Labia in the British/American television sitcom Episodes opposite Matt LeBlanc and Stephen Mangan, which aired on Showtime and BBC Two.
Also in 2012, Rundle appeared in Great Expectations directed by Mike Newell. The film premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and was released in the UK on 30 November 2012.
Rundle also played Sefa in the two-part episode Arthur's Bane of the final season of the BBC TV series Merlin.
She played a lead role in the ITV mystery drama series The Bletchley Circle, about four women who investigate a series of murders, and ended on 27 January 2014. On the series' cancellation, Rundle stated:
It was a real shame because we would've loved to have come back. I think we were all gutted. In the climate that we're in at the moment, it's really hard to get shows re-commissioned. Doing a second series was a complete bonus – we only thought we were doing a one-off drama.
She also appears as Ada Shelby in the BBC Two period crime drama series Peaky Blinders, based on the memoirs of the Shelby family, whose many brothers, sisters, and relatives make up the fiercest gang of all in interwar Birmingham. On mastering the Brummie accent during production, Rundle said that she and the rest of the cast had struggled with it at first because it is not heard much on television, but managed to master the accent after a set visit in Birmingham. Also, in an interview with Radio Times, in regards to her casting in the series, Rundle stated:
I'm just interested in, I don't know, toughening up a bit and playing some… I just want to be in an Italian crime drama! That would be it. During lockdown I’ve gotten really weirdly obsessed with crime dramas, I’ve discovered this bizarre blood lust that I have for really violent gang land dramas, so I’ve watched all of The Sopranos, I’ve been watching Gomorrah, ZeroZeroZero. I really love that genre.
Rundle played the lead role of Fiona Griffiths, a young detective constable in the Sky Living two-part crime series Talking to the Dead, based on the eponymous novel by Harry Bingham. It was adapted by Golden Globe Award-nominee Gwyneth Hughes. On playing Fiona Griffiths, Rundle did some research on Cotard's Syndrome to portray Griffiths accurately. She agrees that her character in the series is a little "loopy": "Well, yes. Part of the mystery of the show is trying to work out what is going on with her. You know that there is a history of trauma there and you are trying to figure that out. It is being fed to you in little bits. She has a history of mental health issues too, which gives her an affinity with the dead."
Rundle guest-starred as Pamela Saint, a young mother who suffers mental health problems after delivering her child, in the seventh episode of the third series of the BBC medical period drama series Call the Midwife, which aired on 2 March 2014. She also starred in the six-part BBC One police procedural series Happy Valley as Kirsten McAskill, a rookie policewoman who stops Lewis (played by Adam Long) for speeding and is then run over by his accomplice in a recent kidnapping, Tommy (portrayed by James Norton), a convicted drug offender, thus killing her. On the dramatic development for her character throughout the series, Rundle hinted that she [Kirsten], "is so young and eager and enthusiastic about her job, it's a real shock when what happens happens — and it's quite exciting as well." The series debuted on 29 April 2014, and was created by Sally Wainwright which stars Sarah Lancashire and Steve Pemberton.
On 4 October 2014, Rundle appeared in the live cooking programme Saturday Kitchen presented by James Martin as an interviewed guest.
Rundle starred as Eva Smith/Daisy Renton in Helen Edmundson's BBC adaptation of J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls, which also starred David Thewlis portraying the title role, Ken Stott and Miranda Richardson. The drama was directed by Aisling Walsh and was broadcast on BBC One on 13 September 2015. In June 2015, Rundle starred as Jenny in the Channel 4 sitcom Not Safe for Work alongside Zawe Ashton, Tom Weston-Jones, Samuel Barnett, Sacha Dhawan and Anastasia Hille. The series was created and written by playwright D. C. Moore and was broadcast on 30 June 2015.
Rundle also portrayed Honoria Barbary in BBC's 20-part Dickensian, a reworking of an ensemble of characters created by Charles Dickens, which aired on BBC One on 26 December 2015.
In 2016, Rundle starred in the ITV's six-part series titled Brief Encounters, which is loosely based on Gold Group International CEO, Jacqueline Gold's 1995 memoir, Good Vibrations. Asked about her opinion of her character in the series (set in the 1980s) during an interview with i, Rundle explained that she would be restless and excited on her sexuality if she was a teenager during that era.
