Cast biographies for Richard II, part of the The Hollow Crown series of Shakespeare's history plays on BBC Two.
Ben Whishaw - Richard II
Ben Whishaw trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, graduating spring 2003. After graduation, he appeared in Enduring Love, a film adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel directed by Roger Michel, and Layer Cake, a feature directed by Matthew Vaughan. In 2003, he starred in the popular comedy-drama The Booze Cruise for ITV.
Ben subsequently made his West End debut at the National Theatre in their stage adaptation of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials and starred as Hamlet in Trevor Nunn's electric 'youth' version of the play at the Old Vic, for which he has received tremendous critical acclaim and a Laurence Olivier nomination (2005). Ben played the lead character Grenouille in the highly acclaimed Perfume which debuted in the UK in December 2006. Ben has also shot a feature film called Stoned, in which he plays Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones, which was released in 2006.
In the same year, Ben completed filming I’m Not Here, Todd Haynes' film portrayal of Bob Dylan’s life alongside the likes of Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere and Christian Bale. Ben also appeared on television in Nathan Barley from director Chris Morris for TalkBack Productions. He returned to the theatre for Katie Mitchell’s version of The Seagull at the National Theatre in the Autumn of 2006, for which he again received great reviews.
In 2008, Ben featured in Brideshead Revisited and starred in the hugely popular BBC drama Criminal Justice which saw him pick up the award for best actor at the 2009 Royal Television Society Awards, ‘Best Actor’ at the International Emmy Awards 2009 and was nominated for ‘Best Actor’ at the 2009 BAFTA Television Awards. 2008 also saw Ben in The Idiot in which he played the lead at the National Theatre from the end of July.
2009 was another busy year for Ben seeing him star as poet John Keats in Bright Star. It also saw Ben playing the lead in Mike Bartlett’s play Cock at The Royal Court Theatre. Ben also played Ariel opposite Helen Mirren and Russell Brand in The Tempest.
Ben then starred in The Hour for the BBC starring opposite Dominic West and Romola Garai. Ben’s performance as Richard II will be followed by Cloud Atlas where he stars alongside an all-star cast including Tom Hanks, Jim Sturgess and Halle Berry. Ben is currently filming the new Bond movie, Skyfall alongside Daniel Craig and Ralph Fiennes and the second series of The Hour which will come out late 2012.
Rory Kinnear - Henry Bolingbroke
Rory was most recently seen on our screens in the BBC’s Mystery of Edwin Drood and Women in Love. Other television credits include Vexed, Cranford and The Long Walk to Finchley. His performance as Hamlet in the National Theatre’s 2010 production was highly acclaimed. Rory will resume his role as Bill Tanner in the latest Bond film, Skyfall.
Patrick Stewart - John of Gaunt
A veteran Shakespearean actor, Patrick Stewart has appeared in more than 60 productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company. His is currently playing the role of William Shakespeare in the Young Vic’s Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death.
David Suchet - Duke of York
Well loved for his role as Poirot in the hit TV series, David recently played the role of Jaggers in the BBC One adaptation of Great Expectations and also featured in 2011’s Hidden. With a distinguished stage career, including a highly acclaimed performance in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons in 2010, David is currently starring in Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece, A Long Day’s Journey into Night.
Lindsay Duncan - Duchess of York
Lindsay’s film credits include Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Starter for 10, Under the Tuscan Sun and Mansfield Park. Her extensive television roles include Doctor Who, Spooks, Lost in Austen, Christopher and his Kind, the 2011 Christmas special of Absolutely Fabulous and most recently White Heat.
Tom Hughes - Duke of Aumerle
Since graduating from RADA in 2008, Tom has played lead roles in Cemetery Junction and Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. His television credits include Silk, Trinity and Casualty 1909.
David Morrissey - Earl of Northumberland
An accomplished and versatile film, television and stage actor, David has appeared in an eclectic range of productions. His recent television work has included Red Riding, Field of Blood and Thorne (which his own production company Stagereel produced). He was nominated for a BAFTA for the 2003 BBC One political drama, State of Play as well as being nominated as Best New Director for Passer By. David’s film credits include Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Nowhere Boy and the upcoming Welcome To The Punch.
