Douglas Booth

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Douglas Booth
DougBooth.png
Booth in an interview with Young Hollywood in October 2013.
Born Douglas John Booth
(1992-07-09) 9 July 1992 (age 21)
London, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actor
Years active 2009–present

Douglas John Booth (born 9 July 1992) is an English actor. He first came to public attention following his performance as Boy George in the BBC Two film Worried About the Boy (2010). He also starred in the BBC adaptations of Great Expectations and Christopher and His Kind (both 2011). In 2013, Booth starred in Carlo Carlei's film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. In 2014, he appeared in Darren Aronofsky's Noah, and will star in The Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending and Lone Scherfig's Posh.

Early life[edit]

Douglas John Booth was born in London, England.[1][2] He is the son of Vivien (née De Cala), a painter, and Simon Booth, a shipping finance consultant; he was previously managing director of both CitiGroup and Deutsche Bank's shipping finance divisions.[3][4] Booth's father is of English descent, and his mother is of half Spanish and half Dutch ancestry.[5] His older sister, Abigail, is a Chelsea School of Art graduate.[6] Booth was raised in Greenwich, London but moved to Sevenoaks, Kent at the age of ten.[5] He was largely privately educated, attending Solefield School, Bennett Memorial Diocesan School and Lingfield Notre Dame School.

Booth is severely dyslexic and found it "very hard" to read or write up until the age of ten; he remains "a really slow reader."[7][8] He struggled at school, "having to put in double or triple the amount of effort as everyone else," but has said the condition made him "more resilient in every sense."[9] He played the trumpet as a child.[10] Booth developed an interest in drama at the age of twelve, after starring in a school production of Agamemnon: "I found myself feeling really engaged for the first time ... I thought, 'I rather like being the centre of attention. This is where I want to be.'"[11][12] By the age of thirteen, he was involved with the National Youth Theatre and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.[13][14] Booth joined the Curtis Brown acting agency at the age of fifteen.[14] He won his first professional acting role at the age of sixteen and quit his AS levels in drama, media studies and English literature.[13]

Career[edit]

Booth's first professional role was in the children's adventure film From Time to Time (2009), directed by Julian Fellowes and starring Maggie Smith and Timothy Spall. Following the film's release, Booth signed to the UTA talent agency for American-based representation.[15] He then had a minor role as Prince Eustace in the Channel 4 miniseries The Pillars of the Earth (2010), a medieval saga filmed in Budapest with Ian McShane and Donald Sutherland.[13] Also in 2009 and 2010, Booth modelled in several Mario Testino-shot campaigns for the luxury fashion label Burberry; he starred in the Fall 2009 campaign with Emma Watson, the Fall 2010 campaign with Rosie Huntington Whiteley, and the Burberry Sport fragrance campaign with Lily Donaldson.[16]

Booth rose to prominence in 2010 following his performance as the pop star Boy George in the BBC Two drama Worried About the Boy.[17] He underwent a physical transformation for the role, shaving off his eyebrows and wearing heavy makeup. Booth met Boy George during filming, with the singer remarking: "He just gets it. There's something about him that reminds me of me when I was 17."[18][19] Howard Male of The Arts Desk was reminded of Cillian Murphy's performance in Breakfast on Pluto and praised the "emotional resonance" Booth brought to "his occasionally uncannily accurate portrayal of George."[20] Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Ceri Radford said Booth delivered a "mesmerising" performance: "He offered a convincing portrayal of O’Dowd as a beautiful young man who oozed ambiguous sex appeal and protected his feelings with a carapace of prickly wit."[17] Mike Higgins of The Independent declared Booth "a discovery": "Moving, witty, he also got the singer's wheezy enunciation down pat."[21]

Booth next played the role of Pip in the BBC One adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (2011), alongside Gillian Anderson and Ray Winstone. Broadcast over the Christmas period, the miniseries was a huge ratings success.[22] Anne Billson of The Telegraph felt it was a misstep to cast someone "so distractingly lovely" in the role of Pip: "It’s not that Douglas Booth was bad, it’s just that one can’t imagine Dickens ever intended Pip to be more beautiful than Estella, who, after all, has been brought up to break men’s hearts."[23] Mike Hale of The New York Times dismissed Booth as "a CW-style actor whose exceptionally pretty face doesn’t convey much beyond puzzlement and petulance."[24] Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times found the actor's performance "haunting"[25] while Emma Jones of The Huffington Post dismissed the "debate over the extreme prettiness of Douglas Booth", arguing that "Booth's beauty is only a backdrop to Pip's naivety."[26]

