Faced with the project of casting a lead actor in War Horse, the epic film about a boy and his horse torn apart by the horrors of World War I, director Steven Spielberg could have had his pick of Hollywood's elite litter, but instead he chose fresh-faced newcomer Jeremy Irvine. "I didn’t want an experienced actor," Spielberg told the Daily Mail. "I wanted someone who had that optimism and naïveté that young people have. The belief that they can achieve something, despite being surrounded by naysayers and people trying to hold them back. [Irvine] already had that spirit in him."

Hailing from the county town of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England, Irvine, 21, had minimal experience before getting cast as Albert in War Horse. He played the role of Luke for twelve episodes of the TV series Life Bites in 2009, and he was a tree in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2010 production of Dunsinane. At the premiere of War Horse on Sunday, at Lincoln Center in New York City, Irvine said stepping onto the red carpet was like being in a strange dream. "It's so surreal. It's so weird. I feel incredibly privileged to be allowed to be in this movie," he said. "I was really struggling and to suddenly go to this is very surreal."

Irvine is currrently filming his role as Pip in a new adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, Great Expectations, costarring Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter. He is also expected to play the young Eric Lomax in the film version of The Railway Man, co-starring yet another famous British actor, Colin Firth, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

Watch the trailer for War Horse here:


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  • A Grinshpan
    A Grinshpan on

    I thought this movie looked hilariously bad actually, but knowing more of what it's about – it could be not bad

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