Born in Bangor, North Wales and raised in Brighton, Ian Whyte was 7’1″ tall by the time he he was 17 years old. Ian always stood out from the crowd. Tall, slim and athletic, little did he know of his future career in the limelight however, Ian endured sometimes savage bullying throughout his school years.
After discovering basketball in his teens, he quickly caught the attention of national team scouts who saw his physical attributes and determination as invaluable assets and he quickly progressed to the junior national team ranks. However, Ian lived in fear of being emotionally and creatively expressive for fear of more ridicule, so he was keen to escape school at the earliest possible opportunity. He spent a year at Henry Hudson High School in New Jersey, where he again attracted the attention of basketball scouts, earning sports scholarships to Iona College in New York and Clarion University in Pennsylvania.
Ian returned to England in 1994 to play for the London Towers, a new franchise owned by the music promoter Barry Marshall. Still eager to find himself Ian only stayed a season with the Towers, transferring to their rival team across town, The London Leopards.
As Europe freely opened its doors to sportsmen and women from across the continent, Ian played for teams across France, Belgium, Greece and Portugal, winning the domestic treble; League, cup and playoff championships with F.C. Porto in 1997.
Ian returned to England soon after to play for the Newcastle Eagles, a place that would become his home until his retirement from the game in 2003. Throughout his career Ian tirelessly distinguished himself, representing his country 80 times.
In 2003 Ian received a phone call that would change the whole course of his life. By his own admission he was keen to retire on his terms rather than through injury or old age, he responded to a casting call for the new film Alien vs Predator. His success in gaining the role is a matter of history, but personally it was a tremendous victory for him to finally find an outlet for his emotional creativity.
Ian was fortunate to work alongside such luminaries as the Oscar winning special effects duo Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr as well as Oscar winning VFX supervisor John Bruno. He also met soon to be double Oscar winning makeup effects artist Mark Coulier who advised him to get in touch with Nick Dudman, the creature effects supervisor for the Harry Potter franchise. Upon completion of filming on AVP Ian travelled back to England and straight into the world of Harry Potter. Not credited as an actor this time, Ian was hired to help bring to life the character of Madame Maxime played by the sublime Francis De La Tour. Ian worked full time for an entire year on the film, faithfully doubling The character who was the full size 8’6″ tall.
During this time Ian found himself in great demand, but had to turn down roles on The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy and a worldwide tour with Cirque du Soleil.
Soon after the release of Harry Potter, the AVP sequel went into production. Shot entirely in Vancouver Canada, Ian had to re-audition for the part of the Predator, (in reality a new role) however he had tentatively been preparing for it ever since the release of the first film. Ian was of course successful in giving the directors exactly what they wanted and AVP Requiem was shot in 2006. Ian’s dedicated self imposed preparation involved a great deal of martial arts training and Ian based the characteristics of the Warrior on an obscure Chinese martial art called Ba Gua. The shooting schedule for requiem was extremely intense. Half the time as for AVP with twice the action. However, during production Ian found time to quickly. Travel to New Zealand to meet with the Director Neil Blomkamp to discuss the role of the Master Chief in his new film based on the Halo video game. A meeting turned into an audition, a costume fitting and quick negotiations with the producers before returning to Vancouver. Sadly, after being in Pre-production for six months the film never went into full production.
Clash of the Titans followed in 2009. Directed by Louis Leterrier the character of Sheikh Suliman gave Ian a golden opportunity to develop his skills with a glittering ensemble cast.
Ian extended her s dramatic credentials with the part of Ronnie, with Steven Tompkinson in the gritty 1970’s Northern police drama, Harrigan.
Prometheus followed soon after when Oscar winning director Sir Ridley Scott brought to life the enigmatic myth of the space jockey, last seen in the original Alien film.
In 2010 Ian auditioned for the role of “The Mountain” in the upcoming TV smash Game of thrones. Ian was not cast, but was invited to fill the role of “The White Walker” for season one. Thus began a period of great creativity which saw Ian play roles in every season of the show so far, delivering more characters than any other actor in the show. Including the giant “Wun Wun” who fought in the two top rated battle episodes of the franchise in series 5 and 6.
Never one to shy away from the responsibilities of a global franchise, Ian became involved with Star Wars in 2013 after Disney took over film production of the franchise. Ian did not audition for the part of the mighty Wookie Chewbacca. The casting brief was very specific and despite his experience and skill, Ian’s deep dark brown eyes excluded him from the role. He went back to his action creature roots in the industry however, as he was hired as Peter Mayhew’s Chewbacca stunt double as well as for other creature effects roles. Work he reprised for the recent “Solo” movie.
Ian continues to adapt and develop his significant skills and experience toward projects in fantasy, horror and sci fi genres and also toward more dramatic pieces.
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