Jack Lowden

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Jack Lowden
Born Jack Andrew Lowden[1]
(1990-06-02) 2 June 1990 (age 26)[2]
Chelmsford, Essex, England[1]
Nationality British
Occupation Actor
Known for Chariots of Fire (2012)
Ghosts (2013–14)
War & Peace (2016)
Home town Oxton, Scotland
Awards Olivier Award (2014)
Ian Charleson Award (2014)

Jack Lowden (born 2 June 1990) is a Scottish stage, television, and film actor. Following a highly successful and award-winning four-year stage career, his first major international onscreen success was in the 2016 miniseries War & Peace, which led to starring roles in feature films.

Lowden starred as Eric Liddell in the 2012 play Chariots of Fire in London. In 2014 he won an Olivier Award and the Ian Charleson Award for his role as Oswald in Richard Eyre's 2013 adaptation of Ibsen's Ghosts. In 2014 Screen Daily named him one of the UK Stars of Tomorrow.

Since 2013 he has been in British television series and feature films, including substantial roles in The Tunnel (2013) and '71 (2014), and leading roles in the BBC miniseries The Passing Bells (2014) and War & Peace (2016).

His current projects include roles as golfing legend Tommy Morris in Tommy's Honour, Tony Benn in the historical film A United Kingdom, a main-cast role in the Holocaust legal-drama film Denial, one of the leads in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, the lead role of Morrissey in the biopic England Is Mine, one of the two leads in the thriller Calibre, and Zak "Zodiac" Bevis in Fighting with My Family.

In late 2016 the UK arts and entertainment magazine The List chose Lowden as one of The Hot 100 2016.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Lowden was born in 1990 in Chelmsford, Essex, England,[1] and grew up in Oxton in the Scottish Borders in Scotland.[4] His younger brother Calum became a ballet dancer, and trained at the English National Ballet School and the Royal Ballet School in London; as of 2016 he is a first soloist at the Royal Swedish Ballet.[5][6]

When he was 10, Lowden's parents enrolled him in the Scottish Youth Theatre in Edinburgh.[7] At age 12, he played John in a Peter Pan pantomime at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh.[7]

He attended Earlston High School, where he performed in the school's annual productions, including as Buddy Holly in Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, and he performed in various concerts as well.[8][9][10] His conviction to become a professional actor came from seeing the play Black Watch on its first run in 2007.[11][12] While in high school, he studied during summer school at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.[9] He also performed regularly at the Galashiels Amateur Operatic Society, where in 2008 he played the lead in The Boy Friend.[13][9]

Lowden received a BA in Acting from the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow in 2011.[9][14][15]



In 2009, at the age of 18, Lowden starred in a popular national television advertisement for Irn-Bru, sending up High School Musical.[16][17] In 2010 he had a small part as the character Nick Fairclough on an episode of the Glasgow-set television series Being Victor.[18][19]

In 2010–11 Lowden was the lead character, Cammy, in the National Theatre of Scotland's revival production of the Olivier Award-winning play Black Watch. The play is an incisive and topical look at the harsh reality of war, and depicts soldiers of the legendary historic Scottish Black Watch regiment serving in Iraq.[4] Lowden and the rest of the cast underwent grueling physical training during the rehearsals period to get into military shape.[11]

The Black Watch production toured to London (Barbican), Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Belfast, and in the U.S. to New York City, Washington, Chicago, Austin, and Chapel Hill.[4][20] UK reviewers deemed Lowden "a clearly hugely promising young actor"[21] "who carries off this amazing start to his career with assurance and maturity".[22] In the U.S., the Washington Post described him as "quietly charismatic" and a "stand-out";[23] this was echoed by the Chicago Sun-Times, which called him "easily charismatic";[24] and the Chicago Tribune noted his "rich and finely detailed work".[25]


Lowden, Vangelis, and co-star James McArdle (r) at the Gielgud Theatre for the stage adaptation of Chariots of Fire (2012)

