Sturridge was born in London, England to director Charles Sturridge and his wife, actress Phoebe Nicholls. Grandson of actor Anthony Nicholls and actress Faith Kent, he is the eldest of his two siblings, Arthur and Matilda, and was educated at Winchester College. Sturridge met best friend Robert Pattinson through his siblings, who attended Harrodian School with Pattinson.
He began as a child actor and he was in the 1996 television adaptation of Gulliver's Travels, directed by his father and co-starring his mother. He reemerged in 2004 with Vanity Fair and Being Julia.
In 2006, he played the role of Nigel in a psychological thriller, Like Minds (aka Murderous Intent). It tells the story of two boys Alex (played by Eddie Redmayne) and Nigel placed together as roommates, much to Alex's objections. Alex is horrified and yet fascinated with the ritual-influenced deaths that begin to occur around them, and when Nigel himself is murdered, Alex is blamed.
He was originally cast as the lead in the sci-fi trilogy Jumper. However, two months into production New Regency and 20th Century Fox, fearing the gamble of spending over $100 million on a movie starring an unknown actor, replaced him with the "more prominent" Hayden Christensen. Ironically, he has just been cast alongside Rachel Bilson (who costarred in Jumper) in the new indie-romance, Waiting For Forever. Sturridge plays a lead role in the 2009 film The Boat That Rocked as Carl.