David Leon Biography
David Leon (David Jeremy Leon) is an English actor, director, writer and producer best known for appearing in photographer Rankin’s directorial debut Lives of the Saints as Othello and Guy Ritchie’s film RocknRolla.
From 2011 to 2014, he co-starred along with Brenda Blethyn in the ITV detective series Vera. Leon has directed several short films Father, Man and Boy, and Orthodox. He completed his first feature-length film, also called Orthodox, in 2015.
David Leon Age
Leon was born on July 24, 1980, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He is 38 years old as of July 2018.
David Leon Family
Leon was born and raised by his parents Ann J Brown (mother) and Anthony N Leon (father) in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. His mother was a secretary and his father worked in a power station.
David Leon Dating
Leon has been keeping his personal life private therefore there is no known information or rumors about his dating life.
David Leon Education
Leon studied at Dame Allan’s School and later graduated at the National Youth Theatre. He briefly played for the Blackburn Rovers F.C.
David Leon Career
Leon dropped out of drama school to shoot the film Alexander with Oliver Stone in Morocco. In 2006, he had a main role in the film These Foolish Things, which also starred Terence Stamp, Lauren Bacall, and Anjelica Huston. The film’s lead character was Zoe Tapper, who guest-starred in an episode of Cutting It.
In 2007 David portrayed Billy the Kid in the BBC’s mini series The Wild West. In 2010 he played the role of Jesus in Mark Haddon’s play Polar Bears at the Donmar Warehouse.
From 2011 to 2014, he played the role of DS Joe Ashworth in the ITV detective series Vera along with Brenda Blethyn. Orthodox, Leon’s third short film as writer/director, was accepted into several international festivals including the 58th BFI London Film Festival. The feature-length version of Orthodox was completed in 2015.
David Leon Movies and TV Shows
- 2004: Alexander as Hermolaous
- 2004-2005: Cutting It as Troy Gillespie (TV series) – 12 episodes
- 2005: Boy Eats Girl as Nathan
- 2006: These Foolish Things as Robin Gardner
- 2006: The Wild West as Billy the Kid (TV mini-series)
- 2006: The Lives of the Saints as Othello
- 2006: Strictly Confidential as Jeff (TV series) – 1 episode
- 2007: Clapham Junction as Alfie Cartwright (TV one-off Drama)
- 2008: Love Me Still as Freddie
- 2008: RocknRolla as Malcolm
- 2010: Coming Up as Dan (TV series) – 1 episode
- 2011-2014: Vera as DS Joe Ashworth (TV series) – 16 episodes (Series 1-4)
- 2012: The Glass House as Lajos
- 2013: Walking with the Enemy
- 2013: Grace and Danger as Cifaretto
- 2014: The Refugees as Álex
- 2017 In The Dark BBC TV Drama as DI Adam Perrin
- 2009: Father (short) (co-director with Marcus McSweeney)
- 2010: Man and Boy (short) (co-director with Marcus McSweeney) – Best narrative short, Tribeca Film Festival
- 2012: Orthodox (short)
- 2016: Orthodox (feature)
- 2017: Vera
- 2009: Father (short)
- 2010: Man and Boy (short)
- 2012: Orthodox (short)
- 2016: Orthodox (feature)
David Leon Theater
- 2010: Polar Bears as Jesus
David Leon Twitter
David Leon Interview
Interview: What initially interested you in writing, directing and acting?
David Leon: When I was younger I was struck by various films. I grew up in Newcastle in the northeast and, as most people know, it’s a very working class very grounded place. I’m incredibly proud of my heritage in that respect but on the flip side, growing up in that period of time there was very little opportunity to get access to the creative industries. So the idea of that never really felt like an option. Whilst I was very passionate and interested in film and filmmaking I had no idea how to navigate that path.
Long story short I started off as an actor, I did the national youth theatre, I kind of didn’t tell anyone and then I auditioned and I got a place, and then I thought actually I can do this and this is something I might actually be good at. Then through working as an actor, I still felt like there was an element of me which wasn’t being satisfied. As an actor, you’re only able to be involved in the filmmaking process to a point. I wanted more than that.
I started writing my own stuff over ten years ago and started making short films, with a group of friends, who have all kind of gone on to work in the industry in one form or another. These films got more and more ambitious, and then my short film Man and Boy won at Tribeca and that gave us the momentum to go on and make a feature. It has evolved, but I knew probably pretty early on I wanted more than just to act. I love acting and will always continue to do that, but it’s nice to mix it up and to be able to have the contrast. I would define myself on a daily basis more as a filmmaker which encompasses all of those things.
Interview: Most actor-directors jump straight into directing features instead of working on shorts. What is it that drew you towards the short form format?
David Leon: Coming from an acting background is brilliant because you get access to all elements of the film set. You’re dealing with production designers and costume designers and cinematography. It’s a great grounding and one thing I knew I had a good understanding of was performance, which is probably most important, in terms of writing, [especially] character.
I made it my job to know everything I could know about the technical aspect of filmmaking. Now I feel like I’m a place where I have a good understanding of kind of all elements. Only when you have a firm understanding of all those elements that you’re able to truly be creative. It gives you an understanding of how to really make the most out of every choice that you make. Filmmaking requires you to make compromises every step of the way. You can have this fantastic location, but it may mean you can’t light it in the way you want to. So it’s a trade-off. Is it better to use this location and only show some of it, or to find somewhere else?
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