Ben Whishaw Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (25)  | Personal Quotes (51)

Overview (3)

Born in Clifton, Bedfordshire, England, UK
Birth NameBenjamin John Whishaw
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Proclaimed by many critics as one of the best young actors of his generation, Benjamin John Whishaw was born in Clifton, Bedfordshire, to Linda (Hope), who works in cosmetics, and Jose Whishaw, who works in information technology. He has a twin brother, James. He is of French, German, Russian (father) and English (mother) descent.

Ben attended Samuel Whitbread Community College where his interest in theatre grew and he became a member of the Bancroft Players Youth Theatre at Hitchin's Queen Mother Theatre. During his time there he rose to prominence in many productions, most notably If This Is a Man, based on the book of the same name by Primo Levi, a survivor of Nazi World War II prisoner of war camp. The play was taken to the Edinburgh Festival in 1995 where it garnered five-star reviews and great critical acclaim with Ben Whishaw getting rave reviews for his portrayal of Levi.

Ben then enrolled in, RADA from where he graduated in 2004 and soon landed the role of Hamlet in Trevor Nunn's 2004 production making him one of the youngest actors to portray Hamlet on-stage. Hamlet opened to rave reviews with many critics hailing Ben as the next Laurence Olivier and applauding his portrayal of Hamlet with leading critics haling the birth of a star. Whishaw's film and TV credits include Layer Cake (2004) and Christopher Morris 2005 sitcom Nathan Barley (2005), in which he played a character called Pingu. He was named "Most Promising Newcomer" at the 2001 British Independent Film Awards (for My Brother Tom (2001)) and, in 2005, nominated as best actor in four award ceremonies for his Hamlet. He also played Keith Richards in the Stephen Woolley biopic Stoned (2005). Whishaw played in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006) as Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a perfume maker whose craft turns deadly getting raves once again for his stunning portrayal. Whishaw appeared in 2007's I'm Not There (2007) as one of the Bob Dylan reincarnations and in 2008 in Criminal Justice (2008) a TV series. He appears in the forthcoming films The Tempest (2010) and Bright Star (2009).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ben's fan

Spouse (1)

Mark Bradshaw (August 2012 - present)

Trivia (25)

Graduated from Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
Has a twin brother, James.
Enjoys music, dance, visual arts and traveling.
Grew up in Bedfordshire, and attended the Bancroft Players Youth Theatre at the Hitchin's Queen Mother Theatre.
Took in a couple of stray cats living in his neighborhood.
Beat out Leonardo DiCaprio and Orlando Bloom for the role of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006).
Favorite actor is James Stewart.
Favourite film is Vertigo (1958).
Lives in London.
Father is a computer engineer and mother is a sales person.
Good friends with his Brideshead Revisited (2008) co-star Matthew Goode.
Enjoys reading, painting and gardening in his spare time.
Entered into a civil partnership with his partner Mark Bradshaw in August 2012. They met on the set of Bright Star (2009).
Met his husband, Australian composer Mark Bradshaw on the set while making Bright Star (2009), in 2008, and was civilly married in August 2012.
At age 32, he is the youngest actor to portray Q in a James Bond film.
Confirmed to be one of the actors performing in 'His Dark Materials' at the Royal National Theatre. [August 2004]
Played Hamlet to rave reviews at the Old Vic, London. [May 2004]
Performing John Logan's "Peter & Alice" with Judi Dench at Noel Coward Theatre, London. Starring as Peter Llewellyn Davies. [May 2013]
Starring off-Broadway as "Oliver" in "The Pride", by Alexi Kaye Campbell, directed by Joe Mantello. With Hugh Dancy, Adam James, Andrea Riseborough. [February 2010]
Appearing in "His Dark Materials" at the Royal National Theatre, directed by Nicholas Hytner. [December 2003]
His paternal grandfather, John Vladimir Stellmacher, was of German and Russian descent, and spied for the British during World War II, later taking the surname "Whishaw". His paternal grandmother, Olga Adele Bernard, was French. Ben's mother is of English background.
Has played several characters who were writers, including a character inspired by Arthur Rimbaud in I'm Not There (2007), John Keats in Bright Star (2009), and Herman Melville in In the Heart of the Sea (2015); and fictional author Robert Frobisher in Cloud Atlas (2012).
Replaced Colin Firth as the voice of the title character in Paddington (2014). Whishaw was originally reluctant to take on the role and passed on it the first time around. He came on board when the film's director sent him a sincere letter in which he eagerly encouraged him to reconsider his choice.
Favorite James Bond films are Dr. No (1962) and From Russia with Love (1963).
Won the 2019 Golden Globe Award in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television category for his role as Norman Scott in A Very English Scandal (2018).

