Ben Whishaw

BATD ON Oct 29, 2009 AT 2:50 pm

Ben Whishaw

Ben Whishaw

English actor Ben Whishaw was born 14 October, 1980. He and his twin brother, James, grew up in Bedfordshire, where he got an early go at acting. As a child he was a member of the Bancroft Players Youth Theatre at Hitchin’s Queen Mother Theatre. Later, he attended community college in Clifton, Bedfordshire, before pursuing more significant acting endeavors.

Ben Whishaw

Ben Whishaw

His experiences on the stage only helped push his career forward, until a breakthrough in fact; in 2004, director Trevor Nunn cast him as the title role in Hamlet at the Old Vic. Whishaw was well-received for his performance. Another project, a short film called My Brother Tom, earned him the title of “Most Promising Newcomer” from the British Independent Film Awards. He went on to play Keith Richards in the aptly named biopic Stoned, and a drug dealer in the fringe play Mercury Fur.

International renown came with Whishaw’s performance in 2006’s film Perfume: the Story of a Murderer, in which he played Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a perfumer gone psychotic. The film was nominated for—and won—a handful of European film awards. Then, in 2007, Whishaw played one of several Bob Dylan reincarnations in the nontraditional biopic I’m Not There. It won several awards at the Venice Film Festival and was also a favourite of many critics for the best of 2007.

You can catch Whishaw’s latest project, Bright Star, at the London Film Festival this year. Directed by Jane Campion and also starring Abbie Cornish, this beautiful film traces the tragic romance between the poet John Keats (Whishaw) and Fanny Brawne. He will also star in an upcoming big screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

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