Irvine in August 2011
1990 (age 22–23)
Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire, England
Jeremy Irvine (born Jeremy Smith; 1990) is an English stage and screen actor. In late 2011, Irvine starred as the leading character in the epic war film War Horse directed by Steven Spielberg and based on an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo' children's novel. War Horse was nominated for six Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and five BAFTAs. The movie became a box office success and turned Irvine into an overnight film star. Irvine is widely regarded as one of the most talented young actors of his generation after his breakthrough role in War Horse and earning widespread critical acclaim for his role in the independent film Now Is Good. This has led to critics listing him among Hollywood's fastest-rising stars.
Irvine's meteoric rise to stardom has prompted Vogue to call him a part of the Brit Pack. He is also well known for turning down big teen franchise films and has been described as Hollywood's most wanted actor. Later work included starring as Pip in the 2012 adaptation of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, directed by Mike Newell alongside Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter. Other work has included the romantic film Now Is Good with Dakota Fanning and subsequently The Railway Man with Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.
Irvine was brought up in Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire. His mother, Bridget, is a politician in local government, and his father, Chris Smith, is an engineer. Irvine also has a little brother, Toby Irvine, a child actor, who portrays the young Pip in Great Expectations. Irvine's stage name comes from his grandfather's first name. Irvine applied to the British Army at the age of nineteen, but was rejected after lying about his diabetes on his application.
Irvine started acting the age of sixteen. He played Romeo along with other main roles in plays whilst attending Bedford Modern School in the Harpur area of Bedfordshire, followed by the National Youth Theatre and a one year foundation course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). After completing this course, Irvine spent two years posting CVs through letter boxes in an effort to get acting work. Irvine almost gave up acting for good just before he got his big break in War Horse. In an interview with CBS News while promoting Great Expectations, Irvine described this as the lowest point of his life and he considered taking a different career path "I'd kind of hit rock bottom and really did think this was stupid and I just wasted three or four years of my life," he explained. "My dad wanted me to get a job being a welder. At the company he was at, he was an engineer. I was very very close to doing that."
Irvine started off teaching at an acting school, though this company has since closed.
Irvine played the role of Luke in the television series Life Bites and appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 2010-production of Dunsinane Irvine was quoted in Interview magazine as saying "My friends all took the mick out of me for [Dunsinane], saying, 'You're gonna be the tree' … Indeed, in my first scene, I was waving two branches."
In June 2010, Irvine was cast to play the lead character in the Steven Spielberg film War Horse, released in December 2011. The film was an adaption of Michael Morpurgo's novel, also entitled War Horse. Irvine was selected to play Albert Narracott, the main character, alongside other British actors, including Peter Mullan and Emily Watson—as Albert's father and mother, respectively. During production of the film, Irvine began to be represented by the Creative Artists Agency from July 2010, in addition to agents Hatton McEwan in the United Kingdom.
In April 2011, Variety magazine reported that Irvine had been cast to play the role of Pip in a Mike Newell film production of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens alongside Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham. The film was released at the beginning of December, 2012.
In January 2013, Variety magazine reported that Irvine was one of three candidates for the male lead character Tobias "Four" Eaton, for a film based on the novel Divergent, and in February 2013, Variety stated that Irvine had been cast for the film based on the Novel The World Made Straight.
||This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: Unencyclopaedic; excessive direct quotes. (August 2012)|
In 2010, director Steven Spielberg planned a movie for War Horse, Michael Morpurgo's children's novel, and stated that he had been looking for an unknown actor to lead the role "Albert Naracott" (the main character of War Horse); "I looked at hundreds of actors and newcomers for Albert – mainly newcomers – and nobody had the heart, the spirit or the communication skills that Jeremy had." Spielberg also said: "I am used to working with actors who have no experience. Just look back at the kids from E.T. like Drew Barrymore, and Christian Bale in Empire Of The Sun, who'd never made a movie before. That career could be in store for Jeremy [Irvine]." The audition lasted for two months with Irvine auditioning several times a week.
Irvine received a call from his agent a few weeks later. Irvine described the meeting "I went into this meeting and within about five minutes Steven [Spielberg] and [producer] Kathleen Kennedy — we just sat having a chat."
Irvine also said that "It was all very secretive. I was at home building a go-kart for my little brother and they asked me to come and tape." Irvine was asked to read a section of War Horse script on camera in order to check his West Country accent; the script was actually Albert telling Joey the horse that Steven Spielberg wanted him to play the part. Irvine said "And I start turning over the sides in my agent's office, and it was some fake script, and I'm just reading," Joey Joey! Steven Spielberg wants me to play Albert Narracott in the featured film of War Horse!" I have the whole thing on tape." Irvine was also asked to wait and not tell anyone for a few weeks after getting the role. In an attempt to prepare himself for the role of Albert, Irvine weight-trained extensively and gained approximately 14 pounds (6.4 kg) of muscle. He also underwent two months of intensive horse-riding training.
