Johnny Flynn

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Johnny Flynn
Born (1983-03-14) 14 March 1983 (age 39)
Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Actor
  • musician
  • singer-songwriter
Years active2005–present
Beatrice Minns
(m. 2011)

John Patrick Vivian Flynn (born 14 March 1983) is a British actor and singer-songwriter. He has starred as Dylan Witter in the Channel 4 and Netflix television sitcom Lovesick (previously known as Scrotal Recall), and portrayed David Bowie in the film Stardust.[1][2]

Flynn is the lead singer and songwriter of the band Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit. He has released five studio albums, in addition to numerous soundtracks and live albums.

Early life and education[edit]

Flynn was born on 14 March 1983 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the son of Eric Flynn, a British actor and singer, and Caroline Forbes.[3] From his father's first marriage he has two older half-brothers, actors Jerome Flynn and Daniel Flynn, and an older half-sister, Kerry Flynn, and from his father's second marriage, a younger sister, Lillie Flynn, who sings with the Sussex Wit.[4] At the age of two, he moved with his family to the UK.[3]

Flynn won a music scholarship to Pilgrims School, an independent school in the city of Winchester in Hampshire, where he sang in the chapel choir and was required, due to his scholarship, to learn two instruments: the violin and trumpet.[5] Later, he would teach himself guitar and win a second music scholarship to Bedales School, an independent school in the village of Steep, near the market town of Petersfield, also in Hampshire,[5] before moving on to Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art to study acting.

Flynn has scars on his face from an attack by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier when he was a child in South Africa.[6]


Film and television[edit]

In 2005, Flynn was one of Screen International's Stars of Tomorrow.

Flynn had parts in the television series Murder in Suburbia, Holby City and Kingdom. He rose to fame in his starring role of Dolf Vega in the film Crusade in Jeans (2006).

In 2011, Flynn's music was used in the film A Bag of Hammers. In 2013, Flynn was cast in Song One, a film starring Anne Hathaway. Flynn plays a musician by the name of James Forester, who becomes involved with Hathaway's character, following an accident involving her brother.[7]

In 2014, Flynn played the lead role of Dylan in the rom-com television series Scrotal Recall which aired on Channel 4. After finding success on Netflix, the streaming network went on to commission a second series of 8 episodes, without Channel 4's involvement, which was made available globally on the streaming network in November 2016 under the new name Lovesick.[8][9] The show's third series arrived on Netflix on 1 January 2018.

In 2015, he was one of the stars of the Comedy Central sitcom Brotherhood. In it, he played one of two adult brothers who have to raise their younger brother when their mother unexpectedly dies. It was billed as the British version of the US sitcom Two and a Half Men.[10]

In 2017, he played the younger Albert Einstein in National Geographic's show Genius. Also in 2017, he played Pascal Renouf, a secretive outsider suspected of a series of brutal murders in director/writer Michael Pearce's debut dark thriller Beast, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released in the UK on 27 April 2018.[11][12]

In 2018, Flynn played William Dobbin in the ITV and Amazon Studios television serial adaptation of Vanity Fair.[13] He also played Felix Tholomyès in the BBC miniseries adaptation of Les Misérables.[14]

In 2019, he starred as David Bowie in the drama Stardust, based on a screenplay by Christopher Bell and directed by Gabriel Range.[15]

In 2020, he starred in Emma,[16] Autumn de Wilde's adaptation of Jane Austen's novel of the same name, alongside Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Nighy, and Josh O'Connor. He wrote the song played over the ending credits, "Queen Bee," which was released as a single alongside the film. The next year, he co-starred in another British film The Dig, which was released on Netflix on 29 January 2021. He plays the character of Rory Lomax.[17]

In 2022, he had a major role in The Outfit, alongside Mark Rylance.[18]

His upcoming projects include a heist musical starring Will Poulter and Naomi Ackie, titled The Score. He has also been cast as Dickie Greenleaf for Showtime's new TV series of Ripley, to star Andrew Scott.[19][20] The film Operation Mincemeat, in which Flynn played author Ian Fleming, was released in 2021.[21]


