Who Is Ben Hardy, a.k.a. Oliver in 'Love at First Sight'?

You may recognize him from his previous roles in blockbuster films.

Ben Hardy as Oliver Jones in Love at First Sight
(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

The latest rom-com to hit Netflix follows the love story of two travelers who make a fated connection: Hadley, played by The White Lotus star Haley Lu Richardson, and Oliver, played by British actor Ben Hardy. While this may be viewers' first time seeing Hardy as a leading man, the actor is a familiar face from his supporting roles in major Hollywood films, including superhero epics to an award-winning rock biopics. If you've already watched the sweet romance flick, read on to learn more about the talented star.

He grew up in England and rose to fame on the British soap 'Eastenders.'

The 32-year-old actor was born in the coastal town of Bournemouth in southern England, and grew up in nearby Sherborne. He got his start on stage in the play The Judas Kiss, before he joined the long-running BBC soap opera EastEnders. He took over the role of Peter Beale, the son of Ian and Cindy Beale, and was part of the show from 2013 to 2015. 

After the soap, he made his film debut playing Angel in the 2016 superhero movie X-Men: Apocalypse. Most recently, Hardy starred in last year's HBO Max miniseries The Girl Before and the 2021 thriller The Voyeurs. He also starred in the queer romance indie Unicorn, which recently made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. 

He learned to play drums to portray a member of Queen in 'Bohemian Rhapsody.'

Hardy played Queen drummer Roger Taylor in the 2018 award-winning film, and went on to receive a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. In a 2018 People interview, Hardy revealed that he actually lied and told the film's director that he could play the drums when he really had no experience.

“I wanted the job really bad,” he told the outlet. “Who doesn’t want to play a rock’ n roll star? So I told him a little white lie—slash—big lie, that I could play the drums. So he was like great, ‘Can you put this song on film for me to show to the producers?' I went away in a massive panic, there wasn’t enough time—I bought the cheapest drum kit I could find and found a drum teacher locally and was like, ‘Look here’s the deal: I need to learn to play this song as soon as possible. What can you do?’

“Bryan messaged me and was like ‘Where’s the video?’ I was like, Here is the moment, gonna have to do it. So I put it on film and just prayed,” he added. 

Once he got the role, Hardy learned all of the 13 songs featured in the biopic, which were performed by the actors during filming.

He has dated two of his previous co-stars.

Hardy and Plummer—who are both EastEnders alums, though their time on the soap didn't overlap—reportedly dated after meeting on the set of The Girl Before, where they played a couple whose relationship is tested after they move into a house with a mysterious, strict landlord. The two British actors went public with their relationship in 2021, and in March 2023, Daily Mail reported that they split due to  busy schedules.

And while working on the 2020 comedy thriller Pixie, Hardy met and began dating his co-star Olivia Cooke (who now stars as Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon). The two actors were first photographed together in February 2020, and Daily Mail reported that same August that the two had split after their relationship "naturally ended."

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.