Rosamund Pike: From Bond girl to African queen

January 14, 2017

 

With her classic English rose looks, actor Rosamund Pike draws the eye whenever she lights up the screen.


Currently she is starring in A United Kingdom (see review on page eight)opposite rising Hollywood star David Oyelowo, which follows the story of English girl Ruth Williams, who dared to cross the British Government’s rules by marrying African heir apparent Seretse Khama in 1948, becoming queen of Bechuanaland, now called Botswana. 


While this sounds like a good film script, its power for Rosamund lies in the fact that it is a true story. And it was a masterstroke by co-star David to send her a moving photo of the real Seretse and Ruth, making her determined to take on the role of Ruth.


‘In those faces close together I saw the love and the cost all at once—and I started to cry,’ she tells theguardian.com. ‘Someone fearless like Ruth moves me. The fact that she never wavered is very inspiring,’ she says.


Rosamund has the ability to be totally believable in every role she takes, whether it be a classic period film like Pride and Prejudice, in which she played sweet older sister Jane Bennett to Keira Knightley’s feisty Elizabeth, to the starring role of Amy in the contemporary psychological thriller Gone Girl.


While she attracted good notices for Pride and Prejudice, and was nominated for the British Supporting Actress of the Year in the 2006 London Critics Circle Film Award, it was Gone Girl that catapulted her to fame. She was nominated for 32 awards, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe award, and won 14 of those nominations. 


Not a bad effort for the girl who told The Daily Mail she was rejected by every stage school for which she auditioned.


Instead, this daughter of professional musicians graduated with a degree in English Literature from Oxford University, as well as being a skilled cellist with fluent German and French.


She became known to a wider audience as Bond girl Miranda Frost, a rogue MI6 agent assigned to James Bond in Die Another Day, winning the Empire Award for Best Newcomer. Since beginning her television acting career in 1998, it seems she hasn’t put a foot wrong.


Rosamund has a screen presence that is easy to relate to, and the woman herself is down to earth and comfortable in her own skin.


‘The best education there can be for an actor is to walk up the street and observe human nature. I think it’s okay to play to your strengths, and if I have a quality of Englishness that people like, I won’t hide that,’ she says at imdb.com.


‘A view that’s been held for a long time is that the best way to prove oneself as an actor is to play the grittiest roles out there. I don’t agree with that.’


Mother of two young sons with mathematical researcher Robie Uniacke, this English rose seems to have her feet firmly on the ground, and attracts both critical and box office success by doing things her way.


Rosamund is the kind of positive influence that the psalmist had in mind, when he wrote, ‘I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!’ (Psalm 27, verse 13).

 

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