Bell, Jamie (I) Biography

biography of Bell, Jamie (I)

14 March 1986, Billingham, Stockton on Tees, England, UK
5' 7"
Jamie Bell was born in 1986 in Billingham, England, UK, coming from a family of dancers including his grandmother, mother, aunt, and sister. It was at his sister's dance practices that he would stand outside the door and imitate the movements of the dancers inside. At age six, he was encouraged to step inside the door and, thus, his dance career began. His own story parallels that of _Billy Elliot (2000)_ (qv) in that Jamie kept his dancing a secret from his friends at school. His mother had him when she was 16 and, unfortunately, he never knew his father. When he met 'Stephen Daldry' (qv), director of _Billy Elliot (2000)_ (qv), Jamie adopted him as his father. Once the word about his dancing got out, he was harassed, but this only made him more determined to prove that dancing wasn't just for girls. He has proven a lot by landing the title role of _Billy Elliot (2000)_ (qv), winning the role in an audition that included more than 2,000 boys from the northeast of England. His ensuing performance certainly justified the selection since he has not only won the hearts of moviegoers all over the world, he has also been nominated for and won a number of awards, including a Best Newcomer Award and then a Best Male Performance at the BAFTA awards.
Tina Owen

-   'Evan Rachel Wood' (qv) (30 October 2012 - present)

-   Started dancing when he was six. Dancers have been in his family for ages. His sister, his mother, grandmother, and aunt all danced before him.

-   First decided to act when he was nine.

-   First acting performance is reported to be part of the London stage production of Bugsy Malone in Christmas 1998.

-   Was teased by classmates when they found out that Jamie took ballet, and called him "Ballerina Boy".

-   When he won Best Actor at the 2001 British Academy Awards (BAFTAs), not only did he beat the Best Actor Oscar winner of that year, 'Russell Crowe' (qv), but the other three nominees he beat out - 'Tom Hanks' (qv), 'Michael Douglas (I)' (qv) and 'Geoffrey Rush' (qv) - had also won the Best Actor Oscar in past years.

-   Lives in Billingham with his mother Eileen and older sister Cathryn. He has no contact with his father John whom his mother divorced before Jamie was born.

-   Was chosen out of 2000 boys to play "Billy Elliot" over a series of seven auditions. Criteria that the casting director was looking for were acting ability, dancing ability and the right Northern English accent.

-   Only the second actor ever to be awarded Outstanding Performance by a Young Actor from the National Board of Review, USA. The first was fellow Brit 'Christian Bale' (qv) in 1987 (then titled Outstanding Juvenile Performance) for _Empire of the Sun (1987)_ (qv).

-   Prefers tap dancing over ballet. Has been in many tap-dancing competitions and won many awards.

-   Was Honorary Jury President of the 2001 Giffoni Film Festival.

-   A former student at the Stagecoach Theater School.

-   He became interested in baseball when he visited the United States for the first time, and he began collecting all of the teams jerseys.

-   Named among Fade In Magazine's "100 People in Hollywood You Need to Know" in 2005.

-   He was accompanied by his then girlfriend 'Evan Rachel Wood' (qv) to the _King Kong (2005)_ (qv) premiere in New York.

-   Met his former girlfriend, 'Evan Rachel Wood' (qv), while they filming 'Green Day' (qv)'s music video for "Wake Me Up When September Ends", where they played an actual couple.

-   Divides his time between London and New York.

-   Very good friends with 'Anne Hathaway' (qv), 'Romola Garai' (qv) and 'Charlie Hunnam' (qv) whom he met while filming _Nicholas Nickleby (2002)_ (qv).

-   Was ranked #19 on Entertainment Weekly's '30 Under 30' the actors list.(2008).

-   Sister's name is Cathryn.

-   Mother's name is Eileen.

-   Father's name is John, but he has never met him.

-   Arsenal is his favorite British soccer team.

-   Was in a relationship with 'Evan Rachel Wood' (qv) (June 2005-September 2006).

-   Good friends with 'Camilla Belle' (qv).

-   Appeared with the National Youth Music Theatre in 'Tin Pan Ali', 'Bugsy Malone' and 'The Wizard Of Oz'.

-   Performed on BBC Radio 4 in My Uncle Freddie.

-   (2005): Appeared in the Green Day video for "Wake Me Up When September Ends".

-   (2007) Appeared in episodes of teen internet drama KateModern.

-   [on why he continued pursuing ballet despite the mockery] - "The other boys called me 'poof', 'ballerina boy', "Get on your tutu, Jamie." It gave me more determination to prove it wasn't just for girls. It was for boys as well."

-   [on winning awards, after he won the British Academy award] "It's just an award although it is a big one. It is no good getting too big-headed. I've been very busy and I'm very tired. I've been given advice, you know on speech-making and things like that. It's kind of weird that the other guys didn't win because they're such big guys."

-   (It's true that) most British movies are emotional and I agree that most American actors look manufactured. It's a shame.

-   Ballet is very hard. It takes a lot of practice to get to a certain standard. You have to know a lot about the steps because when you take examinations they'll ask you all about it.

