Date of Birth
14 December 1986, Billingham, Stockton on Tees, England, UK
5' 7" (1.7 m)
Jamie Bell was born in 1986 in Billingham, England, UK, to Eileen (Matfin) and John Bell, a toolmaker. He comes from a family of dancers including his grandmother, mother, aunt, and sister. It was at his sister's dance practices that he would stand outside the door and imitate the movements of the dancers inside. At age six, he was encouraged to step inside the door and, thus, his dance career began. His own story parallels that of Billy Elliot (2000) in that Jamie kept his dancing a secret from his friends at school. His mother had him when she was 16 and, unfortunately, he never knew his father.
When he met Stephen Daldry, director of Billy Elliot (2000), Jamie adopted him as his father. Once the word about his dancing got out, he was harassed, but this only made him more determined to prove that dancing wasn't just for girls. He has proven a lot by landing the title role of Billy Elliot (2000), winning the role in an audition that included more than 2,000 boys from the northeast of England. His ensuing performance certainly justified the selection since he has not only won the hearts of moviegoers all over the world, he has also been nominated for and won a number of awards, including a Best Newcomer Award and then a Best Male Performance at the BAFTA awards.
Started dancing when he was six. Dancers have been in his family for ages. His sister, his mother, grandmother, and aunt all danced before him.
First decided to act when he was nine.
First acting performance is reported to be part of the London stage production of Bugsy Malone in Christmas 1998.
Was teased by classmates when they found out that Jamie took ballet, and called him "Ballerina Boy".
When he won Best Actor at the 2001 British Academy Awards (BAFTAs), not only did he beat the Best Actor Oscar winner of that year, Russell Crowe, but the other three nominees he beat out - Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas and Geoffrey Rush - had also won the Best Actor Oscar in past years.
Lives in Billingham with his mother Eileen and older sister Cathryn. He has no contact with his father John whom his mother divorced before Jamie was born.
Was chosen out of 2000 boys to play "Billy Elliot" over a series of seven auditions. Criteria that the casting director was looking for were acting ability, dancing ability and the right Northern English accent.
Only the second actor ever to be awarded Outstanding Performance by a Young Actor from the National Board of Review, USA. The first was fellow Brit Christian Bale in 1987 (then titled Outstanding Juvenile Performance) for Empire of the Sun (1987).
Prefers tap dancing over ballet. Has been in many tap-dancing competitions and won many awards.
Was Honorary Jury President of the 2001 Giffoni Film Festival.
A former student at the Stagecoach Theater School.
He became interested in baseball when he visited the United States for the first time, and he began collecting all of the teams' jerseys.
Named among Fade In Magazine's "100 People in Hollywood You Need to Know" in 2005.
He was accompanied by his then girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood to the King Kong (2005) premiere in New York.
Met his former wife Evan Rachel Wood while filming Green Day's music video for "Wake Me Up When September Ends", where they played an actual couple.
Divides his time between London and New York.
Very good friends with Anne Hathaway, Romola Garai and Charlie Hunnam whom he met while filming Nicholas Nickleby (2002).
Was ranked #19 on Entertainment Weekly's '30 Under 30' the actors list.(2008).
Sister's name is Cathryn.
Mother's name is Eileen.
Father's name is John, but he has never met him.
Arsenal is his favorite British soccer team.
Was in a relationship with Evan Rachel Wood (June 2005-September 2006).
Good friends with Camilla Belle and Mia Wasikowska.
Brother-in-law of Ira David Wood IV and Dana Wood.
Son-in-law of Ira David Wood III and Sara Wood.
Married his on/off partner of 7 years, Evan Rachel Wood, on October 30, 2012.
Became a father for the 1st time at age 27 when wife Evan Rachel Wood gave birth to their son on July 29, 2013.
Filming Hallam Foe (2007) in Edinburgh & Glasgow. [April 2006]
Starred alongside Chris Evans in Snowpiercer (2013). Chris Evans was one of the main characters in the latest installment of Marvel's Fantastic Four franchise, and Jamie Bell plays Ben Grimm/The Thing in Fantastic Four (2015).
Was considered for Peter Parker/Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), before the role went to Andrew Garfield. On June 7, 2010, Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool reported that Sony had decided to cast Jamie in the role, a story carried by most film news sites. In both the 2010 and 2015 casting cycles for Spider-Man, no actor reported by film websites as being all-but-confirmed for the role has ever ended up actually cast as Spider-Man. The other actors erroneously reported to have been cast are Logan Lerman (in April 2010), Josh Hutcherson (on June 30, 2010, one day before the official casting of Andrew Garfield), Dylan O'Brien (in March 2015), and Asa Butterfield (in May 2015).
Since April 2015, in a relationship with Kate Mara.
