Kaya Rose Scodelario was born in Haywards Heath, Sussex, England, to Katia (Scodelario) and Roger Humphrey. Her father was English and her mother is Brazilian, of Italian and Portuguese descent. Thanks to her mother, Kaya grew up fluent in Brazilian Portuguese, as well as English.
At the age of fourteen, she auditioned for Skins (2007), the debut series for new channel E4 that would become known for casting real teenagers like her, who had no professional acting experience, rather than experienced adult actors. She won the role of “Effy Stonem” and joined the show in January 2007. Effy became a fan favorite for her ability to resolve testing life situations while keeping her head above water. After two seasons of Skins (2007), the series endured an overhaul at the end of 2007. Feeling that most of the characters had run their course, the writers wrote out every character except Effy.
She joined the elite agency Models 1 and soon was featured as the cover model for SuperSuper Magazine. She made her feature film debut with a role in Moon (2009), starring Sam Rockwell as an astronaut suffering from surreal encounters while on the moon.
In April 2014, during the filming of The King’s Daughter (formerly known as The Moon and the Sun), Scodelario began dating her co-star, Benjamin Walker. They became engaged on 28 December 2014, and married in December 2015. Their son was born in November 2016.