Irvine in August 2011.
|Born||Jeremy William Fredric Smith
18 June 1990
Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire, England
In late 2011, Irvine starred as the leading character in the epic war film War Horse, which was nominated for six Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and five BAFTAs. The film became a box office success and turned Irvine into an overnight film star. He also earned widespread critical acclaim for his role in the independent film Now Is Good, leading critics to list him among Hollywood's fastest-rising stars. He received critical praise by earning a reputation as a method actor after he went for two months without food and performed his own torture scene stunts in the film adaptation of The Railway Man.
In 2012, Irvine portrayed Pip in the adaptation of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations. In 2014, he starred in A Night in Old Mexico and the film adaptation of the novel The World Made Straight. He starred in the 2015 film The Woman in Black: Angel of Death and will play Percy Bysshe Shelley in the upcoming biopic Mary Shelley's Monster.
Irvine was born and raised as the first of three boys, in Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire. His mother, Bridget, is a politician in local government, and his father, Chris Smith, is an engineer. Irvine also has two younger brothers, Lawrence, and Toby Irvine, a child actor who portrays the young Pip in Great Expectations. Irvine's stage name comes from his grandfather's first name. He applied to the British Army at the age of 19, but was rejected after lying about his type 1 diabetes on his application. He started acting at the age of 16. He played Romeo along with other main roles in plays whilst attending Bedford Modern School in Harpur, Bedfordshire, followed by a run with the National Youth Theatre.
After completing a one-year foundation course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Irvine spent two years posting his CV through letterboxes in an effort to get acting work. He 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, he described this as the lowest point of his life and revealed that 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. 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 taught at an acting school that has since closed. He played Luke in the television series Life Bites and appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2010 production of Dunsinane. He was quoted in Interview Magazine, 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, he was cast in the lead role of the 2011 Steven Spielberg film War Horse. The film was an adaption of Michael Morpurgo's novel, also entitled War Horse. Spielberg revealed that he had been looking for an unknown actor for War Horse, stating: "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." The audition lasted for two months with Irvine auditioning several times a week.
Irvine was asked to read a section of the War Horse script on camera in order to check his West Country accent. In an attempt to prepare himself for the role of Albert, Irvine took up weight training and gained approximately 14 pounds (6.4 kg) of muscle. He also underwent two months of intensive horse riding. He 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, he was nominated for the London Film Critics' Choice Award for Young British Performer Of The Year and Empire Award for Best Male Newcomer.
In April 2011, Variety reported that Irvine had been cast as Pip in a 2012 film adaptation of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. In October 2011, The Hollywood Reporter announced that he was set to play the young Eric Lomax in the film production of The Railway Man. In January 2013, Variety reported that he was one of three candidates for the lead role in a film based on the novel Divergent, but lost out on the role to Theo James. In February 2013, Variety stated that he had been cast in a film based on the novel The World Made Straight. Also in 2013, he was cast as Daniel Grigori in the film Fallen, based on the young adult series of the same name.
On 12 August 2014, Deadline reported that Irvine had been cast as Percy Bysshe Shelley in the upcoming biopic Mary Shelley's Monster. The film has been described as "a story of youth that transcends time, a gothic romance, a love triangle that involves a dark passenger".
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 his experiences with diabetes to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Cambridge Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility on 8 February 2012. He was again present with the Duchess 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 2012.
Irvine avoids the spotlight and tries to maintain privacy, once saying that "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 the Daily Mail to promote War Horse, he described his ideal life: "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." He is also well known for turning down big teen franchise films and has been described as Hollywood's most wanted actor.
|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||The Railway Man||Young Eric Lomax|
|2014||A Night in Old Mexico||Gally|
|2014||Beyond the Reach||Ben|
|2015||The Woman in Black: Angel of Death||Harry Burnstow|
|2015||The World Made Straight||Travis Shelton|
|2015||Mary Shelley's Monster||Percy Bysshe Shelley|
|2009||Life Bites||Luke||12 episodes|
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Jeremy Irvine (known as Jeremy Smith at BMS) .. attended Bedford Modern School between 2000
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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.
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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
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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!
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will star ... in the second series of 'Life Bites.' … along side … Jeremy Irvine and Connor Panayi
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English army … Jeremy Irvine
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Irvine has been cast as Albert Narracott
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with theatre actor Jeremy Irvine in the lead role.
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Jeremy Irvine to make his film debut in lead role
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Young theatre actor Jeremy Irvine will play the lead role of Albert
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Jeremy Irvine … has landed the main part of Albert
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'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.'
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