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Romola Garai


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Romola Garai

Romola Sadie Garai (born on 6 August 1982 in Southwark, London, England) is a British actress.

Garai is of Jewish Hungarian descent on her father's side, and is the great-granddaughter of Bert Garai, the founder of the Keystone Press. She was raised in Hong Kong and Wiltshire, and later added school in London, where she was spotted in a school play which led to her first professional role.

She began her career in television, and has also appeared on the stage.

Her highest profile role to date was as the female lead in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, a loose sequal to Dirty Dancing. However, the film both recieved poor critical reviews and was not as commercially sucessful as had been hoped.

She has roles in numerous upcoming porojects including; Kenneth Brannagh's As You Like It, Woody Allen's Scoop (2006) and The Snow Goose.

Romola Garai @ IMDb

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Wikipedia :

Romola Sadie Garai (born 1 July 1982) is an award-winning English actress.


Early life

Garai was born in Hong Kong, the daughter of Janet, a journalist, and Adrian Garai, a high-ranked bank manager. She relocated to Singapore at five before her family returned to Wiltshire in the United Kingdom when she was eight. Garai's father is of Hungarian descent; her great-grandfather was Bert Garai, the founder of the Keystone Press.

She attended an independent boarding school, at Stonar and later moved at sixteen to London to attend the City of London School for Girls where she ended up finishing off her A-levels. She was fond of drama and appeared in school plays, and also with the National Youth Theatre up until the age of 18, where she was spotted by an agent who whisked her away to play the younger version of Judi Dench's character in a television production called The Last of the Blonde Bombshells.

After A-levels, she studied English Literature at Queen Mary, University of London; she originally intended to only study but decided to do acting on the side during the summer holidays.

Acting career

It was during her first break from University that Garai landed a part in a BBC-produced television series called Attachments. It was this production that prompted her to make the decision to stop her education and concentrate solely on her acting career.

Garai's first major film role was in 2002's Nicholas Nickleby. She played Kate Nickleby, a supporting role, in the well-reviewed film. The entire cast was widely recognized for their work and were awarded Best Ensemble by the National Board of Review. In 2003's I Capture the Castle, she played 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain. She received glowing praise for her work and the film scored 80% at Rotten Tomatoes/ Her performance earned her a nomination for a Most Promising Newcomer award from the British Independent Film Awards. Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004) was Garai's biggest critical flop to date, scoring only 23% at Rotten Tomatoes (though it went on to make $27 million worldwide). Her performance received mixed reviews – many critics felt let down after her previous impressive turns. Later that same year Vanity Fair was released.

In 2005, Garai received another BIFA nomination, this time for their Best Supporting Actress award, for her performance as Siobhan in the independent film Inside I'm Dancing. Her portrayal earned her the British Supporting Actress of the Year award from the London Film Critics Circle.

Also in 2005 Garai starred in a lavish Australian miniseries called The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant. At $15 million it was the most expensive miniseries ever shot in Australia. While critics hailed it as "pleasingly old-fashioned adventure", it was her performance that won the most admiration and earn her two nominations: Best Lead Actress in Television from the Australian Film Institute and Most Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series from the Logie Awards. As The Observer noted: "As for the tireless Garai, she once again demonstrated an instinctive understanding of the vital difference between overperforming and overacting. Garai was last seen on television in the BBC's Andrew Davies adaptation of Daniel Deronda, which was screened simultaneously with Davies's ITV adaptation of Dr. Zhivago, featuring Keira Knightley. Garai's Gwendolen was so superior to Knightley's Lara that it may have been the first time an actor was blown off not just the screen but a whole different channel".

When casting for Dr. Zhivago, Davies originally had Garai in mind for the role of Lara, but when Knightley auditioned, he decided that she was the better actress for the role. A similar thing happened with Joe Wright's adaption of Pride & Prejudice. Wright had initially thought that Knightley was too beautiful for the role, but her tomboy nature eventually won him over. Conversely, when casting his latest film, Atonement, in which both actresses appear, Wright ended up casting Garai in a role he had originally imagined Knightley would take.

She can be seen in Kenneth Branagh's new film adaptation of Shakespeare's As You Like It, as Celia. The film was released in some European cinemas before being broadcast on HBO cable television in the U.S.

2007 saw Garai star in her biggest role yet, as Angel Deverell in Francois Ozon's Angel. Critics raved about her performance and she developed a strong bond with Ozon who now calls her his 'muse'.

She appeared in two Royal Shakespeare Company productions: as Cordelia in King Lear and as Nina in The Seagull, starring alongside Ian McKellen, Frances Barber, Sylvester McCoy, Jonathan Hyde and William Gaunt. The run, which tour the world, went into residence in the New London Theatre where it ended mid-January 2008. She received rave reviews, especially as Nina in The Seagull, The Independent calling her a "woman on the edge of stardom", and This Is London calling her "superlative", and stating that the play was "distinguished by the illuminating, psychological insights of Miss Garai's performance." She will reprise her role as Cordelia in a televised version of King Lear. She will also be working on the upcoming feature film The Other Man alongside Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Antonio Banderas. She has also signed on for a new feature film Flying Into Love where she will play the iconic American First Lady Jackie Kennedy.


Nicholas Nickleby (2002) as Kate Nickleby

Daniel Deronda (2002, miniseries) as Gwendolen

Tea With Mr Rochester (2003, radio) as the reader

I Capture the Castle (2003) as Cassandra Mortmain

Calico (2004, stage play) as Lucia Joyce

Inside I'm Dancing (also known as Rory O'Shea Was Here) (2004) as Siobhan

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004) as Katey Miller

Vanity Fair (2004) as Amelia Sedley

The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant (2005, mini series) as Mary

Scoop (2006) as Vivian

As You Like It (2006) as Celia

Amazing Grace (2006) as Barbara Wilberforce

The Real Life of Angel Deverell, also known as Angel (2007)

Atonement (2007) as Briony (age 18)

King Lear (2008) as Cordelia

The Other Man (2008) as Bryony

All stars


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