Jim Sturgess Online


Filmography / The Early Years

Interviews & Quotes

Discography / Poetry & Lyrics


James Anthony Sturgess

Vital Stats

Birthday: May 16, 1981

Age: You do the math

Birthplace: London, England

Hometown: Farnham, Surrey

Hair & Eyes: Brown Height: 6”

Nickname: Jim, Slim Jim (school)

Siblings: Will (older brother) and Tia (younger sister)

Acting Education: National Youth Music Theater, University of Salford’s School of Media, Music and Performance

Interests & Talents: Acting, singing, writing and performing music (piano, drums, guitar)

Favorite Movie(s): Time Bandits (1981); Naked (1993) [NextMovie.com]


Jim Sturgess, a middle child, was born in London, England and raised within a close knit family in the small town of Farnham in Surrey. Jim showed off his creative talents at an early age when he began performing in school plays and later writing and performing his own stories. Sturgess remembers one such living room production: “It was about bacteria living in your mouth. All these characters, it was bizarre and {each piece of bacteria} had its own personality and it was set inside a person’s mouth!”  As a youngster Jim also became a member of the National Youth Music Theatre from 1993 until 1995.

Besides acting, Jim has always shown a strong interest in music, joining his first rock band at the young age, “just messing around, just kids in a mate’s garage, just kind of trying to get into pubs when we were 15 years old.” While acting in various television programs and independent films early in his career he became a member of a seven piece band, named Dilated Spies. After the band’s break up he once again began to pursue a career in acting.  You can hear a sample of Jim’s music with Dilated Spies and another early band, Saint Faith on his MySpace page here.


“It was kind of a low point, I guess, where I was sort of washing dishes in restaurant and just doing the bare minimum.  I remember one day the manager of the place sort of slapped me around the face with a wet, bleeding steak, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to get out of this.’  He knocked some sense into me with a bleeding piece of meat.”

Next Jim studied at the University of Salford’s School of Media, Music and Performance, where he learned every aspect of film making from boom-mike operation to acting.  Later he was discovered while performing “Buzzin,” his semi-autobiographical poetry-based, one-person show.   Due to a tip off from someone at the university, there was a talent agent in the audience. “I wrote a play when I was there that I put on, which is what got me an agent…I don’t think it would have happened if I’d been anywhere else - it just had that spirit.”

Jim’s breakout role came in 2007 when he played Jude, a character reminiscent of a young Paul McCartney, in Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe. Sturgess got a call from his agent saying that he had an audition for a film being made, featuring the music of The Beatles and wasn’t exactly keen on the idea. “When I arrived at the audition I thought it was the worst idea ever and I didn’t want to be a part of it. The band I was in had just split up, the last acting job I had, I had one line, covered myself in petrol and ran through a pub, so I was pretty much ready to give up acting. So I waltzed down there with my guitar and did the audition - mainly out of duty to my agent who had got it for me. Then later, when I heard that Julie [Taymor] was doing it, having seen Titus and Frida, I suddenly thought, hang on, this could be interesting.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here are clips from the “petrol soaked, running naked through a pub” television role Jim referred to in the quote above:

In Across the Universe Jim starred alongside other young actors, Evan Rachel Wood and Joe Anderson, as well as big names like Bono, Salma Hayek, Eddie Izzard, and Joe Cocker. His portrayal of a young man traveling from Liverpool, England, to America in an attempt to seek out his absent father, coupled with his stunning rendition of Beatle’s songs, was the vehicle that propelled his career to the next level. The movie, which makes use of The Beatles’ 1960’s catalog, is brought to life through psychedelic imaging and referencing the issues of the 60’s in America including the murder of Martin Luther King Jr., the Viet Nam War, drugs, sex and revolution.

Since Across the Universe Jim has had the opportunity to play a growing number of lead film roles, including George Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl and Ben Campbell in the popular hit movie, 21. However Jim isn’t content to only take roles in mainstream big-budget films. He has opted to also work in indie movies such as Kari Skogland’s Fifty Dead Men Walking and Phillip Ridley’s Heartless. His choices seem to be paying off, as his next big role will be in acclaimed director Peter Weir’s The Way Back, due in theaters in 2010.

In addition to his successful acting career, Jim continues to be active as a songwriter, writing and performing two songs for his role in Crossing Over.  Jim has also been composing and recording music through a collaboration called Tragic Toys — and although the tracks have yet to be released, he has been publishing the lyrics through his official Twitter. A compilation of these can be found on our Poetry & Lyrics page.



In 1994, Jim appeared alongside British actor Albert Finney in the movie The Browning Version as a supporting cast member of this British prep school drama.


Jim sustained almost a decade of roles in British productions, mostly telefilms, including I’m Frank Morgan (2000), Thursday the 12th (2000), Hawk (2001), and the three installments of The Quest Series.


Along with his stage and screen career, Jim has also become known as the voice of radio characters such as his part in the 2005 radio play, Troilus and Cressida.

In 2005, Jim appeared alongside Ellen Page in Mouth to Mouth, in the supporting role of Red in this movie about teen angst and lost souls who are drawn into a cult of misfits.


