A proper bloke hailing from the rural English hamlet of Gamlingay, Jeremy Irvine burst from relative obscurity to overnight fame after starring in Steven Spielberg's epic feature "War Horse" (2012). P...
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|Raised in a small village in rural Bedforshire, England|
|Made television debut on "Life Bites" (Disney Channel U.K.)|
|Cast in the lead role in the WWI-set drama "War Horse," directed by Steven Spielberg; film was based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and the 2007 stage adaptation of the same name|
|Performed with the chorus in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of "Dunsinane"|
Born in the village of South Cambridgeshire in 1990 and raised in Gamlingay, England, Irvine's father was an engineer and his mother a local politician. As a youngster, Irvine snuck into the theater to see Steven Spielberg's blockbuster film "Saving Private Ryan" (1998) and became promptly spellbound by its war sequences. His interest in acting now piqued, Irvine attended the Bedford Modern School, a performing arts academy in Bedfordshire from 2002 to 2008. With the encouragement of his drama teacher, 16-year-old Irvine decided to actively pursue his passion for acting. He joined the National Youth Theatre and won a place at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art where he trained and performed in the school's MacOwan Theatre, which hosted student productions such as "On The Boost" with Mark Ravenhill. After graduating from the Academy with honors, he participated in several exchange programs with reputable British schools such as Tanglin Trust School, Beaumont School, and Concordia College.
After landing a fluke job in an MTV commercial when he was 18, Irvine made his real television debut in 2009 with a recurring role on the second season of the Disney Channel series, "Life Bites" (2008- ). On the hit family program, Irvine played alongside other British newcomers in this adaptation of the Disney Channel Italy's original series, "Pillole di Vita." Filmed at Brentside High School in West London, Irvine portrayed Luke, the best friend of the show's lead characters, Harvey (Benedict Smith) and Frank (Rupert Simonian). Each episode consisted of five sketches showcasing the everyday adventures of siblings and their relationships with family and friends.
In 2010, Irvine appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of "Dunsinane" with other graduates from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. In this sequel to "Macbeth" set in 11th-century Scotland, Irvine played in the chorus as a tree, sans any lines. At the same time - after months of auditions, sometimes two and three times a week - Irvine received news that Steven Spielberg had requested to hear his accent once again for a potential leading role in his movie "War Horse" (2011). After finally being cast, Irvine spent the rest of the summer preparing for the anticipated Hollywood blockbuster. Having never ridden a horse before, he learned how to gallop as well as act convincingly with his animal co-star.
In Spielberg's heart-warming tearjerker, Irvine portrayed Albert, a young boy who forms an extraordinary friendship with a horse. Originally a children's book set at the beginning of World War I, the horse, named Joey, is sold to the British calvary by Albert's father. Unable to forget his friend, the youngster lies about his age and enlists in the army in an attempt to reunite with his beloved steed and bring him home. Cast alongside the newcomer were established stars Emily Watson and Peter Mullan. With a long-time interest in military history and owning his own collection of WWI and II weaponry, Irvine was excited to have the opportunity to work with genuine WWI military paraphernalia on set. He also warmly referred to his iconic director as a "dad figure."
On the heels of his "War Horse" success, Irvine was cast in the role of young Pip in Mike Newell's production of Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" (BBC, 2012), starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes. He also appeared in Ol Parker's independent drama "Now is Good" (2012), about a passionate but terminally-ill teenager (Dakota Fanning) who wants to live every moment to the fullest by making her own, slightly unorthodox bucket list.
By Ela Lindsay
|Having had Type 1 diabetes since the age of six, Irvine was involved in trials to test an artificial pancreas with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at Addenbrooke's Hospital with the University of Cambridge.|
|Aside from acting, Irvine was reportedly a gifted saxophonist, piano player, singer and songwriter.|
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