Tegan Lauren-Hannah Murray was born on 1st July 1989 in Bristol. Both of her parents work for Bristol University, her father as a lecturer and her mother as a research assistant. Hannah herself attended North Bristol Post 16 Centre, and was a member of the Bristol Old Vic Young Company, before earning an English degree at Queens’ College, Cambridge.
At the age of 16, Hannah heard about an audition for young actors in Bristol for the E4 teen drama series Skins, and decided to try out. She impressed the producers of the series and was cast as Cassie Ainsworth, a gentle and creative but self-destructive teenager with an eating disorder. Hannah was one of the first two actresses to be cast for the show. She went on to appear in the first two series, from 2007 to 2008 and she left at the end of the show’s second series to make way for a new generation of characters.
I never felt like the show was trying to be shocking. I think we were just dealing with issues that were of real concern and interest of young people.
Following Skins, in May 2008, Hannah made her stage debut as Mia in the critically acclaimed That Face, a West End production at the Duke of York’s Theatre. She was highly praised for her acting in the play, and it was considered a milestone in her career. Later that same year, she had a small role in the black comedy In Bruges, but her scene was eventually cut from the final version of the film.
In 2009, Hannah appeared in the ITV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? where she played Dorothy Savage. She also appeared in the thriller film Womb which was released in 2010. Following this, Hannah starred in an adaptation of Enda Walsh’s Chatroom. The film premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. In early January, she appeared in the British television thriller Above Suspicion: the Red Dahlia, an adaptation of Linda La Plante novel, in a small role.
On 8th August 2011, HBO confirmed that Murray would portray Gilly in the second and third seasons of Game of Thrones. She was upgraded to a series regular for the fourth season. This catapulted Hannah into the public eye, and, in 2012, she appeared in the action thriller film The Numbers Station.
In 2013, Hannah returned to her roots and appeared in a two-episode feature, in the seventh and final series of Skins, where she continued her role as a more serious, solemn, and adult Cassie Ainsworth. She also starred in the music video for “Your Cover’s Blown” by Belle & Sebastian.
In 2014, Hannah starred in God Help the Girl, about three musicians in Glasgow. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014, and Hannah shared the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for the Delightful Ensemble Performance. Later that year she continued her role as Gilly in Game of Thrones season 4 and also starred in the acclaimed revival of the Jean-Jacques Bernard’s play Martine, in which she played the title role. Her performance was considered one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking of the year, by the public and critics, and it was nominated for Best Female Performance at the Off West End Awards.
Hannah then starred in Lily & Kat in 2015, an independent American film about inseparable best friends who struggle to make the most of their last few days together, savouring the city nightlife with an enigmatic artist one of them takes a liking to. In 2015 she also played Sara in the Danish film Bridgend, based on the Bridgend suicides of South Wales. The film premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival, and received great reviews. It then had a North American premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival where it won 3 awards, including Hannah gaining the award for Best Actress.
In February 2017, it was announced that Murray would play the role of Alistair in the all-female production of Posh by Laura Wade. Although it was a much anticipated role, sadly Hannah dropped out before rehearsals commenced due to personal reasons.
When she is not in front of the camera, or performing on stage, Hannah enjoys meeting with her Skins co-stars, to whom she has remained close. She is also vegetarian, and has confessed to being a fan of Game of Thrones herself, avoiding spoilers by finding out as little about the storylines of others’ characters as she can before watching.
Last updated: 2nd January 2018