Born in London, England, Jim Sturgess' theatrical inclinations were apparent from a very early age, when he would write plays and recruit siblings and neighbors to stage them in his attic. He enrolled at London's renowned National Youth Music Theatre, where he performed in musical and dramatic productions, nabbing his first small film role in the remake of "The Browning Version" (1994) from director Mike Figgis. The film was lauded by critics and collected its share of accolades, including a nomination for the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) award at the Cannes Film Festival. By the time he hit his teens, Sturgess was also singing and playing guitar - as well as trying to sneak drinks - with bands at local pubs. At the University of Salford's School of Media, Music and Performance, he studied filmmaking and theater and made his television debut in the miniseries "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (BBC1, 1999). Following his graduation, he began to build a resume with roles in British television and radio productions, including an appearance in the popular "Quest" series (YTV, 2002, 2004), about three London lads sowing their wild oats. But eventually acting took a backseat to music, and Sturgess found himself spending more time playing music.Sturgess found his way back to film, appearing alongside Ellen Page in Alison Murray's highly acclaimed 2004 short film, "Mouth to Mouth." But when he heard about auditions for Broadway director Julie Taymor's Beatles-inspired musical "Across the Universe," his music and acting worlds seemed ready to fuse into one. He showed up with his guitar and did a rendition of George Harrison's "Something" which earned him first, a ticket to ride to an audition in New York City, as well as eventually, the starring role in the major motion picture. In Taymor's inventive film, Sturgess played Jude, the sensitive, artistic, central character of a magical mystery tour through 1960s America, as woven together by 33 Beatles classics. The relative unknown proved surprisingly capable of the daunting task, offering up sincere and compelling renditions of the well-loved songs. Critics singled out his charismatic performance, with The New York Times noting that Sturgess "evokes rather than impersonates. And he never breaks character in his songs, performing them with such deceptively casual ease that they seem like a natural extension of his speech."After "Across the Universe," its young star appeared in four theatrical releases within a year. He had a supporting role portraying 16th century diplomat George Boleyn in the costume drama "The Other Boleyn Girl" (2008), before returning to first billing with "21" (2008), a fact-based caper about card-counting M.I.T. math wizards snaring millions in blackjack wins in Las Vegas. He next starred in the gripping real-life story of Irish Republican Army informer Martin McGartland, "Fifty Dead Men Walking" (2008), before appearing in "Crossing Over" (2009), an ensemble film exploring various immigration issues in the U.S. that starred Harrison Ford, Ashley Judd and Ray Liotta. That same year, Sturgess starred in Philip Ripley's horror thriller, "Heartless" (2009), where he played an outcast young photographer with a heart-shaped birthmark on his face who strikes a Faustian bargain with a gang of thugs he learns are not of this world. He went on to play a young Polish officer held as a POW by the Soviets during World War II who stages a daring escape with other prisoners (including Ed Harris and Colin Farrell) and traverses the bleak Siberian landscape in Peter Weir's acclaimed "The Way Back" (2010). After starring opposite Anne Hathaway in the little-seen "One Day" (2011), Sturgess had a prominent, multi-character turn in the Wachowski's mind-bending sci-fi fantasy, "Cloud Atlas" (2012), though he earned criticism for yellowing his face to play an Asian character.
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