Sienna Rose Miller was born in New York City on December 28, 1981. Her father, Ed Miller, is an American banker, and her mother, Jo, is from South Africa. Siblings, stepsiblings and half-siblings include Savannah, Charles, Stephen, and Natasha.
Sienna’s parents divorced rather early in her life and she moved to England with her mother. Since Jo was constantly involved with the arts, she took on the job of running London’s Lee Strasberg drama school.
Given that money wasn’t an issue during Sienna’s upbringing, she was sent to Heathfield School, a boarding school in Ascot, Surrey, for most of her adolescent life. It was a life Sienna quite enjoyed, as she often snuck off to buy alcohol, pulled pranks, and even seduced the gardener.
But during her time at Heathfield, she also discovered within herself a passion for the arts, no doubt inherited from her mother. She enjoyed singing and modeling, but it was really theater that she took pleasure in the most.
With her high school days behind her, Sienna returned to her native city and enrolled in the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, which she knew something about thanks to her mother. Studying the craft full-time, she especially excelled at Lamda Acting.
Still, Sienna didn’t let her education get in the way of acting and she could be seen on the stages around the Big Apple. Plays she’s performed in include The Striker, Independence and Cigarettes & Chocolate, directed by Anthony Minghella, who’s famous for helming the movie The English Patient (1996).
But just because she was working as an actress, it didn’t mean that she was up to speed on her celebrity trivia. This one time, she found herself in a bar and spotted Kevin Spacey, after the release of The Usual Suspects. She approached him and referred to him as Kevin Bacon. When the Academy Award-winning actor corrected her by saying “Spacey,” she answered, “Yeah, it is, isn’t it?”, still clueless.
During her stint in New York, Sienna also found herself pursuing other interests. One day, she was spotted by Tandy Anderson, the owner of the Select Model Management agency. Sienna was offered the chance to model professionally and she signed on immediately.
Afterward, she returned to the United Kingdom and began working as a model. Before long, she was shooting European commercials for Coca-Cola and saw herself working for Italian Vogue and Prada. A few months later, she was modeling for the 2003 Pirelli Calendar.
Simultaneously, she wanted to pursue her acting career in England, and, following her return, she was signed on by the PFD talent agency, based in London’s theater district. This assisted her in securing a part in the independent feature High Speed (2002), also known as Joy-Rider. In this bike racing melodrama, Sienna played the girlfriend torn between two best friends.
Next in line for her was a guest-starring role on FOX’s short-lived series, The American Embassy, in 2002. Then her agent managed to have her appear in the 2002 season of the offbeat BBC miniseries Bedtime, which follows three storylines confined to suburban bedrooms.
By then her star was burning bright enough for the big boys to notice. In this spirit, Paramount Pictures signed her up to a seven-year contract. Her first job, resulting from this deal, was a co-starring role on FOX’s 2003 series Keen Eddie, directed by Simon West, better known for directing Con Air (1997) and Tomb Raider (2001).
In the show, she played sassy Fiona Bickerton, who found herself in a love-hate relationship with a New York City cop on assignment in London. Even though it was a hit with critics, especially because of Sienna’s inspired performance, only 13 episodes were made before the show was canceled.
She didn’t let this discourage her and she could soon be found on the set of the London crime drama Layer Cake (2004). Her next move was to work on the remake of the Michael Caine classic Alfie (2004), starring Jude Law and Marisa Tomei.
Sienna Miller didn’t just get a paycheck from her Alfie experience; she also got a boyfriend. In the fall of 2003, she found herself falling in love with co-star Jude Law only days after his divorce with Sadie Frost was finalized. As the film’s shooting moved from England to America, Sienna and Jude bought a small New York City apartment together.
Frost was revolted by the idea and publicly admitted that this was only a fling and that their relationship would never work. But for the next few months, the relationship continued to evolve, even though Sienna found it difficult to live away from home.
In the summer of 2004, Frost eventually openly buried the hatchet with a hug at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England, much to Jude’s delight. Still, some people believe that it was only for appearance’s sake.