Clémence Poésy - Queen Isabella
Clémence Poésy’s international career truly began in 2004 with the BBC series Gunpowder, Treason and Plot which she swiftly followed with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005. Clémence reprised the role of Fleur Delacour in 2010 for the two final instalments of the film series. In the same year, Clémence also appeared in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours and the hit US series Gossip Girl. Clémence was most recently seen in BBC One’s adaptation of Birdsong.
Isabella Laughland - Lady in Waiting to the Queen
Isabella played the role of Leanne in the final three films in the Harry Potter series. Her television credits include The Inbetweeners, What To Do When Someone Dies and Black Mirror, and stage roles include productions at the National Theatre and Royal Court.
Daniel Boyd - Groom to King Richard
Daniel played the lead role in the 2010 short film, Reverb. He has recently undertaken his first lead theatre role in Headlong Theatre’s production of Romeo and Juliet.
James Purefoy - Thomas Mowbray
Recent film credits for James include John Carter, 2011’s Ironclad and Solomon Kane (2010) with previous key film roles including Vanity Fair (2004), Resident Evil (2002) and A Knight’s Tale (2001). Having starred as Mark Antony in Rome from 2005 – 2007, James appeared in the 2009 series The Philanthropist and most recently in ITV’s Injustice (2011).
Finbar Lynch - Sir Piers of Exton
Currently starring in The Old Vic’s production of The Duchess of Malfi, Finbar Lynch has appeared in The Tempest and Julius Caesar for The RSC and numerous productions for The National Theatre. Film and TV credits include To Kill A King, The Lost Battalion, Inspector George Gently and Proof.
Lucian Msamati - Bishop of Carlisle
Lucian’s recent television roles include Game of Thrones, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Ashes to Ashes and Doctor Who. His film credits include The International and The Legend of the Sky Kingdom.
Richard Bremmer - Abbot of Westminster
Richard’s many television roles include The Borgias, The Power of Three, Kingdom and Crusoe. Playing the role of Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Richard’s film credits include Control and Shanghai Knights.
Harry Hadden Paton - Sir Henry Green
With film credits already including The Deep Blue Sea, La Vie en Rose and In The Loop and television roles including Waking the Dead, Hotel Babylon and The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Harry is a name to watch. He was commended at the Ian Charleson Awards in 2007 for The Importance of Being Ernest.
Ferdinand Kingsley - Sir John Bushy
Ferdinand has appeared in Romeo and Juliet, Little Eyolf and Troilus and Cressida for The Royal Shakespeare Company, and most recently Hamlet at The National Theatre. His film credits include 2007’s The Last Legion.
Samuel Roukin - Bagot
After securing roles in Miss Austen Regrets and Housewife, 49, Samuel subsequently undertook roles in Happy-Go-Lucky, Bright Star and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Further television credits include DCI Banks and Appropriate Adult.
Tom Goodman-Hill - Sir Stephen Scroop
Recently seen in the hit series Call the Midwife, Tom’s other television productions include Spy, Ideal, and Waking the Dead. Tom will play David Frost in the upcoming Hippie Hippie Shake.
Adrian Schiller - Lord Willoughby
On stage, Adrian is notable for his appearances in The National’s The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other and for many RSC productions including Macbeth, As You Like It and Julius Caesar. Film and TV credits include Brighton Rock, Going Postal and Being Human.
Peter De Jersey - Lord Ross
Peter appeared with The Royal Shakespeare Company from 2008-9 where his roles included playing Horatio opposite David Tennant’s Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It. With long-standing roles in The Bill and Holby City, Peter’s other TV credits include Without You and New Tricks.
David Bradley - Gardener
Perhaps most recently recognizable as Argus Filch in the Harry Potter series, David has had an extensive career across television, film and stage. His credits include Captain America, Game of Thrones, Five Daughters through to Our Friends in the North. He was awarded an Olivier Awards for his performance in King Lear at the Royal National Theatre.
Simon Trinder - Gardener’s Assistant
Simon has had a notable stage career since graduating from the Welsh Royal College of Music and Drama. He spent three years with the Royal Shakespeare Company during which time he was nominated for an Evening Standard award for House of Desires. Television credits include Without You and The Children.
Rhodri Miles - Welsh Captain
Rhodri won the Best Actor Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival for his portrayal of Richard Burton in his one man show, Burton. Other theatre credits include Othello (Sheffield Crucible), Pride and Prejudice and Fish Out of Water for Bristol Old Vic and the award-winning tour of Dylan Thomas. Television credits include Torchwood, Alys and High Hopes.