Ben Whishaw

During the Skyfall press conference at the beginning of November it was confirmed that Ben Whishaw had been signed in an unspecified role. After speculation in the press it was confirmed by his agent that he would play Q in the new movie.

Prior to Skyfall Whishaw starred in over a dozen different films and productions for TV. His list of credits include Nathan Barley (2005), Stoned (2005) and I’m Not There (2007)—for which he was a collective recipient of the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cast. He also starred in the Brideshead Revisited (2008), The International (2009) and The Tempest (2010).

Born on the 14th of October, 1980, Ben Whishaw was raised in Bedfordshire by his parents Linda Whishaw and Jose Whishaw, an I.T professional. His education included time spent at the Henlow Middle School as well as the Samuel Whitbread Community College. During his period at Samuel Whitbread, his growing interest in acting and the world of the theatre led to him becoming a member of the Bancroft Players Youth Theater at Hitchin’s Queen Mother Theatre. The group would later on play an important part of his early rise.

His early forays drew a lot of attention, the most notable of which was the company production If This is Man in which he played the character of Levi.  Based on a harrowing book written by Primo Levi, a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust who was imprisoned at Auschwitz, the theatre piece was presented at the Edinburgh festival (1995) to immense critical acclaims and positive reviews. The show would later be performed in subsequent productions with him in the starring role, under the title The Drowned & The Saved.

Already widely considered to be one of the best actors of his generations, Ben Whishaw would prove his critics right by going on to star in several other critically acclaimed films on-screen. In 2001, he won both the British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer and the Sochi International Film Festival Award for Best Actor for his lead performance in the movie My Brother Tom.

Following his graduation from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he landed the role of Hamlet, produced by Trevor Nunn. For his 2004 onstage performance of Hamlet, he earned four different nominations for best actor with some critics comparing his performance to Laurence Olivier. Only 24 at the time, he is one of the youngest actors to have played Hamlet on stage. This was followed almost immediately with his critically acclaimed performance for his theatrical portrayal of a drug dealer in Philip Ridley’s Mercury Fur.

Ben Whishaw’s rising profile played a part in the decision of the producers to choose him over Orlando Bloom and Leonardo DiCaprio as the lead character Jean-Baptiste Grenouille for the film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006).  His performance earned him the nomination of the British Academy Film Award for Rising Star as well as a nomination for European Film Award for Best Actor.

Photo © Copyright KikeValencia and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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