In 2017, Rundle starred in Sky 1's drama Jamestown as Alice Kett, one of the '"maids to make wives" who sailed 3,700 miles across the Atlantic to marry a stranger in the New World'. What made Rundle to be interested in her role in the series is her opportunity to portray women of bravery and dynamism, in an interview with i. Also in an article with the Irish Examiner, Rundle insisted that her character in the series is the sort of person audience want to watch as stated:
It’s indicative of an audience’s desire to see female-led dramas, fleshed out female protagonists, and this is part of that movement. That’s something I’ve been conscious of and want to make true in all jobs I do. It’s important we have women at the front and centre.
In 2018, Rundle appeared in the six-part thriller, Bodyguard created by Jed Mercurio, with Keeley Hawes and Gina McKee, broadcast on BBC One. The series tells the fictional story of a war veteran now working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch (RaSP) of London's Metropolitan Police. In the same year, Rundle portrayed wealthy heiress Ann Walker, in the joint production between BBC One and HBO biographical drama series about a real-life lesbian couple living in the North of England in the 19th century, titled Gentleman Jack, alongside Suranne Jones and Timothy West. As the series is created by Sally Wainwright, whom Rundle has worked with in Happy Valley, Rundle explained that she was used to Wainwright's writing and intended to be involved before receiving an email regarding the offer to be cast in the series, and was enthused after reading the scripts. On portraying the character, Rundle shared that she has to engage her feelings and emotions in order to fit of those of Ann Walker:
Because Ann Walker goes through such an extraordinary journey and has to confront her religion and her own sense of morality, throughout the series there are these huge ups and downs. She grapples with her mental health and it can be exhausting to play; you can be crying all day and it’s hard to do that and separate yourself from the character. Your body can trick your mind into thinking you really are upset. It’s one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done.
In 2019, Rundle portrayed Princess Diana in an episode of the Sky Arts' Urban Myths series, with David Avery as Freddie Mercury and Mathew Baynton as Kenny Everett.
In 2020, Rundle starred alongside Martin Compston in BBC One programme, The Nest, a five-part psychological drama about a husband and wife who meet an 18-year-old woman who agrees to be their surrogate after years of their trying for a baby. She also appeared in Netflix's The Midnight Sky, playing Jean Sullivan. She also starred in the film Rose as the titular character with her husband Matt Stokoe who also wrote the film.
In 2023, Rundle starred in the Alibi political thriller The Diplomat as Laura Simmonds, a British consul who is determined to protect British nationals who are involved in a series of conflicts in Barcelona. In an interview with Radio Times, Rundle said she felt happy and pleased that filming is to take place abroad after reading the scripts she received by her agent through email. She also explained the long-running mystery storyline integrating with minor stand-alone storylines that allows the series' cast to explore different characters and different scenarios that the main character [Laura Simmonds] would be involved in. She commented that she can easily portray Laura Simmonds because she can relate the character to several people whom she knew before:
You do get quite nervous that you're just being very normal. This is the closest to myself that I've ever played. I know women like Laura, and I went to school with girls like her. Often, to warrant having a young female protagonist in a TV series, there has to be something quirky about her — for instance, she’s got to be unhinged or quite masculine. Laura’s not like that — she's a very competent, efficient young woman who’s good at her job, a safe pair of hands, and fun!
On 16 February 2023, it was announced that Rundle will star in the upcoming ITV's six-part mystery thriller series titled After the Flood as PC Joanna Marshall, a police officer investigating the death of a man after a natural disaster struck.
In February 2013, Rundle played Bunty Mainwaring in Stephen Unwin's production of Noël Coward's The Vortex at the Rose Theatre, Kingston.
In December 2014, she played Lucia Kos in a new play titled 3 Winters by London-based Croatian playwright Tena Štivičić, about the Kos family, living at three crucial periods in Croatian history. The play is directed by Howard Davies at the National Theatre.