In 2007, Jim’s big break came in Julie Taymor’s musical Across the Universe, portraying Jude, a paternally shorn young man who travels to the U.S. amid the raging throes of the late ’60s and falls in love with sheltered American teenager, Lucy, played by Evan Rachel Wood.


In 2008, Jim appeared in the fictional historical drama The Other Boleyn Girl in the supporting role of George Boleyn opposite Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana. He also starred in 21 as the male lead Ben Campbell, a movie about five MIT students, who, by counting cards, take Las Vegas casinos for millions. Sturgess’ co-stars in 21 include Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey.


In 2009, Jim played Gavin Kossef in Crossing Over, appearing with Hollywood greats, Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, and Ashley Judd. The movie is set in Los Angeles and the storyline revolves around immigrants from different countries and backgrounds who share a common bond in desperately trying to gain legal status.


Also in 2009, Jim starred in the lead role in Kari Skogland’s Fifty Dead Men Walking loosely based on the best selling book by Martin McGartland about a young Irishman recruited by the British police to infiltrate and spy on the IRA.


Again in 2009 he starred in Heartless, a film directed by Philip Ridley, as Jamie Morgan, a youth whose life has always been blighted by the large, heart-shaped birthmark on his face and who sells his soul to the devil.  Jim not only stars in the film, but he sings two tracks from the soundtrack, The Other Me and the title song, Heartless.

In 2010, Jim starred as Janusz (pronounced Ya-noosh) based on Slavomir Rawicz, a young Polish officer who escaped from a Russian gulag during WWII. The film, The Way Back, is based on a true story and directed by the highly acclaimed Peter Weir. Colin Farrell and Ed Harris co-star alongside Jim.

Additionally in Fall 2010, Jim provided the voice of Soren, a young barn owl, in director Zack Snyder’s 3-D animated feature film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, based on the bestselling children’s book series Guardians of Ga’Hoole. Also providing voice work on this project are Geoffrey Rush, Helen Mirren, and Hugo Weaving.

Filmed in 2010 and scheduled for release in 2013, Upside Down, a fantasy romance starring Jim and Kirsten Dunst and directed by Juan Solanas, tells the story of Adam, a young man searching for his long lost love in the alternate reality of two worlds, one up and one down.

Upside Down

In 2012, Jim starred as Dexter Mayhew in One Day. Directed by Lone Scherfig and co-starring Anne Hathaway, the film is an adaptation from author David Nicholls’ popular novel of the same name and traces the friendship and love story of two young college students, Dexter and Emma, by showing “snapshots” of their life on the same day over the course of 20 years.


In 2011, Jim began filming Cloud Atlas, a film based on a novel of the same name by author David Mitchell.  Directed by Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer,  is a powerful, inspiring epic that explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.  Jim has six roles in this unique film: Adam Ewing, Hae-Joo Chang, Highlander, Megan Sixsmith’s father, and a Hotel Guest.  This Warner Bros. film has an all-star cast including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Doona Bae, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, James D’Arcy, Ben Whishaw, David Gyasi, and Keith David.  Cloud Atlas was released in October 2012.

In 2012 Jim filmed The Best Offer, a love story set in the luxurious world of Viennese art auctions where a loveless elderly man intersects with an astute young man, Robert, and a mysterious woman in a South Tyrol setting.  The film co-stars Geoffrey Rush, Donald Sutherland, and Sylvia Hoeks.  The film is set to release in 2013.

Also in 2012, Jim filmed Electric Slide.  Cast in the starring role of Eddie Dodson, the film is based on the article “The Yankee Bandit: The Life and Times of Eddie Dodson, World’s Great Bank Robber.” Written by Timothy Ford and published in Gear Magazine, this film tells the true story of suave hipster and celebrity-magnet Eddie Dodson, who in 1980’s Los Angeles owned and ran one of the city’s most stylish art deco furniture stores. Over a period of months, he and his girlfriend robbed over 70 banks in the Los Angeles area, often narrowly escaping the increasingly frustrated FBI.  The media, jumping on the story, dubbed him “The Gentleman Bandit.” The film also stars Isabel Lucas, Chloe Sevigny, Patricia Arquette, Christopher Lambert and Vinessa Shaw and is set to release in 2013.

Set to begin filming in 2013, Jim’s next project is The Big Shoe. Jim plays Nate, a gifted shoe designer forced to break free from a family who want to cheapen his art for their own commercial gain. Overbearing mother Irene hires a psychotherapist and a ‘muse’ to lure Nate back to work.  The film also stars Susan Sarandon and its projected release date is late 2013 or early 2014.

For a complete Filmography click here.  For a complete Discography click here.



  • ShoWest Convention, USA (2008) - Best Ensemble (shared with 21 co-stars) - WON
  • Teen Choice Awards, USA (2008) - Choice Breakout Male (21, Across the Universe) - NOMINATED
  • Jameson Empire Awards, UK (2009) - Best Newcomer - NOMINATED
  • Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards, USA (2008) - Best Performance by an Actor (Fifty Dead Men Walking) - NOMINATED
  • Seattle International Film Festival, USA (2009) - Best Actor Golden Space Needle Award (Fifty Dead Men Walking) - FIRST RUNNER UP
  • Fantasporto - Oporto International Film Festival, Portugal (2010) - Best Actor (Heartless) - WON





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