Flynn performed in Propeller's all-male Shakespeare troupe, playing Curtis (The Taming of the Shrew) and Viola (Twelfth Night) in the 2007 season.[22] He has also performed in several other plays including Richard Bean's play The Heretic at the Royal Court Theatre (2011).[23] Johnny Flynn was cast in the role of Lee in Jerusalem, Jez Butterworth's hit play, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for best supporting actor.[24] In summer of 2012, Flynn appeared in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre's productions of Richard III, as Lady Anne, opposite Jerusalem co-star Mark Rylance and then as Viola/Cesario in the Globe's production of Twelfth Night with Rylance as well.[25] The productions transferred to the Apollo Theatre in the West End until February 2013. In March 2013 Flynn played the lead role in Bruce Norris' play The Low Road at the Royal Court.[26] In September 2015 he played Mooney alongside David Morrissey and Reece Shearsmith also at the Royal Court in Martin McDonagh's new play Hangmen.[27]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Flynn was longlisted in the Evening Standard Awards and the What's On Stage Awards for best Newcomer for his role in The Heretic in 2012.[28] He was nominated for an Olivier Award for his role in Jerusalem the same year.[29] He won a commendation in the 2012 Ian Charleson Awards for his role as Viola in Twelfth Night at the Globe Theatre.


Flynn performing in 2014

Flynn has released several studio albums featuring folk revival songs of his own composition. He released his debut, A Larum, in 2008, and received critical acclaim.[30][31] His second album Been Listening featured a duet with fellow British folk musician Laura Marling on the track "The Water".[32] This was followed by Country Mile in 2013 and Sillion in 2017. Aside from Been Listening, each of Flynn's albums has charted in the top 100 in the UK.[33] In May 2021, Flynn released Lost in the Cedar Wood, a collaboration with nature writer Robert Macfarlane.[34] The album was influenced by the ancient Mesopotamian poem the Epic of Gilgamesh.[34]

Flynn has also written musical scores for films, television shows, and theatre productions. This includes writing the film score for the 2012 film A Bag of Hammers, and the score and theme song of the BBC Four television series Detectorists,[35] also making a cameo appearance on the show, performing the theme song in series one, episode 3. In 2015, he also composed the music (on period instruments) for the Globe Theatre's production of As You Like It.[36]

Flynn's version of "Rambleaway" appeared on Shirley Inspired..., a 2015 tribute album to British folk singer Shirley Collins.[37]

He co-wrote the song Coins for Eyes with Robert Macfarlane for the 9th series of the BBC archaeology programme Digging for Britain.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Johnny married theatre designer Beatrice Minns in 2011, whom he had dated on-and-off since secondary school. They have three children together and live in east London.[39][40][41]


Singles and EPs[edit]




Year Title Role Notes
2006 Crusade in Jeans Dolf Vega
2011 Lotus Eaters Charlie
2012 Something in the Air N/A
2014 Song One James Forrester
2015 Clouds of Sils Maria Christopher Giles
2015 A Smallholding Tonkey
2016 Love Is Thicker Than Water Arthur
2017 Contractor 014352 Guy Bricklin Short film
2017 Beast Pascal Renouf
2019 Cordelia Frank
2020 Emma George Knightley
2020 Stardust David Bowie
2021 The Dig Rory Lomax
2021 The Score Mike
2021 Operation Mincemeat Ian Fleming
2022 The Outfit Francis
2022 Scrooge: A Christmas Carol Bob Cratchit Voice; Post-Production
TBA One Life Nicholas Winton Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Murder in Suburbia Josh Egan Episode: "Witches"
2006 Holby City Karl Massingham Episode: "Flight of the Bumblebee"
2008 Kingdom David Matthews Episode: #2.5
2014–2018 Lovesick Dylan Witter 22 episodes
2014 Detectorists Johnny Piper Episode: #1.3
2015 Brotherhood Toby 8 episodes
2017 Inside No. 9 Elliot Quinn Episode: "Private View"
2017 Genius Young Albert Einstein 8 episodes
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries
2018 Vanity Fair William Dobbin 7 episodes
2018 Genius Alain Cuny Episode: "Picasso: Chapter Two"
2018 Les Miserables Felix Tholomyès Episode: "#1.1"