Irvine spent so much time recreating the Battle of Somme scene in the film that he ended up contracting trench foot. For his work in War Horse, Irvine was nominated for London Film Critics' Choice Award for Young British Performer Of The Year and Empire Award for Best Male Newcomer.
Irvine has had diabetes mellitus type 1 since the age of six and was involved in trials with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to test an artificial pancreas; a form of automatic glucose meter attached to a portable insulin pump. The tests took place at Addenbrooke's Hospital with the University of Cambridge during 2005 and 2007.
Irvine introduced diabetes and his experiences to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Cambridge Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility on 8 February 2012. Irvine was present again with the Duchess in on 31 January 2013 at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's inpatient adolescent ward, after she had become president of the JDRF in mid-2012.
In contrast to the stereotypical Hollywood celebrity, Irvine's off-screen personality has been described as "shy". He is well known for avoiding the media spotlight and trying to protect his privacy. He has been quoted as saying "I realised very quickly that I didn't want to be famous, so I don't go to Mahiki, I just go down the pub with all my mates". When asked about his rising fame, he said "When War Horse came out, I had maybe a month of people stopping me in the street, then it died down. I try to ignore all that and pretend none of it exists. We're only acting. The work my mum does, a lot of it is re-housing homeless people, that's a real job. I play make-believe and dressing up for a living!" In an interview with Daily Mail while promoting War Horse, Irvine described his ideal life as "There's nothing nicer than coming back to your village, where people like my mum's friends take the mick out of me. I prefer that to the craziness of Hollywood."
|2009||Life Bites||Luke||TV series; 12 episodes|
|2011||War Horse||Albert Narracott||Nominated—London Film Critics' Choice Award for Young British Performer of the Year
Nominated—Empire Award for Best Male Newcomer
|2012||Now Is Good||Adam|
|2013||Railway Man, TheThe Railway Man||Young Eric Lomax|
|2014||Night in Old Mexico, AA Night in Old Mexico||Gally||Completed|
|2014||World Made Straight, TheThe World Made Straight||Travis||Post-production|
|2014||, FallenFallen||Daniel Grigori||Pre-production|
- "OBM chosen for Steven Spielberg's new film". News. Bedford Modern School. 24 June 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. "Jeremy Irvine (known as Jeremy Smith at BMS) .. attended Bedford Modern School between 2000"
- "Jeremy Irvine Biography". tribute.ca. Ontario: Contact Tribute Entertainment Media Group. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- Smith, Nigel M. (2011-12-22). Futures. "'War Horse' Breakout Jeremy Irvine". Indiewire. A SnagFilms Co. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- López, Fernando (2011-12-20). Opinión / Cine. "Spielberg, un chico en la juguetería". La Nacion (in Spanish). Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Jeremy Irvine". The Hollywood Reporter. 2 November 2011.
- Bamigboye, Baz (2011-03-11). "The theatrical dark horse who found himself picked for an epic movie". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Great Expectations (2013)". Wild About Movies. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (2011-12-29). "Jeremy Irvine on War Horse, Great Expectations, and Changing His Last Name From 'Smith'". New York (magazine). New York Media LLC. Retrieved 2012-01-02. "My grandfather passed away while I was looking for a stage name, so I took his first name, and that seemed to be a quite nice solution."
- Steele, Francesca (1 December 2012). "Jeremy Irvine: A young workaholic with great expectations". Independent. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- McLean, Craig (29 November 2012). "Jeremy Irvine: Great Expectations film is like Dickens meets Bourne". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "Disney calls for Jeremy". Biggleswade Chronicle. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
- Knowles, Keeley (8 July 2009). "Teen actor's chance of Disney fame". Bedfordshire on Sunday. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
- "Hollywood beckons for former Bedford schoolboy". Bedford Today. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- "Exclusive: War Horse Cast Announced". Empire. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010. "taking the lead (or the reins) is young actor Jeremy Irvine, who has earned his stripes with both the National Youth Theatre and the RSC"
- "Jeremy lands TV job with Disney". Biggleswade Chronicle. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
- "The First Word: Jeremy Irvine’s Going It Alone". The Drama Student Magazine (5). 23 January 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
- Everett, Amy (10 May 2012). "Jeremy Irvine: 'I Had No Work For Two Years!'". Entertainment Wise (Giant Digital). Retrieved 21 August 2012. "I went to drama school straight out of school, then just started putting CVs through letter boxes really, for about two years… and didn't get any work for two years!"
