14 August 1968 |
|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Spouse(s)||Lolita Chakrabarti (present; 2 children)|
Adrian Anthony Lester, OBE (born 14 August 1968) is an English actor, director, and writer.
Early life and education
Lester was born in Birmingham, West Midlands, the son of Jamaican immigrants Monica, a medical secretary, and Reginald, a manager for a contract cleaning company. From the age of 9 Lester sang as a boy treble in the choir of St. Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham. At 14 he began acting with the Birmingham Youth Theatre. After leaving Archbishop Masterson RC School he attended Joseph Chamberlain VI Form College for one year before completing 3 years training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Lester received an Ian Charleson Award commendation and a Time Out Award for his 1991 performance as Rosalind in Cheek by Jowl's all-male production of As You Like It. In 1993, he played Anthony Hope in the National Theatre's production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He has also appeared on stage in the musical Company, for which he won an Olivier Award, and in the title role of Hamlet (Carlton TV Theatre Award).
In 2003, Lester played the title role in Henry V at the National Theatre.
Lester played the part of Othello in the Shakespeare play of the same name in 2013 alongside Rory Kinnear as Iago at the National Theatre. Both actors won the Best Actor award in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for their roles; the award is traditionally given to only one actor, but the judges were unable to choose between the pair.
Lester is known for playing a big-time con artist named Michael "Mickey Bricks" Stone in the BBC TV series Hustle between 2004 and 2012. The character was written out of the fourth series and replaced by Ashley Walters, although he returned from the fifth series (2009) onwards.
He also played the character Myror in the British television drama Merlin.
Lester played campaign manager Henry Burton in Mike Nichols's 1998 film Primary Colors, based on the novel by Anonymous (Joe Klein). His character is believed to represent George Stephanopoulos. This part earned him a Chicago Film Critics Association award nomination for "Most Promising Actor".
Lester appeared in Kenneth Branagh's Love's Labour's Lost, an adaptation of the William Shakespeare play, set in the 1930s. The film itself was poorly received, but Lester received a British Independent Film Awards nomination for his performance.
Lester filmed scenes for 2007's Spider-Man 3, as a research scientist who is sought after by the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) to find a cure for his ailing daughter. He was seen in one teaser trailer for the film; however, his scenes were cut from the final theatrical version.
In 2010 Lester appeared in the documentary When Romeo Met Juliet together with his wife Lolita Chakrabarti as acting mentors to the pupils of two Coventry schools involved in a production of Romeo and Juliet.
Lester recorded Alpha Force: Survival, an audio book written by Chris Ryan.
Lester is married to actress Lolita Chakrabarti. They live in South East London with their two daughters, Lila and Jasmine.
In 2007, Lester took part in Empire's Children, a Channel 4 documentary exploring the journey taken by the "Windrush Generation" to the United Kingdom. Lester's grandfather, Kenneth Nathaniel Lester, was to be included in the documentary, but was unwell during filming in Jamaica and could not be interviewed. Kenneth Lester died soon after the documentary completed filming and never saw the programme aired.
In April 2013, he appeared on the Cultural Exchange feature of Front Row on Radio Four, a feature of the programme where people had to choose a piece of art that meant a great deal to them. He chose Redemption Song by Bob Marley.
- Les Soeurs Soleil (1997)
- Up on the Roof (1997)... Scott
- Primary Colors (1998)... Henry Burton
- Love's Labour's Lost (2000)... Dumaine
- Maybe Baby (2000)... George
- Best (2000)... Rocky
- Born Romantic (2000)... Jimmy
- Dust (2001)... Edge
- The Final Curtain (2002)... Jonathan Stitch
- The Day After Tomorrow (2004)... Simon
- As You Like It (2006)... Oliver De Boys
- Scenes of a Sexual Nature (2006)... Pete
- Starting Out in the Evening (2007)... Casey Davies
- Doomsday (2008)... Sgt. Norton
- Case 39 (2009)... Wayne
- Touch and Die (1991): Lute
- The Affair (1995): Ray
- Company (1996): Bobby
- Storm Damage (1999): Danny
- Jason and the Argonauts (2000): Orpheus
- The Tragedy of Hamlet (2002): Hamlet
- Girlfriends (2002): Ellis
- Hustle (2004–06, 2009–12, 42 Episodes): Mickey
- The Ghost Squad (2005, 1 Episode): DI Gus Philips
- Ballet Shoes (2007): Mr. Sholsky
- Bonekickers (2008, 6 Episodes): Ben Ergha
- Merlin (2009, 1 Episode): Myror
- Sleep With Me (2009): Richard
- When Romeo Met Juliet (2010): As Himself
- "Adrian Lester". Front Row. 25 April 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- "Touch of Colour takes Brum star Adrian to Hollywood.". Sunday Mercury. 11 October 1998. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- MacDonald, Marianne (3 February 2006). "The player; Not only is Adrian Lester the National Theatre's Henry V, he's also the chief con man in Hustle. It's a sparkling career forged on a penniless childhood with an absent father and a struggling mother. Marianne Macdonald meets a man driven to succeed.". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- Leitch, Luke (16 August 2002). "NATIONAL'S NEW CHIEF CASTS BLACK ACTOR AS HENRY V.". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- Lees, Caroline. "Classic recipes for success". Sunday Times. 9 February 1992.
- Declan Donnellan (12 November 2014). "All you need is love: Adrian Lester and the miraculous all-male As You Like It". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- Kennedy, Maev (17 November 2013). "Othello and Iago share best actor prize in London Evening Standard awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 29 December 2012.
- "Warwick honorary degrees for stars of Gavin & Stacey & Hustle, RSC & Royal Court Artistic Directors, scientists, historians, philanthropist & a US government adviser". University of Warwick. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.