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The flame-haired actress (who has been called 'the most promising to emerge from theatreland since Dame Helen Mirren’) is relaxed, friendly – and hungry.
She orders a Diet Coke and a club sandwich, which swiftly arrives encased in the world’s thickest bread and accompanied by the world’s thinnest chips.
She has been in four celebrity relationships averaging approximately 4.0 years each. 'There are hardly any actors left in England right now as they’re all over here,’ she says with a laugh. I’m sure this conversation’s been had in many an LA coffee shop but think of the actors out here: Chiwetel, Michael Sheen, Matthew Rhys…’ Over the past few years Reilly has notched up several film credits (including a wonderfully acerbic turn -as Caroline Bingley in Joe Wright’s adaptation of Pride & Prejudice) and big-name directors are now queuing up to sing her praises. She seems, for someone who’s been in the entertainment industry for more than half her life, remarkably normal and unspoilt.Stephen Frears, who directed her in Mrs Henderson Presents, describes her as 'hugely talented’, while Terry Johnson, the theatre director, calls Reilly 'possibly the most natural, dyed-in-the-wool, deep-in-the-bone actress I’ve ever worked with’. In 1996, when Reilly was just 18, she was cast as the female lead in the BBC’s revisiting of the 1970s television series Poldark, opposite Ioan Gruffudd. Reilly grew up in Chessington, in Surrey, with her parents, a police officer and a hospital receptionist.Reilly, 32, has built herself a serious reputation on – and, increasingly, beyond – the British stage.She was the youngest ever Olivier award nominee, for her lead role in Patrick Marber’s play After Miss Julie (1995), and was nominated for a second Olivier in 2007 after playing Desdemona, alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ewan Mc Gregor, in Michael Grandage’s staging of Othello.