Ruth Wilson

Ruth Wilson
Ruth Wilson

Ruth Wilson was born in 1982 in Ashford, Surrey. Her screen debut was in “SurburbanShootout”. She gave a stunning performance on television in the title role “Jane Eyre” opposite Toby Stephen’s ‘Mr Rochester’. In 2011 she was on the London stage in the title role “Anna Christie” opposite Jude Law.

TCM Overview:

British actress Ruth Wilson rose from obscurity to overnight stardom when she was selected to star in a 2006 U.K. television adaptation of “Jane Eyre,” which led to a lengthy run of award-winning successes on stage, as well as her leap to Hollywood filmmaking with “The Lone Ranger” (2012). Wilson’s performances delivered a confidence beyond her relatively young years that also masked a palpable vulnerability, a quality that drew rave reviews for her turn as Jane Eyre, as well as theatrical productions of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Anna Christie,” both of which netted her the esteemed Olivier Award in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Wilson won over international audiences with her riveting turn as a psychopathic researcher on “Luther” (BBC One, 2010- ) before making the leap to features in the 2012 film version of “Anna Karenina.” She subsequently made headlines when she was announced as the female lead in Gore Verbinski’s take on “The Lone Ranger” (2012), co-starring Johnny Depp. Wilson’s swift ascent to the top of her country’s theatrical scene, as well as her burgeoning film career, clearly indicated that movie stardom was in her future.

Born Jan. 13, 1982 in the Greater London town of Ashford, Surrey, Ruth Wilson was the youngest child and only girl among four siblings. After attending Notre Dame School and Esher College, she modeled for a brief period before studying history at the University of Nottingham. While there, she also performed in student dramas as part of the New Theatre, the university’s playhouse, and accompanied one production to the Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Acting soon became her primary focus, and after graduating from Nottingham in 2003, she studied her craft at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art before graduating in 2005. Wilson earned her first screen credit that same year, playing the sexually voracious daughter of a female mob boss on the U.K. sitcom “Suburban Shootout” (Five, 2006-07).

Her breakthrough role came less than a year later when she was cast as Charlotte Brontë’s long-suffering heroine in a television adaptation of “Jane Eyre” (BBC One, 2006). Wilson received the lion’s share of critical applause for the well-regarded adaptation, as well as Golden Globe, BAFTA and Satellite Award nominations for Best Actress. With her career now firmly established, Wilson worked steadily in television, playing a young socialite whose life is upended by a sinister figure in director Stephen Poliakoff’s “Capturing Mary” (BBC Two, 2007) and a junior medical practitioner suffering from schizophrenia in “The Doctor Who Hears Voices” (Channel 4, 2008). She also received strong reviews for her theatrical work during this period, most notably for a 2007 production of Maxim Gorky’s “Philistines.”

More television work followed, including a supporting role as Jim Caveziel’s love interest in the 2009 miniseries remake of “The Prisoner” (ITV/AMC), but it was largely overshadowed by the accolades showered upon her for a 2010 production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Wilson received the 2010 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her sensitive turn as Stella DuBois, sister to playwright Tennessee Williams’ tragic heroine, Blanche (Rachel Weisz). Her stage success was quickly followed by an acclaimed turn as Ruth Morgan in “Luther.” A brilliant but amoral scientist who murdered her own parents, Morgan became an object of fascination for series star Idris Elba’s troubled detective, John Luther. For her performance, Wilson netted her second Satellite Award nomination.

Wilson concentrated largely on stage work for the remainder of 2010 and early 2011, starring in the Almeida Theatre’s adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s film “Through a Glass Darkly” (1961), then moving back to the Donmar Warehouse, where she had performed “Streetcar” to play the title role in “Anna Christie.” She again captured top honors with her performance, winning the 2012 Olivier for Best Actress, as well as the esteem of the notoriously tough British theatrical critics’ community. That same year, she made her feature film debut with a supporting role in Joe Wright’s adaptation of “Anna Karenina” (2012), with Keira Knightley as Tolstoy’s iconic character. But that news was quickly overshadowed by the announcement that Wilson would play the romantic interest to Arnie Hammer’s Masked Man in “The Lone Ranger” (2012), the big screen revision of the venerable radio and television series, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp as faithful Indian companion Tonto.

By Paul Gaita

The above TCM overview can also be accessed online here.

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