Charlotte Riley is an English actress known for her stellar acting works, particularly in the British series Wuthering Heights. She is also renowned for being the wife of English actor Tom Hardy, best known as Mad Max in the post-apocalyptic movie Mad Max: Fury Road and Eddie Brock in the superhero movie Venom.
Riley is also a writer and a businesswoman who owns and runs several brands. By many standards, since she began performing in a sketch comedy group, it has been a successful career run for her, comparable to her husband in more ways than one.
Tom Hardy Was Already A Star When Charlotte Riley Debuted On The Big Screen
Charlotte’s debut on the big screen was as Sarah Hurst in the 2008 romantic comedy Easy Virtue. It was a remake of the 1928 movie of the same name directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Her outstanding performance fetched her positive reviews.
Her husband Tom, on the other hand, had his first major role seven years prior when he starred in the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers. More big roles soon followed, starting with Black Hawk Down in the same year, Star Trek: Nemesis the next, and several others in the subsequent years.
Charlotte got her breakthrough role when she got cast as Catherine Earnshaw in the 2009 TV adaptation of the novel Wuthering Heights written by Emily Bronte. Tom Hardy was also in the miniseries. Riley’s role in the movie gained widespread attention, leading to parts in other films and television series.
The following year, Tom Hardy garnered worldwide attention with his groundbreaking performance as Eames in 2010 sci-fi thriller, Inception, essentially projecting him into A-list status.
2012 was a terrific year for Charlotte Riley as she landed a significant role in the miniseries World Without End. Her portrayal of the character Caris Wooler was so good that she got nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television. Later on, she appeared alongside Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in the 2014 sci-fi movie Edge of Tomorrow.
Charlotte Riley And Tom Hardy Are Both Millionaires
Riley’s husband, Tom Hardy is a man of many accolades. He has a host of commercially successful films and series to his name, some of which he also produced.
With high-grossing projects like The Revenant, Taboo, Mad Max: Fury Road, Peaky Blinders, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and Venom to his name, it is no surprise the actor is worth a whopping $30 million. The Revenant earned him his first Oscar nomination, amongst multiple other award nominations and wins.
Besides her acting career, Charlotte Riley is a writer. She has written scripts for different short films and stage plays. She also holds the Festival Prize, an award given at the London Independent Film Festival.
Charlotte is also a big lover of association football, and she owns a football team called the Grindon Angels. She also has a vodka brand called Pure Wonderiley, a perfume line; With Love from Charlotte, and a clothing line; Charlotte Riley Seduction.
Charlotte Riley got her first award straight out of college and has been nominated and won others since then. Between her multiple endeavours, she is doing great financially with a net worth of $8 million as of 2020, a fortune she has accrued from a career that started from college.
Charlotte Riley Began Acting At St Cuthbert’s College
Riley was born on 29 December 1981 in the little village of Grindon, County Durham, England. She was born to parents Michael and Margaret Riley. Her father, Michael, is an engineer, and her mother, Margaret, is a nurse and bereavement counsellor. She developed a taste for tea from a young age, particularly Ringtons, which her dad had a unique way of making.
Growing up, Charlotte spent her early years in County Durham with older siblings Simon and Joanne. She began attending Teesside High School at the age of nine. After graduation at the age of 18, she moved up to study at St Cuthbert’s College, Durham University, in 2000. During her time in college, she performed with the sketch comedy group known as the Durham Revue.
Riley also took part in musical numbers and plays. She graduated with a BA in English and Linguistics in 2003. By the year 2005, she got into the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), graduating in 2007.
Disabled People and Clowning Inspired Charlotte’s Career Path
After she graduated from Durham University, Charlotte Riley and her friend Tiffany Wood wrote and performed the play, Shaking Cecilia, and won the Sunday Times’ Playwriting Award. Her career path at the time was unclear to her, so Charlotte decided to give back. She began teaching drama to children and young adults with disabilities and also enrolled at a clown school.
Teaching drama and something about clowns moved her to pursue acting as a career. She enrolled in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and studied from 2005 to 2007.
Riley’s television debut came shortly after graduation, in the BBC Three sitcom, Grownups. She appeared in a 2007 episode as the character Chloe.
It was a minor role and with the series not doing good in reviews, it went unnoticed. The same year saw Riley appear in another minor role as Tanya Cusan in an episode of Holby City. In 2008, she was in the short film Survey No. 257, and also appeared in an episode of Inspector George Gently.
Wuthering Heights Role Remains Her Most Popular
Riley can boast of tens of credits both in movies and television since her breakthrough, and her performance has been nothing short of breathtaking in most, if not all. Yet, when Charlotte Riley comes up, her character in Wuthering Heights is the first thing that comes to most people’s minds.
In the two-part miniseries, the actress plays the love interest of Heathcliff, a character portrayed by the actual love of her life, Tom Hardy. Their characters didn’t quite get the conventional happy ending. Still, they couldn’t have been brought to life better than Hardy and Riley did.
Their performance may or may not have been influenced by their growing chemistry in real life but their hard work was duly rewarded with more recognition, especially for Charlotte.
Charlotte Riley Met Her Husband Over A Cup Of Tea
Charlotte met her husband, Tom Hardy, on the set of Wuthering Heights in 2009. Looking to form a connection with her Heathcliff, the budding actress who would portray Cathy, asked him to join her for her favourite drink, tea. Their bond was almost instantaneous but as she revealed to Daily Mail in 2013, it certainly didn’t happen over the first cup.
Tom had made a Charles Bronson (the infamous violent UK prisoner he portrayed in Bronson) impression right off the bat, which was not very popular with Riley. She soon realized a couple of cups later that it was him trying to make her laugh.
The timing of their encounter couldn’t have been better. Tom had just gone through some big self-improvement projects following his struggle with addiction, fame, and divorce. They were both single and made a connection deeper than what she had in mind when she first offered him tea.
A romantic relationship blossomed from there and the following year, they got engaged. The two got to work together in other movies and series, including The Take and Peaky Blinders and got married at a lowkey wedding in July 2014.
Their marriage made Charlotte the step-mother of Hardy’s son from his relationship with Rachael Speed, whom he met on the set of the 2005 movie The Virgin Queen. The Mad Max star didn’t have any children with his first wife, Sarah Ward, who married him in 1999 and they divorced in 2004.
Charlotte And Tom Have Two Children Together
Together, Charlotte Riley and Tom Hardy are raising three children, including her stepson, Louis Thomas Hardy. Despite being one of Hollywood’s most beloved couples, Charlotte and Tom, who value their privacy above much else, prefer to keep their family out of their public affair.
Charlotte gave birth to her first child with Hardy in October 2015. In January 2019, they welcomed their second child. Like they did with their wedding, the couple refuses to share their kids’ details, including names, pictures, and gender.
Riley told The Telegraph in 2015 that she doesn’t feel the need to update people about her life as her privacy means a great deal to her. Her husband also told Esquire the same thing three years later. However, from the little the couple chooses to share, it is evident that they love each other and have come a long way since they began their relationship.
Like most couples, they’ve had their share of hurdles, including losing their dog, Woody, in 2017. More importantly, however, is the fact that they choose to grow through the good and the bad rather than let the past hold them back.