You’ll Definitely Recognise Natalia Tena From This Iconic ‘00s Rom-Com

The actor will soon portray Rebekah Vardy in C4’s depiction of the WAGatha Christie trial.

Natalia Tena at a premiere in Madrid, Spain, in January 2022
Getty Images/Carlos R. Alvarez/WireImage

Earlier this year, Channel 4 revealed plans to bring a fictionalised version of the Wagatha Christie trial to our screens. Based on the much-publicised libel case between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy, the wives of footballers Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy, fans of low-stakes courtroom battles have been eagerly awaiting news of Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom’s cast ever since. Now, the actor set to play Rebekah Vardy has been revealed, and it’s... Natalia Tena.

If the 37-year-old looks familiar, there’s a decent chance you may recognise her from the Harry Potter films and Game of Thrones. In the former, Tena played Nymphadora Tonks, a shape-shifting witch and Hogwarts grad, who later joins the Order of the Phoenix to help protect the wizarding world from Voldemort. Meanwhile, in the George R. R. Martin fantasy drama, the actor played Osha in early seasons of the show. However, you may have also spotted her in a certain 2002 rom-com.

Born in London to Spanish parents, Tena landed her breakthrough film role after she was caught smoking cigarettes in a hedge at the prestigious boarding school Bedales. “I was coming out of a bush and my drama teacher caught me and basically, because he liked me due to how much I loved theatre, instead of dobbing me in he said ‘just go in to the drama barn.’” she told Essential Surrey. “I walked in and there was a room full of loads of little boys around the age of 10 and I was like ‘What the f*** is this, babysitting?’ and it turned out to be an audition for About a Boy.” The fluke led to Tena starring as Marcus’ (Nicholas Hoult) schoolmate and first crush, Ellie.

And while acting came first after school, she’s also hugely passionate about music, so much so that fronting a band fusing together eclectic genres from around the world is one of her main creative pursuits.

Incidentally, Tena’s long-term partner, Sam Apley, plays violin in Molotov Jukebox, the band Tena has fronted since 2014. The couple first met right as the actor was giving up on her dreams of pursuing music after finishing school. “I’d broken up with my musician boyfriend,” she told the East Anglian Daily Times. “Then I met Sam in another band and we fell in love and ran away from that band and created our own. Our dream was refuelled and we’ve just carried on kind of fuelling it.”

And in fact the group first came about while the couple were busking and figured their act needed a name. “We were wandering around busking at the festival [Secret Garden Party] and decided to call ourselves Molotov Jukebox,” she told The Leader. “To go from that to being on the main stage and having a sea of mad hatters dressed up and just having it to our music was incredible.” You can head to Natalie Tena’s Instagram for updates on the band’s coming and goings.