Skandar Keynes

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Skandar Keynes
Born Alexander Amin Casper Keynes[1][2]
(1991-09-05) 5 September 1991 (age 25)
Camden, London, England, UK
Education Pembroke College, Cambridge
Occupation Actor
Years active 2001–2015
Known for Edmund Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia

Alexander Amin Casper "Skandar" Keynes (/ˈknz/; 5 September 1991) is an English former actor. He is best known for starring as Edmund Pevensie in the Chronicles of Narnia film series since 2005.[3] He has appeared in all three instalments, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and most recently The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which was released on 10 December 2010.[4]

Early life[edit]

Keynes was born in Camden, London, the son of Zelfa Hourani and author Randal Keynes. He has an older sister, Soumaya Anne Keynes (born August 1989), who has appeared in various productions for BBC Radio 4 and now works as an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.[5]


On his father's side, Keynes is of English descent, and is the grandson of physiologist Richard Keynes, the nephew of two Cambridge professors, the historian Simon Keynes, and the neuroscientist Roger Keynes, the cousin of Catholic writer and apologist Laura Keynes,[6] and the great-great-nephew of economist John Maynard Keynes.[7][8] His great-great-great-grandfather was naturalist Charles Darwin. Keynes' great-grandparents were Nobel Prize laureate Edgar Adrian, 1st Baron Adrian and Hester Adrian, Baroness Adrian.[9]

On his mother's side, Keynes is of Lebanese, Persian and Turkish descent.[10] (The nickname Skandar is Pashto[11] for the Greek name "Alexander", Pashto being an Iranic language like Persian, or is short for "Eskander," an Arabic variant.[12]) Lebanese nationality law states that citizenship is passed on patrilineally, so Keynes is legally a foreigner in the country he considers his second home.[13] His maternal grandparents were Furugh Afnan and Cecil Fadlo Hourani, who was an advisor to the late Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba. The Hourani family were immigrants to Manchester from Marjeyoun in southern Lebanon. Cecil's two brothers were Albert, a major historian of the Middle East, and George, philosopher, historian, and classicist.[citation needed]


Keynes auditioned for the role of Edmund Pevensie in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the same time as he auditioned for the role of Simon Brown in Nanny McPhee, winning the former while losing the latter to Thomas Sangster. His voice changed, due to puberty, during the filming of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,[14] so the director used his sister Soumaya to voice some of his lines in the movie.[15]

He reprised his role as Edmund in Prince Caspian, released 16 May 2008. Keynes told an interviewer, who praised him for becoming "an action hero," that he "felt so cheated because one of my very first action scenes was the very beginning of the battle when I run and I jump off a block and get on a horse as it's going by. On one take I missed the horse. I basically didn't manage to land on it but I managed to hold on and I was flung around and almost smacked into one of those stone columns. I slammed on the ground and bruised my heel so badly that I couldn't walk on it and it was throbbing constantly. I had to do the rest of the battle with a bruised heel. Sometimes if you watch my running it looks a bit odd; I wonder if other people notice it or if it's just me noticing! I had to do a lot of that sequence high on pain medication!"[16] They also discussed his relationships with the other cast and crew members. In the interview, Keynes revealed that he is an atheist.

He starred again as Edmund in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third installment of The Chronicles of Narnia film series. Filming began in July 2009, and finished in December of the same year. The film was released on 10 December 2010 in Britain and the US. In preparation for this film, Keynes studied to earn his Professional Association of Diving Instructors license for underwater scenes.[17]

Keynes contributed his voice in 2014 to the audio project, In Freedom's Cause as Sir Allan Kerr, which would be the final project of his official acting career.

In 2016, Keynes announced he is no longer pursuing a career in acting.[18]

Skandar Keynes is now a parliamentary adviser to Crispin Blunt, MP.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Keynes attended the Anna Scher Theatre School from 2000 to 2005, having attended Thornhill Primary School[disambiguation needed] from 1996–2002. He attended the all-boys City of London School from 2005. There he wrote as a film critic for the review section of The Citizen, the City of London School weekly school newspaper. He sat his GCSEs in May and June 2008 and started Sixth Form and his first year of his A-level studies the following September. He studied biology, chemistry, maths, further maths and history at A-level.[20] In October 2010 he began his degree in Arabic and Middle Eastern History at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He was listed as one of Business Insider's "16 Incredibly Impressive Students At Cambridge University".[21] Keynes received his degree in Middle Eastern Studies in 2014.[22]

