Nicholas Pinnock

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Nicholas Pinnock
Pinnock at the UK premiere of The Keeping Room in 2014
Nicholas Andre Pinnock

(1973-09-02) 2 September 1973 (age 50)
Balham, London, England
Alma materLondon Studio Centre
Years active1985–present

Nicholas Andre Pinnock (born 2 September 1973) is a British actor. He is known for his roles as lead character Aaron Wallace in the American legal drama For Life.

Early life and education[edit]

Nicholas Pinnock was born in Roehampton, London, and is of Jamaican descent.[1] He spent his early childhood living in Saudi Arabia. On his return to England, he was enrolled at Corona Stage Academy in Hammersmith, London at the age of 12. While there, in his first week, he made his professional debut landing several jobs as a model and child actor in adverts, music videos, film and television. Continuing his vocational training, Pinnock attended a three-year musical theatre course at the London Studio Centre. After the first year, he decided acting was his first love and in the following years, concentrated on drama and contemporary dance. After graduating, Pinnock joined Lea Anderson's Contemporary Dance Company, the Featherstonehaughs, for several years before pursuing acting full time.[2]


In 1986, as a child actor, Pinnock starred in the fantasy drama TV serial Mr Magus is Waiting for You, based on the novel by Gene Kemp and following the adventures of four young children who get mixed up with a mysterious magician.[3] A year later he became one of The Pink Windmill Kids on Emu's World on CITV. In his 20s he regularly appeared in pantomime.[4] He then went on to play guest roles in television programmes like Grange Hill, EastEnders, The Bill, Dalziel and Pascoe, Footballers' Wives and Casualty, to name but a few. TV movies followed such as Kingdom of The Blind with Clive Owen and Diamonds with James Purefoy. Theatre work included As You Like It at Stafford Castle at the Staffordshire Shakespeare Festival, followed by working with directors like Kathy Burke in Hampstead Theatre's production of Born Bad and David Grieg and Marisa Zanotti in the Edinburgh Festival official production of the critically acclaimed San Diego and most recently Topdog/Underdog[5] in Glasgow's Citizens Theatre.

Pinnock appeared in his first Hollywood feature film, the 2011 summer blockbuster Captain America: The First Avenger, as a SHIELD Tech. That same year, he went on to play the role of Leon in a four-part award-winning drama Top Boy, which was broadcast on Channel 4 over four consecutive nights from 31 October 2011.[6] After the 2011 England riots in London, Pinnock appeared in the BBC docudrama The Riots: In Their Own Words, The Rioters.[7] The following year, Pinnock portrayed the role of Evan in the ITV drama The Ice Cream Girls. The three-part drama aired in April 2013.[citation needed]

Pinnock portrayed a young Nelson Mandela in the ITV docudrama Mandela: The Prison Years, which aired on 15 December 2013, the day Mandela was buried.[8] Directed by Emmy and BAFTA award-winning director Tom Roberts, the programme charts Mandela's sentencing in 1963, his arrival at Robben Island through to his release on 11 February 1990.[8]

In 2015 Pinnock showcased the role of Frank Sutter in Fortitude on Sky Atlantic. He went on to play Jay "The Sport" Jackson at the Bush Theatre in London, starring in The Royale.[9] The play opened to rave reviews in November 2015. The same year saw the release of Pinnock's next two films, Monsters: Dark Continent, sequel to Monsters in which he plays the role of Forrest, and The Keeping Room, portraying the role of Bill.[citation needed]

Pinnock's next role was as Jason Backland on ITV's crime drama Marcella Series 1 and 2, alongside Anna Friel.[10] The series aired on ITV on 4 April 2016.[10] He then appeared as Ian Shaw in Counterpart, a science fiction thriller first aired on 10 December 2017.[11] In September 2019, Pinnock appeared in the first season of Criminal: UK on Netflix.[12]

In March 2019, it was announced that Pinnock had been cast as lead character Aaron Wallace in For Life, an American legal drama television series created by Hank Steinberg and executive producer Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson.[13] The series was inspired by the life of Isaac Wright, Jr, who was serving a life sentence for a wrongful conviction, but got himself exonerated and became a defense lawyer.[14] The series premiered on ABC on 11 February 2020.[15] and ran for 2 seasons.[16]

It was announced in May 2021, that Pinnock was cast as John Ellis in Django, an upcoming television series for Sky and Canal+, alongside Noomi Rapace, Matthias Schoenaerts and Lisa Vicari.[17]

In December 2022, Pinnock was announced as winner in the Best Actor category at the British Urban Film Festival awards in London.

