Riley Voelkel is a popular American-Canadian actress, mostly famous for her role of Freya Mikaelson in “The Vampire Diaries” spin-off, “The Originals”. Her fans also know her for her roles in “The Newsroom”, “Legacies” and many other TV series.

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Early life and family

Riley Voelkel was born on 26 April 1990, in Calgary, Alberta Canada, so she holds Canadian nationality and her zodiac sign is Taurus. Riley is very close to her family; she has a very warm relationship with her mother, but has never shared her name, yet she once posted their mutual photo on her Instagram account, congratulating her on Mother’s Day. Her younger brother’s name is Connor Voelkel.

When a kid, Riley spent a lot of time in the house of her grandparents; the loss of her grandfather was a very painful strike for Riley, as she shared that she would never forget the sweet moments of them playing cards on the floor or eating little square sandwiches he made for her; she also wrote she was grateful for the unconditional love and eternal support he gave her.

Riley’s uncle Dale Curtis Krall, was an experienced and passionate guitarist and singer, who passed away in October 2017; Riley shared that he influenced her music taste very much, and she was grateful to have him in her life. Being close to her relatives, Riley learnt to value every moment with her family members from childhood, and still lives the same way.

Riley’s parents moved to Elk Grove, California, when she was a toddler, so she spent her childhood between her hometown of Calgary and Elk Grove. When she was around eight years old, she started to play volleyball and felt the passion for sports. She also enjoyed dancing, singing and is even a self-taught guitar player.

Educational background

Riley matriculated from her local high school in Elk Grove in 2008. She was very involved in sports during her school years; she was a member of her high school softball team, playing the game for nine years in a row. A month before enrolling at college, Riley decided instead to pursue her modelling career, so she hasn’t accomplished her tertiary education yet.

Riley Voelkel

Career

Starting as a model

Riley was noticed by a modeling scout when she was about to enter a university of her choice, so decided to go for it and pursue her dream of becoming a model. She moved to Los Angeles and worked there as a model, including with such famous fashion photographers as Artem Altounian, who also worked with successful models Shelbi Byrnes and Jilli Jones. However, her agent felt the acting talent in her, and recommended Riley to attend acting classes. For some period of time Riley tried to balance between modelling and attending auditions for movies and TV series, however, she chose to go for acting.

Acting career: first steps

Riley debuted on the silver screen appearing in David Fincher’s “The Social Network” (2010), as a girl at the party, not even being credited, but it was enough for her to feel the taste of major movies, so she had no doubt it was what she wanted to do in life. The same year of 2010, Riley landed the role of Caroline in the pilot episode of “Glory Daze”, a comedy-drama TV series, starring Matt Bush and Kelly Blatz. In 2011 she landed the role of Claire in “Prom”, and then portrayed Christine Brighton in “Hidden Moon” (2012), and the same year appeared as Tristan in the drama series “The Mentalist”. At the end of 2012 Riley landed her first recurring role, of Jenna Johnson in the political drama “The Newsroom”, appearing in 15 episodes of the show from 2012 to 2014.

Further success

Meantime in 2013 Riley could be seen in several episodes of the super popular series “American Horror Story”, as a younger version of Fiona Goode in the third season of the show “Coven”. Riley portrayed the supreme witch of the New Orleans coven, whose older version was played by the legendary Jessica Lange – it is worth saying that the latter won numerous awards for her performance, even though Jessica shared she didn’t really like the third season of the show: ‘It’s funny because I was stunned that year to get the Emmy for that part. The part was very well written, I didn’t particularly like the whole set up and season and story we were telling. It was not my favorite’. However, Riley learnt much from her colleagues on the set, and moved on, landing a role in the movie “The Secret Lives of Dorks” (2013), portraying Carrie Smith.

Freya Mikaelson in “The Originals” and other latest roles

From 2014 to 2018 Riley performed the recurring role (later becoming a regular) in The CW Network’s fantasy series “The Originals”, a spin-off story to the very popular “The Vampire Diaries”. Just as in her previous show, the plot developed in the area of New Orleans – Riley’s character is the eldest sibling of the Mikaelson family, Freya, a thousand-year-old skilled and powerful witch, who lost connection to her maternal younger half-brother, Klaus Mikaelson, and then found her family again.

Concurrently Riley could be seen in such movies as “Synthesizers” and “Scrambled”, and appeared in several episodes of such series as “Point of Honor” (2015) and “Advance & Retreat” (2016).

In 2019 Riley landed the recurring role of Jenna Cameron in “Roswell, New Mexico”, also appearing as Freya Mikaelson in one of the special episodes of another “The Vampire Diaries” spin-off, “Legacies”. From early 2020, Riley has been starring in the new Starz’ series “Hightown”, playing opposite Monica Raymund, Rumi C. Jean-Louis and James Badge Dale.

Personal life, boyfriend Michael C. Robertson

Riley has been dating Michael C. Robertson since October 2016, and often shares their mutual photos on her social media profiles; the couple don’t have kids. Mike works as a managing and production partner and director at Carbon Film, a team of filmmakers working on video and post-production, and creative writing.

Riley starred in one of the music videos produced by Carbon Films, of the song “Whimsical” by Sleep Dance band, released on YouTube on 6 February 2020.

Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts

One of Riley’s favorite actresses is Brigitte Bardot. Riley likes watching TV series, enjoying the performance of her colleagues; one of her favorite shows is “Game of Thrones”. One of her best friends, Desi Valentine, is also her favorite singer. Riley likes singing and continues to play the guitar.

Appearance, clothing style

Riley has middle length blonde hair and green eyes. She is 5ft 8ins (1.73m) tall, weighs around 123lbs (56kgs), and her vital statistics are 34-24-35.

As to her clothing style, she likes wearing white tops and black trousers. She also enjoys wearing high heels, and wears make-up even at home, when she doesn’t even need to go out, as it makes her feel more comfortable.

Net worth and salary

As of 2020, Riley’s net worth is reported to be around $1 million. It is worth mentioning that she had a Mercedes Benz as her first car in June 2015, and still owns it. Riley develops her Instagram account as another source of income, posting sponsored posts from time to time. Thus, she’s had commercial contracts with such brands as “True & Co”, “Fab Fit Fun”, and several others – a sponsored post on her social media profile can cost up to $2,800.

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