Inside Red Eye star Richard Armitage’s private life after speaking about sexuality

Richard Armitage

Richard Armitage is now starring in ITV drama Red Eye (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Rex/Shutterstock)

Richard Armitage has become one of the UK’s biggest acting talents and now he’s put them to work on the latest ITV drama Red Eye.

In the six-parter, Richard, 52, plays Doctor Matthew Nolan who is accused of murdering a woman in Beijing. He is told the claims after touching down in London and informed he is heading straight back to the destination he came from to address the allegations.

To ensure he makes it back to the Chinese city he is assigned an officer, Hana Li, played by Jing Lusi, who wants nothing to do with him due to the accused crime.

As the flight takes off it becomes clear that there is more going on than either of them initially realised, and they are forced to work together.

Teasing what to expect, Richard told Metro.co.uk: ‘When I read the script I was hoping it was going in a certain direction but thought it might be too expensive to produce.

‘It actually goes bigger than my imagination. It moves outside the plane and into politics, which really excited me.’

JING LUSI as DC Hana Li and RICHARD ARMITAGE as Dr Matthew Nolan

Richard is starring in Red Eye (Picture: Jonathan Ford/Bad Wolf/Sony Pictures Television)

As we prepare to watch Richard’s next project, what do we know about the actor’s life away from the camera?

Does Richard Armitage have a partner? His love life revealed

Richard spoke about his sexuality for the first time publicly last year. ‘[Coming out] happened when I was 19 – to anybody who mattered – and I was always waiting for that question to punch me in the face, and it never did,’ he told the Radio Times.

‘I thought, “Are people being polite, or is it that they don’t want to know?”‘

Richard Armitage

Richard spoke about his sexuality for the first time last year (Picture: Getty)

He added: ‘That was always a thing, if I declare who I am and my sexuality, then I’m saying it’s fixed and I don’t know that, or if I might feel something for somebody further down the line. I doubt it, but I don’t know.’

Richard also spoke about not wishing to define himself.

‘I love the idea that whatever gender, sexuality, the fluidity of who you love, how you identify, is not fixed,’ he said.

Anna (Charlie Murphy) gets close to surgeon William (Richard Armitage

Richard reassured his partner that they were well looked after on Obsession (Picture: Ana Blumenkron/Netflix)

‘That was always a thing: if I declare who I am and my sexuality, then I’m saying it’s fixed and I don’t know that, or if I might feel something for somebody further down the line. I doubt it, but I don’t know.’

While promoting his Netflix series Obsession, he briefly mentioned having a male partner, and revealed that they discussed the TV series’ sex scenes.

‘We did talk about it. I reassured him that it was all going to be fine, and we were being well looked after,’ he told the Evening Standard. He has not publicly shared who the person is that he’s in a relationship with.

Richard Armitage’s secret side hustle away from movies and TV

Michelle Keegan, Richard Armitage

Richard in Fool Me Once (Picture: Netflix/Everett/Rex/Shutterstock)

Since the 1990s, when Richard played a love interest for Dawn French’s character Geraldine Granger in Vicar of Dibley, he has worked consistently with standout parts in the international franchise The Hobbit, Star Wars, and all the recent Harlan Coben book adaptations including Fool Me Once.

Away from TV, Richard lends his voice to audiobooks and described it as his ‘main source of income’ in an interview with Metro.co.uk.

‘It’s been my main source of occupation since lockdown. I love sitting down with a microphone and starting from page one. Some are challenging, quite intellectual and difficult to read but others are a dream and fly off the page,’ he revealed in 2020.

‘I’ve done over 30 now – crime, thrillers, Jeffrey Archer, Ken Follett. I really enjoy it – and I’ve done another seven since lockdown. I did four Agatha Christies at the start of lockdown and I’ve built my own studio at home.’

As well as narrating books, he’s written one himself called Geneva. The thriller released last year is centred on Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sarah Collier, who has started to show tell-tale signs of Alzheimer’s disease. She is therefore reluctant to be the guest of honour at a prestigious biotech conference but is convinced by her husband Daniel.

Geneva by Richard Armitage

The thriller was released last year (Picture: Faber & Faber)

‘In Geneva, the couple are feted as stars – at least, Sarah is. But behind the five-star luxury, investors are circling, controversial blogger Terri Landau is all over the story, and Sarah’s symptoms are getting worse. As events begin to spiral out of control, Sarah can’t be sure who to trust – including herself,’ the bio teases.

We may see him translate it from book to screen one day, as this is now where Richard’s interest is increasingly beginning to lean towards.

‘My desire to be in front of the camera is diminishing,’ Richard shared. He instead has a strong pull to instead be behind it – writing and producing.

‘That’s the stuff I’m more interested in now. I want to come in at an earlier stage to shape stories. I’ve grown up.’

How tall is Richard Armitage?

Richard Armitage in Red Eye

Richard is a tall man (Picture: Robert Viglasky/Bad Wolf/Sony Pictures Television)

Many of Richard’s scenes in Red Eye were shot on a plane. Although he was ‘prepared to hate being trapped’ he ended up enjoying the experience.

‘The claustrophobia added to the tension of the story, and we all appreciated that. It was a pressure cooker and totally thrilling,’ he recalled.

However, there was one downside due to his height. ‘It was tricky because I’m big, I’m 6ft2 so I was smacking my head on the wall and the door a few times.’

Red Eye is on ITV1 and ITVX from April 21

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