Chloe Pirrie is a Scottish actress who is well-known for playing the titular role in her debut film Shell (2012) for which she won the Most Promising Newcomer Award at the British Independent Film Awards (2013). She is popular for appearing in the film Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters (2016), and web series The Crown (2017), and Troy: Fall of a City (2018). In 2015 she also co-starred in the Academy Award-winning Short Film ‘Stutterer’ in which she played the role of Ellie.
Chloe Pirrie was born on Tuesday, August 25, 1987 (age 33 years; as of 2020), in Edinburgh, Scotland. While attending The Mary Erskine School in Edinburgh, she got inspired to pursue a career in acting after being cast in the school play ‘The Cherry Orchard’ for the role of Anya by her drama teacher Dr. Scott. During her childhood days, she was mesmerized by the performance of the popular Scottish actor David Tennant in the play ‘Look Back in Anger.’ The play was staged in The Lyceum, a theatre in Edinburg that Chloe frequently visited during her childhood. In an interview, Chloe revealed that she felt constricted in her hometown Edinburgh and wanted to move out of the city to lead an independent life. She said,
I wanted to leave Edinburgh quite strongly at the time, no offense to Edinburgh. It was the place I had grown up and I felt quite constricted. I wanted to be free and away and on my own.”
In 2009, she moved to London in England to pursue her graduation from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Later, while working in a bar in London, she was cast for the Scottish drama film ‘Shell,’ which turned out to be a major breakthrough that marked the beginning of Chloe’s career. In an interview, she said,
I kept working in bars, went on holiday – I didn’t believe it was going to happen until I was up in the Highlands and taken to the set to start filming”
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Dark Brown
Family & Ethnicity
Parents & Siblings
Not much is known about her parents.
Relationships, Husband & Children
In 2012, Chloe Pirrie made her film debut with ‘Shell,’ an independent Scottish drama film in which she played the titular role of Shell, a 17-year-old girl who lives at a remote petrol station in the Scottish highlands along with her epileptic father. In an interview, while talking about her breakout role in the film ‘Shell,’ she said,
Independent film, I now know, is like that. Nobody has the money or the time. It makes me think it is a miracle that anything gets made, let alone something successful that wins awards. It was a very lucky break.”
Later, she starred in the films An Inspector Calls (2015) and Burn Burn Burn (2015). In 2015, she appeared in the Oscar-nominated film ‘Youth’ as the Girl Screenwriter. In 2016, Chloe shot to fame with the film ‘Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters’ in which she played the role of Emily Brontë, an English novelist. Her performance as Emily Brontë earned her immense appreciation and reviews such as the ‘standout star of the film.’
In 2020, she starred as Isabella Knightley, the elder sister of Emma (protagonist played by Anya Taylor-Joy) in the period comedy-drama film, Emma.
In 2013, Chloe Pirrie made her television debut with the show Black Mirror in which she played the role of Gwendolyn Harris. In 2014, she came into the limelight with her breakthrough performance as ‘Wendy Straw’ in the thriller series The Game (2014).
Thereafter, she appeared in the Franco-British crime drama series The Last Panthers (2015) as Carla, and in the historical drama series War & Peace (2016) as Julie Karagina.
In 2019, she starred in ‘Temple’ in which she played the role of Karen Hall, a police officer.
After her debut short film Solstice (2010) in which she played the role of Lily, she starred in the oscar-winning short film The Stutterer (2016) as Ellie, the love interest of a man who has a severe speech impediment. Later, she appeared in various short-films like Reflections (2014), Gibberish (2016), Broken Meats (2018), etc.
In 2017, Chloe Pirrie made her digital debut with Netflix’s The Crown in which she played the role of Eileen Parker, the woman who caused a scandal and made things awkward for the monarchy by daring to divorce her husband.
Thereafter, in 2018, she starred as Andromache, the wife of the Trojan prince Hector in Netflix’s Troy: Fall of a City.
In 2020, she gave a breakthrough performance in the American coming-of-age period drama The Queen’s Gambit in which she played the role of Alice Harmon, mother of protagonist Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor-Joy)
- Nominated for Best British Newcomer Award at the BFI London Film Festival Awards (2012)
- Won Most Promising Newcomer Award at the British Independent Film Awards (2013)
- Recognized as a ‘Star of Tomorrow’ by Screen International (2013)
- Television Shows: Gladiators (1992), Blind Date (1999)
- Actors: Jonathan Pryce
- Chloe Pirrie suffered from extreme anxiety during her school days while studying for GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and A-levels (Advanced Level qualifications) in Edinburgh. Suffering from anxiety made her skeptical about continuing her academics; therefore, she decided to venture into the entertainment industry. In an interview, she said,
Academic study wasn’t for me… It got so bad that I thought, I can’t do this for another three years. I don’t think I will survive university… It became a case of needing to find something vocational to do that didn’t involve written exams. Acting felt like a way I could make sense of the world.”
- Since childhood, Chloe Pirrie was fond of horse riding.
- Chloe Pirrie believes that growing up as the only child of divorced parents shaped her personality. In an interview, while sharing her childhood memories, she said,
You become incredibly self-sufficient and good at entertaining yourself. I was always drawing imaginary worlds – hours and hours spent silently drawing. I would also devour books. I read everything.”
- Chloe Pirrie is fond of cooking and finds it very relaxing.
- In an interview, while sharing her childhood memory of mimicking several accents and doing impersonations, Chloe said,
My mum is from Essex and my dad is from Glasgow, though they both live in Edinburgh, so we have a lot of accents within the family and I would absorb them like a sponge. I would go on holiday to Ireland with my dad and would come back speaking in a Cork accent…”
- While she was struggling to become an actress, Chloe Pirrie worked in countless restaurants, bars, and cafes, serving burgers, pulling pints, and baking cakes to supplement her income. She said,
I only stopped waiting tables about three years ago. And I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I made some great friends and learned so much about humility and hard graft, which has served me well in acting.”