“Not on a regular basis. You'd be surprised how people don't put two and two together. I was on a plane from New York to L.A. and the only movie that was playing was 'Stardust' and the first 10 minutes of that movie is pretty much just me. I was thinking, ‘Oh no, this is embarrassing. Everyone's going to be looking at me.’ And ... nothing! Nothing ... so maybe no one will recognize me in 'Caspian' either.” Ben Barnes (on being recognized)
British actor Ben Barnes was relatively unknown when he was cast in the desirable role of Prince Caspian in Disney's “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” (2008), from which he took home nominations at the Teen Choice Awards and U.K.'s National Movie Awards. He stated, “I got involved (in 'Caspian') very late, very late, literally a couple of weeks before they had to start shooting. I think they were desperate at this point. 'Whoever walks in the door next, that’s the guy.' And it was me.”
Barnes will recreate his role of Prince Caspian for “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (2010).
Starting out on stage, the former member of London's National Youth Music Theatre hit the big screen in 2007 in Matthew Vaughn's “Stardust” after appearing in the popular BBC drama series “Doctors” and the made-for-TV film “Split Decision” (both 2006). After his success in “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” the emerging performer had roles in “Bigga than Ben” (2008) and “Easy Virtue” (2008, as Jessica Biel's young English husband). He is also scheduled to star in the remake “Dorian Gray” (2009).
Brown-eyed, black-haired Barnes is good friends with model Brooke Louise. He stated, “She has an amazing talent. I would love to work with her some day.”
Barnes' favorite movie is Rob Reiner's “This Is A Spinal Tap” (1984).
Childhood and Family:
Born Benjamin Thomas Barnes, on August 20, 1981, in London, Ben Barnes is the son of Thomas Barnes, a professor of psychiatry, and Tricia, a psychotherapist. He has a younger brother named Jack.
Ben was educated at Homefield Preparatory School and King's College School before enrolling at Kingston University. He graduated in 2004 with a degree in English and Drama. Ben was a member of the National Youth Music Theatre from 1997 to 2003.
In addition to acting, Ben can play piano and drums. He was once in a short-lived boy band called Hyrise. The group performed their song “Leading Me On” on the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest. Ben also enjoys billiards and swimming.
As a member of the National Youth Music Theatre, Ben Barnes performed in various plays like “The Ballad of Saloman Pavey” (1996), “Bugsy Malone” (1997), “The Ragged Child” (1999) and “The Dreaming” (2001). His professional stage debut was in the 2004 production of “Loving Ophelia,” by Katherine Knowle, at London's Pleasance Theatre. It was followed by a performance in “Sex, Chips and Rock 'n' Roll” (2005), where he was cast as the wolf at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester before he toured the U.K. in a production of “The History Boys” (2006-2007), where he played Dakin.
Barnes branched out to television in 2006 when he landed a guest role in the “Doctors” episode “Facing Up,” which was broadcasted on February 20. Later that same year, he made his TV movie debut in director Simon West's drama, “Split Decision,” in which he portrayed Chris Wilbur. Barnes was then cast in the small, but memorable, supporting role of Young Dunstan in the adventure movie “Stardust” (2007), which was helmed by Matthew Vaughn. Among his costars in the film were Sienna Miller, Peter O'Toole and Mark Strong.
Barnes' breakout screen role came when he was hired to play the starring role of Prince Caspian in Walt Disney Pictures' “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” (2008). Directed by Andrew Adamson, he picked up a Teen Choice nomination for Choice Movie Breakout Male and U.K.'s National Movie nomination for Best Performance – Male for his performance in the fantasy film. He recalled, “When I first heard about the ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian’ audition, I went and looked on my bookshelves and found my copy of ‘Prince Caspian’ and it had a copyright date of 1989. So I was eight. So that's like the perfect age, I think, to have first got into that. And it had a little sticker in the front saying, ‘I can't bear to be without my books’ and a picture of a bear and below that was written Benjamin Barnes in my little eight year old handwriting.”
Barnes went on to play the leading role of Cobakka in the Suzie Halewood-directed/written drama “Bigga Than Ben” (2008), opposite Andrey Chadov and Ovidiu Matesan, and costarred with Jessica Biel, Kristin Scott Thomas, Colin Firth and Kimberley Nixon in Stephan Elliott' comedy/romance “Easy Virtue,” which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 8, 2008. In the movie, he portrayed John Whittaker.
Ben will portray the title role in the Oliver Parker-directed “Dorian Gray,” a remake of the 1945 Academy Award-winning movie “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” which is based on the story by Oscar Wilde. The film, which reunites him with “Easy Virtue” costar Colin Firth, is set to be released in the United Kingdom in September 2009. Barnes will also reprise his coveted role of Prince Caspian in the upcoming sequel “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” which is due for a 2010 release.