Freeman as Dr John Watson during filming of Sherlock in 2010
8 September 1971 |
Aldershot, Hampshire, England
|Partner(s)||Amanda Abbington (2000–present)|
Martin John Christopher Freeman (born 8 September 1971) is an English actor. He is perhaps best known for portraying Tim Canterbury in The Office, Dr. John Watson in Sherlock, Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy, and Lester Nygaard in Fargo.
His other notable film roles include Love Actually (2003), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Nativity! (2009), and the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, most prominently in The World's End (2013). Among other accolades, he has won a BAFTA Award (with two further nominations), and received Emmy- and Saturn Award nominations.
Freeman was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, the youngest of five children. His parents, Philomena (née Norris) and Geoffrey Freeman, a naval officer, separated when Freeman was a child. When Freeman was 10 years old, his father died of a heart attack. Freeman attended the Salesian School, Chertsey before attending Brooklands College for media studies. His older brother Tim became a musician with the group Frazier Chorus.
Freeman was raised as a Roman Catholic. Although his family was not strict in their religious practices, his religion had a profound influence on him. As a child, he was asthmatic, and had to undergo a hip operation for what he has described as a "dodgy leg".
Freeman joined a youth theatre group at 15, but it was not until he was 17 that his confidence in his acting led to the decision to pursue it as a career. He went on to attend the Central School of Speech and Drama. Freeman has appeared in at least 18 TV shows, 14 theatre productions, and several radio productions. He is notable for his role as Tim Canterbury in The Office. He appeared in the sitcom Hardware. He also appeared in several films, including Ali G Indahouse (2002) and Love Actually (2003).
He began to move into more serious dramatic roles on television with his appearance as Lord Shaftesbury in the 2003 BBC historical drama Charles II: The Power and The Passion. He can also be seen making a brief appearance in the first episode of the second series of This Life. Freeman also starred in the BBC television series The Robinsons and had a cameo in episode 1 of Black Books. In 2007, he appeared in The All Together written and directed by Gavin Claxton, as well as the Bill Kenwright theatre production of The Last Laugh. He is featured in the video for Faith No More's cover of "I Started a Joke".
He currently plays Dr. John Watson in Sherlock, the BBC contemporary adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories. He starred alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, who also went on to perform in The Hobbit films with Freeman. The first episode of Sherlock, "A Study in Pink", was broadcast on 25 July 2010 to critical acclaim. For his performance in the role he won the BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor, 2011 and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
He plays Bilbo Baggins, the main character, in the three-part Peter Jackson film series The Hobbit. Accolades that his performance in the first part, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, garnered him include Best Hero at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards and Best Actor at the 18th Empire Awards.
Freeman appeared in all three of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, commencing with a brief non-speaking role in Shaun of the Dead as Yvonne's boyfriend, Declan, followed by a brief cameo in Hot Fuzz as a police officer. He is a main cast member in the 2013 finale to the trilogy, The World's End.
On 5 October 2013, he was presented with a fellowship bearing his name by the members of University College Dublin's Literary & Historical Society.
Freeman lives in Hertfordshire with his partner, actress Amanda Abbington, whom he met on the set of Channel 4's Men Only in 2000. The couple have two children together: Joe (born 2006) and Grace (born 2008). They have appeared in other productions together, including Sherlock, Swinging with the Finkels, The Debt, The Robinsons, and The All Together.
In an edition of Who Do You Think You Are? aired on 19 August 2009, Freeman discovered that his grandfather, Leonard Freeman, was a medic who was killed a couple of days before the Dunkirk evacuation at the beginning of World War II. Leonard's father, Richard, was born blind and had been a piano tuner and organist at St Andrew's Church, West Tarring and later a music teacher in Kingston upon Hull.
