Jack Whitehall is best known as the British actor who played Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter films and as Michael McIntyre in the sitcom Dinnerladies. He also has a very distinct singing voice. Most recently, he was seen in the British comedy series Gasping for Air. You may know him from a variety of films and TV shows, including Love Actually, in which he played Hugh Grant’s drunken friend; The Lost Tycoon, in which he played the son of Ralph Fiennes’ character; and Moonfall, in which he was one of the leads. He has also done many voices for video games, including King Arthas in the Mass Effect series and Emperor Maximilian in the Diablo series. He was born in London in 1978.
The Early Years
Whitehall grew up in West London and attended secondary school at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School in Earls Court. He started his acting career in 1995 in Birmingham with the Royal Exchange Company before heading back to London. Later that year, he went to America to star in The Fisher King, a TV movie that aired on the FX Network. He played a petty criminal who befriends a wealthy king (Robin Williams). After that, he returned to the UK and began working on other projects, including a role in the British horror film Perfection, which he also produced. He also produced and starred in the independently made comedy-drama Little Britain which follows the lives of the Little Britainers, an English-speaking community in London. He played Alan Partridge in the 2007 TV series of the same name, based on the eponymous radio show. In 2008, he was part of the ensemble cast of the comedy series A Modest Proposal, in which he played a gay police inspector. In 2010, he starred in the short-lived TV series The Syndicate, which examines the theme of trust. In 2011, he starred in the BBC series The Musketeers as D’Artagnan. That same year, he appeared in the crime thriller Broken, which was directed by Antony Taylor. He reprised his role as Alan Partridge in the second series of Little Britain, which aired in 2012 and was titled Alan Partridge: England’s Most Wanted. He also starred at the 2012 London Olympics as part of the gold-medal-winning Great Britain team in the synchronised swimming competition. In 2013, he starred in the psychological thriller The Deep as Harry Harding, a doctor who goes on a murderous rampage. That same year, he also produced and starred in the comedy-drama The Wrong Mans which explores themes of friendship, longing, and guilt. In 2014, he had a small, yet pivotal role as a guest in the fourth and final season of the acclaimed American series Breaking Bad.
The Harry Potter Years
In 2001, Whitehall was cast as Harry Potter in the first of the Harry Potter films, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. His performance as the geeky, bespectacled teen was met with positive reviews. In his native Britain, Whitehall was nominated for the BAFTA Film Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He reprised his role as Harry in the second film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004. For his performance in that film, he won a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. As a result of his performance in Chamber of Secrets, Whitehall was awarded the title of the Highest-Grossing British Actor of All Time at the London International Film Festival. He played the goblin Griphook in the last of the Harry Potter films, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in 2007.
The Love Actually Sequel
In 2012, Whitehall reunited with some of the stars of Love Actually in a sequel to the 2003 film. He played Hugh Grant’s (Richard Curtis) drunken friend on screen in the film, which is called Love Actually 2. The film received positive reviews from critics and was a financial success. Whitehall’s performance earned him a second Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Leading Role. At the London International Film Festival that year, he won the award for the Highest-Grossing British Actor of All Time for his role in the film. He also won a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. In 2014, he won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. In 2015, he released his debut novel, The Secret Life of Famous People, which is a comedic mystery story set in the 1920s. It was followed by The Fever Dream, a historical novel about the Barbary pirates, which was released in 2017.