Genevieve O'Reilly biography
Date of Birth: January 6, 1977
Genevieve O'Reilly's path to acting is no surprise, considering the imagination and storytelling ability she cultivated as a child.
Born in Dublin, Ireland to a father who worked in computing and a mother who was a housewife, Genevieve moved to Australia with her family when she was 10. But as she told the U.K.'s Express in May 2016, it didn't matter where she was with her family — storytelling was always central to her childhood.
She said, "Certainly in my youth there was lots of singing, lots of storytelling and whenever we went to a party, you had to do a party piece, like sing songs, recite poems or tell stories. That sort of narrative musical culture was my upbringing."
As she revealed to Express though, it was her first visit to a theater that stirred an interest in acting.
She said, "When I was around 13 or 14, there were visits to the theater, which really ignited my passion. Going to see live theater is when I properly got the bug and hoped I'd be able to do it for a living one day."
After attending drama school in Sydney (and working as a waitress to support herself), she won her first onscreen role with a minor part in a 2001 episode of the fantasy adventure TV series BeastMaster. She followed that up with a part in an episode of the crime drama series Young Lions in 2002 before scoring the role of Leanne Curtis in 15 episodes of the long-running drama series All Saints between 2002 and 2005.
Genevieve made her transition into the world of feature film in a big way. She portrayed Officer Wirtz in 2003's sci-fi action film The Matrix Reloaded with Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss. In the same year, she reprised the part for the third film in The Matrix trilogy, The Matrix Revolution.
In 2004, she took the starring role in the sci-fi drama Cyber Wars and won the part of Mon Mothma in George Lucas' 2005 Oscar-nominated fantasy adventure Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, alongside Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor. Also in 2005, she starred in the TV movie Second Chance with Ben Mendelsohn.
The following year, Genevieve stepped into the role of international relations specialist Caroline Hanley for six episodes of the Golden Globe-nominated war drama series The State Within. During a 2014 interview with BBC, she spoke about her character. She said, "What I love most about Caroline is that she's marvelously human — a flawed, fallible, brilliant, questioning woman. She's very three-dimensional and textured — and was a joy to play."
She returned to film in 2009 for the biopic The Young Victoria, written by Julian Fellowes, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and starring Emily Blunt. Genevieve played Lady Flora Hastings in the film, which picked up an Oscar in 2010 for Best Costume Design.
Also in 2009, she played Sarah Caulfield in seven episodes of the drama series Spooks and portrayed Michelle Beadley in the sci-fi TV mini-series The Day of the Triffids with Joely Richardson, Eddie Izzard, Brian Cox and Vanessa Redgrave.
In 2011, Genevieve began playing Jamie Lapidus on the Golden Globe-winning comedy series Episodes with Matt LeBlanc. She stepped into the role for 14 episodes, ending her run in 2014, the same year she played Frances Pirsig in six episodes of the Golden Globe-winning mini-series The Honourable Woman with Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Genevieve built on her momentum from TV projects with a seven-episode run on the series Banished and a six-episode string on the drama series Glitch, both in 2015. In the same year, she also appeared in the crime action thriller Survivor with Dylan McDermott, Parker Sawyers, Angela Bassett, Milla Jovovich and Pierce Brosnan.
The actress had her busiest year to date in 2016. She acted in four parts of the TV mini-series The Secret, playing an evil murdererss. The series is based on the chilling true tale of dentist Colin Howell and his lover Hazel Buchanan, played by Genevieve, who were married to different people and devised a sinister plot to kill their respective partners.
Genevieve also appeared in David Yates' The Legend of Tarzan as young Tarzan's mother, an episode of the gripping crime drama The Fall with Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan, and reprises her role as Mon Mothma in the highly-anticipated Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The film reunites her with Ben Mendelsohn and also stars Felicity Jones and Mads Mikkelsen.
Genevieve, who has lived in London since the mid-2000s, is married to chiropractor Luke Mulvihill, with whom she has a daughter and son.
While discussing her appreciation for avid Star Wars fans with U.K.'s Express in May 2016, Genevieve said, "Whenever I do a play there are Star Wars fans at the stage door and they're always lovely — so excited and so effusive about the storylines and the characters. When you're doing something really serious and the Star Wars fans are waiting outside, it's a nice juxtaposition."
Genevieve O'Reilly Filmography