Sam Riley

Active - 2003 - 2021  |   Born - Jan 8, 1980 in Menston, West Yorkshire, England  |   Genres - Drama, Thriller, Science Fiction

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Biography by Nathan Southern

British actor Sam Riley premiered onscreen with a much-coveted lead, and a professionally demanding one at that: the biographical portrayal of controversial, ill-fated post-punk singer Ian Curtis, in photographer-turned-director Anton Corbijn's haunting biopic Control (2007). Riley's courageous and disciplined performance earned a myriad of advance praises when the film swept through the festival circuit, foreshadowing an eminently successful career for the young thespian.

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  • Sang lead for the Leeds band 10,000 Things, which recorded an album for Vintage Records in 2002; brother George played bass.
  • Saw his run with the band end in 2006, which prepared him for his role in Control as Ian Curtis, tormented lead singer of Joy Division.  
  • Named on Variety's Ten Actors to Watch in 2007.
  • Modeled for Burberry's fall-winter campaign in 2008.
  • Trained for two months with a dialogue coach and learned to speak French Canadian in preparation for his role as Jack Kerouac in On the Road (2012).