Freeman is a vegetarian. He has struggled with religion, stating that "my relationship with my belief has never been easy." Despite these struggles, he has said his Catholic faith remains intact. In 2011, Freeman took part in a charity cricket match to raise money for victims of the Christchurch earthquake.
|1998||I Just Want to Kiss You||Frank||Short film|
|2000||The Low Down||Solomon|
|2001||Round About Five||The Man|
|2001||Men Only||Jamie||Television film|
|2002||Ali G Indahouse||Ricky C|
|2003||The Debt||Terry Ross||Television film|
|2003||Margery and Gladys||D.S. Stringer||Television film|
|2004||Blake's Junction 7||Vila||Short film|
|2004||Shaun of the Dead||Declan||Cameo|
|2005||The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy||Arthur Dent|
|2006||Breaking and Entering||Sandy|
|2007||The Good Night||Gary Shaller|
|2007||Hot Fuzz||Met. Sergeant|
|2007||Lonely Hearts||The Pig||Short film|
|2007||The All Together||Chris Ashworth|
|2007||The Old Curiosity Shop||Mr. Codlin||Television film|
|2009||Micro Men||Chris Curry||Television film|
|2009||Swinging with the Finkels||Alvin Finkel|
|2010||The Girl is Mime||Clive Buckle||Short film|
|2011||What's Your Number?||Simon|
|2012||The Pirates! Band of Misfits||The Pirate with a Scarf||Voice|
|2012||The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey||Bilbo Baggins|
|2013||The World's End||Oliver Chamberlain|
|2013||The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug||Bilbo Baggins|
|2013||The Voorman Problem||Dr. Williams||Short film|
|2014||The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies||Bilbo Baggins|
|1997||The Bill||Craig Parnell||Episode: "Mantrap"|
|1997||This Life||Stuart||Episode: "Last Tango in Southwark"|
|1998||Casualty||Ricky Beck||Episode: "She Loved the Rain"|
|1998||Picking up the Pieces||Brendan||Episode: "1.7"|
|1999||Exhaust||The Car Owner|
|2000||Bruiser||Various Characters||6 episodes|
|2000||Lock, Stock...||Jaap||2 episodes|
|2000||Black Books||Doctor||Episode: "Cooking the Books"|
|2001||World of Pub||Various Characters||5 episodes|
|2001–2003||The Office||Tim Canterbury||14 episodes|
|2002||Helen West||DC Stone||3 episodes|
|2002||Linda Green||Matt||Episode: "Easy Come, Easy Go"|
|2003||Charles II: The Power and The Passion||Lord Shaftesbury||Miniseries|
|2005||The Robinsons||Ed Robinson||6 episodes|
|2007||Comedy Showcase||Greg Wilson||Episode: "Other People"|
|2008||When Were We Funniest?||Himself||4 episodes|
|2009||Boy Meets Girl||Danny Reed||Miniseries|
|2010–present||Sherlock||Dr. John Watson||9 episodes|
|2014||Fargo||Lester Nygaard||10 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|2002||The Office||British Comedy Awards||Best Comedy Actor||Nominated|
|2004||The Office (for "The Office Christmas Specials")||BAFTAs||Best Comedy Performance||Nominated|
|British Comedy Awards||Best TV Comedy Actor||Nominated|
|Love Actually||Phoenix Film Critics Society||Best Cast||Nominated|
|Love Actually||Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award||Best Ensemble Cast||Won|
|Love Actually||Critics' Choice Movie Awards||Best Acting Ensemble||Nominated|
|Hardware||Rose d'Or||Best Male Comedy Performance||Won|
|2011||Sherlock||BAFTAs||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|Sherlock (for "A Scandal in Belgravia")||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie||Nominated|
|Gold Derby TV Awards||TV Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actor||Won|
|Sherlock||Crime Thriller Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|PAAFTJ Awards||Best Cast in a Miniseries or TV Movie||Won|
|PAAFTJ Awards||Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie||Nominated|
|Tumblr TV Awards||Hottest Male Character in a TV Show||Nominated|
|Tumblr TV Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Won|
|Tumblr TV Awards||Best Male Character in a TV Series||Nominated|
|Tumblr TV Awards||Best Cast in a TV Show||Won|
|The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey||Total Film Hotlist Awards||Hottest Actor||Nominated|
|2013||The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey||Empire Awards||Best Actor||Won|
|Saturn Award||Best Actor||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Scared-as-S**t Performance||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Hero||Won|