In the same year, he was cast in Jeymes Samuel's The Book of Clarence.[18]

Pinnock is cast in This Town, alongside Michelle Dockery and Jordan Bolger, an upcoming six-part British television series for BBC One written and created by Steven Knight.

Charity work[edit]

Pinnock is an ambassador for the mental health charity, Mind UK.[19]



Year Film Role Note
1999 New World Disorder Weldon
2009 Diamonds Isaiah Forman (2008)
2009 Little Foxes Mike
2011 Captain America: The First Avenger SHIELD Tech
2014 The Keeping Room Bill
2014 Monsters: Dark Continent Sergeant Forrest
2016 Taketh David
2019 The Last Tree Mr Williams
2019 Dark Encounter Sheriff Jordan
2023 The Book of Clarence Jesus Christ
TBA Hedda TBA Filming


Year Title Role Note
1986 Mr Magus is Waiting for You Jeff TV movie
1987–1988 Emu's Wide World Series 1 and 2, Emu's World Series 6 Himself Mis credited as "Nicholas Pinnick" on one occasion. Credited as Children from the Corona Stage School
1989 Happy Families Billy Bone Episode: "Master Bun the Baker's Boy: Part 2"
1989-1997 The Bill Various Roles 5 Episodes
1992 EastEnders Wesley 3 Episodes
1995 Grange Hill Jerome Cairns Reoccurring Role
1998 Casualty Reuben Myers Episode: "Loco Parentis"
2003-2006 Doctors Various Roles
2004 Holby City Carl Stoves Episode "Pastures New"
2006 Dalziel and Pascoe (TV series) Stephen Japp 2 Episodes
2006 Footballers' Wives Dean 2 Episodes
2011 Top Boy Leon Season 1
2013 The Ice Cream Girls Evan 3 Episodes
2015 A.D. The Bible Continues Arik 2 Episodes
2015 Fortitude Frank Sutter
2015 Midwinter of the Spirit Bishop Mick Hunter
2016 Marcella Jason Backland 1.1 − 2.4
2016 Barbarians Rising Hannibal
2017–2019 Counterpart Ian Shaw
2019 Criminal: UK DI Paul Ottager Season 1
2020–2021 For Life Aaron Wallace Main
2023 Django John Ellis 10 Episodes
TBA This Town TBA Post-production[20]


  1. ^ Rivalland, Monique (6 December 2023). "What I've learnt: Nicholas Pinnock" – via
  2. ^ "Nicholas Pinnock stars in upcoming thriller Fortitude". The London Studio Center. Associated Press. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Memorable TV". MEMORABLETV.COM. Archived from the original on 30 November 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  4. ^ "1995 pantomime handbills". pantoarchive. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  5. ^ Jones, Sam (27 October 2009). "Topdog/Underdog". Morning Star. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Channel 4 Press". Top Boy Programme Info. Channel 4. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  7. ^ BBC. "The Riots: In Their Own Words". Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Mandela: The Prison Years". ITV Studios. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  9. ^ Lawrence, Ben (19 March 2015). "The Royale, Bush Theatre, review: 'beautiful frenzy'". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  10. ^ a b "Anna Friel leads the cast of new ITV drama Marcella". ITV Press Centre.
  11. ^ McVey, Ciara (24 July 2018). "Counterpart' Star Nicholas Pinnock Calls Working With J.K. Simmons a "Master Class"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  12. ^ White, Peter (9 August 2019). "'Criminal': Netflix Sets Premiere Date For Nicholas Pinnock & Hayley Atwell Police Interrogation Drama". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  13. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (6 March 2019). "'Counterpart' Breakout Nabs Lead in ABC's 50 Cent Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (11 October 2018). "Isaac Wright Drama From 50 Cent, Hank Steinberg & Doug Robinson Set At ABC". Deadline. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  15. ^ N’Duka, Amanda (8 January 2020). "For Life': Creator Hank Steinberg On Telling "An Underdog Story" In ABC Legal Drama – TCA". Deadline. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  16. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt (16 August 2021). "For Life Fails to Find New Home for Season 3 After Cancellation at ABC". TV Line. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  17. ^ Hopewell, John (11 May 2021). "Noomi Rapace, Nicholas Pinnock Join Matthias Schoenaerts in 'Django,' From Sky and Canal Plus (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (5 December 2022). "Benedict Cumberbatch, James McAvoy, RJ Cyler, Anna Diop Join Jeymes Samuel's Book of Clarence (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  19. ^ "Mind". Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Michelle Dockery, Nicholas Pinnock and David Dawson announced for This Town, Steven Knight's original new drama series for the BBC". Retrieved 28 November 2022.

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