- Wilde, Crystal (2 July 2009). "The daughter of a South Woodford pastor has landed a starring role hit Disney Channel show 'Life Bites'". This is Local London (Newsquest Media Group). Retrieved 5 February 2010. "will star ... in the second series of 'Life Bites.' … along side … Jeremy Irvine and Connor Panayi"
- Walsh, Fergus (5 February 2010). "'The pump has been really liberating'". BBC News. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
- "Cast list". Dunsinane. What's On. Royal Shakespeare Company. Retrieved 5 April 2010. "English army … Jeremy Irvine"
- Cohn, Alison S. (2012-01-05). "Jeremy Irvine" (interview). Interview Magazine (Brant Publications). Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- McNary, Dave (17 June 2010). "Jeremy Irvine is Spielberg's 'War Horse'". Variety. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- Brooks, Xan (9 August 2010). "Steven Spielberg skips Clinton wedding to meet Dartmoor pigs". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 13 August 2010.
- Bamigboye, Baz (18 June 2010). "A belter, but is Glee star Lea Michele ready to be a Funny Girl?". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 19 June 2010. "Irvine has been cast as Albert Narracott"
- "Steven Spielberg announces War Horse cast". BBC News Online. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010. "with theatre actor Jeremy Irvine in the lead role."
- Child, Ben (18 June 2010). "Steven Spielberg unveils cast for War Horse adaptation". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 19 June 2010. "Jeremy Irvine to make his film debut in lead role"
- Montagne, Sophie (18 June 2010). "Cast announced for War Horse film". Horse and Hound. Retrieved 19 June 2010. "Young theatre actor Jeremy Irvine will play the lead role of Albert"
- "Europe's finest join up for 'War Horse'". The Independent (London). 19 June 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010. "Jeremy Irvine … has landed the main part of Albert"
- Fleming, Mike (12 July 2010). "Spielberg's 'War Horse' Man Signs With CAA". Deadline.com. Retrieved 26 July 2010. "Irvine .. has signed with Spielberg's agency, CAA. … CAA will rep[resent] him along with UK-based Hatton, McEwan"
- Sneider, Jeff (2011-04-14). "'War' star Irvine meets 'Expectations'". Variety. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
- White, James (2011-04-15). "Jeremy Irvine Meeting Great Expectations". Empire. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
- Miller, Daniel (2011-10-31). "'War Horse' Star Jeremy Irvine to Play Young Colin Firth in 'The Railway Man'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- Kroll, Justin (8 January 2013). "'Divergent' converging on male lead". Variety. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- McNary, Dave (7 February 2013). "Thesp trio on 'Straight' line". Variety. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- Kitchener, Shaun (2012-01-09). "Steven Spielberg Compares War Horse Jeremy Irvine To Christian Bale". Entertainment Wise (Giant Digital). Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Lampert, Nicole (13 January 2012). "'It feels like a dream!'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 August 2012. "'After each audition I would phone up my agent and we would agree it was great audition experience. That’s all we thought it was – we never even discussed me getting the role.'"
- Galloway, Stephen (2 December 2011). "'War Horse': The Making of Steven Spielberg's WWI Epic". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Galloway, Stephen (30 December 2011). "How to Become a Star in One Easy Lesson: 'War Horse's' Jeremy Irvine". Backstage. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Galloway, Stephen (29 December 2011). "How to Become a Star In 1 Easy Lesson: 'War Horse's' Jeremy Irvine" (Q&A). Hollywood Reporter.
- "War Horse Jeremy Irvine Interview". LSQTV. 2011-08-16. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
- Thompson, Paul (20 December 2011). "Method acting: War Horse star Jeremy Irvine reveals he suffered trench foot during filming of World War One epic". Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Awards for Jeremy Irvine". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "Jeremy Smith" (Video interview). Patient interviews. Diabetes Research Networking; National Health Service. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
- Walsh, Fergus (5 February 2010). "Artificial pancreas hope for children with diabetes" (Television news). BBC News. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
- Walsh, Fergus (5 July 2007). "Artificial pancreas for diabetics". BBC News. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
- "Duchess of Cornwall sees Cambridge hospital diabetes work". BBC News Online. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Addenbrooke's Hospital (9 February 2012). "HRH Duchess of Cornwall visits clinical research facility". Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Southwell, Fae (9 February 2012). "War Horse star meets Duchess of Cornwall" (TV news segment). BBC Look East. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- "Video & Slideshow: Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall visited Cambridge yesterday". Cambridge News. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Nice, Emily (7 February 2013). "Actor joins Duchess to show support for diabetes charity". Cambridge News. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- O'Neill, Natalie (1 February 2013). "Diabetic teenager shares life story with Duchess of Cornwall and Hollywood star Jeremy Irvine". Edgware & Mill Hill Times (Newsquest). Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "Charles and Camilla visit University College Hospital cancer centre". London24. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Bentley, David (10 December 2012). "Great Expectations star Jeremy Irvine reveals 'acting masterclass' with Colin Firth in The Railway Man - but says he doesn't want fame". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- "Rising star Irvine not seeking fame". Yahoo! Movies. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- Bamigboye, Baz (11 March 2011). "The theatrical dark horse who found himself picked for an epic movie". Daily Mail. Retrieved 28 June 2013.