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You are in: Suffolk > Entertainment > Entertainment links > Thunderbirds Are Go!

Lex Shrapnel - John Tracy in Thunderbirds

Lex Shrapnel, John Tracy in Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds Are Go!

"I wouldn't say I was a die-hard Thunderbirds fan," says Lex Shrapnel as he waits for his car to pass its MOT... "but I brushed up on it when I knew I was doing the film".

Lex Shrapnel - John Tracy in Thunderbirds

Lex in Thunderbirds

The 24-year-old Suffolk actor, who plays the part of John Tracy in the new Thunderbirds film, is waiting outside a garage near his family home in Wattisfield, near Diss.

"I was certainly aware of the show, like anyone who grew up with it on television. But as soon as I heard I was doing this new film I began watching lots of the old episodes. I think they made about 50... but I didn't watch them all."

John Shrapnel

Lex's father John Shrapnel as Nestor in Troy

Famous Dad

Lex Shrapnel is the son of another Suffolk actor - John Shrapnel - who has appeared in a number of popular films like Notting Hill, Gladiator and most recently, alongside Brad Pitt in the epic Troy.

Like his father, Lex is a classically-trained actor, and Thunderbirds is only his second film.

"The filming was absolutely brilliant," he says. "It was great doing something of that scale. We were on life-size sets of Tracy Island and we would spend eight hours a day in a swimming pool with palm trees around... and then we would step outdoors and it would be grey and raining and we'd suddenly be in the middle of Pinewood studios."

Lex Shrapnel and Bill Paxton in Thunderbirds

Lex Shrapnel and Bill Paxton

The film cost around $70 million and stars Bill Paxton, who plays the part of Jeff Tracy. It retains the same colourful look and feel of the original television series, and the most famous characters like Lady Penelope and The Hood all make appearances.

But the string puppets have been replaced by human actors. "We tried not to be wooden!" laughs Lex, "and hopefully we succeeded!'.

Lex Shrapnel - John Tracy in Thunderbirds

Lex Shrapnel as John Tracy (far right)

"There are no strings... but there is a little nod to them. If you ever saw the old series there were close-ups of a hand pressing a button or picking up a cup which would be a real hand. So in the new film there's a shot to look out for when a puppet hand goes into shot and presses a button."

Not a copy

Lex Shrapnel is now based in London, but he regularly returns to his family home in Suffolk where his father, John, still lives. And although the pair are both actors and have both appeared on stage and screen, Lex is adamant he is not copying his father.

""We were on life-size sets of Tracy Island and we would spend eight hours a day in a swimming pool with palm trees around.""

Lex Shrapnel, John Tracy in the Thunderbirds

"It happened completely by accident," he says. "He was even in my first film with me. I remember getting my first job after drama school - which was K-19 The Widowmaker - and I was really excited about doing this big film with Harrison Ford and moving to Canada for six months and getting away from the family. But then I got a call an hour later from my Dad saying he was coming out to Canada with me because he was playing the part of the commander of the fleet, and I was like 'OK... great (laughs)... I guess there's no avoiding him then!'"

Lex is currently doing a lot of work to promote Thunderbirds. He has even taken his Mum to promotional events in Tokyo. But he doesn't yet know what his next project will be.

"You just have to wait and see. There are quiet periods and you just have to sit and tap your fingers waiting for something to come along."

last updated: 09/12/2008 at 12:38
created: 22/07/2004

Have Your Say

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James Twomey
I thought the Thunderbirds movie was so great, I watched it, then rewinded it, then watched it again 10 times

brittaney hopkins
i like all the thunderbirds and i was three when it came out and im nine now love u thunderbirds

I really hope they make a sequel and give Lex a bigger part.

thought the thunderbirds movie was great and all the critics who said it was awful have no sese of fun at all. I hope they make a sequel with all the actors from the first film in it.i feel that the first film left it open for something even more amazing!!!

Wow!I loved the movie. I didn't watch it for ages until like, 4 years later becuase I didn't really watch the thunderbirds on t.v, but I loved it.To Lex, you are a very BEAUTIFUL man! I would greatly mannap you ;)And I think that the fittest Tracy brothers are, John(Lex) and Virgil(Dominic).Make another Thunderbird movie.

lex is so hot!!!i married him first so haha!i love your hair white by the way! xxx

i love the film thunderbirds ive seen it sooooooo many times. all of the older brothers are fit but dominic is the best although lex does come pretty close and the pool secene was well good. keep it up lex and the rest of you your all f.a.b xxxxxx

lex your cool in the thunderbirds movie

I fink Lex is well fit and hot if there is a sequel he should be in it if he's not i will have to complain, but my sister finks Philip is fit he's not babd but Lex is better!!!!!!!!!!!

Philip is well hot so r the rest but he is the best n i think its kl tht he is a Christian lyk me. I totally agree tht they need 2 do a sequel but who knows if they will... ppl shuld just beg 4 one n yeh they need more girls cause there were lyk 3 in the whole film. if they did a sequel it wuld hav 2 focus in on the older guys and have a slightly better plot. the film was after all meant 2 b a prequel.

Nadine H
I love watching Thunderbirds, Alan is pretty cool but I like the bit when Busted sing my fav song: Thunderbirds are go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I completely love this film, it is sooo amazing! John Tracey is by far the most stunning Tracey brother, he is soooooooo fit! Loved him in the film! Lady P was amzing, with all the pinkness, also loved the pool scene, it was very yummy! hehe! Keep acting Lex! xxx

ulrika norton
i was watching thunderbirds movie for the first time and i have chrush on number 5 John tracey hes really cool wish i could be an acter in thunderbirds but who would want a 14 year old girl staring in thunderbirds really i really am over my head but if you do have a space could you give a go please thank you ulrika norton

Why don't they show the older brothers more? The TB5 scenes are great. What happened to the hood getting away so he can cause more trouble next time?

its a bit worryimg that all these people want to touch lex in the bathing suit area!!