-   "(_Billy Elliot (2000)_ (qv)) got that (R-rating) because of the swearing. But it wouldn't be what it was without the swearing, kids need to swear".

-   I'm a hard-mouthed north-eastern lad. That's me - the Eminem of Northeast England.

-   You probably won't see me dance in the movies again unless there's a 'Moulin Rouge 2' or 'Chicago Returns'.

-   I hate maths. I can't stand it. Circumferences of circles and stuff - it's horrible.

-   [assured fans he won't suffer the same fate] "I wouldn't do a Macaulay. I have sensible people around me. I see this industry as a risky business. The money thing has always been in my control. I have always had people looking after it for me. I do love buying things - stupid gadgets. I'll say, 'I want one of them.' But I do the sensible thing, knuckle down, do some good work and keep a low profile."

-   (on Hollywood) "I go because that's where the work is, but I like, use and abuse. I fly in for the meetings, then fly out. That community is really small, so everybody knows each other. I kind of don't like that. It's not really a community I feel very welcome in."

-   (why he picks roles based on directors) "I love looking down my résumé and seeing all those great people on it like 'David Gordon Green' (qv), and of course 'Peter Jackson (I)' (qv) and 'Stephen Daldry' (qv). When I look at it, I feel very proud for myself and the people around me who have managed to get me these roles."

-   I think I became my own person dealing with my mother and sister. I never had a father figure so I never missed it. In fact, I thought it would be just another person to discipline me.

-   I can understand why everyone sees me as Billy Elliot; it was the first thing I did, so I was determined to take the most diverse route possible. It wasn't to annoy people, but it seems to have upset so many people.

-   I know people think that if you've had success young you're going to blow it, but did you see Batman, did you see Christian Bale? He's so on top of his game. I've worked with a Culkin - Rory, he's a totally centered guy and he's something ridiculous, like 15. Whatever happened with Macaulay I don't know. The kid isn't messed up. Something happens to the kid to make them messed up. People are not born messed up. Things happen. People should be more sensitive.

-   Inner demons? Got none of them. I had teen angst for a while, but I think every teenager has the angst.

-   The young generation of actors are lazy. They don't do any work. They turn up, and say their lines. I would rather get better at what I do.

-   It's fortunate that I don't have to live with being Ballet Boy any more. After this I'll be called the nipple-circling dress-wearer or Rat Boy. - On his character Hallem Foe.

-   It makes no real difference because he was never there. Never having it (support from father), you don't really miss it. (My mother) raised me and my sister herself. That was incredibly difficult.

-   I think it would have ruined my life. Can you imagine going back to school on Tuesday after winning an Oscar? You'd be nuts. It's unsafe in this industry for a young person. You need to be protected and to keep good people around you. - On missing out an Academy Award nomination for Billy Elliott.

-   Learning my skill was more important than getting a big pay cheque or running away from big robots.

-   I can appreciate the spotlight and pressure Heath was under. There is a feeling that, however supportive your family is, you are very much on your own in this business. I cannot pretend to know what was going on in his life. I can imagine how he felt. The film business is wonderful and I love it. But the flip side is that the expectations are very big . . . don't get ill and don't get depressed. - On Heath Ledger and the pressures of working too much.

-   I have grown in confidence. And I do like to think I know the difference between confidence and arrogance.

-   My biggest fear was that I would not be able to take the step from a child actor to an adult.I think it happened when I was able to play a soldier in Deathwatch, set in the trenches of the first world war. The film didn't quite work out - it was a very good movie, almost - but I think that got me up and running as a grown-up actor.

-   [on filming _The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)_] There were times when I didn't think I could do another take, but it does help to know your way through the pain. I am not an old man by any means, but when you are in a [motion-capture] suit and helmet, it is not the most comfortable environment.

-   I like being able to hide behind the characters I play. I like to be an elusive and anonymous actor.

-   I'm not delusional. I know I'm 5'7" with slightly jug ears.

-   (April 2006) Filming _Hallam Foe (2007)_ (qv) in Edinburgh & Glasgow.

-   "Starlog" (USA), May 2008, Iss. 365, pg. 38-41, by: Ian Spelling, "Jumping About"

-   "The Independent" (UK), 31 August 2007, Iss. 6513, pg. 15, by: Alice-Azania Jarvis, "The 5-Minute Interview: Jamie Bell 'I once ran into Robbie Williams in the bathroom'"

-   "King Kong: The Official Movie Souvenir Magazine" (USA), December 2005, Iss. 1, pg. 44-47, by: David Bassom, "The Life Of A Cabin Boy"

-   "Urban Cinefile" (Australia), 2/11/2000, Vol. na, Iss. na, pg. na, by: Jenny Cooney Carillo, "Bell, Jamie: Billy Elliot"

-   "The Times Magazine" (UK), 3 January 2009, pg. 38 - 41, by: Ben Machell (interview) Christopher Lane (portraits), "An Englishman in New York"

-   "Entertainment Weekly" (USA), 29 October 2004, Vol. 1, Iss. 790, pg. 51, by: Joshua Rich, "Southern Bell"

