Jack Andrew Lowden (born 2 June 1990) is a Scottish stage, television, and film actor. Following a highly successful and award-winning four-year stage career, his first major international onscreen success was in the 2016 miniseries War & Peace, which led to starring roles in feature films.
Lowden starred as Eric Liddell in the 2012 play Chariots of Fire in London. In 2014 he won an Olivier Award and the Ian Charleson Award for his role as Oswald in Richard Eyre's 2013 adaptation of Ibsen's Ghosts. In 2014 Screen Daily named him one of the UK Stars of Tomorrow.
Since 2013 he has been in British television series and feature films, including substantial roles in The Tunnel (2013) and '71 (2014), and leading roles in the BBC miniseries The Passing Bells (2014) and War & Peace (2016).
His recent and upcoming projects include the title role as golfing legend Tommy Morris in Tommy's Honour (2016), a supporting role as MP Tony Benn in the historical film A United Kingdom (2016), a supporting role as an attorney in the fact-based Holocaust legal-drama film Denial (2016), a main-cast role as an RAF fighter-pilot in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk (2017), the starring role of Morrissey in the biopic England Is Mine (2017), one of the two leads in the upcoming thriller Calibre (2017), and a main-cast role as Zak "Zodiac" Bevis in Fighting with My Family (2018).
In late 2016 the UK arts and entertainment magazine The List chose Lowden as one of The Hot 100 2016.
Early life and education
Lowden was born in 1990 in Chelmsford, Essex, England, and grew up in Oxton in the Scottish Borders in Scotland. His younger brother Calum became a ballet dancer from a very early age, and later trained at the English National Ballet School and the Royal Ballet School in London; as of 2016 he is a first soloist at the Royal Swedish Ballet. As a child Jack attended dance classes as well, but found he was better at, and more suited to, acting.
When he was 10, Lowden's parents enrolled him in the Scottish Youth Theatre in Edinburgh. At age 12, he played John in a Peter Pan pantomime at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh.
He attended Earlston High School, where he performed in the school's annual productions, including as Buddy Holly in Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, and he performed in various concerts as well. His conviction to become a professional actor came from seeing the play Black Watch on its first run in 2007. While in high school, he studied during summer school at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He also performed regularly at the Galashiels Amateur Operatic Society, where in 2008 he played the lead in The Boy Friend.
Lowden received a BA in Acting from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow in 2011.
In 2009, at the age of 18, Lowden starred in a popular national television advertisement for Irn-Bru, sending up High School Musical. In 2010 he had a small part as the character Nick Fairclough on an episode of the Glasgow-set television series Being Victor.
In 2010–11 Lowden was the lead character, Cammy, in the National Theatre of Scotland's revival production of the Olivier Award-winning play Black Watch. The play is an incisive and topical look at the harsh reality of war, and depicts soldiers of the legendary historic Scottish Black Watch regiment serving in Iraq. Lowden and the rest of the cast underwent grueling physical training during the rehearsals period to get into military shape.
The Black Watch production toured to London (Barbican), Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Belfast, and in the U.S. to New York City, Washington, Chicago, Austin, and Chapel Hill. UK reviewers deemed Lowden "a clearly hugely promising young actor" "who carries off this amazing start to his career with assurance and maturity". In the U.S., the Washington Post described him as "quietly charismatic" and a "stand-out"; this was echoed by the Chicago Sun-Times, which called him "easily charismatic"; and the Chicago Tribune noted his "rich and finely detailed work".
From 9 May 2012 to 5 January 2013, Lowden starred as Scottish runner and missionary Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire, the stage adaptation of the film of the same name. The Olympic-themed play, created and produced specifically in honour of the 2012 London Summer Olympics, opened at London's Hampstead Theatre and transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in the West End in June 2012. Lowden's performance was widely praised, including by Libby Purves in The Times and by Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail.
Onscreen, in 2012 he appeared in the ITV drama Mrs Biggs as Alan Wright, who has an affair with Charmian Biggs and gets her pregnant. In 2013, he played the pivotal role of the lead character's son, Adam, in the television series The Tunnel. The series is a British/French crime-drama co-production, and aired in the UK and in France. He also had a sizable role as a young British soldier in the award-winning 2014 film '71, which takes place in Belfast in 1971 during the Northern Ireland conflict.
In 2014, Lowden received both the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and also the Ian Charleson Award, for his role as Oswald in Richard Eyre's adaptation of Ibsen's Ghosts. The production ran from September 2013 to March 2014, opening at the Almeida Theatre and then transferring in December to the West End at Trafalgar Studios. A filmed February 2014 performance of the production screened in more than 275 UK and Irish cinemas on 26 June 2014. The entire filmed performance is viewable online.
In June 2014 Screen Daily named Lowden one of the UK Stars of Tomorrow.
He performed Orestes in Electra at the Old Vic in the autumn of 2014. The production starred Kristen Scott Thomas as his sister Electra, and Diana Quick played their mother Clytemnestra. Previews began 22 September, the official opening was 1 October, and the run continued in a limited engagement through to 20 December 2014.
On television, he starred as one of the two leads in the 2014 World War I BBC drama series The Passing Bells. It is the story of two youths, one from Germany and one from the UK, who enlist as soldiers at the beginning of the war.
Lowden portrayed Nikolai Rostov, one of the main characters, in the 2016 BBC miniseries War & Peace. The 6-part miniseries, which was broadcast around the world and positively reviewed, garnered Lowden the most exposure he had had thus far in his career.
In film, he played the title role in Tommy's Honour (2016), about legendary Scottish golfing champion Old Tom Morris, played by Peter Mullan, and his complex and bittersweet relationship with his son Tom "Tommy" Morris, Jr.; Lowden was nominated for Best Film Actor at the 2016 BAFTA Scotland Awards for his performance. Lowden also portrayed British politician Tony Benn in a supporting role in A United Kingdom, a 2016 film about Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams Khama. In another supporting role, he was one of star Rachel Weisz's character's attorneys in Denial (2016), a fact-based legal-drama film about Holocaust denial which also stars Andrew Scott.
In March 2016 Lowden was cast as a Royal Air Force fighter pilot, one of the leading roles, in Christopher Nolan's World War II film Dunkirk, released in July 2017. And he portrays Morrissey in a biopic of the singer titled England Is Mine, written and directed by Mark Gill; the film, which co-stars Jessica Brown Findlay, premiered at the closing gala of the Edinburgh International Film Festival on 2 July 2017 and will go into wide release in the UK in August 2017. He co-stars with Martin McCann in an upcoming thriller, Calibre (2017), which began filming in November 2016.
In late 2016 the UK arts and entertainment magazine The List featured Lowden as one of The Hot 100 2016.
Lowden will play Zak "Zodiac" Bevis the 2018 comedy-drama WWE film Fighting with My Family. In June 2017 he was cast as Lord Darnley in the forthcoming film Mary Queen of Scots, opposite Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.