Romola Garai

Romola Garai


7/1/1982, Southwark, London, England

Birth Name

Romola Sadie Garai


  • The cast of The Hour on BBC Two
  • The Hour on BBC Two
  • The Hour on BBC Two
  • Hector Madden (Dominic West), Freddie Ly...
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Romola Garai is the daughter of a banker and a former journalist. She has an older brother, Ralph, and two sisters, Rosie and Roxanne. Her great-grandfather was Bert Garai, a Hungarian journalist who founded London's Keystone Press Agency. Romola grew up in Hong Kong and Singapore until she…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • She has appeared in two stage productions of the Royal Shakespeare Company, as Cordelia in King Lear and as Nina in Chekhov's The Seagull.

    • Damien O'Donnell: Romola's just a brilliant actress. She's got an incredible maturity for her age and comes across as a lot more worldly-wise than you'd expect from someone who is only twenty-two. She's very intelligent and emotional in her acting, which is really all you can ask for.

    • Mira Nair: (of Romola) She is luscious and intelligent but has no vanity about her. And her style of acting is fantastic: very natural, very real, and very much based on a foundation of truth.

    • Romola has said her ideal role would be to play the eighteenth century feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797).

    • Romola's great-grandfather was Bert Garai, a Hungarian who founded London's Keystone Press Agency. He published his autobiography, The Man From Keystone (1965).

    • Romola was reported to be dating Diego Luna while they were filming the movie Havana Nights together in Puerto Rico for six months. At the time, she also had an English boyfriend, London barrister Ben Hooper.

    • Romola once said in an interview that her long term ambitions lie in the direction of directing and writing for the theatre.

    • After Stonar School, Atworth, and the City of London School for Girls, Romola began a course in English Literature at the University of London. However, as her acting career took off she first deferred her degree course and then later decided not to go back to finish it.

    • Romola's nickname at school was 'Romster'.

    • The name Garai comes from Hungary and is pronounced 'Garry'.

  • Quotes

    • Romola: I bumble along.

    • Romola: I have come into criticism for being fat. It's why I've sometimes done shoots that exalt my figure. It's a fine line because at the same time I don't want to end up looking like I should be on Page 3.

    • Romola: I think I'm quite lucky in that I've never been typecast as a babe. I'm not a natural choice for somebody who wants a stunningly gorgeous woman, which, to be honest, is really nice because you don't have to spend your whole life on a diet.

    • Romola: I suppose I scrub up quite well after four hours in make-up.

    • Romola: The idea of ambition is alien to me. My parents always instilled in us the importance of creativity, but never ambition, and I would rather give one great performance, a seminal performance, than have a career that spans thirty years.

    • Romola: Has this profession changed me? Yes, of course. You are exposed to a lot of things and people and experiences at a young age, and that definitely means you are forced to grow up faster. But I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing. It can be damaging to the wrong person, but I've always felt that anything that opens up my eyes to the world is a really beneficial thing.

    • Romola: I'm addicted to BBC Radio 4 and as a child I hoped to be a writer when I grew up. I'd have written books that probably would not have been massive best-sellers.

    • Romola: I did defer my degree course, but last September I had to make a decision: did I walk away from what was being offered or go back to university? I told them I really wanted to make a go of acting. So now I am on my own. There's no proper job or career to fall back upon. It's still an odd feeling, but I thankfully don't have the time or inclination to have doubts.

    • Romola (On 'Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights'): A terrible film, just awful. I did it because my profile wasn't high enough in America and I wanted to give it a quick boost. I was under the assumption that Havana Nights would be successful, but it wasn't. It was awful and I was awful in it. A huge mistake and I regret it deeply.

    • Romola: (of her childhood in Hong Kong) Expat culture is full of very bizarre communities of people, ever so slightly Empire of the Sun - nothing's as good as it was in 1936. There was definitely a feeling of a hangover from the Empire. I certainly remember that tennis was at four!

    • Romola: Cinema has become incredibly male in its perspective. Just look at Lord of the Rings - eighteen characters and two girls who appear on the poster but are only in the film for two minutes! So it's really hard to find anything that isn't somebody's love interest or the totty.

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