Also in 2011, Booth appeared in the BBC film Christopher and His Kind, which explored novelist Christopher Isherwood's formative years in Thirties Berlin. He played Heinz, a German street-sweeper who became the lover of Matt Smith's Isherwood.[27] In 2012, Booth starred opposite Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore in the teen drama LOL. He witnessed the paparazzi interest surrounding co-star Cyrus during filming: "It was bizarre and, interestingly, not at all glamorous."[28] Filmed in 2010, when Booth was seventeen, the movie received a very limited theatrical release and unfavourable reviews.[29] Later that year, Booth read selected extracts from David Copperfield as part of Sky Arts's In Love With Dickens documentary; other contributors included Simon Callow and Miriam Margoyles.[30]

In 2013, Booth starred opposite Hailee Steinfeld in Carlo Carlei's film adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.[31] Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times praised Booth's memorable performance: "It's not so much that he makes a great Romeo; frankly DiCaprio's was better in Luhrmann's version, as was Leonard Whiting in Zeffirelli's … But it has been a while since a camera has so loved a face ... If anything, the movies in general are too intent on reducing Booth to that singular feature, when he is actually a fine actor."[25] R. Kurt Osenlund of Slant felt that Booth gives "a rather fantastic breakthrough performance, offering a poignant interpretation of one of literature's greatest lovers."[32] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle bemoaned the poor casting of Steinfeld: "And this is especially a shame because Douglas Booth as Romeo is quite good and could have been better, if only he had someone to play off of. It's almost pitiful to see him here, trying to inject emotion and wit into his scenes with Steinfeld, who is a blank wall."[33] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter remarked that Booth "seems to have a grasp of what he's saying and behaves in credibly laddish fashion ... but Booth's vocal range is very narrow, and he speaks in a monotone."[34] Claudia Puig of USA Today found Booth "more skilled" than Steinfeld "in the passionate intonation department"[35] while The Independent's Geoffrey MacNab asserted that Booth "shows a certain star quality."[36]

Booth has three high-profile projects in 2014. In March, he appeared as Shem in Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic Noah.[37] Emma Watson played his character's wife; she first met Booth while shooting a Burberry fashion campaign in 2009: "There’s something old-mannish about Doug, which he had even then. He knows who he is. He doesn’t get intimidated, doesn’t hold back, and is generally fearless.”[38] In July, he will appear in The Wachowskis's science-fiction film Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Eddie Redmayne. "They're just the most original people," Booth has said of the Wachowskis. "They've created something very exciting and special and bonkers."[39] Finally, in September, Booth will star alongside Sam Claflin, Max Irons and Freddie Fox in the black comedy Posh, directed by Lone Scherfig.[39] Based on the stage play by Laura Wade, the ensemble piece centers around ten members of an exclusive Oxford University dining club known as The Riot Club, based on the real-life Bullingdon Club.[40] Booth made "friends for life" during the film shoot, and has said of the characters: "When you meet these sort of guys, they're always so charming. It's almost more discomfiting for the audience to be charmed by them, to like them a lot, and to see how far they'll go with them."[39]

Personal life[edit]

Booth shares a flat with his sister, Abi, in Bermondsey, London.[5][41] He dated English actress Vanessa Kirby for two years from late 2011 to October 2013.[42][43]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 From Time to Time Sefton
2010 Worried About the Boy Boy George TV film
2010 Pillars of the Earth, TheThe Pillars of the Earth Eustace TV miniseries
2011 Christopher and His Kind Heinz Neddermayer TV film
2011 Great Expectations Philip "Pip" Pirrip TV miniseries
2012 LOL Kyle
2012 In Love with Dickens Ham TV documentary
2013 Romeo and Juliet Romeo Montague
2014 Geography of the Heart Sean Segment "London"
Filming
2014 Noah Shem
2014 Jupiter Ascending Titus Post-production
2014 Posh Harry Villiers Post-production

References[edit]