-   "AD Rotterdams Dagblad" (Netherlands), 22 June 2012, "Nog meer sterren dan aan de hemel"

-   "The Big Issue" (UK), 1 August 2005

-   "Sunday Times, The (UK)", 20 August 2000

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Acting in movies

  1. "In the Qube 3D" (2011) {Barbarian, Bulls and Blue (#1.4)}
  2. The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun (2015)
  3. Filth (2013)
  4. Nymphomaniac (2013)
  5. Snowpiercer (2013)
  6. Man on a Ledge (2012)
  7. The World of Tintin (2012) (V)
  8. Tintin: In the Volume (2012) (V)
  9. "Made in Hollywood" (2005) {(#7.15)}
  10. "The Hour" (2005) {(#8.71)}
  11. "Up Close with Carrie Keagan" (2007) {(2012-01-24)}
  12. Jane Eyre (2011)
  13. Retreat (2011/I)
  14. The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
  15. The Eagle (2011)
  16. "Breakfast" (2000) {(2011-03-10)}
  17. "Cinema 3" (1984) {(2011-04-14)}
  18. "Cinema 3" (1984) {(2011-10-27)}
  19. "Días de cine" (1991) {(2011-03-10)}
  20. "Días de cine" (1991) {(2011-04-07)}
  21. "Días de cine" (1991) {(2011-10-27)}
  22. "El hormiguero" (2006) {(2011-10-26)}
  23. "Janela Indiscreta" (2010) {(#1.87)}
  24. "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" (2003) {(#10.94)}
  25. "Made in Hollywood" (2005) {(#6.15)}
  26. "Made in Hollywood" (2005) {(#7.11)}
  27. "The Big Picture" (2011) {November 2011 (#2.6)}
  28. "The Big Picture" (2011) {The Adventures of Tintin (#2.5)}
  29. "The Graham Norton Show" (2007) {Compilation (#10.10)}
  30. "The Graham Norton Show" (2007) {Kate Winslet/Jamie Bell/Rob Brydon/Noah & the Whale (#10.1)}
  31. "The Hour" (2005) {(#8.58)}
  32. "Up Close with Carrie Keagan" (2007) {(2011-02-10)}
  33. Defiance: Return to the Forest (2009) (V)
  34. "Up Close with Carrie Keagan" (2007) {(2009-01-08)}
  35. "Xposé" (2007) {(#3.80)}
  36. "Xposé" (2007) {(#3.81)}
  37. Defiance (2008/I)
  38. Doug Liman's Jumper: Uncensored (2008) (V)
  39. Erika Rabau: Puck of Berlin (2008)
  40. Jumper (2008)
  41. Jumper (2008) (VG)
  42. "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" (2001) {(#14.5)}
  43. "Up Close with Carrie Keagan" (2007) {(2008-02-12)}
  44. "Up Close with Carrie Keagan" (2007) {(2008-02-14)}
  45. Hallam Foe (2007)
  46. The Orange British Academy Film Awards (2007) (TV)
  47. "British Film Forever" (2007) {Guns, Gangsters and Getaways: The Story of the British Crime Thriller (#1.1)}
  48. "British Film Forever" (2007) {Hardship, Humour and Heroes: The Story of British Realism (#1.3)}
  49. "Movie Connections" (2007) {Billy Elliot (#1.3)}
  50. Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
  51. Recreating the Eighth Wonder: The Making of 'King Kong' (2006) (V)
  52. Green Day Makes a Video: Wake Me Up When September Ends (2005) (TV)
  53. King Kong (2005)
  54. King Kong: Peter Jackson's Production Diaries (2005) (V)
  55. King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (2005) (VG)
  56. Letters to Dear Wendy (2005) (TV)
  57. The Chumscrubber (2005)
  58. Under the Undertow (2005) (V)
  59. "Corazón de..." (1997) {(2005-12-07)}
  60. "HBO First Look" (1992) {King Kong (#12.29)}
  61. "The Frank Skinner Show" (1995) {(#9.9)}
  62. Dear Wendy (2004)
  63. Undertow (2004)
  64. 'Nicholas Nickleby': The Cast on the Cast (2003) (V)
  65. Creating a Classic: The Making of 'Nicholas Nickleby' (2003) (V)
  66. Deathwatch (2002)
  67. Nicholas Nickleby (2002)
  68. The Orange British Academy Film Awards (2002) (TV)
  69. 'Billy Elliot': Breaking Free (2001) (V)
  70. 7th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2001) (TV)
  71. Bourne to Dance (2001) (TV)
  72. The 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2001) (TV)
  73. The 73rd Annual Academy Awards (2001) (TV)
  74. The Orange British Academy Film Awards (2001) (TV)
  75. "Omnibus" (1967) {The 'Billy Elliot' Boy}
  76. Billy Elliot (2000)
  77. "Close & True" (2000) {Town and Gown (#1.2)}
  78. "The Frank Skinner Show" (1995) {(#4.11)}
  79. "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" (1996) {(2000-10-24)}