From 9 May 2012 to 5 January 2013, Lowden starred as Scottish runner and missionary Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire, the stage adaptation of the film of the same name.[26] The Olympic-themed play, created and produced specifically in honour of the 2012 London Summer Olympics, opened at London's Hampstead Theatre and transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in the West End in June 2012.[27][28] Lowden's performance was widely praised, including by Libby Purves in The Times,[29][30] and by Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail.[31]

Onscreen, in 2012 he appeared in the ITV drama Mrs Biggs as Alan Wright, who has an affair with Charmian Biggs and gets her pregnant. In 2013, he played the pivotal role of the lead character's son, Adam, in the television series The Tunnel.[32] The series is a British/French crime-drama co-production, and aired in the UK and in France. He also had a sizable role as a young British soldier in the award-winning 2014 film '71, which takes place in Belfast in 1971 during the Northern Ireland conflict.[33]

In 2014, Lowden received both the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and also the Ian Charleson Award, for his role as Oswald in Richard Eyre's adaptation of Ibsen's Ghosts.[34][35][36] The production ran from September 2013 to March 2014, opening at the Almeida Theatre and then transferring in December to the West End at Trafalgar Studios. A filmed February 2014 performance of the production screened in more than 275 UK and Irish cinemas on 26 June 2014.[37][38][39] The entire filmed performance is viewable online.[39][40]

In June 2014 Screen Daily named Lowden one of the UK Stars of Tomorrow.[32][41]

He performed Orestes in Electra at the Old Vic in the autumn of 2014. The production starred Kristen Scott Thomas as his sister Electra, and Diana Quick played their mother Clytemnestra. Previews began 22 September, the official opening was 1 October, and the run continued in a limited engagement through to 20 December 2014.[42][43]

On television, he starred as one of the two leads in the 2014 World War I BBC drama series The Passing Bells. It is the story of two youths, one from Germany and one from the UK, who enlist as soldiers at the beginning of the war.[44][45]


Lowden portrayed Nikolai Rostov, one of the main characters, in the 2016 BBC miniseries War & Peace.[5][46][47] The 6-part miniseries, which was broadcast around the world and positively reviewed,[48][49] garnered Lowden the most exposure he had had thus far in his career.[5][50]

In film, he played the title role in Tommy's Honour (2016), about legendary Scottish golfing champion Old Tom Morris, played by Peter Mullan, and his complex and bittersweet relationship with his son Tom "Tommy" Morris, Jr.; Lowden was nominated for Best Film Actor at the 2016 BAFTA Scotland Awards for his performance.[51][52][53] And he portrays British politician Tony Benn in A United Kingdom, a 2016 film about Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams Khama. As star Rachel Weisz's attorney, he is in the main cast of Denial (2016), a Holocaust legal-drama film which also stars Andrew Scott.[54]

In March 2016 Lowden was cast as one of the two leading roles of the Christopher Nolan World War II film Dunkirk, due to be released in July 2017.[55][56] And he will portray Morrissey in a biopic of the singer titled England Is Mine, written and directed by Mark Gill.[57][58][59] He co-stars with Martin McCann in a new thriller, Calibre, which began filming in November 2016.[60][61]

In late 2016 the UK arts and entertainment magazine The List featured Lowden as one of The Hot 100 2016.[3]

Theatre credits[edit]

Year Title Role Director Playwright Theatre
2010–11 Black Watch Cammy John Tiffany Gregory Burke National Theatre of Scotland touring UK/U.S.
2012 Chariots of Fire Eric Liddell Edward Hall Mike Bartlett, Colin Welland Hampstead Theatre; Gielgud Theatre
2013–14 Ghosts Oswald Richard Eyre Henrik Ibsen Almeida Theatre; Trafalgar Studios
2014 Electra Orestes Ian Rickson Sophocles Old Vic

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Being Victor Nick Fairclough TV series, 1 episode
2012 Mrs Biggs Alan Wright ITV drama, 2 episodes
2013 The Tunnel Adam Roebuck TV series
2014 '71 Thompson Feature film
Ghosts Oswald Filmed performance of West End play, leading role
The Passing Bells Michael World War I BBC drama series, leading role
2016 War & Peace Nikolai Rostov BBC miniseries, main cast
Tommy's Honour Tom Morris, Jr. Feature film, title role
A United Kingdom Tony Benn Feature film, main cast
Denial James Libson Feature film, main cast
2017 Dunkirk Feature film (post-production), main cast
England Is Mine Morrissey Feature film (post-production), star
Calibre Vaughn Feature film (filming), leading role
2018 Fighting with My Family Zak Bevis Feature film (filming), leading role


