Stephan James

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Stephan James
Stephan James.jpg
Stephan James, March 2017
Born (1993-12-16) December 16, 1993 (age 23)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Actor
Years active 2010–present

Stephan James (born December 16, 1993) is a Canadian actor.


Early work[edit]

James got his start in television starring for two seasons in the long-running Canadian teen series Degrassi: The Next Generation.

After leaving Degrassi, James played various supporting roles on television, including in How To Be Indie (2011), Clue (2011), My Babysitter's a Vampire (2011), The Listener (2012), and The LA Complex (2012), as well as the ABC Family made-for-TV movie 12 Dates of Christmas (2011).[1]


James landed his first major feature film role playing opposite Tatyana Ali and Fefe Dobson in the Canadian film Home Again (2012), in which he played a Jamaican deportee.[2] Although the film received mixed reviews,[3][4][5] The Globe and Mail gave James' performance a positive review, calling it "heartbreaking."[6] James garnered a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 1st Canadian Screen Awards for his performance,[7][8][9] though he ultimately lost to Serge Kanyinda.[10]

In 2013, James was cast as civil rights activist John Lewis in Ava Duvernay's Martin Luther King, Jr. film Selma (2014), which went on to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.[11] When asked about the proposed "snubs" the film received from the Academy,[12][13][14] James said:

In 2015, James guest starred in the CBC television mini-series The Book of Negroes, based on the award-winning novel of the same name by Lawrence Hill.[16] At the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, James was named as one of TIFF's Rising Stars.[17][18][19][20] In celebration of Black History Month, James was named by CBC as one of their 6 black Canadian Culture-Makers, citing Oprah Winfrey as one of his biggest influences.[21]

In 2016, James starred in the lead role of African-American track and field sprinter Jesse Owens in the biopic Race (2016) opposite Jason Sudeikis, replacing Star Wars star John Boyega.[22][23][24]

In 2017, James plays DOJ prosecutor, Preston Terry in the critically acclaimed FOX series, Shots Fired.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
2012 Home Again Everton St.Clair Nominated – Canadian Screen Award for Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role[8]
2014 Perfect Sisters Donny
2014 The Dependables
2014 When the Game Stands Tall Terrance G. "T.K." Kelly
2014 Selma John Lewis Nominated – Black Reel Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male[26]
2015 Lost After Dark Wesley
2015 Across the Line Mattie Slaughter
2016 Race Jesse Owens Won – Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role[27]
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture[28]


Year Title Role
2017 Shots Fired Preston Terry


  1. ^ "Stephan James". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  2. ^ "TIFF Capsule Review: 'Home Again'". Indiewire. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  3. ^ DeMara, Bruce (2013-03-22). "Home Again, by writer/director Sudz Sutherland, portrays the lives of three deportees to Jamaica, a place they haven’t seen since childhood.". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  4. ^ "Home Again: A very Canadian take on life and deportation". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  5. ^ "Home Again". 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  6. ^ "Home Again: A very Canadian take on life and deportation". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  7. ^ "Introducing the Canadian Screen Awards, and their 2013 nominees". Maclean's, January 15, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Introducing the Canadian Screen Awards, and their 2013 nominees -". Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  9. ^ "CBC Live - Canadian Screen Awards - Canadian Screen Awards Film Nominations". Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  10. ^ Barnard, Linda (2013-03-03). "Rebelle swept the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards, while TV's Flashpoint goes out with a bang.". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  11. ^ Child, Ben. "David Oyelowo: Selma's Oscars snub 'bothers me'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  12. ^ "Oscar voter defends 'Selma' snubs in racially-charged tirade". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  13. ^ Squire, Aurin (2015-02-22). "Why 'Selma' Didn't Win Best Picture". New Republic. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  14. ^ "Why Ava DuVernay's 'Selma' Oscar Snub Matters". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  15. ^ "Actor Stephan James goes big on historical dramas". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  16. ^ "5 Questions with Stephan James of Selma". Scene Creek. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  17. ^ "Meet the four up-and-coming Canadian actors in TIFF’s Rising Stars program". The Globe and Mail, September 10, 2015.
  18. ^ Barnard, Linda (2015-09-03). "From Tatiana Maslany to Sarah Gadon, a look at five graduates of TIFF’s Rising Stars program.". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  19. ^ "TIFF Rising Star Stephan James Talks Jesse Owens Biopic 'Race'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  20. ^ "A Chat with TIFF Rising Star Stephan James - Toronto Guardian". Toronto Guardian. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  21. ^ "CBC News - Black History Month: 6 black Canadian culture-makers". Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  22. ^ Sneider, Jeff (May 28, 2014). "‘Star Wars’ Hero John Boyega to Be Replaced by ‘Selma’ Actor in Jesse Owens Biopic". Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Race Trailer: Jesse Owens Comes to Life in New Biopic". Slashfilm. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  24. ^ "Stephan James To Replace Star Wars’ John Boyega In Race". We Got This Covered. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  25. ^ "Canadian Stephan James stars in Shots Fired | Toronto Star". Retrieved 2017-05-29. 
  26. ^ says, Gina (17 December 2014). "15th Annual Black Reel Awards Nominate a Spate of Familiar Faces". The Black Reel Awards. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  27. ^ "Juste la fin du monde remporte six prix aux Écrans canadiens". La Presse. 12 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017. 
  28. ^ "Beyoncé Leads the Pack of 2017 NAACP Image Awards Nominees". 13 December 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 

External links[edit]