Personal Quotes (51)

I began to feel that he was a character who, left to his own devices, wouldn't really speak at all. I thought about him as being autistic in some way. He simply doesn't understand human beings. Social situations terrify him. On the character Jean-Baptiste Grenouille
It's difficult, it's a bit like acting in a silent movie. That's what Dustin Hoffman said to me, anyway. We did the scenes with him in the first two weeks, and as he was leaving he said, 'Well now you're making a silent film, Ben; good luck!".- On making Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)
I've been out to LA a couple of times but, over there, the Grenouille in me always comes to the surface. I feel completely terrified, totally flummoxed, like I don't understand what the hell is going on. I've no desire at all to go back there.
I do think Dylan's incredible.I sort of fell in love with him. I became obsessed. But I've moved on now. I always do.
There are certainly other things I'd like to have a go at one day.I'd like to have a go at directing. Or maybe I'll go back to painting. Or maybe thinking about those things is just my way of protecting myself if it all goes wrong.
I don't have any ambition to make lots of money or win an Oscar or anything like that. It's not about that for me. I'm very lucky to have found the thing that makes me tick.
I didn't really get much. I was with all these beautiful girls who I've murdered, all looking gorgeous, and I was the spare prick at the wedding. - About Berlin Film Festival's paparazzi.
I'm so lucky to be able to do what I do, and it would be abusing it just to make money. I don't need lots of money, I'm not motivated by that. I would feel really dirty I think.
The criminal justice system, like any system designed by human beings, clearly has its flaws.
The thing I love most about acting is that your capacity evolves as you evolve as a human being.
The most amazing thing is when you find yourself watching someone in the café or something doing something weird. It's amazing what people do, isn't it, when you just look at them, when you take the time to look.
I think I have a degree of confidence, but I also have terrible insecurity, like anybody does.
When you have a character to work with, you carry them around in a strange way - they make you look at the world in a different way.
I used to collect knick-knacks, like wizards, trolls and little Buddhas, and arrange them like precious things on a shelf.
Filmmakers tell stories to explore human nature, which is always a flawed thing.
I don't think anyone can walk through the world in a state of vulnerability all the time, can they?
I'm really hopeless with technology - I don't even have a computer.
I love films. I love music. I love poetry and stories. All of that I feel... I sort of get very excited and fed by.
I love taking on other people's words. They are much more interesting to me than my own.
Your one certainty in life, your power as a human being, is that you have a choice in every situation about what you do next and about how you take what has happened to you.
We are so mired in the complexity of our reactions to other people that when you come across someone who is asocial, there is a simplicity that is refreshing.
I think the sensation of being moved by a piece of art is something that is really good for a person's soul.
I reckon domesticated cats have a pretty good life.
The thing about acting is that it's fairly random. At the end of the day you take what drifts past you or what's given to you.
I wish that the arts were better supported, and you can't say that enough times, but I also believe that whatever happens, artists will keep going.
It's fun to pretend you're good at something you know you wouldn't be good at in real life.
My intuition comes up with better stuff than my head, I think.
I'm not tortured and neurasthenic - I'm really not.
What I notice about people who are gifted in filmmaking is that they're great thinkers. They engage with big ideas and they engage with people.
I think that sometimes in theater, I don't prepare much beyond going to the rehearsals.
In film, I find it very useful always to do some preparation before you start rehearsals or start shooting, because there's so much that's against you on a film set.
One of the things I find very difficult about theatre is the repetition - that something can slide away from your original intentions.
I've gone on workout regimes, but I seem to have a system that is very resistant to changing.
Even today, England is a very repressed, repressive country, and there's pressure to be kind of a certain way, so people do things that ultimately make them sad.
Keats himself spoke about how Shakespeare was capable of erasing himself completely from the characters he had created. As an actor, that is what I'm trying to do.
I don't think I am especially interested in celebrities, but I love talking about what is going on with people and why they do what they do.
I'm a fairly private person.
I find it really hard to say anything coherent or interesting about the work I do.
The thing I love about acting is that you can bring something very personal into the open and at the same time remain hidden because you're always playing a character in a story that someone else has imagined. You're always protected.
I am a typical Libran. I tend to see two sides of everything.
I do get stopped on the street, although rarely. And they always have something lovely to say.
For me, it's important to keep a level of anonymity.
I find it weird that people want to know about you.
I think being very thin has had a lot to do with how I've been cast.
I would have loved to have been a painter or a sculptor. I'm still fascinated by those things.
I love the characters I've had the opportunity to play.
I'd like to have a go at directing.
I was quite a shy child - not chronically, but I tended to blend into the background.
My favorite Bond films are the really early ones, the first ones in fact, like Dr. No (1962) and From Russia with Love (1963).
When I finished my A-levels, I assumed I'd be able to get work as an actor. But I couldn't. I didn't get an audition. Nothing. So I thought I'd better train and then the parts would come.
[on his hair] Sort of neglect of it, really. I don't wash it often. I will often put a hat on it to squash it down a bit.

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