Jim Sturgess is one English actor and singer who has made his career hard to ignore. From starting bands as a young boy in Surrey County, England to his breakthrough role performing Beatles hits, Sturgess has found a way to combine his passions of music and acting into one stellar career.
Growing Up In England
James Anthony Sturgess was always interested in music and has noted it was his first passion. But acting would soon seek him out. Although he was born in London, Strugess was raised in a neighboring county where he auditioned for a local theatre group at age 8. Originally he joined so he could get out of class but found that he didn’t enjoy it quite as much as he enjoyed music, so he eventually put the hobby as less of a priority. In fact, at age 15 Sturgess formed a band with his friends and booked gigs anywhere that would have the underage kids. In grade school Jim had less than satisfactory grades in all classes, with the exception of music and drama.
Intrigued by the music scene in Manchester, Jim attended Salford University where he received a Higher National Diploma in Media Performance. It was at the University that Jim met several aspiring filmmakers which reignited his fondness for acting. In turn, Sturgess wrote and performed a one man show called “Buzzin’” which gained him his first agent.
The Beatles Break Out Star
After graduating in 1999, Jim moved back to London. He joined a band there for several years but it developed problems in 2006. Starring in several TV movies, Jim also had small roles on a few TV series. Sturgess then decided to audition for the musical film Across the Universe and, needless to say, he was cast in the leading role. Sturgess stars as Jude, a young shipyard worker from Liverpool who travels to America hoping to find his birth father. The musical/romantic drama is based around the music of The Beatles, and was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. Although it received mixed reviews by critics, it certainly put Sturgess on the map.
In 2008, Sturgess starred in a supporting role as George Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl. He went on to be the lead actor again in another film that came out the same year, 21. Starring alongside Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth, Jim portrayed an MIT senior math major, Ben, who soon learns he can count cards. Based on a true story portrayed in the novel Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich, the film was an overall box office success but received a poor review by critics.
From 2009 to 2010, Sturgess starred in several relatively smaller films. Fifty Dead Men Walking won several awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay at the Genie Awards and Best Feature Length Drama at the Leo Awards. His next film, Crossing Over, was only in theaters for a limited time and was a flop. Sturgess actually collaborated on 3 musical tracks for the Heartless soundtrack, a movie in which he also starred. Jim also lent his voice to the 2010 animated fantasy Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole which as an owl lover is a personal favorite of mine.
Most recently Sturgess stars in Cloud Atlas, a $100 million budget science fiction and drama film, alongside Halle Berry and Tom Hanks. The film is currently receiving mixed reviews but all of the actors, including Sturgess, are noted for the several different characters they portray throughout the movie. He is also signed on to several projects in the near future, including Mat Whitecross’ Ashes.
Jim Sturgess is known for his boyish charm, and for reminding us how awesome The Beatles were, as if we could forget. Although he has two passions, Sturgess has proved he can do it all. From comedies to thrillers, and of course musicals, Sturgess is a unique and dynamic actor who’s sure to light up the screen for many years to come.
Cloud Atlas Trailer:
Interview with Sturgess: