We’re looking forward to catching up with Ben Whishaw in this week’s (January 21) premiere of London Spy. We’ve seen Whishaw as a groundbreaking TV producer in The Hour, a tech expert in the James Bond series, and even a bear, lending his voice to Paddington. Now he can add international spy to his list of roles.
While London Spy is just around the corner, let’s see what else is available online:
Whishaw portrays Keith Richards in the 2005 film Stoned. The biopic tells the making of the band The Rolling Stones, told from the perspective of co-founder Brian Jones (Leo Gregory). The rest of the band members are portrayed by Luke de Woolfson (Mick Jagger), Joseph Altin (Bill Wyman), Simon Minihane (Ian Stewart), and James D. White (Charlie Watts). David Morrissey and Paddy Considine round out the cast.
2. I’m Not There
Todd Haynes‘ I’m Not There was inspired by famed musician Bob Dylan. Haynes takes a step away from traditional storytelling, recruiting six actors to portray the Dylan-esque character in six different times of life. Whishaw takes on the role of Arthur Rimbaud, who uses Dylan quotes while being questioned. Whishaw is joined by Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere and the late Heath Ledger in the portrayal of the same character.
3. Brideshead Revisited
The 2008 film is an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh‘s novel by the same name, published in 1945. Whishaw and Matthew Goode portray students at Oxford, exploring a budding friendship. Whishaw takes on the role of the eccentric Lord Sebastian Flyte, with Goode’s character, Charles Ryder, coming from more humble beginnings. The two hit it off, but Charles’ motives are questionable. Ditto for Sebastian; does he genuinely enjoy his new friend’s companionship or is it just fleeting entertainment? Hayley Atwell takes on the role of Sebastian’s sister Julia Flyte.
4. The Hour
Whishaw starred in the first season of BBC AMERICA’s The Hour in 2011. He took on the role of TV producer Freddie Lyon, working on the development of an hour-long news program. Whishaw starred opposite Romola Garai, also a TV producer, which was a rarity for a woman at that time, and Dominic West, who starred as the smarmy on-air talent. The cast also included Anton Lesser, Anna Chancellor, Oona Chaplin, Burn Gorman, Andrew Scott, Tom Burke, and Doctor Who‘s Peter Capaldi.
In 2012 Whishaw joined the long-running James Bond series as Q in Skyfall. Q, which stands for Quartermaster, is the mind behind the gadgets. James Bond (Daniel Craig) is caught slightly off guard when first meeting his new Quartermaster in the below clip, because Q still has spots (pimples), according to Bond. Age really doesn’t define intellect as proven by Q.
Whishaw lent his voice to the 2013 documentary. According to the film, being a teenager wasn’t really a “thing” until 1945. Of course, there have always been people between the ages of 13 and 19, but the generations before went from being children to entering the working force or military. The film depicts the origins and growth of a youth culture.
7. Days and Nights
Whishaw and Katie Holmes star as a loved-up couple in 2014’s Days and Nights. The weekend is two days for a reason, as three days is too much down time: The couple joins family for a Memorial Day weekend in New England, and everyone’s patience is tried. The film also stars Allison Janney, William Hurt, and Mark Rylance.
In 2014 Whishaw starred as a man in mourning in the film Lilting. His character, Richard, seeks out the mother (Pei-Pei Cheng) of the man he lost (Andrew Leung) unexpectedly. While she’s confused about the nature of their relationship, Richard believes they can find comfort in each other, both having known the same person independently.
9. The Lobster
2015’s The Lobster follows a group of hotel guests looking for love, and if they don’t find it within 45 days, they’re turned into an animal. Yep, you read that right, they turn into an animal … of their choice at least. Whishaw, who portrays the Limping Man, joins an all-star cast including Rachel Weisz (Short Sighted Woman), Léa Seydoux (Loner Reader), John C. Reilly (Lisping Man), Angeliki Papoulia (Heartless Woman) and Olivia Colman (Hotel Manager). Colin Farrell‘s character David (yep, just David, no name describing his ways) is the newest to join the group.
Whishaw lent his voice to the iconic Paddington Bear, who made his arrival in 2015. Originally Colin Firth was signed on to bring Paddington to the big screen, but the adored actor bowed out, saying, “He simply does not have my voice.” Whishaw stepped in to save the day, and so he did. The film also stars Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins as Mr. and Mrs. Brown.
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