Who Is Ruth Wilson?
Born in 1982 in Surrey, England, Ruth Wilson is a British actress who began appearing in a variety of BBC television shows before making her mark with the BBC miniseries Jane Eyre in 2006 and the crime drama Luther, four years later. Between working on TV and film projects, Wilson took time out to exercise her talents on stage, appearing in the titular roles of both Anna Christie in 2011 and Hedda Gabbler in 2017. Beginning in 2014, she became better known to American audiences with Showtime’s hit drama The Affair and won a Golden Globe the following year.
Early Life and Education
Ruth Wilson was born on January 13, 1982 in Surrey, England. She is the youngest of four children and the only daughter to parents Mary and Nigel Wilson.
She attended Esher College, the University of Nottingham and finished her higher education at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 2005.
Movies and TV Shows
Wilson hardly had a professional credit to her name when she landed the lead role in the BBC’s four-part miniseries Jane Eyre in 2006. From there she starred in Agatha Christie’s Marple on ITV and also played the younger version of the female lead in the BBC drama Capturing Mary in 2007.
In 2009 she starred as a doctor in the reboot of the 1960s original TV series The Prisoner, before landing the role of the sociopathic scientist Alice Morgan in the BBC crime drama Luther (2010-2013).
Her character Alice quickly became a fan favorite and Wilson admittedly enjoyed playing her. “She’s a child, a clown, nasty, psycho — you can kind of play anything you want and get away with it,” she told Vulture in 2013.
“It’s quite a dark series,” Wilson said about working on Luther, adding, “more brutal than some of the others, and you realize Alice actually provides quite a lot of light relief, even though she’s a psychopath and very weird and scary. There’s something sort of glorious about her as well.”
Not surprisingly, the series did not want to close the story on Wilson’s character and brought her back for Season 5 in 2018.
On the big screen Wilson has held smaller roles in dramas such as Anna Karenina (2012), opposite Keira Knightley and Jude Law, and Saving Mr. Banks (2013), which stars Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.
In 2014 Wilson’s celebrity made its away across the pond in a more prominent way when she agreed to star in Showtime’s The Affair as Alison Lockhart, a troubled young woman with a dark past who gets involved with a married man named Noah Solloway (Dominic West). The show, also starring Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson, was a hit among viewers and critics alike and earned Wilson a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama in 2015.
“I loved that I get to play a character from both points of view,” Wilson told British Vogue in 2015. “Noah sees Alison as this confident, reckless, sexy version of her. But she sees herself a totally different way, which from the inside is dowdy and in the shadows and not wanting to stand out.”
She added: “I do think America is so moralistic and so judgmental that what takes place in the show seems to be shocking.”
In 2018 Wilson exited the show — to the shock of many fans — but was cryptic on further details. “I did want to leave, but I’m not allowed to talk about why,” she stated during a CBS This Morning interview in August 2018.
‘The Little Stranger’
More recently, Wilson has turned to more film work. In 2016 she starred in the horror flick, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, and in 2017 played the cryptic character PT Stella in the sci-fi rom com How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Adding more of the horror genre onto her film credits, she is slated to star in the British film adaptation of The Little Stranger, a supernatural thriller, which is based on a novel by author Sarah Waters. Wilson is also executive producing the film.
Despite Wilson’s success on camera, she loves to return to her theatrical roots. She has performed in numerous productions including a 2009 production of A Streetcar Named Desire as the character Stella, Anna Christie with Jude Law in 2011, Constellations with Jake Gyllenhaal in 2015 and most recently, the titular role in Patrick Marber’s Hedda Gabler in 2017.
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