Jamie Bell is an English actor best known for his eponymous role in the 2000 feature film Billy Elliott.
Bell was chosen out of 2000 boys to play Billy Elliot over a series of seven auditions. Criteria that the casting director was looking for were acting ability, dancing ability and the right Northern English accent.
He won 10 major international awards for his eponymous role in the film, including the 2001 BAFTA award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, beating prestigious fellow nominees Russell Crowe, Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas and Geoffrey Rush.
Bell was born in 1986 in Billingham, England, UK, coming from a family of dancers including his grandmother, mother, aunt, and sister.
At his sister's dance practices he would stand outside the door and imitate the movements of the dancers inside. At age six, he was encouraged to step inside the door and, thus, his dance career began.
His own story parallels that of Billy Elliot in that Bell kept his dancing a secret from his friends at school. His mother had him when she was 16 and he never knew his father.
Since Billy Elliott, Bell has appeared in a number of diverse roles, including the crippled servant Smike in an adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby, a young soldier in Deathwatch, a teenager on the run in Undertow, a gun-toting pacificist in Dear Wendy, and a disaffected Southern California teenager in The Chumscrubber.
He played a young seaman in Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong in 2005 and had roles in Flags of Our Fathers (2006) and the title role in Hallam Foe (2007).
Bell as Billy Elliott (2000)