Beuaregard Flak
Best goddamn name in Hollywood. Period.

Lex is a good actor. I think that Thunderbirds is a good film. I hope they make a second film and Lex acts in it!

LEX SHRAPNEL is so hot he is a grate acter and i think if thay make a secand film there should be more seans of him with his shirt off

Yeh! He's cute


Sassy Sam
Lex is so hott!! They Need To make a second movie but have it to where there a more girl actors kicking ass!!

Glenda B
I think Lex is great and played an excellent John Tracy. I would like to also wish him a happy birthday from us here in Australia, keep up the good work except stop making movies where you get killed it is too sad.

all Traceys bro's are Hot But My 2 Favorites lex and phillip. The pool scene was sexy and hot.

the doctor
all u guys that think that lex is cute u r so rong its dominic(virgil) is cute but the film is great though

Lex is totally hot !!! !!! i love him ! I wanna married him !!1 :D:D:D:D

PLEASE, stop showing Aan Tracey and start showing the older brothers more! The action scenes with them were so great! Forget the child actors!

im not really a big fan of thunderbirds however i did watch the old program when I was younger!! (Alot Younger!) But I think #5 was my fav. And Lex was my fav actor out of the movie! Cheers all!! :)

kristin k
lex is so cute!

Loving Lex ! What more can i say really ! Hes hot,cute and adorably sweet! SO not happy he gets hurt in T5 :(

Can i just say "wow" Lex Shrapnel is soooo hot!!! (and the only guy since James Marsters to look hot with Billy Idol style hair).What a fantastic actor too i just wish there was more shots of him in the movie. I esecially enjoyed the pool scene! (wink wink). I hope they make a sequel and have the story based around the older brothers like john (hint hint). Mabey john could fall in love, just so all we Lex lovers can imagine ourselves in the role of the lucky girl lol! Keep acting Lex (and being hot) XxXxXxX love claire

Corrina Scholl
I think that the movie was so great and I the movie over and over again.

Lex Shrapnel the coolest and cutest guy in the film and the only bright blonde male i ever saw on tv.i hope there's a sequel.

Lex is an ace actor!! he is such a nice lad/man! why does he hav to go and get hurt in Thundrebird 5! It's the ugly ones that are suoosed to get hurt not a lovely luxurious sexy hot lad like him!!!! If you find that you fail the first time NEVER give up Lex! try & try again until you succeed!!! Good luck in the future Lex! Remember my words! Love Elin xxxxx

Agent Sammi Pride
Lex is a great actor and has made a great start in Thunderbirds the movie but i cant stand it when T5 gets hit and he gets hurt! y do they always make the cute guts get hurt?

i have gone off thunderbirds alot, as im into spy stuff now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111


marianne ootjers
its a verry good movie but i think that you shouldn't have made see, the older thundrbirds whit the dolls its much more fun. Greetings, marianne ootjers

all those who visit this site often will agree that lex is the B E S T !!!!!!!!I LOVE THUNDERBIRDS AND HOPE YOU ALL AGREE THAT THUNDERBIRDS ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the whole film was good since i am a big fan of thunderbirds before it came out as a movie but i agree with most of the others on this that there was not alot of scenes with lex he is an especily (cant spell by the way) good actor and deserves a good roll in any film if any director is deacent enough to let him. so keep your chin up lex (and the other tracey brothers) and never give up at anything (even though you might not be reading this)lol especialy when you are good at acting and you all know it!

Rachel Tracey
Lex is unbelievably hawt!! They definately didn't show enough of him in the film, or the other brothers!! Basing the whole film on the guliest of the brothers (Alan) i thought was a total mistake!! And i highly doubt that John wouldn't have had any injuried after that blast to TB5!! I mean he was like flung back against the wall, one minute he's got a sling and the next minute he's dancing about in London!! But yea, the pool scene totally rocked and he was on that pink lilo!! haha I so totally want them to do a sequel but this time focus it more on the older brothers as we don't seen much of them AT ALL in the film!!

lex is hot and i would have loved to see more of him in the film. i dont think film showed enough of the 4 older brothers. But i especially loved the pool scene XxXxXxX

i would say lex is sexy and i also liked the pool scene i am a big thunderbird fan i watched the movie about 7 times in less then a week!!!the other boys are sexy too but lex is the best

damn straight he is stunning. i was angered that they did not show more of him in the movie!!!!!!!! but yeah the pool scene in great you get to see his nice body !!!!! yay!!!!! but his evil brothers try to drown him!!!!!!!!!

I thought all the Traceys wre good actors. I am upset, however that Jonathan Frakes directed it. Go back to flying starships is what I say! He completely missed the concept of the entire Thunderbirds thing! Hey I'm only 14, but I know when somebody has spoilt something. Ypu can't take a load of good-looking and talented actors and stick them in a rubbish film! I'm English you see. I'm an actress too. Myself and my three older brothers grew up watching Thunderbirds! So did my Dad! The Tracey family aren't even supposed to know that The Hood exists! And who the heck is Fermat?! Keep acting Lex!

Lady p
Lex is so good looking !he is especially cute in the pool scene at the end !

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