Jason Iain Flemyng (born 25 September 1966) is an English actor.
Flemyng is known for his film work, which has included roles in British films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000), both for Guy Ritchie, as well as Hollywood productions such as Rob Roy (1995), the Alan Moore comic book adaptations From Hell (2001) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). He has also appeared in prominent roles in both theatre and television in the UK. Flemyng can speak fluent French, and has made three films in that language. He won the Best Actor Award at the Geneva Film Festival for his role in 1996's Alive and Kicking.
Early life and career
Flemyng was born in Putney, London, the son of Scottish television and film director Gordon Flemyng. He decided he wanted to become an actor after appearing in theatrical productions at his school, Christ's Hospital in Sussex. "I always wanted to be an actor," he later told the BBC. "From the time I fancied a girl who played Dorothy in the school production of The Wizard of Oz. I auditioned for the role of the scarecrow so that I could have the most stage time with her, but she ended up running off with the tin man!"
In the 1980s, he was involved with the National Youth Theatre and the political organisation the Young Socialists. He also became involved with the Labour Party's Militant tendency, and was expelled from Labour in 1987 for selling the Militant newspaper. Flemyng has subsequently claimed that both his theatrical and political activities at this time were simply a way of meeting girls. In 1990 he was admitted to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), where he was a classmate of Hermione Norris. Following his graduation from LAMDA in the early 1990s he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Television and film work
One of his first prominent roles on screen was a guest appearance in the American television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles in 1992. He was then a regular in the ITV drama series Doctor Finlay from 1993 to 1996.
His first film appearance was in the 1994 version of The Jungle Book. His first major cinema role was in Angela Pope's 1996 drama Hollow Reed, where he played a child abuser, followed by a main role in Guy Ritchie's popular 1998 London gangster film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Flemyng later claimed to have lost so much money while playing poker with the film's backers in between takes on set that he had to work on the four days of re-shoots the film required for no fee. He went on to appear in films such as The Red Violin and Deep Rising (1998), Snatch (2000), George A. Romero's Bruiser (2000) and Rock Star (2001). Flemyng also starred in the short film Feeling Good, written by Dexter Fletcher, whom he met while working on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
In the early 2000s he featured in two big-budget Hollywood films which were adaptations of Alan Moore comic books; as John Netley in 2001's From Hell, with Johnny Depp, and 2003's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, with Sean Connery, in which Flemyng played Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde. The latter film was not a success, but Flemyng commented that: "It was a bit of a nightmare... the film cost a fortune and didn't make back the money it was meant to... But I still get a huge kick out of doing films like that and From Hell. Any day you walk onto a set and Sean Connery or Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt is there has to be a good day."
For nine years, Flemyng and actress Lena Headey were a couple; the relationship ended in 2001. Flemyng married Elly Fairman in the summer of 2008, in Tuscany, Italy. Flemyng enjoys long-distance running and has completed several marathons.