He and his family have visited Marjeyoun since he was a child. "We've been coming every year to Lebanon and visiting Marjeyoun despite the political situation. I was here in 1996 during Operation Grapes of Wrath. I was four at the time and I had no concept that it was war," Keynes told a reporter. "I remember when the gravity of the situation dawned on me. It was during the 2006 July war, I was 14 then… but it didn't really shake my view of Lebanon as effectively a second home, a place where I come to and I have family."[13] Keynes explains that he is cognizant of the political situation:

"And I understand that in part the law that a mother cannot pass her nationality to her children is tied up with the Palestinian issue, and sometimes I wonder who I am to complain when there are people who have been born and brought up in Lebanon, who speak Arabic better than I ever will and can't get Lebanese citizenship... I would like to see the law changed and would like to be able to be considered Lebanese by the Lebanese government. When I arrive at the airport, I would like to show a Lebanese passport, I would like to go to my [family's] house without having to get permission, but part of me feels that I have to put my hands up in the air and say, 'Well, what I want is not what I'm going to get,' and I don't know how or to what extent I should resign myself to the fact that I'm not Lebanese as far as they are concerned."[13]


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Queen Victoria Died in 1901 and is Still Alive Today Waif TV documentary
2003 Ferrari Enzo Ferrari at 8 years old TV film
2005 Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, TheThe Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Edmund Pevensie
2008 Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, TheThe Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Edmund Pevensie
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, TheThe Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian T4 Film Special Edmund Pevensie Behind-the-scenes TV programme (23 min.)
2010 Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, TheThe Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Edmund Pevensie
2014 The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty: In Freedom's Cause Sir Allan Kerr Audio Drama



Year Award Award Ceremony
2006 Best Younger cast CAMIE Awards[23]


Year Award Award Ceremony
2009 Best Performance in a Feature film - Leading Young Actor Young Artist Awards[24][25]
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast
2011 Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  2. ^ London, England, Births and Christening Notices from The Times, 1983-2003.; at
  3. ^ Skandar Keynes. Internet Movie Database, retrieved 2011-07-18
  4. ^ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Internet Movie Database, retrieved 2011-07-18
  5. ^ Soumaya Keynes at the Institute for Fiscal Studies Archived December 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.. Institute for Fiscal Studies, retrieved 2013-11-23
  6. ^ West, Ed (2013-06-13). Descendant of Darwin Becomes a Catholic Apologist. The Catholic Herald. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
  7. ^ Anderson, Jon Lee (2006-07-24). "Change of Plans". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2006-10-18. 
  8. ^ "Randal Hume Keynes1". The Peerage. 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  9. ^ "Notes on the Rendall family" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-05-29. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ SKANDAR KEYNES – Personal Facts., 2008-07-31, retrieved 2011-07-18
  11. ^ Ashraf, Mohsin (2007). Top Ten Lives of the Greatest Monarchs of History. London, UK: LuLu Publications. p. 1. ISBN 1430329394. 
  12. ^ "Skandar". Pronounce Names: The Dictionary of Name Pronunciation. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c Elali, Nadine (September 29, 2012). "A second home in Lebanon: Talking to Skandar Keynes". NOW Lebanon. Beirut, Lebanon. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  14. ^ Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley, and Andrew Adamson (2006). The Chronicles of Narnia:The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe [Cast Commentary] (DVD). 
  15. ^ Mark Johnson, Michael Apted (2011). The Chronicles of Narnia:The Voyage of the Dawn Treader[Director's Commentary] (DVD). 
  16. ^ Utichi, Joe (June 25, 2008). "RT Interview: Skandar Keynes on the Action Challenge of Prince Caspian: Edmund Pevensie on the new experiences of the Narnian second part". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  17. ^ Nemiroff, Perri (2010-12-06). "Interview: The Chronicles Of Narnia's Skandar Keynes". Cinema Blend. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Skandar Keynes - About". Retrieved 2016-04-13. 
  19. ^ "Commons Committee" (PDF). 
  20. ^ Gadelrab, Roisin (2009-03-13). "Evolution of screen heartthrob Skandar". Islington Tribune. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  21. ^ Robinson, Melia; Stranger, Melissa (23 May 2014). "16 Incredibly Impressive Students At Cambridge University". Business Insider. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "Skandar Keynes - About". Retrieved 2016-04-13. 
  23. ^ "Awards for Skandar Keynes", Internet Movie Database Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  24. ^ "30th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Foundation. 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  25. ^ "32nd Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Foundation. 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 

External links[edit]