Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch was born in England in 1976 and has been cast to play the role of Major Jamie Stewart in War Horse.
Both of Cumberbatch’s parents are actors, which doesn’t come as surprising considering the amount of talent he has.

Cumberbatch attended boarding schools from the age of 8 and started showing his talent even back then – he was involved in numerous plays and his drama teacher described him as ‘the best schoolboy actor’ he’d ever worked with!

After finishing high school, Cumberbatch took a gap year and volunteered as an English teacher in a Tibetan monastery in India. Afterward, he attended the University of Manchester where he studied Drama. Later on, Cumberbatch continued pursuing an MA in Classical Acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Cumberbatch’s work is so diverse that so far, apart from movie appearances, he’s also performed on television, theatre, and radio. His West End debut was in the play Hedda Gabler in 2005. His role of Stephen Hawking in the television film Hawking in 2004 was the one who brought him more international recognition and led him on the path to fame.

Since then, he’s worked on numerous movies and TV shows. However, his popularity went through the roof with his role of Sherlock Holmes in the detective TV show Sherlock, that’s been airing since 2010.

His most famous movie roles include 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, and The Imitation Game, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Apart from that Cumberbatch has received multiple other nominations and awards for his acting, including nominations six BAFTA nominations and two Golden Globe Award nominations.

David Thewlis

David Thewlis was born in England in 1963. In War Horse, he perfectly conveys the character of Lyons, the landlord of the Naraccott family.

Born as the second child of three, both of his parents worked at a shop his father owned. Thewlis played in a rock band as a teenager and later on, decided to continue his education in Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, from where he graduated in 1984.

His debut role happened to be in Naked, a movie for which he received several major awards and nominations. Before that, he only had minor roles in TV shows and movies.

Apart from his role in War Horse, he’s very likely most known for his appearance in the Harry Potter movies, where he played the part of Remus Lupin. Besides his big success with the role of Lupin, he has played in other popular movies, such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, The Theory of Everything, Wonder Woman, and many others. His resume even includes directing the movie Hello, Hello, Hello in 1995, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Short Film.

On top of his movie roles, he’s appeared in several TV mini-series, Dinotopia and Fargo being the more popular ones. Apart from that, he’s also done some voice overs in the movies James and the Giant Peach, The Miracle Maker and Anomalies.

Among other notable nominations such as the BAFTA Award, he won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for his role in Naked and also several other awards for his outstanding performance in the Harry Potter movies. Currently, the actor lives in England and has one child from one of his previous relationships.

Emily Watson

Emily Watson was born in England in 1967 and in War Horse, she magnificently portrays Rose, the mother of Albert Naraccott.
Watson attended the University of Bristol and got a BA in English. Later on, she trained at the Drama Studio London but as many other actors struggled in the beginnings of her career. Actually, her acting career began on stage, where she took part in various plays: The Children’s Hours, Three Sisters, Much Ado About Nothing and so on. Later on, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company with All’s Well That Ends Well, The Changeling and A Jovial Crew, among the rest.

Her movie debut happened when she was cast to play Bess McNeill in Breaking the Waves in 1996, a rather controversial role for the time – she only got it because Helena Bonham Carter dropped out last minute!

Watson is so passionate about her roles that for her role as Jacqueline in Hilary and Jackie – another controversial role – she learned how to play the cello in mere three months! Other popular appearances of her include starring in the movies The Boxer, Red Dragon, Corpse Bride, Oranges and Sunshine and The Theory of Everything.

Among other significant nominations and awards, Watson received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her leading role in Breaking the Waves. In 1998, she won the BIFA Award for Best Actress for her role as Jacqueline in Hilary and Jackie. She lives in London with her husband, whom she met at the Royal Shakespeare Company and their two children and finds great joy in actively supporting children charities.

Jeremy Irvine

Jeremy Irvine was born in 1990 in England and the leading role of Albert Naraccott in War Horse is his debut role that skyrocketed him to fame.

Irvine was raised in Cambridgeshire by his parents: his mom is a local politician while his dad is an engineer. Irvine has stated several times that his parents are the ones who have real jobs, while he’s out there playing ‘make-believe and dressing up for a living’ even though he does that pretty well. He’s been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus type 1 since early childhood and struggled to fit in, which led him to start acting at the age of 16.

However, fame didn’t come easy for Irvine; after completing a course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, he’s spent two whole years sending out his resume, without much success! The actor recalls that period of his life as rock bottom, admitting that he’s been thinking about giving up and finding another career path.

Later on, when he’s been given the role in War Horse, he took matters seriously: he started weight training and gained 14 lbs. of muscle while also going through intensive horse riding lessons. Nowadays, Irvine has earned the reputation of a method actor, after managing to successfully transform his looks again for the movie The Railway Man, a role for which he lost two stones!

Ever since, he’s starred in the very successful Great Expectations, as well as other big hits, such as A Night in Old Mexico, Beyond the Reach, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death. So far, he’s received two nominations for his role in War Horse.