|SFX Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|Shorts Awards||Visionary Actor||Won|
|New Zealand Movie Awards||Hero of the Year||Nominated|
|Constellation Awards||Best Male Performance In A 2012 Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, Or Mini-Series||Nominated|
|Tumblr Movie Awards||Best Leading Actor||Nominated|
|Tumblr Movie Awards||Best Ship||Nominated|
|Stella Awards||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Won|
|The World's End||Alternative End of Year Film Awards||Best Ensemble Cast||Won|
|2014||The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug||Empire Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Hero||Nominated|
|Constellation Awards||Best Male Performance In A 2013 Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, Or Mini-Series||Pending|
|Comic Vine Movie Awards||Best Hero||Nominated|
|YouReviewers Awards||Best Hero||Nominated|
|Stella Awards||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Won|
|Fargo||Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series||Nominated|
|Sherlock||Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series||Nominated|
|Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie||Pending|
- "Martin Freeman (April 2012)". Slow Boat Records. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
- Larman, Alexander. "Freeman, Martin (b. 1971)". BFI Screenonline. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- Braun, J.W. (2010). The Lord of the Films. ECW Press.
- "Martin Freeman". Who Do You Think You Are?. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "Interview: Martin Freeman, Actor". The Scotsman. 27 November 2009.
- "Martin Freeman: No ordinary Bilbo Baggins". The Independent. 30 November 2012.
- Hardy, Rebecca (20 November 2009). "'People care more about X Factor than homelessness:'The Office star Martin Freeman on the things that tick him off". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 19 October 2010.
- Paton, Maureen (17 July 2010). "In a taxi with...Martin Freeman". Daily Mail (London).
- Boy Meets Girl Interview: Martin Freeman profile, Tv.sky.com (30 April 2009); retrieved 27 August 2011.
- "Martin Freeman to play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit". BBC News. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
- Child, Ben (22 October 2010). "Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, a match made in Hobbit heaven". Guardian (London). Retrieved 24 October 2010.
- Calautti, Katie (April 15, 2013). "Bilbo Baggins Beats Snow White For Best Hero At MTV Movie Awards". MTV Movie Awards.
- Szalai, Georg (25 March 2013). Sam Mendes Win Empire Awards in U.K. for 'Skyfall', The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Martin Freeman interview: 'I had no interest in Fargo just being a TV version of the film'". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- Star of The Hobbit Martin Freeman to play Richard III accessed 22 April 2014
- Power, Vicki."How Tim from The Office found real love: Amanda Abbington on life with Martin Freeman". Daily Mail. 17 July 2011.
- McLean, Craig (26 May 2013). "Amanda Abbington: Sherlock's Martin and Benedict have a fantastic chemistry". Radio Times. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- "Lily Allen and Friends: Martin Freeman". 15 August 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Hardy, Rebecca (20 November 2009). "'People care more about X Factor than homelessness:' The Office star Martin Freeman on the things that tick him off". Daily Mail.
- "Martin Freeman: No ordinary Bilbo Baggins". The Independent. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
- "The 48 Hour Film Project: Behind the Scenes". Pixiq. February 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
- "Best Actor – Martin Freeman". Empire. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- "Best Scared-As-S**t Performance". MTV Movie Awards. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Martin Freeman.|
- Martin Freeman at the Internet Movie Database
- Martin Freeman at the British Film Institute's Screenonline
- Martin Freeman Massive, online fan community
- Martin Freeman BBC Radio Gloucestershire interview (feb 2007)
- Boy Meets Girl Interview