Benedict John Greenwood
31 July 1969
Chaplin was born on 31 July 1969 in Windsor, in the county of Berkshire, England, the son of Cynthia (née Chaplin), a teacher, and Peter Greenwood CBE, a civil engineer. He has one sister, Rachel, and one brother, Justin.
Chaplin became interested in acting as a teenager, after acting in a theatrical production in his school years at the Princess Margaret Royal Free School. At the age of seventeen, he enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He pursued his early acting career between odd jobs as an office worker, and for a while was employed as a statistician with the London Transport Authority.
Taking his stage name from his mother's maiden name, Chaplin began his professional career performing in BBC television dramas in bit parts, and occasional cinema films. In 1992, he appeared in his first major role, starring alongside James Purefoy and Jason Flemyng in Bye Bye Baby for Channel Four. James Ivory and Ismail Merchant cast him as a servant in The Remains of the Day; also in 1992, he appeared in Between the Lines (series 1, episode 1), and as the socially inept Con Wainwright in Feast of July (1995). Chaplin received positive reviews as Tom Wingfield in Sam Mendes' stage production of The Glass Menagerie (1995) in London, and played the lead in the first series of the British sitcom Game On (BBC Two, 1995).
In the United States, he was cast by director Michael Lehmann as a photographer caught between two women (Uma Thurman and Janeane Garofalo) in The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996), a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. He next played fortune-hunting Morris Townsend in a retelling of Washington Square (1997), co-starring Jennifer Jason Leigh. The film received positive reviews, but was a box office failure. Chaplin next played Private Bell in Terrence Malick's remake of The Thin Red Line (1998). Meanwhile, after numerous delays, Lost Souls (2000), which was filmed in 1998, was finally released.
He appeared as a low-level bank clerk who purchases a Russian mail-order bride (Nicole Kidman) in Birthday Girl (2001). He next played opposite Sandra Bullock as her relatively inexperienced partner in an investigation into a series of killings in Murder by Numbers (2002). After co-starring opposite Michelle Yeoh in the Taiwan-made action film The Touch (2002), Chaplin played George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham in the romantic drama, Stage Beauty (2004), set in the world of British theatre in the 1660s. Chaplin next had a supporting role in Chromophobia (2005), a dark thriller about a bourgeois family coming apart at the seams, also starring Penélope Cruz, Ralph Fiennes and Ian Holm. He had a small role in The New World (2005), Terrence Malick's film about the affair between Pocahontas (Q'Orianka Kilcher) and Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell). In the comedic drama Two Weeks (2006), Chaplin was one of four siblings who return home to say goodbye to their ailing mother (Sally Field). Following a supporting role in the children's fantasy The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (2007), Chaplin portrayed prominent English stage and film actor George Coulouris in Me and Orson Welles (2009), directed by indie filmmaker Richard Linklater.
He received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Performer in The Glass Menagerie, and a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in The Retreat from Moscow. Recent theatre appearances include This Is How It Goes at the Donmar Warehouse in 2005, The Reporter at the National Theatre in 2007, and Farewell to the Theatre at the Hampstead Theatre in 2012. He appeared in Dates on Channel 4 in 2013, and recent film roles include the role of Cinderella's father in Cinderella (2015). He starred in Apple Tree Yard with Emily Watson in 2017.
In 2017, he appeared in the premiere production of Consent at the Royal National Theatre, London. Chaplin starred in the Joe Penhall play Mood Music at The Old Vic Theatre. He starred in The Children Act (2017), adapted from the Ian McEwan novel of the same name. He starred in the BBC series Press with Charlotte Riley, as unethical tabloid editor Duncan Allen, a role which won him a number of positive reviews.
|1993||The Remains of the Day||Charlie, Head Footman|
|1995||Feast of July||Con Wainwright|
|1996||The Truth About Cats & Dogs||Brian|
|1997||Washington Square||Morris Townsend|
|1998||The Thin Red Line||Private Bell|
|2000||Lost Souls||Peter Kelson|
|2002||Murder by Numbers||Sam Kennedy|
|2004||Stage Beauty||George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham|
|2005||The New World||Robinson|
|2006||Two Weeks||Keith Bergman|
|2007||The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep||Lewis Mowbray|
|2008||Me and Orson Welles||George Coulouris|
|2009||Dorian Gray||Basil Hallward|
|2010||London Boulevard||Billy Norton|
|2010||Ways to Live Forever||Daniel MacQueen|
|2015||Little Boy||Ben Eagle|
|2016||The Legend of Tarzan||Captain Moulle|
|2017||The Children Act||Kevin Henry|
|1990||Casualty||Gareth Orell||Episode: "A Reasonable Man"|
|1991||Soldier Soldier||Fusilier Jago||2 episodes|
|1992||A Fatal Inversion||Matthew||Episode: "Episode One"|
|1992||Between the Lines||Andy Spence||Episode: "Private Enterprise"|
|1992||Performance||Cyril Carter||Episode: "After the Dance"|
|1993||The Return of the Borrowers||Ditchley||4 episodes|
|1994||Class Act||Carlos||Episode: "Episode 4"|
|1995||Game On||Matthew||6 episodes|
|1995||Resort to Murder||Joshua Penny||Miniseries|
|2011–2012||Mad Dogs (British)||Alvo||5 episodes|
|2012||World Without End||Sir Thomas Langley||Miniseries|
|2013||The Wipers Times||Captain Frederick John Roberts||Television film|
|2013||Doll & Em||Ben||Episode: "Six"|
|2014||The Secrets||Philip||Episode: "The Lie"|
|2015||The Book of Negroes||Captain John Clarkson||Miniseries|
|2015–2016||Mad Dogs (American)||Joel||10 episodes|
|2017||Apple Tree Yard||Mr X / Mark Costley||4 episodes|
|2017||Urban Myths||Cary Grant||Episode: "Cary Grant and Timothy Leary"|
|2020||The Letter for the King||Black Knight||2 episodes|
|2021||The Nevers||Detective Frank Mundi||Main cast|
- "Today in History". San Diego Union. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at ancestry.com
- "Ben Chaplin Biography (1970–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- Wallace, Debra L (3 March 2002). "Question Time: Interview – Ben Chaplin: Britain's sexiest export". Sunday Mirror.
- Britain gets back a national asset
- "The truth about Ben: Unleashing charm on and off screen, Chaplin ponders big-time film fame". Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- http://www.starpulse.com/Actors/Chaplin,_Ben/Biography/ Archived 21 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine
- "Consent". National Theatre. Retrieved 8 April 2017.