  1. ^ Wollaston, Sam (3 October 2014). "Scrotal Recall; Detectorists; Peaky Blinders review – two charming comedies about sex and metal-detecting, and the return of the Shelby gang". The Guardian.
  2. ^ "S'Black Mirror', 'One Day at a Time' & More Get Premiere Dates On Netflix – TCA". Deadline. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Eric Flynn". Telegraph. Archived from the original on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  4. ^ "On the Road With Johnny Flynn'". Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  5. ^ a b Purcell, Andrew (2 December 2010). "Johnny Flynn's special relationship". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Interview with Johnyn Flynn – Platform 10". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  7. ^ Patten, Dominic (28 May 2013). "Mary Steenburgen Joins Anne Hathaway In 'Song One'". Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Netflix Has Officially Renewed Scrotal Recall for Season 2". Premiere Date. Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  9. ^ Virtue, Graeme (16 November 2016). "A whole new ball game: the unlikely return of STI sitcom Scrotal Recall". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Brotherhood... coming soon to Comedy Central". Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (13 September 2017). "'Beast' Acquired For North America By 30WEST In Upstart's Third Major Toronto Deal". Deadline. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  12. ^ "UK Release Date Confirmed For Beast". Filmoria. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  13. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (25 September 2017). "'Vanity Fair': Suranne Jones, Michael Palin Join Olivia Cooke in ITV/Amazon Drama". Deadline. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  14. ^ "BBC One – Les Miserables, Series 1, Episode 1". BBC. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  15. ^ Sneider, Jeff (31 January 2019). "David Bowie Movie in the Works Starring Actor-Singer Johnny Flynn". Collider. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Emma. director Autumn de Wilde explains the film's unusual punctuation". Radio Times.
  17. ^ Wilner, Norman (28 January 2021). "Review: The Dig is a simple Netflix drama with surprising depth". NOW Magazine. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  18. ^ Dargis, Manohla (17 March 2022). "'The Outfit' Review: The Violent Measure of a Man". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  19. ^ Petski, Denise (22 January 2020). "Johnny Flynn Joins Andrew Scott in Steven Zaillian's Tom Ripley Drama Series at Showtime". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  20. ^ Crow, David (22 January 2020). "Talented Mr. Ripley Series Adds Johnny Flynn to Cast". Den of Geek. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  21. ^ "Operation Mincemeat (2021) - Full Cast and Crew". Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  22. ^ Theatre programme, Old Vic Theatre, London, January 2007.
  23. ^ Rudland, Victoria (12 February 2011). "Theatre Review: The Heretic @ Royal Court". Londonist. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  24. ^ "Theatre information". Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  25. ^ Bosanquet, Theo (3 February 2012). "Cast: Spiro is Globe Shrew, Flynn & Barnett support Rylance". What's On Stage. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  26. ^ Spencer, Charles (28 March 2013). "The Low Road, Royal Court". The Daily Telegraph. London. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  27. ^ "Hangmen at The Royal Court Theatre". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  28. ^ "ROYAL COURT THEATRE NOMINATED FOR NINE 2012 WHATSONSTAGE.COM AWARDS at The Royal Court Theatre". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  29. ^ "Royal Court nominated for three Olivier Awards at The Royal Court Theatre". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  30. ^ "Johnny Flynn: Stirring Up 'A Larum'". Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  31. ^ A Larum – Johnny Flynn | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic, retrieved 26 April 2021
  32. ^ Schurr, Maria (22 November 2010). "Johnny Flynn: Been Listening, PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  33. ^ "JOHNNY FLYNN | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  34. ^ a b "Johnny Flynn and Robert Macfarlane – 'Lost in the Cedar Wood' review". NME. 10 May 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  35. ^ "Johnny Flynn – Detectorists (Original Soundtrack from the TV Series) – Out Now". Transgressive Records. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  36. ^ "As You Like It starring Michelle Terry as Rosalind / Shakespeare's Globe". Archived from the original on 25 June 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  37. ^ "Earth Recordings to release 'Shirley Inspired' Triple LP". 6 March 2015. Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  38. ^ Flynn, Johnny (4 January 2022). "Johnny Flynn". Twitter. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  39. ^ "Johnny Flynn: 'I'd just had a kid and started having severe panic attacks'". The Guardian. 14 April 2012.
  40. ^ Mulkerrins, Jane (12 April 2018). "Is Johnny Flynn the UK's most in-demand actor?". London Evening Standard.
  41. ^ Wise, Louise (30 September 2018). "Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn interview: the boys on True West, Game of Thrones and the traumas of brotherly love". The Times.
  42. ^ a b c "JOHNNY FLYNN | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  43. ^ "StackPath".
  44. ^ "Album Review: Johnny Flynn – Sillion". DrownedInSound.
  45. ^ "Johnny Flynn returns with the draining, enriching Sillion". The Line of Best Fit.
  46. ^ Records, Transgressive. "A year on, we're releasing the complete recording of Johnny Flynn at the Roundhouse".
  47. ^ "Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit Announce New Live Album". Clash Magazine. 8 October 2018.

External links[edit]