'Who is Richard Armitage and why is he everywhere I turn?'

You might not know his name, but you’ve definitely seen his face.

Richard Armitage is the UK’s low-key It-man popping up with rapid frequently in some of Britain’s best psychological dramas/thrillers.

He first caught my attention in The Stranger, a series adaptation of Harlan Cobin’s novel of the same name. This gripping thriller had me hooked, and on permanent lookout for more British psych dramas and thrillers (I'm obsessed).

The more I watched, the more I saw his face; and the more I saw his face, the more I began to choose shows based on the inclusion of his face (it was only when writing this article, that I finally learned his name). 

Seems I’m not the only one. 

Watch: Fool Me Once official trailer. Post continues after the video.

Video via Netflix.

Armitage is currently starring in Netflix’s number one series and movie globally — Fool Me Once, and The Lodge (not currently on Netflix Australia).

But the British actor is no newcomer to the acting scene, having starred in a string of British and American television shows and movies (including as a serial killer in Hannibal), as well as a stack of theatrical performances — his most notable being The Crucible, for which he won an Olivier Award for best actor. He’s also lent his voice to a long list of audiobooks and narrating projects. 


If you’re keen to get in on the Armitage action, here are eight of his best performances. 

Fool Me Once.

Currently taking Netflix by storm, this taut thriller is an adaptation of yet another Harlan Cobin novel (of which there are many). Alongside Joanna Lumely, who is excellent, Armitage stars as Joe Burkett. He’s murdered at the start of the show, but appears frequently throughout in flashbacks. When his wife, Maya (played by Michelle Keegan) sees something shocking on her nanny cam, she embarks on her own investigation as the mystery unravels and secrets come to light. 

According to Netflix: “Detective Sergeant Sami Kierce (Akhtar) leads the homicide investigation into Joe's death while grappling with secrets of his own. Meanwhile, Maya's niece and nephew, Abby and Daniel, are trying to find the truth about their mother's murder, several months earlier. Are the two cases connected?”

A scene from Fool Me Once. Image: Netflix


The Lodge.

Described by viewers as 'dark' and 'disturbing', The Lodge sees a woman and her fiance - played by Armitage - head to a remote winter cabin with his new children, who have so far been reluctant to accept her. When their dad is forced to abruptly depart for work, things get creepy, as their soon to be step-mother’s past comes back to haunt them. 

The scene from The Lodge. Image: Netflix.


The Stranger.

A twisty psychological thriller, also starring Siobhan Finneran and Jennifer Saunders, The Stranger is also a Harlan Coban adaptation. Armitage stars in the lead role of Adam, a regular guy, approached by a stranger who reveals a shocking secret about his wife. He embarks on a mission to find out the truth after his wife vanishes, amid several other intriguing backstories and unravelling secrets. 

A scene from The Stranger. Image: Netflix.


Stay Close.

Also based on a Harlan Cobin novel of the same name, Stay Close interweaves the stories of three characters, whose lives are upended when one of their friends delivers some shocking news. Armitage stars as Ray, a once-promising documentary photographer harbouring secrets. Cush Jumbo plays Megan, a working mother of three, who has gone to great lengths to keep her shocking past a secret, while James Nesbitt stars as DS Michael Broome who can’t let go of a cold case. 

 A scene from Stay Close. Image: Netflix. 



Armitage stars in the lead role of Obsession, playing renowned paediatric surgeon, Dr William Farrow who - as the name suggests - falls prey to his own obsession with his son’s fiance, leading to catastrophic consequences. Sordid and gratuitous, Obsession is a classic story of, well, obsession, carried by lead actors, Armitage and Indira Varma, who is always excellent. 


The Hobbit.

Armitage won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor in a film for his role in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Armitage plays Thorin Oakenshield in all three Hobbit movies. If you’re into fantasy, these movies are for you.

Feature image: Netflix. 

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