Hollywood Spotlight: George MacKay

He makes a star appearance in the upcoming Universal Pictures film 1917 (2019) with features in Defiance (2008), The Boys Are Back (2009), Private Peaceful (2012), Captain Fantastic (2016), True History of the Kelly Gang (2019). This week’s Hollywood Spotlight highlights the young and talented British star George MacKay, who stars in 1917 (2019).

Born on Mar. 13, 1992 in London, George MacKay Kim Baker, a costume designer, and Paul MacKay, an Australian who works in lighting/stage management. At 10 years old, MacKay was spotted while at The Harrodian School by an acting scout, who asked him if he would like to audition for a role in P.J. Hogan's 2003 film adaptation of Peter Pan. He attended a workshop, and won the role of one of the Lost Boys, Curly, in what was his big break.

In 2005, he won the role of Riccio in The Thief Lord at the age of 13. He was also cast in the lead role in Johnny and the Bomb (2006). He later applied unsuccessfully to both RADA and LAMDA.

Though his earlier films did not receive positive critical reception, his own performance started to receive more positive reviews, starting with Defiance in 2008. In 2009 he played Harry in The Boys Are Back starring Clive Owen. He also co-starred in the Marc Evans-directed musical film Hunky Dory (2011) opposite Minnie Driver, Aneurin Barnard and Kimberley Nixon.

He would continue to play crucial roles in 2012, casting the main character, Private Tommo Peaceful, in Private Peaceful, while appearing in the inspirational film The Best of Men. In 2013, MacKay played Eddie in How I Live Now opposite Saoirse Ronan and directed by Kevin Macdonald, and starred as Davy in the musical film Sunshine on Leith, featuring songs by The Proclaimers, directed by Dexter Fletcher. In 2014, MacKay played the role of Joe, a 20-year-old struggling to come out in a homophobic Britain in 1984 in the film Pride also starring Bill Nighy.

As such a young talent in the British scene, it will be quite exciting to see him take on more serious role in his upcoming films. 1917, set to release on Dec. 25, 2019 (USA), follows two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), on their seemingly impossible mission to deliver a message which will warn of an ambush during one of the skirmishes soon after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich.

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