British actress Rosamund Pike just landed one of the most sought-after roles in Hollywood, so maybe you should get to know her.
David Fincher, the man behind "The Social Network" and "Fight Club," is adapting Gillian Flynn's 2012 best-selling novel "Gone Girl" for the screen. Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, and Emily Blunt were among the actresses being considered for the role of a woman who mysteriously disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary, but it's 34-year-old Pike who beat them all for the coveted spot, set to co-star with Ben Affleck (as her duplicitous husband).
While Pike appeared in "Jack Reacher" with Tom Cruise, played the goddess Andromeda in "Wrath of the Titans," and co-stars in the upcoming comedy "The World's End," it's expected that "Gone Girl" will move her up to the A-List. So here are a few facts worth knowing about the beautiful and gifted Ms. Pike.
She's Been A Bond Girl.
After establishing herself with recurring roles on the British television shows "Wives and Daughters" and "Love In A Cold Climate," Pike made her big-screen debut in a pretty splashy production: the 2002 James Bond adventure "Die Another Day." Pike played Miranda Frost, a pretty MI6 agent who finds herself working (and canoodling) with Bond, here played by Pierce Brosnan in his last turn as 007. While Halle Berry got a lot more press, the two actresses have a very memorable catfight aboard an airliner in flight.
She's One Busy Gal.
Pike recently co-starred with Jennifer Lawrence and Lena Olin in the psychological thriller "The Devil You Know," which went into limited release in July, and she has two other movies poised for release in 2013 – "The World's End," the third and final Cornetto comedy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and "A Long Way Down," a screen version of Nick Hornby's novel featuring Aaron Paul, Toni Collette, and her old "Die Another Day" buddy Pierce Brosnan. For 2014, Pike already has four movies scheduled for release, including, "Hector and the Search for Happiness" (which teams her again with Pegg and Collette), "Return To Sender" (with Nick Nolte and Illeana Douglas), and "What We Did On Our Holiday," with David Tennant (yep, Doctor Who himself). Good thing for Fincher he's booked Pike before she goes and schedules something else.
She's Smart … Very Smart.
One of the reasons Pike can handle high-toned roles adapted from literary classics, like Jane Bennett in 2005's "Pride and Prejudice," is she has a degree in English Literature from Wadham University at Oxford College. Pike graduated with Second Honors, the equivalent to Magna Cum Laude at most universities, so if you want to talk books with Pike, bring your A-Game. She knows her stuff. Oh, and while at Oxford, she struck up a friendship with one of her classmates, former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton.
Pike can play the cello and the piano, which might have something to do with the fact her parents are both respected classical musicians. Rosamund's father, Julian Pike, is an operatic vocalist who also teaches music at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and her mother Caroline Friend-Pike is a gifted violinist. Another bonus that came from touring through Europe with her folks as a child: Pike is fluent in both French and German.
She's One Of Those Impossible Women who Juggles Work and Family and Looks Good Doing It.
Pike and her boyfriend, self-described "city speculator" Robie Uniacke, welcomed their first child, a son named Solo, in July 2012. Pike was five months pregnant when she wrapped up work on "Jack Reacher," and four months after she gave birth, she was back in front of cameras, shooting "The World's End." Anyone who saw the pictures of her on the red carpet for "Jack Reacher," seven months post-partum, must have noticed that Pike got her slim figure back with remarkable speed. Don't hate her because she's beautiful.
Watch Rosamund Pike in 'Can We Be Friends?':