British-American actor, Bradley James, won his first role on the BBC pilot Dis/Connected. Show creators were so impressed with his work that they would go on to cast him as the young King Arthur in the hit show Merlin (2008) which aired on BBC & NBC. Of the eventual cast, James was the only cast member who the creators originally had in mind for the role to land the part. Merlin (2008) would go on to have huge global success and air in over 180 countries giving James a worldwide following.
James would fit in a role on the first season of CW show iZombie. His portrayal proved incredibly popular with fans, who voiced massive disappointment when he left the show. Show creator Rob Thomas later admitted that they had cast someone ‘too good’ for the role, citing a William Goldman story in which a young Susan Surandan is killed off midway through the ‘Robert Redford’ film ‘The Great Waldo Pepper’_ leading to the audience never forgiving them. James however had already signed on for his next role so couldn’t have continued on the series anyway.
It was in the A&E Omen-based series Damien (2016) that James would really shine in the title role. Producers had been struggling to find their leading man but said that the decision was made the second they saw Bradley. Show creator Glen Mazzara stated that Damien (2016) was the hardest role he ever created, given the complex nature of his journey and the history that came with the role, yet James brought the character to life in a way that nobody expected. “Hollywood legend has it that you never name a show after your lead character because very often those actors end up becoming difficult as time goes on. Bradley is not that guy. He is one of the kindest, most talented, hard-working actors I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.”
Although born in Devon, England, he moved to his father’s homeland America at an early age. He would later return to England in his teenage years shortly before beginning his classical training at the Drama Centre London, stating that he had ‘three of the most enjoyable years of his life’ there. He became the next in line of the Drama Centre leading man conveyor belt that trained the likes of Colin Firth, Michael Fassbender, and Tom Hardy. It is said that he was signed by his agent when still in his first year at the school after showing her to her seat. He has suggested that ‘there was a little more too it than that.’
He is a keen sportsman and it is said that he could have been a professional football player had he not chosen the acting route although he has played that down. He has had chance to show off his skills though by playing in many charity football and cricket matches.
Underworld co-star Theo James has hinted in interviews that Bradley is set to become the new lead of the Underworld film franchise following his own departure in the latest installment Underworld: Blood Wars (2016).
In 2017 James was cast as Giuliano de’ Medici in Medici: The Magnificent (2018) alongside Daniel Sharman as Lorenzo de’ Medici. In 2018 James was cast in the lead roll of American War hero Felix Sparks in the The Liberator (2020) Netflix’s four-part World War II drama series based on the book by Alex Kershaw. This is the first project produced in Trioscope, a new enhanced hybrid technology that combines state-of-the-art CGI with live-action performance.
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