James is best known for playing Aldhelm in series 2-5 of the BBC/Netflix drama ‘The Last Kingdom’ from 2017-2022. The show is set in Anglo Saxon England and is based on the novels by Bernard Cornwell. He also starred in the feature-length film version of the show, ‘Seven Kings Must Die’ which was released in 2023. In 2019 he played Alexander Bezborodko in the Sky/HBO Golden Globe and Emmy nominated TV series ‘Catherine The Great’ which starred Helen Mirren in the title role.
He has appeared in a number of high profile TV series including playing John Spode in the BBC’s drama series ‘SS-GB’ which is set in a parallel universe where the Germans won World War II. He had a role in the ITV period crime drama ‘The Suspicions of Mr Whicher’, the BBC Two period drama ‘Life in Squares’ which starred James Norton and Rupert Penry-Jones and the Oscar and BAFTA winning BBC drama series ‘Anna Karenina’ which was set in 19th century Russia and is based on the novel by Tolstoy. He has also had roles in Series 2 of the BBC legal drama ‘Silk’, and ITV’s ‘Endeavour’. In 2023 he has a role in the new Netflix Harlan Coben crime thriller series 'Fool Me Once', due out late 2023.
Film credits include playing house-sitting musician Tom in the "uplfiting and emotionally intense" 2023 film 'A Clever Woman', first screened as part of the official selection at the 2022 Edinburgh Film Festival; ‘Patient Zero’ which also starred Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer and Stanley Tucci; and ‘The Imitation Game’, the Oscar winning World War II film about Enigma code breaker Alan Turing, which also starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. He played Jack Good who worked alongside Turing at Bletchley Park. In 2015 he starred in the sci-fi film ‘The Open’ which won a number of awards on the film festival circuit that year.
He also had a role in ‘A United Kingdom’ a film about the King of Botswana who married a British white woman, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, as well as the award winning 2013 film ‘Belle’ which is based on the true story of the illegitimate biracial daughter of a Royal Navy Captain. He played Edgar Linton in the 2011 film adaptation of ‘Wuthering Heights’ which won a number of awards on the independent film festival circuit including at the Venice Film Festival.
His work on stage includes leads in ‘Translations’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ at the Sheffield Crucible, ‘The Changeling’ at Southwark Playhouse, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ at The Globe Theatre, and playing Alan Bennett in ‘Lady in the Van’ at The Bath Theatre Royal. In 2023 he played Valter Saarniit in the BBC Radio Four audio drama ‘The Lion’, the first English language production of the compelling and thought-provoking story which won Best European Drama at the 2022 Audio Drama Awards.
James has a predominantly neutral sound with hints of a West Country accent having been brought up in Somerset. He can delve much deeper into a West Country accent on request or take it out completely. He can also do a superb RP if required and is confident with Yorkshire, American and Estuary/Essex accents too.
A Clever Woman (Film, 2023) – 'Tom', Jon Sanders Films
Seven Kings Must Die (Film, 2023) – 'Aldhelm', Netflix
The Last Kingdom (TV, 2017-2022) – 'Aldhelm', BBC/Netflix, Series 2-5
The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare's Globe, 2020) (Theatre, 2020) – 'Lucentio', The Globe
Catherine The Great (TV, 2018) – 'Alexander Bezborodko', Sky Atlantic/HBO
Patient Zero (Film, 2018) – 'Pete Townshend', Vertical Entertainment
SS-GB (TV, 2017) – 'John Spode', BBC One
The Lady in the Van (Theatre Royal, Bath, 2017) (Theatre, 2017) – 'Alan Bennett', Theatre Royal, Bath
A United Kingdom (TV, 2016) – 'Roberts', BBC Films/BFI/20th Century Fox
Life In Squares (TV, 2015) – 'Adrian Stephens', BBC Two
Pride and Prejudice (Sheffield Crucible, 2015) (Theatre, 2015) – 'Mr Darcy', Sheffield Crucible
The Open (Film, 2015) – 'Ralph'
The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (TV, 2014) – 'Linus Finch', ITV, Episode 4
Translations (Sheffield Crucible, 2014) (Theatre, 2014) – 'Yolland', Sheffield Crucible
Endeavour (TV, 2013) – 'Johnny Broom', ITV, Series 1
Belle (Film, 2013) – 'Mr Vaughn', BFI/Pinewood/Fox
Nymphomaniac: Vol I (Film, 2013) – 'Young Lad 1 on a Train', Nordisk Film
Anna Karenina (Film, 2012) – 'Princess Betsey's Footman', BBC Films
Silk (TV, 2012) – 'Tom McFarland', BBC One, Series 2
Wuthering Heights (Film, 2011) – 'Edgar Linton', Ecosse Films/Film 4/UK Film Council
The Changeling (Southwark Playhouse, 2011) (Theatre, 2011) – 'Alonzo de Piracquo', Southwark Playhouse
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