Edward Holcroft Biography
Edward Holcroft is an English actor born on 23rd June 1987 in London, United Kingdom. He is an actor best known for his role as Charlie Hesketh in the film Kingsman. He is best known for his roles in the Kingsman film franchise and in the television series Wolf Hall (2015), London Spy (2015), and Alias Grace (2017).
He attended prep school at Summer Fields School in Oxford and then Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, where he first appeared in school productions. He initially wanted to become a musician after taking up drumming, but switched to acting after appearing in a play at Oxford Brookes University.
Edward Holcroft Age
Edward was born on 23rd June 1987 in London, United Kingdom. He is 31 years old as of 2018.
Edward Holcroft Height
Edward stands at 1.85m
Edward Holcroft Family
His parents are Patrick Holcroft, the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire and Annie the publishing director of Vanity Fair. He is the second of three sons. His elder brother, Oliver Holcroft, is a former soldier who served with the Grenadier Guards in Afghanistan.
Edward Holcroft Career
He is best known for his roles as Charlie Hesketh in the film Kingsman: The Secret Service and its sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, as George Boleyn in the British drama series Wolf Hall and as Alex Turner in the BBC drama series London Spy. In 2017, he appeared in the historical miniseries Gunpowder in 2012 on BBC and Alias Grace on Netflix and the CBC. He has been playing the role of the arrogant George Boleyn on BBC’s wolf since his graduation in 2012.
He also played a gay code breaker in London Spy opposite Ben Wishaw, appeared on stage at the Donmar Warehouse in a production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. He also had a role in the big screen adaptation of The Sense of an Ending before moving onto Gunpowder. In Gunpowder, which recounted the story of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, through the eyes of Robert Catesby, played by Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington.
He is also the leading man in the Netflix adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace, alongside Sarah Gadon and Anna Pacquin. He also plays Dr Simon Jordan in the Toronto-set Alias Grace. Dr Simon is an educated physician and alienist who is interviewing convicted murderer Grace Marks, who tells him the story of her life and recalls the abuse she suffered as a child.
Edward Holcroft Gay
He played a gay code breaker in London Spy opposite Ben Wishaw.
Edward Holcroft Dating
He dated Cressida Bonas who was Prince Harry’s ex but they split in September 2015. It was reported at the time of the split that Bonas’ parents didn’t approve of Holcroft because they favored Harry.
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Edward Holcroft Alias Grace
He plays Dr Simon Jordan in the Netflix adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace. Dr Simon is an educated physician and alienist who is interviewing convicted murderer Grace Marks, who tells him the story of her life and recalls the abuse she suffered as a child.
During an interview he revealed that he knew little about medicine at the time and immersed himself in books on the 1840s and was surprised to discover how un-advanced Canada and the world were on mental health issues at the time. Having been sent the script, he read the novel, written by an author who he had only heard of because an ex-girlfriend had mentioned reading a couple of Margaret Atwood books to him.
Alias Grace Trailer
Edward Holcroft Movies
- 2017: Gunpowder
- 2017: Alias Grace
- 2017: Kingsman: The Golden Circle
- 2017: The Sense of an Ending
- 2015: Lady Chatterley’s Lover
- 2015: Wolf Hall
- 2015: London Spy
- 2014: Kingsman: The Secret Service
- 2014: Vampire Academy
Edward Holcroft TV Shows
- 2017: Alias Grace
- 2017: Gunpowder
- 2015: Wolf Hall
- 2015: London Spy
Edward Holcroft Theatre
- 2005: All’s Well That Ends As You Like It
- 2005: Romeo & Juliet
- 2009: According To…
- 2009: Knuckle
- 2010: Henry IV
- 2010: Time to Kill
- 2011: Romeo & Juliet
- 2015 – 2016: Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Edward Holcroft Instagram
Edward Holcroft Interview
Alex, your character in London Spy, is frequently described as enigmatic. How would you characterize him?
Edward Holcroft: I think he’s lonely. For me, that was the biggest part of his character. What is it like for somebody to be really alone in the world? To have no friends, to have never had a relationship, never really talked to anyone outside your work? And [to have] this want to find something, but not have the social ability to because he’s never practiced it? He’s never been in social situations and he doesn’t know how to socialize. It was more about being lonely, rather than enigmatic. I just think he doesn’t know how to show emotions or how to convey it.
While the story isn’t based on the life of Gareth Williams, [an MI6 agent whose suspicious death has been surrounded with speculation], the circumstances of Alex’s death do echo his. Did that inform your role at all?
Edward Holcroft: Not really. When I read it, I thought of Gareth Williams pretty quickly but I didn’t go any farther than just the thought. I didn’t research him because they’re different people and although the idea may have some connection to it, the individual of Alex is a fictitious character, and a very different character. I didn’t want to get sidetracked by someone real.
Would you consider the show a love story, a spy thriller, or both?
Edward Holcroft: I think it’s both; it’s a spy thriller that is motivated by a love story. At the crux of the story is the relationship between Danny and Alex, and without that, there wouldn’t be the story.
Most of your scenes are one-on-one with Ben Whishaw. Had you worked with him prior to this show?
Edward Holcroft: No, I had never met him.
What was that experience like?
Edward Holcroft: Terrible. [laughs] It was awful. He was one of the worst people to work with in the world. I mean, he’s a real diva, such a bad actor. [laughs] No, it was great. He, as I’m sure you know, is a very talented individual and also a very decent, kind, fun person. We got on really well and as a consequence we’re now very good friends.
