30 Not-So-Known Facts About Ben Whishaw You Might Have Missed Before

Ben Whishaw
(Photo : Kike Valencia)

Ben Whishaw, famous for his role as Q in the James Bond franchise, has so many accolades to his name, since his very first ascent to stage-acting as a 15-year old. He has been hailed as one of the finest actors of his generation, but still remains to be very quiet about his private life. Despite being in the limelight for decades, this multi-talented individual has many things that are still under the wraps. Here are some really interesting facts about the actor that will make you love him more:

    Skyfall World Premiere - Ben Whishaw"Skyfall World Premiere - Ben Whishaw" by Mikepaws is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

  1.  At the young age of 32, Ben Whishaw became the youngest actor to have portrayed the character of Q in a Bond movie, in the history of James Bond franchise.
  2.  During the filming of “A Very English Scandal,” as per the advice of the director, he and Stephen Frears met with the real Norman Scott, in order to get to know his account of the events.
  3.  His portrayal of Norman Scott in the series “A Very English Scandal,” he won the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.
  4.  For his role as Tom in the 2001 “My Brother Tom,” he was named as the “Most Promising Newcomer” at the 2001 British Independent Film Awards.
  5.  Talking about his experience of coming out publicly, he discussed it in a 2014 interview that it was a very tense experience for him, but everyone around him was “surprisingly lovely.”
  6.  Benjamin John Whishaw was born on October 14, 1980 to Jose Whishaw and Linda Whishaw, in Clifton, Bedfordshire. He, along with his fraternal twin – James Whishaw was brought up in Langford.
  7.  His father, a French, German and Russian descendant, works in sports with young people, while his mothers works in the cosmetic sector.
  8.  His family’s original surname was Stellmacher – a German occupational named for a Cartwright, but was changed to Whishaw, due to his grandfather’s nature and place of work.
  9.  His paternal grandfather – Jean Vladimir Stellmacher, changed his name to John Victor Whishaw while serving as a British spy in the Germany army, after World War II. His grandfather was born in Istanbul to a Russian mother and German father in the year 1922.
  10.  Ben Whishaw was a member of the Bancroft Players Youth Theatre, at Hitchin's Queen Mother Theatre. He was involved in many productions with Big Spirit Youth Theatre, including “If This Is a Man.”
  11. Ben Whishaw"Ben Whishaw" by Reza Vaziri is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

  12.  He attended Henlow Middle School before going to Samuel Whitbread Community College in Clifton. In the year 2003, he graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
  13.  In the year 2004, he played the lead in Trevor Nunn’s production of Hamlet at the Old Vic, where he received highly favorable reviews.
  14.  He reportedly shared the role with Al Weaver in an unusual arrangement by Nunn, which saw Whishaw playing all nights except for Mondays and Matinees.
  15.  He was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance, and received third prize at the Ian Charleson Awards.
  16.  The year 2005 was indeed a very big year, as his performance in “Hamlet” earned him the nomination for best actor award in four award programs garnering him international recognition.
  17.  He received much attention for his role as Elliot, a drug dealer in the world premiere of Philip Ridley's controversial stage play “Mercury Fur,” in the spring of 2005.
  18.  For his role as Jean-Baptiste Grenouille in the 2006 movie “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer,” he beat out the top contenders – Leonardo DiCaprio and Orlando Bloom.
  19.  He played the role of John in the 2009 play “Cock” by Mike Barlett at the Royal Court Theatre, about a gay man who falls in love with a woman.
  20.  In the year 2008, he appeared in the BBC’s “Criminal Justice,” a new adaptation of “Brideshead Revisited,” a stage adaptation of “The Idiot” at the National theatre called “Some Trace of Her.”
  21.  In February 2010, he made a successful off-Broadway debut at MCC Theater in the American premiere of the awarding-winning play “The Pride” by Alexi Kaye Campbell.
  22. Fab Q&A after Peter and Alice with Dame Judi Dench, Ben Whishaw and Michael Grandage"Fab Q&A after Peter and Alice with Dame Judi Dench, Ben Whishaw and Michael Grandage" by Rev Stan is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  23.  He played the role of Richard II in the television film “Richard II,” which was a part of the BBC Two series “The Hollow Crown,” in the year 2012.
  24.  His performance as Richard II was praised by the critics, and also earned him the British Academy Television Award for Leading Actor.
  25.  In August 2012, he entered into a civil partnership with Australian composer Mark Bradshaw, whom he met on the sets of “Bright Star.”
  26.  He replaced Colin Firth as the voice of the title character in the 2014 movie “Paddington.” However, he was not fully interested in taking up the role.
  27.  It was said that he had been extremely reluctant, and even passed on the role, the first time around. But, he finally accepted it following the persuasion from director.
  28.  Director Paul King had sent him a sincere letter in which he encouraged Whishaw to reconsider his decision to pass on the role. He signed on, just five months before the world premiere of the movie.
  29.  Before this, he had never read or seen any previous works featuring Paddington Bear, when he was cast in the role, as a replacement, which had him not only re-record the voice, but also provide his own facial expressions.
  30.  He also starred on stage in the world premiere of “Peter and Alice,” a John Logan play inspired by the lives of Peter Llewelyn Davies and Alice Liddell, in Spring 2013.
  31.  Whishaw appeared on stage in the revival of Jez Butterworth's Olivier-award-winning play “Mojo,” from October 2013 to February 2014.
  32.  His performance as Peter in “Peter and Alice,” and as Baby in “Mojo,” earned him nominations for the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actor.”
  33.  Ben Whishaw Net Worth: $2 Million

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