Who Is Eliot Sumner, a.k.a. Freddie Miles in 'Ripley'?

Meet the musician and actor who gives a scene-stealing performance.

Eliot Sumner as Freddie Miles, sitting in an armchair and holding a glass, in Episode 105 of RIPLEY
(Image credit: Philippe Antonello/Netflix)

Netflix's new prestige miniseries Ripley introduces a talented new star in Eliot Sumner. In the adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's famed novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, the musician-actor plays Freddie Miles, the antagonistic friend of Dickie Greenleaf who comes at odds with con-man Tom Ripley (Andrew Scott). In the previous 1999 film adaptation of the novel, Freddie, played with full brashness by Philip Seymour Hoffman, is an obnoxious womanizer who immediately clocks Ripley as a pretender. In the 2024 series, Sumner stands out among the all-star cast with their comparatively quieter, magnetic, scene-stealing performance.

Sumner, who is nonbinary and uses gender-neutral pronouns, is best known as the child of one of the world's famous rockstars, but the 33-year-old is also a talented singer-songwriter in their own right. Read on to learn more about the multi-hyphenate, including how they landed their role in Ripley.

Eliot Sumner as Freddie Miles, standing near an art easel by a window, in Episode 105 of Ripley

Eliot Sumner as Freddie Miles in episode 5 of the miniseries.

(Image credit: Philippe Antonello/Netflix)

They're the child of one of the most famous musicians of all time.

Sumner was born in 1990 in Pisa, Italy, to parents Sting (real name Gordon Sumner) and Trudie Styler. They grew up in England and began writing songs as a teenager, later signing a major record deal at 17. Since then, they've released music as a soloist as well as under anonymous stage names, including Coco (as part of the band I Blame Coco) and Vaal (as a DJ and electronic music artist).

A post shared by Eliot Sumner

A photo posted by eliotsumner on

Before 'Ripley,' they appeared in a Bond film.

As an actor, Sumner got their start with small roles as a child, including an appearance in the 2007 fantasy film Stardust. Their first major role was in 2019 in Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen (the original film, not the recent Netflix series). They've also appeared in recent films including La Divina Cometa, Pretty Red Dress, Infinite Storm, and the 2021 Bond film No Time to Die.

They've said that they don't believe in gender "labels."

Sumner first opened up about their gender identity in a 2015 interview with Evening Standard, in which they said that they do not identify with a particular gender. Instead, they said they defined themself as a "musician," adding, "I don’t believe in any specifications."

“I think forever I was trying to figure out maybe … what I am. But I don’t think anyone should feel pressured to have any kind of label or tag on them," they added. "We should treat everybody the same. Me, I don’t like to be put down to a specific thing. We’re all human beings.”

The musician also added that they never felt the need to come out to their family and friends because “no one ever asked. They knew already. So I didn’t need to. I’ve never come out to anyone. My friends always knew and I always knew.”

Eliot Sumner attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Netflix's "Ripley" at The Egyptian Theatre Hollywood on April 03, 2024 in Los Angeles, California

Eliot Sumner at the Los Angeles premiere of Netflix's "Ripley" in April 2024.

(Image credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

They based their 'Ripley' performance on “thousands of Freddies [they've] come across” in his life.

In a Tudum interview, Sumner opened up about their approach for the Ripley audition, in which he reinvented the on-screen character first made famous by Philip Seymour Hoffman. "[The description] said he was a loud American and I decided to make him a very observant, arrogant English person and see how that went,” they said. “I really thought, it’s very nice of them to give me a shot, but I wasn’t going to get it.”

Meanwhile, writer-director Steven Zaillian told Decider that Sumner's unique take helped them land the role. “I auditioned literally 200 people [for that part] and I would say 95% of those people were doing a Hoffman impression,” he told the outlet. “[Eliot's take] was so fresh, and to me, like, ‘Oh, this is a way of doing this character in a completely different way, but just as menacing and just as threatening, not in an obnoxious loud way, but in a kind of quiet, sophisticated way.'”

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.