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Romola Sadie Garai born 6 August 1982 is an English actress. She is known for appearing in the movies Amazing Grace, Atonement, and Glorious 39, and for appearing in the BBC adaptation of Emma.

Garai was born in Hong Kong to British parents. Her mother, Janet A. (née Brown), worked as a journalist, and her father, Adrian E. R. Garai, is a banker. Her first name is the female version of Romulus, one of the founders of Rome. Garai's great-grandfather, Bernhard "Bert" Garai, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant, founded the Keystone Press.

Garai is the third of four siblings. She moved to Singapore at five, before her family returned to Wiltshire in England when she was eight. She attended an independent boarding school, Stonar School in Wiltshire, and later moved at sixteen to London to attend the City of London School for Girls, where she completed her A-levels. She was fond of drama and appeared in school plays, and also with the National Youth Theatre up until the age of eighteen, where she was spotted by an agent who whisked her away to play the younger version of Dame Judi Dench's character in the critically acclaimed BBC Films/HBO co-production for television, The Last of the Blonde Bombshells.

After A-levels, she studied English Literature at Queen Mary, University of London, before transferring and graduating with a first class degree from the Open University. She originally intended only to focus on her studies but later began acting full time during the summer holiday. She is a former model


She is currently at university studying English literature. She used to sing in a jazz band. A casting agent, scouting at her school for young girls, chose her for her first acting role in The Last of the Blonde Bombshells (2000) (TV). [2000]

Can play the violin.

Was brought up in Hong Kong and Singapore until she was 10.

She has three siblings: one brother named Ralph and two sisters named Rosie and Roxy.

She is of Hungarian descent and her great grandfather is Bert Garai, founder of Keystone Press Agency in London in 1924.

Her two oldest siblings Ralph and Rosie were adopted as babies before she and her sister were born.

She had no professional dancing experience before arriving on the set of Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004).

Born on the same day as Adrianne Curry.

Director François Ozon affectionately calls Romola "his muse".

Enjoys cooking and traveling in her spare time.

Has visited Hong Kong, Singapore, Malta, Venice, Australia, Italy, Belgium and Indonesia.

Real hair color is blonde but she occasionally dyes it in real life and for movie roles.

Is a huge fan of "The Simpsons" (1989), in fact her favorite TV character of all time is Lisa Simpson.

Was François Ozon's first and only choice for the role of Angel Deverell in Angel (2007/I).

While filming Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), she became good friends with Diego Luna. They remain close and have a very strong bond.

Favorite movies are The Wizard of Oz (1939), Fargo (1996), and Orlando (1992).

Was Joe Wright's first choice for the role of Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice before Keira Knightley auditioned. But Joe being a huge admirer of Romola's talent then offered her the role of Briony in Atonement as he really wanted to work with her.

Her proudest work as an actress is Angel.

Cites Mike Leigh, Michael Winterbottom, Ken Loach, The Coen brothers, David Lynch, and Todd Haynes as her favorite directors and would love to work with them in the future.

Very good friends with Jamie Bell and Charlie Hunnam, whom she met while filming Nicholas Nickleby (2002).

Lives in London.

Her last name, "Garai", is Hungarian and is pronounced like "Garry".

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

Frequently appears dancing in scenes from her films, including Angel (2007/I), "Daniel Deronda" (2002), (TV)Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), I Capture the Castle (2003), Rory O'Shea Was Here (2004) and Vanity Fair (2004).

Favorite horror movie is The Blair Witch Project (1999).

Loves watching documentaries, her favorites include Bowling for Columbine (2002), The Road to Guantanamo (2006), and Iraq in Fragments (2006).

Plans and hopes to write screenplays and direct movies someday.

Favorite actresses are Samantha Morton and Emily Watson.

Received a standing ovation at the Berlin Film Festival for her performance in Angel.

Was officially in the BAFTA long list (Equivalently, the semi-finals) for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, for her role in Atonement (2007), which consisted of 15 finalists for each category (except Animated Film). However, she was eliminated in the next round, during which the five official nominees were selected. [2008].

Attended the National Youth Theatre.

Finishing her degree in English Literature from Queen Mary, University of London (2008).

Was considered for the female lead in Good (2008), but wasn't able to do it due to schedule conflicts.

Named as one of the Actresses of the Year by The Independent (2008) for Angel (2007/I).

Hailed by The Sunday Times Magazine as one of Britain's finest Rising Stars along with Matthew Goode, Hugh Dancy, Eddie Redmayne, Gemma Arterton, Hayley Atwell, Andrea Riseborough, Richard Coyle, Tom Sturridge, Rachel Hurd Wood, Eliza Bennet Daniel Mays and Kaya Scodelario (2009).

In January 2008 Romola visited the Syrian-Iraqi border to make a short film called 'No Man's Land' for UNHCR about the 800 Palestinian refugees living in Al Tanaf refugee camp, who have been displaced since the Iraq war.

Graduated with a first in MA English Literature from Open University (2010).