Year of
Award Production Role
2013 2014 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Ghosts Oswald
Ian Charleson Award


  1. ^ a b c Birth Registry, Chelmsford Registration District, County of Essex, April–June 1990, Volume 9, p. 2807.
  2. ^ "Born on June 2, 1990". Jack Lowden on Facebook. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b "The Hot 100 2016: 100–91". The List. 2 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Piepenburg, Erik. "Sons of Scotland: A Closer Look at Black Watch" (video). New York Times. 21 April 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Swerling, Gabriella. "Borders brothers on stage and screen tell of inspirations". The Times. 22 January 2016.
  6. ^ Miller, Phil. "The Borders brothers lighting up stage and screen: Jack and Calum Lowden, on their fraternal fame". The Herald. 20 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b "It's Fizzy, It's Ginger, It's a Phenomenal Show". The Southern Reporter. 5 May 2009.
  8. ^ Brown, Alexa. "It's Phenomenal!". Border Telegraph. 6 May 2009.
  9. ^ a b c d "Week Ended 7th March 2008: Jack's Success". Earlston High School News Archive 2008.
  10. ^ "Week Ended 26th October 2007: Buddy". Earlston High School News Archive 2006/07.
  11. ^ a b "Black Watch: 'One of the Two Great Scottish plays of the Past 500 Years' Returns, But the All-New Cast Are Determined Not to Coast on That Reputation". The Scotsman. 15 September 2010.
  12. ^ English, Paul. "Cast of Scottish Play Black Watch Set for their Toughest Challenge Yet... Hitting the Stage in Belfast". Daily Record. 16 September 2010.
  13. ^ Frater, Jill. "A Real Foot-Tapping, Hand-Clapping Show". Border Telegraph. 5 Mar 2008.
  14. ^ Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama – Acting Showcase: Class of 2011. Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  15. ^ "High School Bru-sical Debut Made". BBC News. 6 May 2009.
  16. ^ Irn-Bru Musical advert
  17. ^ Donohue, Graeme. "Irn School Musical". The Sun. 30 April 2009.
  18. ^ Being Victor – Season 1: Episode 3 of 6 (aired 19 October 2010). TVpixie.com. 21 October 2010.
  19. ^ Being Victor – Web episode 10 (TV episode 3). True Tube. 2010.
  20. ^ "All New Cast for Black Watch set to tour UK, U.S.". National Theatre of Scotland. 7 September 2010.
  21. ^ Scott, Robert Dawson. "Black Watch Returns with New National Theatre of Scotland Cast". STV. 20 September 2010.
  22. ^ Anderson, Alison. "Review of Black Watch by National Theatre of Scotland". Perthshire Advertiser. 24 September 2010.
  23. ^ Marks, Peter. "Black Watch Review: Scottish Battalion's Iraq Story Is Authentic, Astonishing". Washington Post. 30 January 2011.
  24. ^ Weiss, Heidi. "Superb Black Watch Is Riveting 'Theater of War'". Chicago Sun-Times. 31 March 2011.
  25. ^ Jones, Chris. "Battles Blaze at Armory: National Theatre of Scotland Tells the Story of the Black Watch". Chicago Tribune. 31 March 2011.
  26. ^ "Jack Fired Up as he Follows in Flying Footsteps of Olympics Legend Liddell". The Southern Reporter. 21 May 2012.
  27. ^ Girvan, Andrew. "Black Watch's Lowden plays Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire". What's On Stage. 9 March 2012.
  28. ^ "Chariots of Fire to Transfer to West End from June – Starring Jack Lowden as Eric Liddell". BroadwayWorld.com. 18 April 2012.
  29. ^ Purves, Libby. "Chariots of Fire at the Hampstead Theatre, NW3". The Times. 24 May 2012.
  30. ^ "4 Stars from The Times for Chariots of Fire". HampsteadTheatre.com. 24 May 2012. (Excerpt of The Times review by Libby Purves, 24 May 2012)
