Sam Spruell is a British actor best known for his works in films like ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’, ‘The Hurt Locker’, ‘Taken 3’, and ‘The Martian’. He has also appeared in TV shows like ‘The Runaway’, ‘Mayday’, and ‘The Bastard Executioner’. A London native, Spruell developed an interest in acting quite early in his life. He made his screen debut in the 1995 musical video ‘Cabaret’. He had his cinematic debut seven years later, in the 2002 historical thriller drama ‘K-19: The Widowmaker’. He garnered significant attention for portraying Wilkes in the 2003 show ‘P.O.W’. In the ensuing years, he has established himself as a prominent character actor. In his over two-decade-long acting career, he has accumulated more than 60 film and TV credits. Although he feels more comfortable in portraying dramatic and comedic roles, he is most known for his outing as Finn in the 2012 fantasy horror drama film ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’. He has also delivered memorable performances in projects like ‘City of Vice’, ‘Defiance’, ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’, ‘Outlaw King’, and ‘Instruments of Darkness’.
In the 1995 musical video ‘Cabaret’, Sam Spruell made his first screen appearance. It took him seven more years to land his first film role in the Harrison Ford-starrer ‘K-19: The Widowmaker’ (2002). A year later, he played a king’s guard in the biographical drama ‘To Kill a King’, which revolves around the relationship between General Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell. In the 2003 ITV war-drama show ‘P.O.W.’, he was cast as Wilkes. He starred in the drama short ‘Everything in This Country Must’ in 2004 and played PC Will Surridge in the television miniseries ‘The Ghost Squad’. In 2006, he essayed the role of Stuart Allen in writer/director Paul Andrew Williams’ crime-drama thriller ‘London to Brighton’.
In 2007, he starred alongside the likes of Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Clive Owen, and Rhys Ifans in Shekhar Kapur’s biographical drama film ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’. Spruell portrayed a torturer in the film. Between 2004 and 2007, he appeared in two episodes of the BBC One series ‘Spooks’, playing a character named Jason Belling.
In Channel 4’s 2008 television miniseries ‘City of Vice’, he worked alongside Ian McDiarmid and Iain Glen, portraying Lord Newcastle. Set in the Georgian London, the series received positive reviews for its innovative plot devices and for perfectly blending facts and fiction to tell a compelling story. Later that year, he appeared in the Oscar-winning film ‘The Hurt Locker’. His character, Contractor/mercenary Charlie, is involved in one of the most intense scenes in the film.
In the historical war drama ‘Defiance’ (2008), Spruell portrayed Arkady Lubczanski, a Belarusian Jewish partisan who becomes a member of the Bielski Otriad during the World War II. In 2009, he appeared in three short films: ‘Jubilee’, ‘Father’, and ‘Another Thing’. He played Killburns’ drummer in the 2010 musical drama ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’, which also stars Andy Serkis, Tom Hughes, and Clifford Samuel. In 2011, he essayed the role of Jim Harvey in Sky 1’s miniseries ‘Runaway’. Based on a novel by Martina Cole, the series revolves around two individuals, who are not biologically related but are raised together as siblings, and later begin a secret relationship.
In 2012, Spruell shared the screen space with the likes of Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth in Rupert Sanders’ fantasy action film ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’. His character, Finn, is Queen Ravenna’s (Theron) brother and enforcer. Elliot Reeve stars as the young Finn. Although the film received mixed reviews from the critics, it was a commercial success, earning $396.6 million at the box office against its $170 million budget. The film also spawned a prequel/sequel, ‘The Huntsman: Winter's War’ (2016).
In 2013, he appeared in the five-part BBC One miniseries ‘Mayday’. A year later, he played the secondary antagonist Oleg Malankov in the third instalment of the ‘Taken’ film series. Between 2014 and 2015, he starred as Quincy in 11 episodes of TNT’s dystopian action-drama series ‘The Last Ship’. He also had an uncredited role as a NASA psychologist in the 2015 fantasy drama film ‘The Martian’. That year, he was cast as Toran Prichard in the short-lived FX historical fiction TV series ‘The Bastard Executioner’ as well. He also appeared as Seyton in the short film ‘Instruments of Darkness’, an excerpt from the upcoming screen adaptation of ‘Macbeth’.
Spruell played General Okto-Bar in the 2017 box-office disaster ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’. He portrayed the titular character in the 2017 short film ‘Cowboy Barry’. In the 2018 Netflix film ‘Outlaw King’, he was cast as Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke.
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Family & Personal Life
Sam Spruell was born on January 1, 1977, in Southwark, London, England. Little is known about his family and upbringing beyond the fact that he spent much of his childhood in southeast London. At present, he resides in east London, in a place named Hackney. Sam Spruell has a son.