A versatile and gifted British actor, Jason Flemyng has made a name for himself as an artist who can effortlessly juggle between the worlds of television, cinema and theatre. As a child he started acting in his school stage productions. With age and maturity came bigger and better opportunities whereby Jason could display a gamut of emotions and acting skills. He could pull off a historical figure in an elaborate costume with as much ease as a gun-toting criminal in a gangster movie or the enigmatic Mr.Hyde in a prosthetic suit. As an actor, he has made his presence felt both in British as well as in Hollywood productions. He is an established television actor, both in the UK and the US and has made notable contribution to British theatre as well. He speaks fluent French and has a deep, silken voice.
Childhood & Early Life
Jason Flemyng was born on September 25, 1966 at Putney, London. His father was the Scottish film and television director Gordon Flemyng.
Jason had harboured dreams of becoming an actor right from his school days at Christ’s Hospital, Sussex, and debuted on stage at the age of ten in a school production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’.
He had an initial brush with politics in the 1980s through his association with the political organization ‘Young Socialists’ and then ‘Militant’, a rebellious sub-group active within the Labour Party. In 1987, he lost his Labour Party affiliation because of his aberrant ways.
He was involved with the ‘National Youth Theatre’ in the 1980s and a decade later, joined The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). After graduating, he collaborated with the Royal Shakespeare Company and acted in plays like ‘Coriolanus’, ‘As You Like It’ and ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’, among others.
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In the early 1990s Jason Flemyng burst upon the television and movie scene with a number of well-appreciated performances, starting with a guest role in the American television series ‘The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles’ in 1992.
He first appeared on the big screen in ‘The Jungle Book’ in 1994 followed by a slew of film appearances.
His first major movie roles were in Bernardo Bertolucci’s ‘Stealing Beauty’ co-starring Liv Tyler and ‘Hollow Reed’ where he played a white-collared child abuser.
He gained celluloid validation and stardom with Guy Ritchie’s 1998 gangster drama ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’, followed by films like ‘The Red Violin’, ‘Deep Rising’, ‘Bruiser’ ‘Rock Star’ and ‘Spice World’.
Jason proved his versatility as an actor with two big banner Hollywood productions – the comedy caper ‘From Hell’ (2001) with Johnny Depp and ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ (2003) with Sean Connery, in which he played Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He played father to Brad Pitt very convincingly in ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ in spite of being younger to him.
His television appearances also earned him considerable fame with roles in ‘The Quatermass Experiment’, a live remake of the 1953 serial, and the third series of the science fiction drama ‘Primeval’, the latter earning him top public ratings. He returned in the last episode of Primeval’s fourth series in 2011 and grapevine has it that he would return as Danny Quinn in its fifth and final edition too.
He starred in the 2012 British romcom ‘I Give It a Year’ and then, ‘The Journey’, which he also produced. He later directed the horror film ‘Reign of Blood’ for a British production house and also appeared as himself in a short film aimed to raise funds for cancer treatment. Some of his other films were ‘Mirrors’, ‘Clash of the Titans’, ‘Hanna’ and ‘X-Men: First Class’.
Since 2014-15, Flemyng has become increasingly visible on the small screen in the UK with shows like ‘The Missing’, ‘The Last Kingdom’ (where he played King Edmund with elan) and ‘Jamestown’. Being of diverse genres, these shows help showcase his acting prowess and range.
Flemyng’s most noteworthy and lauded role was that of gangster Tom in Guy Ritchie’s British production ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ where his character was a delectable mix of comedy, crime, action, suspense, underworld machismo and lots of robust energy. It won him rave reviews and public adulation.
Family & Personal Life
Flemyng and actress Lena Headey were a couple for nine years before they parted ways in 2001.
He married Elly Fairman in 2008 in Italy and they continue to be a couple. He has two children – Noah and Cassius.
By his own admission, he dabbled in theatre and politics in his youth simply because they gave him a chance to interact with girls.
He is fond of running marathons and has completed several of them.