I know you’re also in a play right now, Les Liaisons Dangereuses. How has that been for you?
Edward Holcroft: It has been a brilliant experience. I’ve never done theater so it’s new ground. It’s scary; there is nowhere to hide on a stage. On camera, you can hide, you can cut, you can shoot again and do it until it’s good, whereas in theater you can’t hide. Once you walk on you have to be believable the whole time otherwise you get found out. It’s a great skill to learn as an actor. It’s very important and I’ve now seen that. So it’s been a very good thing.
Have you enjoyed being able to return to the same lines and scenes night after night?
Edward Holcroft: It’s hard. It provides challenges, there’s no doubt. You’ve got to find ways of keeping it fresh, but it’s a good discipline. And it’s always different because every audience is different. Some audiences are half asleep, some are shouting, and your performance changes in accordance to what you’re getting back. The great thing about theater is that it’s a two-way thing, you get energy from the audience and the audience gets energy from you.
You were able to work with Charlotte Rampling and Jim Broadbent again in The Sense of an Ending. Was filming more comfortable having known them from London Spy?
Edward Holcroft: No, it was terrible.
Everything is terrible.
Edward Holcroft: Everything is terrible! [laughs] I didn’t actually have much to do with them in The Sense of an Ending. I know that they’re in it, but my scenes weren’t with them. But I did see Jim. Charlotte and Jim are kind of brilliant examples of not only very talented actors, but just such nice people. I can’t begin to tell you. They’re so unfazed by the industry side of it, they don’t really have time for it, which is such an admirable quality when people are really talented. They don’t buy in to some of the bullshit that comes with it. They have very quiet lives and they’re great.
I read that you think it’s important to maintain a certain air of mystery as an actor. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Edward Holcroft: I don’t think it’s a new concept. I should think most actors probably think this, but I know that when I watch actors, the actors who I know least about I buy into more because I can imagine them as the character. It’s as simple as that. If you lead a very high profile life—and of course, it’s easy to say this, and if you become incredibly famous because of your work some of that is unavoidable—but if you can do as much as you can to keep away from some of that limelight then you just help yourself when it comes to your work. You have a blank canvas, as it were, to work with, rather than people knowing a whole bunch about your life or what you get up to, what you had for breakfast. Everyone is different, and each to their own, as they say, but for me that’s what I would like to try and establish.
You live in London now, but did you grow up there as well?
Edward Holcroft: I did, I grew up here. I was sent off to boarding school when I was eight until 18. That was outside of London in the countryside, so I sort of took a break and came back. I am a Londoner but boarding school makes you feel a bit [pauses] I don’t know what the word is, but you’re sort of a traveler, as it were. Boarding school is a very… It’s not a harsh environment, but you have to be quite tough and that probably put me in quite good stead for this profession. You need to have a thick skin.
Were you acting at all when you were in boarding school?
Edward Holcroft: No, no. God no. I did a tiny, tiny bit. I used to play girls because I had killer legs. [both laugh] No, I didn’t. I was terrible but I looked the youngest so I played the odd woman, but in short, I never had the dream of being an actor until I was at least 22.
What was your first role then?
Edward Holcroft: In my whole life? I was at school when I was 12 and I played Curley’s wife in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, who gets killed by the lead character, Lenny. She gets murdered. So I was a girl who got murdered! [laughs] They obviously saw me doing big, big things.
What made you decide to pursue acting seriously later on in life?
Edward Holcroft: Lack of options? No, I don’t know, I was just sort of drawn to it, I think. It was not a life-long ambition. I saw Mark Rylance in a play called Jerusalem, which was seven or eight years ago now, and it was the first time that I had been really moved by something on stage. I had loved theater but I had never really fully bought into it. I always knew I was sitting in a theater and I was next to people and it never had quite the same impact that film did. But then I watched him. It was so electric and I could feel it. I had never had that before and I remember thinking, “I’ve got to do that. I’ve got to try that.” I was just drawn to it and I don’t really know how to put my finger on it, but anyway after that I sort of thought, “Right, there’s that and a lack of options.” [laughs]
So it must have been exciting to be George Boleyn and play across [Mark Rylance] in scenes [while filming Wolf Hall].
Edward Holcroft: Yeah, it was great. I like those moments in life, where life completes little mini stories. It started when I saw him on stage and life thought it would tie the knot in a circle and finish it when I met him on set for Wolf Hall. It was wonderful.
You attended drama school at the Drama Centre. What made you choose that program in particular?
Edward Holcroft: Michael Fassbender and Tom Hardy had just been there. Literally, that was the reason. I didn’t know much about acting, I didn’t know much about the drama schools. I knew that there were sort of four or five really good schools, like RADA and LAMDA, and Drama Centre was one of them, and I didn’t know how to pick because I didn’t know what I wanted from each school and I didn’t know what I was doing. So I just picked actors who I had seen around that time who I thought had been brilliant. I remember I had seen Fassbender in Hunger and I thought, “Where did he go to school?” I looked it up and it said Drama Centre so I said, “Right, I’m going to go there.” And that was that. I turned up and then I got in.
It’s probably the most unromantic reason to go to a school, most people wanted to go to RADA since they were three. But all I knew was what I liked. I knew that I didn’t know anything else about acting; I just knew that I had liked Mark Rylance and I had liked what I saw in Hunger with Michael Fassbender. That’s all I had, really, was an instinct. So I thought I’d just tread in their footsteps and do what I can.