Jamie Bell has been in the industry for most of his life. Today, the 37-year-old actor has taken a quieter path, accepting character roles in serious dramas such as Films Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Snowpiercer, Rocket Man, Jane Eyre and Gus von Trier’s controversial Nymphomaniac.
Through hard work and talent, Bell has garnered a reputation for being one of the most reliable actors working in the business. Despite keeping a relatively low profile in 2023, Jamie Bell began his career in a grand way. He won the part of Billy Elliott in 1999 (when he was 13) over 2,000 boys. The film ultimately changed his life, winning him the Best Actor BAFTA in a year that featured tough competition.
Billy Elliott tells the heartwarming tale of a working class boy living in rural England, who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. However, societal expectations prevent him from showing his true colors. Luckily, a kind-hearted dance instructor (Julie Walters) sees his potential, and dedicates her time to bring out the best in Billy.
By the time cameras began to roll in 1999, Bell had already been a trained dancer for 6 years. He followed his older sister to ballet school, and just like Billy, was teased for it. The sacrifice paid off, because Jamie Bell was born to play Billy Elliott. He captured the nuances and struggles of a young boy finding his identity, while making his dancing talent believable on screen. It was “A Star is Born” moment.