Also during the summer of 2004, Sienna travelled to Venice to shoot the Disney romantic comedy ‘Casanova’, with Heath Ledger and Lena Olin. Sienna fell in love with the city, and had a great time filming the movie. She and Heath got on well because “he works in a similar way that I do: doesn’t take it too seriously, we have a lot of fun on set. Make each other laugh. He called me big bum because of my bustle.”. This was Sienna’ biggest film to date, so she was obviously very nervous. Thankfully, her male lead and director helped her along – “…this was my first leading role, and I was going, “Help, help! What am I going to do?” and he [Lasse Hallstrom]’s like, “Just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing great!”. Sienna said she “begged” for this role because she “was 21 when I read it, and saw this heroine who was intelligent, feminist, cross-dressing, swashbuckling, just generally a fantastic role.”
Sienna returned from Venice in October 2004 to do the press rounds for Alfie, released in October of that year. Although it didn’t do that well at the box office, many were impressed by Sienna’s performance.
2004 ended with Jude proposing to Sienna in on Christmas day, before they went on holiday with Jude’s children to the Seychelles. Jude bought Sienna a big cluster diamond ring, which Sienna proudly showed off on January 5th, when they announced their engagement. Sienna enthused “I’m so ecstatic. It’s my dream to marry in a lovely white dress but we’re in no hurry to get married. We’ll both look at our schedules. I’m the happiest girl in the world.” Perhaps hinting at the trouble to soon follow, a couple of stories emerged a few months later that diamonds on the ring had fallen off!
In terms of her career, Sienna made the cover (albeit the inside flap) of Vanity Fair’s 2005 Hollywood issue (March), alongside Hollywood greats such as Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet. Sienna fulfilled a lifelong ambition when it was announced she would play Celia in a West End stage production of As You Like It, alongside highly respected theatre actress Helen McRory. Sienna said “I can’t wait. Fingers crossed that it will all work out.” It was also announced she would play Andy Warhol’s muse Edie Sedgewick in a biographical film named Factory Girl. Sienna’s part in this film looked to be in trouble when Katie Holmes was reported to have taken over the role of Edie, but fortunately this turned out to be false and Sienna was back in the lead.
With the upsides of fames, there are also downsides, and Sienna was a constant target for press scrutiny/malicious gossip/slandering. Numerous stories were printed about her relationship with Jude being over, amongst other things, and this led Sienna to threaten to leave Britian, and she spoke of her dislike of the press attention – “I don’t know why newspapers and magazines gravitate towards slander. It just seems they’re constantly out to invent. It has come about as a result of a relationship I didn’t plan. And of course I would be naive to think it wouldn’t happen if I hadn’t got together with Jude. But I got Alfie of my own accord. I take my job very seriously.” Despite all of this, Sienna spent the months leading up to June rehearsing for As You Like It in London. When asked about why she wanted to take this role, she said “Hopefully I’ll be taken more seriously as an actress than whatever else…“I’m doing this for myself and for the experience of doing a play.”
When As You Like It opened in June 2005, reactions were mixed. Some reviews were less than complimentary of Sienna’s performance, however, others raved that she was the star of the show and a real revelation. The critics really couldn’t do anything but praise Sienna when she bravely took on the role of Rosalind when Helen McRory fell ill. Sienna received a standing ovation and one audience member said Sienna “…was absolutely amazing. I swear I was crying by the end.” Director David Lan added “I was astonished. There was absolutely no reason why Sienna should know a single line.” Sienna was more modest though – “You must come back and see Helen in the role, she’s much better than me” and later revealed she was “not completely conscious of what just happened. I’ve felt in a complete state of shock and in a way I still am. I just attempted to imitate Helen McCrory.”