Rundle is engaged to actor Matt Stokoe, whom she met on the set of Jamestown. They have a son born in 2021.
|2007||Small Town Folk||Heather|
|2014||Little Stars||Anna Beavan||Documentary film|
|The Face of an Angel||Hannah|
|2015||An Inspector Calls||Eva Smith||Television film|
|2020||The Midnight Sky||Jean|
|2011||Garrow's Law||Miss Casson||Episode: "3.4"|
|2012||Titanic||Roberta Maioni||Recurring role|
|Merlin||Sefa||Episodes: "Arthur's Bane – Part 1 & Part 2"|
|2013||Shetland||Sophie||Episodes: "Red Bones – Part 1 & Part 2"|
|2012–2014||The Bletchley Circle||Lucy||Main role|
|2013||Talking to the Dead||Fiona Griffiths||Main role|
|2014||Call the Midwife||Pamela Saint||Guest star|
|Happy Valley||Kirsten McAskill||Recurring role|
|2015||Not Safe for Work||Jenny||Main role|
|2015–2016||Dickensian||Honoria Barbary||Supporting role|
|2016||Brief Encounters||Steph Kirke||Main role|
|2013–2022||Peaky Blinders||Ada Thorne, née Shelby|
|2017–2019||Jamestown||Alice Kett, Mrs. Silas Sharrow|
|2019–2022||Gentleman Jack||Ann Walker|
|2019||Urban Myths||Princess Diana||Episode: "Princess Diana, Freddie And Kenny – One Normal Night"|
|2019||Elizabeth is Missing||Susan "Sukey" Jefford||TV film|
|2020||The Nest||Emily||Main role[non-primary source needed]|
|2013||The Vortex||Bunty||Stephen Unwin||Rose Theatre|
|2014||Three Winters||Lucia||Howard Davies||Royal National Theatre|
|2016||Wild Honey||Sofya||Jonathan Kent||Hampstead Theatre|
- ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916–2007
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- ^ "From Peaky Blinders to Jamestown - Sophie Rundle is a woman in a new world". Irish Examiner. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
- ^ "Keeley Hawes reunites with Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio for new thriller Bodyguard". Radio Times. 5 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
- ^ "'Gentleman Jack' interview: Sophie Rundle chats about playing Ann Walker". British Period Dramas. 29 June 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
- ^ "Sophie Rundle on Playing Anne Lister's Wife on Gentleman Jack". Town & Country. 7 May 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
- ^ Tate, Gabriel (10 April 2019). "Urban Myths: Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury and Kenny Everett review – an unusually poignant episode with plenty of wicked laughs". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
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- ^ "Sophie Rundle leads new Alibi drama The Diplomat". I Talk Telly. 25 April 2022. Retrieved 29 July 2022.
- ^ "On set for Alibi's new thriller The Diplomat: 'The Office meets Bodyguard in Barcelona'". Radio Times. 28 February 2023. Retrieved 1 March 2023.
- ^ "The Diplomat star Sophie Rundle on gripping new drama The Diplomat". The Herald. 26 February 2023. Retrieved 1 March 2023.
- ^ "Sophie Rundle explains what makes new crime drama The Diplomat unique". Radio Times. 21 February 2023. Retrieved 25 February 2023.
- ^ "Sophie Rundle on the perks of filming The Diplomat in Barcelona". What To Watch. 24 February 2023. Retrieved 25 February 2023.
- ^ "Peaky Blinders' Sophie Rundle leads new ITV mystery After the Flood". Radio Times. 16 February 2023. Retrieved 25 February 2023.
- ^ "The Vortex – Rose Theatre, Kingston". The Public Reviews. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
- ^ "3 Winters review – Croatian family drama pierces the fog of history". The Guardian. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- ^ "3 Winters at the Lyttelton, SE1". The Times. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- ^ "Sophie Rundle: 'What my Gentleman Jack sex scenes taught me about love' – YOU Magazine". YOU Magazine. 19 August 2019.
- ^ O Neill, Bronwyn (12 April 2021). "Peaky Blinders star Sophie Rundle welcomes her first child". MSN. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
Our little boy, who arrived safely and happily over the Easter weekend and changed the game forever. My little egg. My overflowing, grateful heart.
- ^ "Little Stars". youtu.be. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
- ^ "BBC One Twitter Account". 28 August 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2019 – via Twitter.