Born and raised in Iceland, Anita Briem is the daughter of two musicians, the drummer Gunnlaugur Briem and back-up vocalist Erna Þórarinsdóttir. When she was 9-years-old, she began her acting career at The National Theatre of Iceland in an Astrid Lindgred play. As a child actor, she performed in three further stage productions and did several television programs as well as voiceovers and radio in Iceland.
When she was 16, she moved to London to begin her formal education in theatre. At 19, she was accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she studied acting for the next three years. In addition to a degree in dramatic arts, she also earned the John Barton Award for Stage Fighting.
Since graduating in 2004, Briem has played roles in stage productions, including Catalogue of Misunderstanding, for the National Theatre Studios, directed by Mike Figgis, and a very successful five-month West End run of Losing Louis.
In films, Briem played the lead role in the Filmax production of La Monja (The Nun). She also made TV guest appearances in the English series Doctor Who and Doctors for the BBC, as well as a recurring role as Emily Stevens in The Evidence on ABC. She is an accomplished flautist and dancer.
Her most current role is that of Hannah in the new adaptation of Journey to the Centre of the Earth.