However, the defining point of Sienna’s 2005 was sadly not something so positive – on July 18th it came to light that Jude had cheated on Sienna with his children’s nanny, earlier that year when he was filming in New Orleans. Jude issued a statement saying “I just want to say I am deeply ashamed and upset that I’ve hurt Sienna and the people most close to us. I want to publicly apologise to Sienna and our respective families for the pain that I have caused. There is no defence for my actions which I sincerely regret.” Sienna bravely continued with her role in As You Like It, although had to pull out of one performance. She kept her head up high and looked to family and friends including Helen McRory, Orlando Bloom, Sean Penn & Robin Wright-Penn and Matthew Williamson for support. Speaking about how she got through this time, she said she used the play as an escape – Not did As You Like It keep Sienna going through tough personal times, it also earned her a Big Star Theatre Award and boosted the theatre box office, as lastminute.com (ticket sales company) chief Mark Bower explains- “Sienna Miller has definitely made an impact this year, with people wanting to catch a glimpse of her in the flesh, especially after her split from Jude Law.”
Throughout the rest of the summer … well, year … rumours circulated about the state of Sienna and Jude’s relationship – on? off? on again? The relationship hit a new bump when Sienna reportedly had an affair with friend and Layer Cake co-star Daniel Craig, but in November that year Sienna and Jude appeared together at a premiere of Casanova. It is still not clear about whether their relationship is on or off again. It just seems that they are good friends and want to work things out.
Sienna stunned the crowds at the Venice Film Festival in September 2005. Appearing to promote Casanova (which received good reviews here), she was well prepared for the questions about her love-life, and showed her witty side by commenting “Personally I’ve met a few Casanovas that I’ve liked, and a few that I haven’t. And I hope to meet a few more”!
In November Sienna shocked the press and her fans with a new, short hair cut – Sienna had chopped her locks off to play Edie Sedgewick in Factory Girl, which was due to start filming later that month. During this time Sienna was linked to many new film projects, some of which were true (Camille, Interview) and others proved to be untrue (Bond). One project that was happening, and was beginning to get a lot of buzz, was Factory Girl. Starting in December, Sienna joined Hayden Christensen, Guy Pearce and the rest of the cast in Shreveport, Los Angeles to film the biopic. Needless to say, tabloid gossip focussed on the ‘relationship’ between Sienna and Hayden. Sienna and Hayden were photographed on and off set numerous times together, including at the February 2006 wrap party of the film in which the young co-stars appeared close. During this filming, Sienna made the rounds for Casanova film promotion, attending premieres in LA and New York, as well as appearing on high profile US chat show including Good Morning America and Jay Leno. Casanova took disappointing numbers at the box office and received mixed reviews. Alongside all of this, Sienna took a few days to shoot an advert for Pepe Jeans in November/December time.
With Factory Girl finished in early 2006, Sienna took a short break before moving on to her next project – Interview – in which she plays ‘the most popular soap star in America’ alongside ‘fading political journalist’ Steven Buscemi (who also took the role of director). Sienna then re-teamed with her Layer Cake director, Matthew vaughn, to shoot the fairytale-esque Stardust in May, in Wiltshire (England). Co-starring in this were two very big names – Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert DeNiro, alongside Clare Danes and Sienna’s friend and on-screen-in- Casanova-brother Charlie Cox. Interview and Stardust were fairly short shoots. They were followed by the black romantic comedy Camille, which was shot in Toronto in July/August of the same year. The tabloids flared up with stories of Sienna’s romantic relationship with her co-star James Franco, which Sienna toke in her stride and denied.
After a few weeks break she travelled down to Pittsburgh to shoot yet another movie – The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh. Controversy again hit the world of Sienna Miller when she made offensive remarks about the town she was filming in, to Rolling Stone magazine. Following a huge backlash, Sienna was forced to make a public aplogy, despite the fact that her original remarks were not meant to be taken seriously.
Whatever the state of her relationship with Jude Law, Sienna has a very promising future ahead of her. Early awards buzz is listing Sienna as a top tip for recognition next year for her role as Edie Sedgewick. She has another 4 movies out in 2007 – Camille, Stardust, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Interview – which should hopefully prove that she is more than just tabloid fodder.