Born: Benjamin Barnes, 20 August 1981, London, England
Other name(s): Ben Barnes
Years active: 2006 - present
Benjamin "Ben" Barnes (born 20 August 1981) is an English actor. He has appeared in the television series Doctors and Split Decision, and in the films Stardust, Bigga Than Ben, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Easy Virtue, where he also performed two songs. He will appear in Oliver Parker's The Picture of Dorian Gray as Dorian Gray.
Barnes was born in London, England to Tricia, a psychotherapist, and Thomas Barnes, a professor of psychiatry. He has a younger brother, Jack, and is an alumnus of both Homefield Preparatory School and King's College School, where he was a contemporary of film actor Khalid Abdalla and comedian Tom Basden. He studied Drama and English literature at Kingston University.
Barnes began his acting career in theatre in 2004.
It was revealed in the June/July 2008 issue of CosmoGIRL! magazine that he was a singer in the boyband Hyrise, who were in the running to represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2004. Barnes began working in television in 2006. He made his film debut in the 2007 film Stardust, portraying Young Dunstan Thorn. He later starred in Suzie Halewood's Bigga Than Ben, which was released in October 2008 in the UK.
In February 2007, it was announced Barnes would play the role of Caspian in the film adaption of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, directed by Andrew Adamson. Adamson said "Caspian is a coming of age and, to some degree, a loss of innocence story, with Caspian starting out quite naïve, then craving revenge and finally letting go of the vengeance." While many readers interpret Caspian as a child, a passage in the novel mentions his age to be near that of Peter's, so an older actor was sought to match William Moseley. Barnes had read the novel as a child, and was cast in two-and-a-half weeks after meeting with the filmmakers. He spent two months in New Zealand horse riding and stunt training to prepare for shooting. Barnes modelled his Spanish accent on Mandy Patinkin's performance as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride. Adamson did not expect to cast a British actor as Caspian, and said Barnes fitted well into the surrogate family of Adamson and the four actors playing the Pevensies. When cast, Barnes was appearing in the National Theatre's West End production of The History Boys: producer Mark Johnson joked Barnes "probably isn't the National 's favorite actor right now", although Barnes has stated in interviews that he gave the theatre good notice.
Barnes worked his way around the world in June to promote Prince Caspian. He reprised his role (this time as King Caspian) in the third film in the Narnia series, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
In Spring 2008 he finished filming the role of John Whittaker for Noël Coward's romantic comedy, Easy Virtue opposite Jessica Biel. Written and directed by Australian Stephan Elliott the film was premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on 8 September 2008. It was also scheduled for the Rio Film Festival and London Film Festival prior to its 7 November release world wide. Ben performed two songs, A Room with a View and I'll see you again which are also featured on the soundtrack for the movie (released on 11 November 2008).
As of October 2008, Barnes has finished filming the title role in the latest version of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray for Ealing Studios directed by Oliver Parker.
- 2006 - Doctors - as Craig Unwin (TV series)
- 2006 - Split Decision - as Chris Wilbur (TV series)
- 2007 - Stardust - as Young Dunstan
- 2008 - Bigga Than Ben - as Cobakka
- 2008 - The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - as Prince Caspian
- 2008 - Easy Virtue - as John Whittaker
- 2009 - Dorian Gray - as Dorian Gray (Post Production)
- 2010 - The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader - as King Caspian (Pre-Production)
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