Not long after British actor Ben Whishaw debuted onscreen in the late '90s, he began to reveal a gift (and a proclivity) for essaying some of the more intense and unusual characterizations in contemporary cinema, occasionally delivering uncanny evocations of real-life figures. Whishaw was memorable as a young Keith Richards in Stephen Woolley's Brian Jones biopic Stoned (2005), then portrayed a demented young man so determined to capture "the scent of womanhood" that he resorts to serial murder in Tom Tykwer's psychological thriller Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006). Whishaw evoked a young Bob Dylan (one of many) in Todd Haynes' controversial avant-garde biopic of the folk singer, I'm Not There (2007), then signed on to portray famed author John Keats in director Jane Campion's dramatization of the Keats/Fanny Brawne romance, Bright Star (2008). That same year, audiences could catch Whishaw's portrayal of Sebastian in Julian Jarrold's big-screen Evelyn Waugh adaptation , Brideshead Revisited (2008). In the years to come, Winshaw would remain a bankable actor, with prominent roles in films like Skyfall and Cloud Atlas.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Began his ascent to stage-acting prominence as a 15-year-old, following his acclaimed portrayal of Primo Levi in the play If This Is a Man at the 1995 Edinburgh Festival.
- Received the Most Promising Newcomer award at the 2001 British Independent Film Awards for his costarring role in the film My Brother Tom.
- Was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2005 for his performance in Trevor Nunn's version of Hamlet.
- Won the 2009 International Emmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor for his work in the BBC television series Criminal Justice.
- Has said in interviews that he doesn't read reviews of his work.