James Norton (actor)
|Born||1985 (age 29–30)
|Known for||Happy Valley
|Home town||Marton, Ryedale|
James Norton (born 1985) is an English film, television and stage actor. He played the lead role of Captain Stanhope in the 2011 revival of Journey's End and has appeared in the films Rush, Belle and Mr. Turner. His television roles include Onegin in an episode of Doctor Who, Henry Alveston in the BBC historical drama Death Comes to Pemberley, and ex-convict kidnapper Tommy Lee Royce in the 2014 BBC crime drama Happy Valley. In October 2014 he began playing Canon Sidney Chambers in the ITV period drama Grantchester.
Norton was born in London, England to a father and mother who are both teachers. Though originally from London, Norton's family lived in the small village of Marton in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire. Norton described his childhood as "idyllic", a time where he lived at the edge of the Howardian Hills in North Yorkshire.
Norton was educated at Ampleforth College, a Roman Catholic (Benedictine) boarding independent school in the village of Ampleforth in North Yorkshire, where he excelled in theatre and tennis. He did work experience at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, North Yorkshire when he was 15.
Starting in 2004, he read Theology at Fitzwilliam College at the University of Cambridge. Norton received a Fitzwilliam Travel Grant to travel to Northern India, "taking a group of six actors (Backpact) to India in the summer of 2006 to perform to and instruct children in sixteen schools". The group began in Delhi and travelled to Nepal where they visited twelve schools "in yellow T-shirts and black trousers armed only with two blue and one green sheets and a few juggling balls, then on to Northern India and four more schools. They used theatre as a medium for dialogue, giving a taste of Western theatre and then stimulating groups of children to put on their own plays, based on their own ideas, religion and culture".
Norton was a member of The Marlowe Society theatre club at Cambridge, and in 2007 he played Posthumus in a production of Cymbeline directed by Trevor Nunn for the society's centenary. Norton said he did "loads" of theatre during college.
Norton had a bit part in the film An Education starring Carey Mulligan in 2009. He was an original cast member of Posh at the Royal Court Theatre in 2010. At the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 2010, Norton starred in That Face as Henry, an 18-year-old who has dropped out of school to care for his mentally disturbed and drug-dependent mother, played by Frances Barber. Lynne Walker of The Independent wrote of his performance: "At the centre of it all is Henry who, in James Norton's striking portrayal, is like a young caged animal".
In 2011, Norton starred as Captain Stanhope in the classic First World War drama Journey's End. The production toured the UK from March to June and transferred to the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End from July to September. Norton then took the role of Geoffrey in The Lion in Winter at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket directed by Trevor Nunn, with whom Norton had worked at Cambridge in Cymbeline.
In the 2012 period film Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, Norton played Owen, the would-be groom of a conflicted bride. He appeared in the 2013 film Rush as Formula One driver Guy Edwards. In the 2013 film Belle, he played a suitor of the title character, a mixed-race lady in 18th century English society.
Norton's television appearances include the Doctor Who episode "Cold War", in which he played a crewman on a Soviet submarine during the Cold War, and Death Comes to Pemberley, based on the P. D. James novel involving characters from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice caught up in a murder mystery.
Norton was acclaimed for his role as Tommy Lee Royce, the villain of the hit crime drama Happy Valley. Michael Hogan of The Telegraph wrote: "...the breakout star, seen in only a few small parts before this, has been the devilishly handsome James Norton, 29, as the heinous killer Royce, whom he has played with impressive depth". As the series came to its dramatic conclusion, Norton commented, "8 million people are currently wishing me dead".
In the 2014 ITV series Grantchester, based on the novels by James Runcie, Norton plays crime-solving vicar Sidney Chambers alongside Robson Green as Police Inspector Geordie Keating. On his character: "He's a very normal guy, doing normal things. He loves his booze a bit too much, women, jazz. There are temptations around him, taking him off course slightly, and the backdrop of the war is very significant too. Like many, he fought and killed and has experienced his own fair share of horror". Grantchester was his first starring role.
He also appears in the 2014 films Northmen: A Viking Saga and Mr. Turner, a biographical drama on the life of the artist J. M. W. Turner by director Mike Leigh. Norton is currently shooting a BBC drama about the Bloomsbury Group called Life in Squares.
