Brit Pack (actors)

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"Brit Pack" is a term that has been used to refer to specific groups of young British actors who have achieved success in Hollywood, as well as more generally to the entire group of such actors. According to one article, "every decade brings a new Brit Pack, another disparate group of actors backed by the media to achieve simultaneous Hollywood stardom."[1] However, the term is most closely associated with the crop of British actors which emerged in the late 1980s, because of the prominence of the American Brat Pack actors at that time.

1980s Brit Pack[edit]

The journalist Elissa Van Poznak interviewed Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Paul McGann, Bruce Payne, Spencer Leigh, and Colin Firth for The Face magazine, in January 1987. The magazine had also intended to interview Daniel Day-Lewis but he was busy filming The Unbearable Lightness of Being.[2] The title of the interview was "The Brit Pack". The moniker stuck and has been referenced in subsequent articles concerning the actors.[1][3] An issue of the 1988 magazine Film Comment stated that 'Rupert Everett, Gary Oldman, Miranda Richardson, and Daniel Day-Lewis' were the leaders of the pack.[4]

The New Brit Pack[edit]

On July 1993, an article for The Face was titled The New Brit Pack, which included, Jaye Davidson, Naveen Andrews, Jude Law, David Thewlis, Craig Kelly, Samuel West and Rufus Sewell. [5]

Differences from other "packs"[edit]

Unlike the Brat Pack or other similarly defined groups of American actors, "Brit Pack" actors have rarely associated with each other socially or in film. As a 1988 article put it, the Brit Pack "aren't seen together at parties or in restaurants or in gossip columns. And since British cinema has had no equivalent to Hollywood's Eighties conveyor-belt youth movies – Weird Science, About Last Night..., St. Elmo's Fire, et al. – they don't keep re-meeting each other on-screen either".[4] Nonetheless, Bruce Payne and Tim Roth had both appeared in the Tales Out of School television series, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth both appeared in Meantime and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and Bruce Payne and Spencer Leigh both appeared in Smart Money.

Later uses of the term[edit]

Currently, the phrase 'Brit Pack' is often used to describe any disparate group of young British actors and actresses of rising prominence.[6] No group has emerged which is as readily identifiable as the group from the 1980s.

In 2014, it has been used to describe a new wave of actors born in the late 1970s and early 1980s who are garnering success in Hollywood. These actors include Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Henry Cavill, James McAvoy, Tom Hardy, Eddie Redmayne and Rupert Friend.[7][8]


The Brit Pack[edit]

Name Born Years active
Daniel Day-Lewis (1957-04-29) 29 April 1957 (age 59) 1970–present
Bruce Payne (1958-11-22) 22 November 1958 (age 58) 1982–present
Gary Oldman (1958-03-21) 21 March 1958 (age 59) 1979–present
Rupert Everett (1959-05-29) 29 May 1959 (age 57) 1982–present
Colin Firth (1960-09-10) 10 September 1960 (age 56) 1983–present
Paul McGann (1959-11-14) 14 November 1959 (age 57) 1986–present
Tim Roth (1961-05-14) 14 May 1961 (age 55) 1982–present
Spencer Leigh 1963 (age 53–54)[9] 1983–1992

The New Brit Pack[edit]

Name Born Years active
Jaye Davidson (1968-03-21) 21 March 1968 (age 49) 1992–present
Naveen Andrews (1969-01-17) 17 January 1969 (age 48) 1991–present
Jude Law (1972-12-29) 29 December 1972 (age 44) 1987–present
David Thewlis (1963-03-20) 20 March 1963 (age 54) 1985–present
Craig Kelly (1970-10-31) 31 October 1970 (age 46) 1992–present
Samuel West (1966-06-19) 19 June 1966 (age 50) 1975–present
Rufus Sewell (1967-10-29) 29 October 1967 (age 49) 1993–present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b TalkTalk web studio. "Tim Roth - Biography". 
  2. ^ " - is for Sale (Agwlbp)". 
  3. ^ "Tim Roth: Press". 
  4. ^ a b BRIT PACK: A CLUTCH OF ACTORS, Harlan Kennedy, American Cinema Papers 1988
  5. ^ The Face Magazine Editors (July 10, 1993). "The Face Magazine - Jaye Davidson Cover". The Face. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Britpack - Our new generation of movie stars takes Tinseltown". The Independent. London. 6 June 2008. 
  7. ^ "Best of British". ShortList Magazine. 
  8. ^ Rebecca Cope. "Hottest British Actors - 10 Best British Actors". Harper's BAZAAR. 
  9. ^ "Publicity release". One Summer fansite. Retrieved 30 December 2011.