  31. ^ Letts, Quentin. "Chariots of Fire: Gold Medals All Round for this Adaptation of the Celebrated Film". Daily Mail. 22 May 2012.
  32. ^ a b Halligan, Fionnuala. "Jack Lowden, UK Stars of Tomorrow 2014". Screen Daily. 5 June 2014.
  33. ^ "Jack O’Connell, Jack Lowden and Yann Demange on '71". BFI. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  34. ^ "Oxton actor says Olivier Award win is ‘surreal’". The Southern Reporter. 17 April 2014.
  35. ^ Wise, Louis. "Haunting brilliance". Sunday Times. 4 May 2014.
  36. ^ "Jack Lowden Wins Ian Charleson Award". WestEndTheatre.com. 27 April 2014.
  37. ^ West End Theatre Series – Ghosts. CinemaLive.com. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  38. ^ Billington, Michael. "Let's stop pretending that theatre can't be captured on screen". The Guardian. 18 June 2014.
  39. ^ a b "Richard Eyre's GHOSTS, Starring Lesley Manville and Jack Lowden, Out Online Sept 18". Broadway World. 19 August 2014.
  40. ^ "Ghosts, by Henrik Ibsen, adapted and directed by Richard Eyre". DigitalTheatre.com. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  41. ^ "Screen unveils 2014 UK Stars of Tomorrow". Screen Daily. 5 June 2014.
  42. ^ Millward, Tom. "The Old Vic announces further casting for Electra". London Theatre Guide. 24 June 2014.
  43. ^ Stanbury, Kate. "Jack Lowden Joins Old Vic's Electra". Official London Theatre. 24 June 2014.
  44. ^ "Rising talent to lead BBC One's First World War drama Passing Bells". BBC. 8 May 2014. 
  45. ^ Crisp, Lyndall. "Grand Designs showcases unusual homes in rural Australia: Pay-TV Quick Bites". The Australian. 30 May 30, 2015.
  46. ^ "The new generation of War & Peace: Stellar cast revives Tolstoy's masterpiece". 5050 London. 3 January 2016.
  47. ^ Lockyer, Daphne. "'Hollywood beauty isn't everything': War and Peace star Aisling Loftus reveals why she's finally ready to take on Tinseltown". Daily Mail. 26 December 2015.
  48. ^ Middleton, Richard. "Russia takes BBCWW's War and Peace". C21 Media. 8 February 2016.
  49. ^ War & Peace on Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  50. ^
  51. ^ British Academy Scotland Awards: Nominees in 2016. 2016 BAFTA Scotland. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  52. ^ Tommy's Honour at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  53. ^ Wiseman, Andreas. "Peter Mullan, Jack Lowden to star in golf drama Tommy's Honour". Screen Daily. 17 July 2015.
  54. ^ Rosser, Michael. "Andrew Scott joins Rachel Weisz in Denial as shoot begins". Screen Daily. 9 December 2015.
  55. ^ Jaafar, Ali. "Jack Lowden & Aneurin Barnard In Talks For Major Roles In Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk". Deadline. 11 March 2016.
  56. ^ Kroll, Justin. "Christopher Nolan to Direct Action Thriller Dunkirk for Warner Bros.". Variety. 28 December 2015.
  57. ^ http://www.vulture.com/2017/03/unauthorized-morrissey-biopic-now-titled-england-is-mine.html
  58. ^ Bamigboye, Baz. "Jack's the lad to play Morrissey in new film called Steven". Daily Mail. 17 March 2016.
  59. ^ Ojomu, Nola. "This Charming Man! War & Peace star Jack Lowden transforms into a young Morrissey as he films new biopic Steven". Daily Mail. 8 May 2016.
  60. ^ Grater, Tom. "Beta Cinema picks up Calibre". Screen Daily. 11 February 2016.
  61. ^ Miller, Phil. "New high-Calibre drama begins shoot in Scotland". The Herald. 11 November 2016.

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