Red Eye star Richard Armitage's life off-screen: from family and love life to career away from acting

Richard Armitage in Red Eye
Richard Armitage in Red Eye (LAURENCE CENDROWICZ)

Richard Armitage leads the cast of ITV's latest original thriller, Red Eye, which follows police detective DC Hana Li (Jing Lusi) who is tasked with accompanying murder suspect Dr Matthew Nolan, played by Richard, on a red-eye flight from London to China, where his alleged crime took place.

But when a murder occurs onboard, and more deaths follow, DC Li begins to suspect foul play and soon finds herself embroiled in a dangerous conspiracy.

Richard is no stranger to our TV screens, having recently appeared in Netflix's smash hit Harlan Coben adaptation Fool Me Once, among other major shows and films such as Obsession, Hannibal, and of course, The Hobbit trilogy. But how much do you know about his life away from the cameras?

Richard Armitage and Jing Lusi in Red Eye
Richard Armitage stars alongside Jing Lusi in Red Eye (ITV/Jonathan Ford)

Richard Armitage's family life

Richard, who hails from Leicester, is the youngest son of Margaret, a school secretary, and John Armitage, a nuclear engineer.

Chatting about his childhood in a previous interview, the North & South actor praised his "amazingly supportive" parents and revealed that his mum, who passed away in 2019, worked as a secretary to fund his education at Pattinson College, a performing arts school in Coventry. "Every penny of her wages went to my education," he told The Telegraph.

Richard Armitage stars Obsession
Richard Armitage is the youngest of two sons (Netflix)

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The actor expanded on his close relationship with family whilst chatting with Martine McCutcheon, who guest-edited HELLO!'s Christmas Digital Issue in 2021.

Explaining that he liked to spend quality time with his dad, who died last year, and older brother Chris over the holiday period, Richard said at the time: "I tend to give Christmas over to everybody else because I've spent so much of the year away from friends and family. So I just give it over.

"I go to see my brother, go to see my dad and do whatever they want to do. But it's usually the same as the year before."

Richard Armitage's parents John and Margaret
Richard's late parents, John and Margaret, on their wedding day (@richardcarmitage/Instagram)

While he clearly shares a close bond with his family, Richard doesn't tend to watch his shows and films with his loved ones.

When asked if his friends and family watched him star in Netflix's erotic thriller series Obsession, he told us in 2023: "I'm not going to sit down and watch it with people because I don't tend to do that anyway."

Richard Armitage's love life

Richard is notoriously private about his love life and so his current relationship status is unknown. However, in 2020 the actor revealed he was in a "good" relationship during an interview with The Telegraph.

Richard Armitage as William Farrow in Obsession.
Richard in Netflix's Obsession (Netflix)

When asked if he would like to start a family one day, the 52-year-old said: "I would need to do it in a way which was either through adoption or surrogacy, because of the nature of my relationship.

"I'd have to sit down very pragmatically and work it out."

Richard's career away from acting

A man of many talents, Richard is a published author as well as a successful actor.

In 2022, the Stay Close star released his debut thriller audiobook, Geneva. 

richard armitage geneva
Richard released an audiobook in 2022

Chatting with HELLO! at the time, Richard revealed how he found the transition from acting to writing, giving an insight into his process when preparing for a role. "It's simpler than I thought because whenever I've been preparing for a role as an actor, I always do a lot of writing," he said. "I create a biography for each of my characters, which can be two pages, or sometimes it can be an entire book of notes and thoughts.

"I'm a literary researcher and I do all of that work ahead of time. It was really a question of doing that, the same work for these characters and then just continuing to explore them on the page."

Richard's home life

While it's not known where Richard resides, he tends to spend a lot of time travelling for work.

Richard Armitage selfie in Marseille, France, where he filmed Obsession
Richard pictured in Marseille, France, where he filmed Obsession (@richardcarmitage/Instagram)

On how he copes with the constant jetlag, he previously told HELLO!: "It's tricky, you just have to force yourself to do it but it is one of the privileges of my job. I'm not a very good tourist although I love going to work somewhere because you really get to know the place. You get to know local people, you're not taken on the tourist trail and you find little gems all around the world."

Red Eye airs on ITV1 and ITVX on Sunday 21 April at 9pm.