Asked if he is religious, Norton said: "[O]bviously I have a relationship with religion, because I went to a Catholic school and studied theology. I can't call myself religious, but I'm definitely fascinated by it".
|2014||Northmen: A Viking Saga||Bjorn|
|2014||Mr. Turner||Francis Willoughby|
|2012||Cheerful Weather for the Wedding||Owen|
|2009||An Education||Jenny's boyfriend|
|2015||War and Peace||Prince Andrei Bolkonsky||Series regular; 6 episodes|
|2015||Life in Squares||Duncan Grant||Series regular; 3 episodes|
|2015||Lady Chatterley's Lover||Sir Clifford Chatterley||TV film|
|2014||Grantchester||Sidney Chambers||Series regular; 6 episodes|
|2014||Happy Valley||Tommy Lee Royce||Series regular; 6 episodes|
|2013||Death Comes to Pemberley||Henry Alveston||Series regular; 3 episodes|
|2013||Doctor Who||Onegin||1 episode: "Cold War"|
|2013||Blandings||Jimmy Belford||1 episode: "Pig-hoo-o-o-o-ey"|
|2013||By Any Means||Michael Prence||1 episode: "Episode 1"|
|2012||Inspector George Gently||James Blackstone||1 episode: "Gently with Class"|
|2011–2012||The Lion in Winter (1966)
by James Goldman
|Geoffrey||5 Nov 2011–28 Jan 2012 at Theatre Royal, Haymarket in London's West End.|
|2011||Journey's End (1928)
by R. C. Sherriff
|Mar.-Jun.: On tour.
Jul.–Sep.: Duke of York's Theatre in London's West End.
|2010||That Face (2007)
by Polly Stenham
|Henry||Performed at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 2010.|
by Laura Wade
|Miles Richards||Performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London in early 2010.|
|2007||Cymbeline (c. 1611)
by William Shakespeare
|Posthumus||Performed by The Marlowe Society at Cambridge Arts Theatre while Norton was still a student. Directed by Trevor Nunn.|
|2014||Dragon Age: Inquisition||Cole||Voice|
- Shattuck, Kathryn (9 January 2015). "Easily Channeling a Vulnerable Vicar: James Norton in ‘Grantchester’ on PBS ‘Masterpiece’". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Williams, Andrew (1 June 2014). "'I admire Michael Fassbender enormously,' says Happy Valley's James Norton". The Sunday Express. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "How James Norton went from killer to clergyman". The Yorkshire Post. 5 October 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Hutchinson, Charles (19 May 2011). "Review: Journey's End, Leeds Grand Theatre". The Press (York). Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- "All the world’s a stage" (PDF). Optima (Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge) (13): 13. Autumn 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Christiansen, Rupert (24 September 2007). "The Marlowe Society: Talent show for theatre's brightest stars". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- "James Norton". The Artists Partnership. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Merry, Elspeth (28 April 2014). "James Norton". 1883 Magazine. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Watson, Jonathan (4 November 2011). "James Norton: Joining the big league". The Stage. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Billington, Michael (16 April 2010). "'Posh' – Royal Court, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- Walker, Lynne (9 July 2010). "'That Face, Crucible Studio, Sheffield". The Independent. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- "Best of British: James Norton". ShortList. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Holden, Stephen (6 December 2012). "There Will Always Be a Fantasy England: 'Cheerful Weather for the Wedding' With Elizabeth McGovern". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Darling, Cary (21 May 2014). "Movie Review: 'Belle'". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Hogan, Michael (3 June 2014). "Happy Valley's James Norton: '8 million people are currently wishing me dead'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "ITV announces the cast of new six-part drama Grantchester". ITV Press Centre. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Debnath, Neela (20 October 2014). "Grantchester star Robson Green: ‘We’re going to lose James Norton quickly’". The Independent. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- "Grantchester: James Norton talks about playing heavy-drinking vicar in new detective drama". Nottingham Post. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Fisher, Alice (5 October 2014). "Fashion: James Norton under cover". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Molloy, Antonia (18 August 2014). "New BBC drama Life in Squares to track lives of Bloomsbury Set". The Independent. Retrieved 10 January 2015.