- Andrew James Matfin "Jamie" Bell
March 14, 1986 (age 35)
- Actor, Dancer
- Evan Rachel Wood
- John Bell, Eileen Matfin
Andrew James Matfin "Jamie" Bell (born 14 March 1986) is an English actor and dancer who rose to prominence for his debut role in Billy Elliot (2000) for which he won the BAFTA for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He is also best known for his roles in the films King Kong (2005), Jumper (2008), The Adventures of Tintin (2011), and Snowpiercer (2013), as well as starring as Abraham Woodhull in the TV series, Turn: Washington's Spies (2014). He will portray Ben Grimm/The Thing in the upcoming 2015 film Fantastic Four.
Early life and education
Bell was born in Billingham, County Durham, England, where he grew up with his mother, Eileen (née Matfin), and elder sister, Kathryn. His father, John Bell, a toolmaker, left before Bell was born. Bell began his involvement with dance after he accompanied his sister to her ballet lessons. He was a pupil at Northfield School and took performing arts classes at the local franchise of Stagecoach Theatre Arts. He was a member of the National Youth Music Theatre. In 1999, he was chosen from a field of over 2,000 boys for the role of Billy Elliot, an 11-year-old boy who dismays his working class widowed father and elder brother by taking up ballet.
Bell served as Honorary Jury President of the 2001 Giffoni Film Festival. Since his film debut in Billy Elliot, he has appeared as the disabled servant Smike in an adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby, a young soldier in Deathwatch, a teenager on the run in Undertow, a gun toting pacifist in Dear Wendy, a disaffected Southern California teenager in The Chumscrubber, and the young Jimmy in the 2005 film version of King Kong. He also appeared in Close and True, an ITV legal drama shown in 2000, which starred Robson Green, James Bolam and Susan Jameson. In 2007, he played the title character in Hallam Foe – for which he was nominated for the best actor award at the British Independent Film Awards – and appeared as himself in lonelygirl15 spin-off KateModern.
In 2005, he starred opposite Evan Rachel Wood in the Green Day video Wake Me Up When September Ends, directed by Samuel Bayer. He had roles in two 2008 films: the sci-fi film Jumper and the World War II drama Defiance. In the latter he plays Asael Bielski, the third of the Bielski Brothers – leaders of a partisan group that saved some 1,200 lives during the Holocaust. Despite rumours to the contrary, he did not appear in Thea Sharrock's West End production of Equus.
In 2009, it was announced Bell would play the title role in the motion capture film The Adventures of Tintin, alongside British double act Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The film received a U.S. release on 21 December 2011 and a U.K. release on 26 October 2011. He also starred in the 2011 films The Eagle as Esca and Jane Eyre.
In 2013, he starred alongside James McAvoy in the film Filth. In 2014, he has been offered the role of Ben Grimm/Thing in Fantastic Four.
Bell began dating American actress Evan Rachel Wood after they met while co-starring in the music video for Green Day's 2005 song "Wake Me Up When September Ends". After a year together, the couple broke up in 2006. Five years later, in the summer of 2011, it was reported that Bell and Wood had rekindled their relationship. The couple married in a small ceremony on 30 October 2012. They have one son, born in July 2013. In May 2014, Bell and Wood announced that they had separated.