Jeremy Irvine (born Jeremy Smith) is an English stage and film actor born to Chris and Bridget Smith, an engineer and a politician respectively in Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire, U.K., in 1990, followed by two younger brothers.

Jeremy Irvine Biography

The stage name of Irvine was derived from the boys’ grandfather’s first name.

Jeremy Irvine Theater Work

Like many in the creative field, Irvine’s parents wanted him to find work doing anything else. At one point, at his father’s suggestion, Irvine nearly took up work as a welder, and nearly joined the British Army. However, he was into acting anyway, going to school at the National Youth Theatre and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art—the alma mater of actors like Malcolm McDowell, Stacy Keach, John Lithgow, Bryan Cox and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Having worked the stage in adaptations of the works of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, Irvine was cast as Pip in the 2012 film adaptation of Dickens’ Great Expectations where he starred alongside Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter. Irvine’s younger brother Toby played the role of young Pip in the movie.

Jeremy Irvine and War Horse

Irvine gained international acclaim after starring in Steven Spielberg’s 2011 film War Horse, a period piece set just prior to and during World War I, and follows Irvine’s Albert who enlists in the infantry when his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. The film went on to be nominated for over a dozen awards spanning the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the prestigious Academy.

Jeremy Irvine in The Railway Man and Future Projects

Since 2011, Irvine has become a highly sought-after actor, though has been picky about his roles. After War Horse, he worked on an adaptation of Great Expectations and starred with Dakota Fanning in the indie film Now is Good.

Next, he played a supporting role in the Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman starring film The Railway Man. Irvine was cast as the younger version of Firth’s Eric Lomax and told the true story of Lomax’s torture by the Japanese in World War II and the trauma it caused him later in life.

While Irvine was a supporting actor, the main thrust of the film comes from his section where the tortures took place. Irvine subscribed to the Daniel Day Lewis style of method acting for the role; he stopped eating for two months and lost nearly forty pounds; like Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man, he asked and indeed was allowed by director Jonathan Teplitzky to be actually exposed to the tortures, which involved a heavy amount of waterboarding and led to a more truthful performance and representation onscreen.

Word of Irvine’s dedication and method acting grew among Hollywood insiders who wanted him for more roles, and when The Railway Man was finally released in 2013, much of the film’s praise was focused on Firth, Kidman, and the young Irvine which catapulted him to an A-list level of stardom and inclusion in this generation’s “Brit Pack.”

Irvine remains rather picky in his roles. He has been highly sought after by casting directors in the young adult genre, nearly playing Tobias Eaton in the adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. He instead chose to star in the Southern Gothic adaptation of Ron Rash’s The World Made Straight.

In late 2013, it was announced that Irvine would come to the lucrative and ever-expanding young adult romance/fantasy genre playing the male lead Daniel Grigori in Fallen based on Lauren Kate book series. The film is expected release is in 2015.

Jeremy Irvine Personal Life

Unlike many members of young Hollywood, Irvine’s private life has managed to remain largely private. He has had type 1 diabetes since the age of six, a fact that he lied about to the British army and kept him from becoming enlisted.

In the past Irvine has dated Amy Wren and was rumored to have dated Holliday Grainger. Since 2012 he has been in a relationship with Ellie Goulding.

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