  1. ^ Douglas Booth. "Douglas Booth: Celebrity Biography and photos on GLAMOUR.COM (Glamour.com UK)". Glamourmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  2. ^ "Douglas worried about his skin - Entertainment, Breaking News". Belfasttelegraph.co.uk. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  3. ^ "Deutsche Bank further strengthens Deutsche Shipping platform". Db.com. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  4. ^ "Lloyd's List - Finance - Booth parts company with Deutsche Shipping". Lloydslist.com. 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  5. ^ a b c Lucy Hunter Johnston (2013-09-27). "Alpha Romeo: Douglas Booth on following DiCaprio and leading London's corset crew - ES Magazine - Life & Style - London Evening Standard". Standard.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  6. ^ By LUAINE LEE, McClatchy-Tribune News Service (2012-04-01). "TV: At 19, Douglas Booth is starring in Dickens story - Life". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  7. ^ "Douglas Booth attends The Prince's Trust 26-03-2013". YouTube. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  8. ^ "The Movie Star - Page". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  9. ^ http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/assets/0001/3999/Example_paper.pdf
  10. ^ "» 2013 » March Archive". Mr Blasberg. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  11. ^ "Douglas Booth on Becoming an Actor". YouTube. 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  12. ^ "Douglas Booth Interview - Romeo and Juliet (Vogue.com UK)". Vogue.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  13. ^ a b c "Douglas Booth: the new boy at Burberry - Fashion - Life & Style - London Evening Standard". Standard.co.uk. 2009-10-22. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  14. ^ a b Randall, Lee (2011-12-12). "Interview: Douglas Booth, actor". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  15. ^ "Douglas Booth". Variety. 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  16. ^ Andy Barker (23 October 2009). "Douglas Booth: the new boy at Burberry". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Ceri Radford (17 May 2010). "Worried About the Boy, BBC Two, Review". London: telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 
  18. ^ Spencer Bright (2010-05-07). "Boy George doesn't mind a new film revealing the seedy side of his career, as long as they get his clothes right | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  19. ^ Fiona Wickham. "Blogs - TV blog - Boy George: What I thought of Worried About The Boy". BBC. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  20. ^ "Worried About the Boy, BBC Two | Reviews reviews, news & interviews". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  21. ^ Reviewed by Mike Higgins (2010-05-23). "Worried About the Boy, BBC2 Royal Wedding, BBC2Ashes to Ashes, BBC1 - Reviews - TV & Radio". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  22. ^ BBC. "Great Expectations meets BBC's high hopes thanks to young actor Douglas Booth". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  23. ^ TV and Radio. "Great Expectations, BBC One, review". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  24. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/31/arts/television/gillian-anderson-in-great-expectations-on-pbs.html?_r=0
  25. ^ a b "Review: 'Romeo & Juliet' treads carefully where it should blaze - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  26. ^ "Emma Jones: Great Expectations - the Sleeper Hit of Christmas TV". Huffingtonpost.co.uk. 2011-12-30. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  27. ^ "Press Office - Network TV Programme Information BBC Week 12 Christopher And His Kind feature – interview with Matt Smith". BBC. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  28. ^ Eva Wiseman. "Douglas Booth: Lines of beauty | Fashion | The Observer". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  29. ^ "OMG! Miley Cyrus' 'LOL' gets no love from Lionsgate - latimes.com". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  30. ^ "In Love With Dickens". Dickens 2012. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  31. ^ "Julian Fellowes Talks ROMEO & JULIET, DOWNTON ABBEY Seasons 4 and 5, GILDED AGE, and More". Collider. 2013-11-20. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  32. ^ "Romeo and Juliet | Film Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  33. ^ Mick LaSalle (2013-12-27). "'Romeo and Juliet' review: A blight on the Bard". SFGate. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  34. ^ "Romeo & Juliet: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  35. ^ "Oh 'Romeo,' the Bard himself would be bored by remake". Usatoday.com. 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  36. ^ Geoffrey Macnab (2013-10-10). "Film review: Julian Fellowes' Romeo and Juliet is thoroughly lacking in any emotional oomph - Reviews - Films". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  37. ^ Fleming, Mike (4 June 2012). "Douglas Booth And Logan Lerman Board Boat For ‘Noah’". deadline.com. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  38. ^ "V Magazine / New School Romeo". Vmagazine.com. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  39. ^ a b c Holly Williams (2013-10-08). "Douglas Booth: New romantic plays the heartthrob in new film adaptation of Romeo & Juliet - Features - Films". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  40. ^ "Flaunt Magazine | People: Douglas Booth". Flaunt.com. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  41. ^ "Douglas Booth interview (Condé Nast Traveller)". Cntraveller.com. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  42. ^ "Are Great Expectations stars Douglas Booth and Vanessa Kirby enjoying a real-life romance? | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  43. ^ "Videos | MTV UK". Mtv.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 

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