Engaged to Kate Mara [June 5, 2017]. They married that year.
As of 2018, has never appeared in a film nominated for the the Best Picture Oscar.
[on why he continued pursuing ballet despite the mockery] - "The other boys called me 'poof', 'ballerina boy', "Get on your tutu, Jamie." It gave me more determination to prove it wasn't just for girls. It was for boys as well."
[on winning awards, after he won the British Academy award] "It's just an award although it is a big one. It is no good getting too big-headed. I've been very busy and I'm very tired. I've been given advice, you know on speech-making and things like that. It's kind of weird that the other guys didn't win because they're such big guys."
(It's true that) most British movies are emotional and I agree that most American actors look manufactured. It's a shame.
Ballet is very hard. It takes a lot of practice to get to a certain standard. You have to know a lot about the steps because when you take examinations they'll ask you all about it.
"(Billy Elliot (2000)) got that (R-rating) because of the swearing. But it wouldn't be what it was without the swearing, kids need to swear".
I'm a hard-mouthed north-eastern lad. That's me - the Eminem of Northeast England.
You probably won't see me dance in the movies again unless there's a 'Moulin Rouge 2' or 'Chicago Returns'.
I hate maths. I can't stand it. Circumferences of circles and stuff - it's horrible.
[assured fans he won't suffer the same fate] "I wouldn't do a Macaulay. I have sensible people around me. I see this industry as a risky business. The money thing has always been in my control. I have always had people looking after it for me. I do love buying things - stupid gadgets. I'll say, 'I want one of them.' But I do the sensible thing, knuckle down, do some good work and keep a low profile."
(on Hollywood) "I go because that's where the work is, but I like, use and abuse. I fly in for the meetings, then fly out. That community is really small, so everybody knows each other. I kind of don't like that. It's not really a community I feel very welcome in."
(why he picks roles based on directors) "I love looking down my rÃ©sumÃ© and seeing all those great people on it like David Gordon Green, and of course Peter Jackson and Stephen Daldry. When I look at it, I feel very proud for myself and the people around me who have managed to get me these roles."
I think I became my own person dealing with my mother and sister. I never had a father figure so I never missed it. In fact, I thought it would be just another person to discipline me.
I can understand why everyone sees me as Billy Elliot; it was the first thing I did, so I was determined to take the most diverse route possible. It wasn't to annoy people, but it seems to have upset so many people.
I know people think that if you've had success young, you're going to blow it, but did you see "Batman" (The Dark Knight (2008)), did you see Christian Bale? He's so on top of his game. I've worked with a Culkin - Rory Culkin, he's a totally centered guy and he's something ridiculous, like 15. Whatever happened with Macaulay Culkin I don't know. The kid isn't messed up. Something happens to the kid to make them messed up. People are not born messed up. Things happen. People should be more sensitive.
Inner demons? Got none of them. I had teen angst for a while, but I think every teenager has the angst.
The young generation of actors are lazy. They don't do any work. They turn up, and say their lines. I would rather get better at what I do.
It's fortunate that I don't have to live with being Ballet Boy any more. After this I'll be called the nipple-circling dress-wearer or Rat Boy. - On his character Hallem Foe.
It makes no real difference because he was never there. Never having it (support from father), you don't really miss it. (My mother) raised me and my sister herself. That was incredibly difficult.
I think it would have ruined my life. Can you imagine going back to school on Tuesday after winning an Oscar? You'd be nuts. It's unsafe in this industry for a young person. You need to be protected and to keep good people around you - On missing out an Academy Award nomination for Billy Elliot (2000).
Learning my skill was more important than getting a big pay cheque or running away from big robots.
I can appreciate the spotlight and pressure Heath was under. There is a feeling that, however supportive your family is, you are very much on your own in this business. I cannot pretend to know what was going on in his life. I can imagine how he felt. The film business is wonderful and I love it. But the flip side is that the expectations are very big . . . don't get ill and don't get depressed. - On Heath Ledger and the pressures of working too much.
I have grown in confidence. And I do like to think I know the difference between confidence and arrogance.
My biggest fear was that I would not be able to take the step from a child actor to an adult.I think it happened when I was able to play a soldier in Deathwatch (2002), set in the trenches of the first world war. The film didn't quite work out - it was a very good movie, almost - but I think that got me up and running as a grown-up actor.
[on filming The Adventures of Tintin (2011): The Secret of the Unicorn] There were times when I didn't think I could do another take, but it does help to know your way through the pain. I am not an old man by any means, but when you are in a [motion-capture] suit and helmet, it is not the most comfortable environment.
I like being able to hide behind the characters I play. I like to be an elusive and anonymous actor.
I'm not delusional. I know I'm 5'7" with slightly jug ears.