Andrew James Matfin “Jamie” Bell (born 14 March 1986) is an English actor who rose to prominence for his debut role in Billy Elliot (2000) for which he won the BAFTA for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He is also best known for his roles in the films King Kong (2005), Jumper (2008), and The Adventures of Tintin (2011), as well as starring as Abraham Woodhull in the TV series, Turn (2014). He will portray of Ben Grimm/The Thing in the upcoming 2015 Fantastic Four reboot.
Bell was born in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, England, where he grew up with his mother, Eileen, and older sister, Kathryn. His father, John Bell, a toolmaker, left before Bell was born. Bell began his involvement with dance after he accompanied his sister to her ballet lessons. He was a pupil at Northfield School and took performing arts classes at the local franchise of Stagecoach Theatre Arts. He was a member of the National Youth Music Theatre. In 1999, he was chosen from a field of over 2,000 boys for the role of Billy Elliot, an 11-year-old boy who dismays his working class widowed father and older brother by taking up ballet.
1. I GO INTO MEETINGS WITH SOME FILM-MAKERS AND THEY LITERALLY HAVE NOTHING TO SAY, THEY’RE ALMOST BORED BY THEIR OWN MATERIAL. I’D RATHER WORK WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE VERY PASSIONATE AND VERY ANIMATED ABOUT WHAT THEY WANT TO DO. PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO TELL STORIES.
2. INNER DEMONS? GOT NONE OF THEM.
3. I’VE JUST BEEN BLESSED TO WORK WITH THESE REALLY GREAT PEOPLE.
4. I DON’T TAKE ANY PHOTOGRAPHS. I TRAVEL A LOT BY MYSELF, AND I FEEL WEIRD TAKING PHOTOS ON MY OWN.
5. I NEVER REALLY SYMPATHISED WITH PETER PARKER.
6. I DON’T THINK MANY PEOPLE CAN SAY THEY’VE BEEN THE LEAD IN A SPIELBERG FILM AND STILL BEEN ABLE TO LIVE THEIR NORMAL LIFE THAT THEY HAD BEFORE.
7. I NEVER HAD A FATHER FIGURE SO I NEVER MISSED IT.
8. I TAP DANCE.
9. I WANTED TO BE A JOURNALIST FOR A LONG TIME.
10. I LOVE DOCUMENTARIES. IT’S ACTUALLY MY FAVORITE MEDIUM OF FILM.
11. I EXCELLED IN ENGLISH WHILE I WAS AT SCHOOL.
12. I’M A HARD-MOUTHED NORTHEASTERN LAD. THAT’S ME – THE EMINEM OF NORTHEAST ENGLAND.
13. YOU JUST HAVE TO SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO SUPPORT AND LOVE YOU BEFORE TRYING TO SELL YOU AS A PRODUCT, OR PUSH YOU INTO SOMETHING YOU DON’T WANT TO DO.
14. DANCING IS LIKE RIDING A BIKE.
15. I’LL TELL YOU WHAT I HATE – BANDS LIKE MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE.
16. I ACTUALLY DON’T MIND RATS AT ALL. I KIND OF THINK THEY’RE QUITE CUTE, BUT THAT’S JUST ME.
17. NEW YORK IS FULL OF CRAZY PEOPLE, AND I LIKE THAT.
18. I HAVE, I THINK, EIGHT MENTORS. IT’S CRAZY, BUT I NEED THEM. THEY ARE ALL REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME. THEY KEEP ME GROUNDED AND ADVISE ME.
19. I THINK DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING IS A BRAVER WAY TO MAKE FILMS BECAUSE IT’S REAL, AND YOU’RE REALLY THERE.
20. MY FAVOURITE SUPERHERO IS OBVIOUSLY BATMAN BECAUSE HE’S THE SEXIEST. BUT I CAN’T IMAGINE MYSELF AS BATMAN.
21. I HAD TEEN ANGST FOR A WHILE, BUT I THINK EVERY TEENAGER HAS THE ANGST.
22. I LOOK AT MY CONTEMPORARIES, AND WE’RE ALL AT DIFFERENT STAGES AND LEVELS, AND ALL CHOOSING DIFFERENT ROUTES, DIFFERENT WAYS TO DO THINGS.
23. I DON’T THINK THERE’S A LOT OF ACTORS OUT THERE RIGHT NOW WHO REALLY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING AT ALL.
24. I SYMPATHIZE WITH EVERY KITCHEN PORTER.
25. I THINK EVERYONE STILL THINKS I’M 13.
26. I’M AWKWARD AROUND GIRLS.
27. I’VE GOT LOTS OF WEIRD ILLUSTRATIONS OF ME FROM JAPANESE FANS.
28. MUSIC IS PRETTY THERAPEUTIC.
29. TAP DANCING IS ALL ABOUT THE FEET; YOU PUT YOUR HEAD DOWN AND DON’T REALLY ENGAGE WITH ANYTHING BUT THE RHYTHM IN YOUR HEAD.
30. I HATE THE STEREOTYPE OF THE PITFALLS OF THE CHILD ACTOR. THERE ARE SO MANY AMAZING EXAMPLES – NATALIE PORTMAN, JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT, JODIE FOSTER, DREW BARRYMORE – OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE IT THROUGH.
31. EVERYONE IS SLOWLY CATCHING ON TO THIS ONE – AND I KNOW EVERYONE SAYS THIS – BUT WE NEED TO MAKE A LITTLE MORE EFFORT WITH THE ENVIRONMENT. EVERYONE SAYS THEY TURN OFF THEIR LIGHTS, BUT DO THEY REALLY?
32. INDIANA JONES IS VERY MUCH AN OLD-WORLD KIND OF HERO. HE DOESN’T REALLY HAVE ANY KIND OF SUPERPOWER OR RELY ON ANY KIND OF TECHNOLOGY TO HELP HIM OUT OF THINGS.
33. WE’RE KIND OF IN A VOYEURISTIC WORLD. WE HAVE TV SHOWS THAT ARE ALL ABOUT WATCHING PEOPLE DO WEIRD THINGS IN HOUSES. PEOPLE ARE OBSESSED WITH THAT. THERE’S LIVE COVERAGE OF IT.
34. I LOVE THE OLD FRED ASTAIRE AND GENE KELLY MOVIES; THEY’RE SO BEAUTIFUL TO LOOK AT. IT’S SUCH A SHAME WE DON’T MAKE THEM ANYMORE. ALTHOUGH, I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU COULD MAKE TAP DANCING CURRENT AND TOPICAL.
35. I LOST MY MIND AT 15. I’D BEEN SHOWN A WORLD WHERE THERE WERE NO BOUNDARIES, WHERE EVERYONE GAVE ME ALL THE POWER. AND I WAS LIKE, ‘THIS IS GREAT!’ THEN THAT WAS GONE. BUT I WAS LIKE, ‘YEAH, BUT I STILL WANT THAT.’ I’D LOST MY HUMBLE, VERY QUIET, INTROVERTED SENSIBILITIES WHICH I THINK I DEFINITELY HAD AS A KID.
36. WELL, I AM OBSESSIVE ABOUT MY WORK. I THROW MYSELF IN ALL THE WAY.
37. MY CHARACTERS ARE OFTEN WITHOUT A SIGNIFICANT PARENTAL FIGURE.
38. IT’S HARD TO INCORPORATE DANCE INTO MOVIES I THINK.
39. I’M NO GOOD AT THE ONE-LINER THING. IT’S JUST NOT ME.