Romola is the daughter of Adrian and Janet Garai, and is one of four children. Though born in London, she spent her first nine years in the far east, where her father was a banker, first in Hong Kong and later in Singapore. When she was a child, her ambition was to become a writer.
When Romola was nine, the family returned home to Wiltshire, in the west of England. Romola went to Stonar School, Atworth, then to the City of London School for Girls, where she acted in school plays. She also learnt to play the violin and sang in a band. A talent scout got her a part in Last of the Blonde Bombshells
, then she started a degree course in English literature at the University of London. As her acting career developed, she took a year off from this, and has not yet gone back. Apart from acting, she hopes to move on also to directing and writing for the theatre.
The name Garai is Hungarian and is pronounced 'Garry' .
Romola has been reported as dating Ben Hooper, a lawyer based in London, and also actor Diego Luna
, while filming Havana Nights
in Puerto Rico.