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One Day

People In Film | Jim Sturgess

Jim Sturgess | Taking One Day at a Time

British actor Jim Sturgess, star of One Day, admits that he was extremely daunted when he took on the role of Dexter in director Lone Scherfig's adaptation of David Nicholls’ best-selling of two people who meet on their graduation day and stay in each others’ live for the next 20 years. "I've never played a character that has a strong reference point to other peoples' imagination," the London-born heartthrob said in a recent Wall Street Journal interview. "I've never done that—taken a book that's loved and turned it into a film. And I've rarely seen a film that I've liked that's better than the book, so it's an impossible task." However, Sturgess kept a level head, quickly seeing the funny side of playing Dexter, the "posh, lovable twat" who plays the love interest to Anne Hathaway's lovely Emma: "There was a point where I looked at myself in the mirror with my hair slicked back in a pair of leather trousers, and I thought, 'I bet this is the character that I get remembered for.' "

Jim Sturgess | Universal Appeal

Sturgess spent a number of years as a struggling actor in his native England before being discovered by Julie Taymor, who cast him as the male lead, Jude, in her Beatles musical Across the Universe. The movie launched Sturgess' career, and his star quality was immediately apparent. “With his artful shag, Liverpudlian accent and high, sweet, grainy singing voice, Mr. Sturgess...is unmistakably Beatlesesque,” the New York Times said of him. “[He] manages the neat trick of giving Jude an almost dewy hopefulness while conveying the rough-edged realism of a kid to whom life has not been particularly kind. ...And while Mr. Sturgess is currently an unknown, he won't be for long.” They were not wrong. On the back of his striking performance as Jude, Sturgess was cast opposite Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson in the costume drama The Other Boleyn Girl and shared the screen with Harrison Ford and Ashley Judd in the immigration thriller Crossing Over.

Jim Sturgess | Going for Broke

Like the character he played in his second major movie, 21––about a brilliant young math student who takes on the Las Vegas casinos as part of a blackjack team––Jim Sturgess is not afraid of taking extreme gambles. As an actor, he is seemingly drawn to roles that demand something beyond the ordinary. He played the fearless IRA terrorist-turned-informant Martin McGartland in the acclaimed Fifty Dead Men Walking, based on McGartland's own memoir. In Philip Ridley's dark thriller Heartless, he dove into the part of the disturbed, disfigured photographer Jamie Morgan, who makes a literal deal with the devil in order to life the live he's always dreamed of. And he braved freezing cold mountain ranges and hot, parched deserts as Janusz, one of the brave work camp escapees who trek thousands of miles in Peter Weir's epic The Way Back (which also features Hanna’s Saoirse Ronan). “Acting is a totally different buzz,” Sturgess told Vogue. “Think about it: I've played an immigrant. I've learned to cheat at cards. I've learned how to build bombs in Belfast. It's a way you can live your life to the absolute fullest.”

Jim Sturgess | Musically Minded

While Sturgess has carved out a career in film, he also is blessed with considerable musical talent. Back in the UK, he studied at the University of Salford's School of Media, Music and Performance, and then was a member of the bands Dilated Spies and Saint Faith while trying to make it as an actor in British theatre and television. (You can check out some songs by those bands on Sturgess' Myspace page. He was so impressive not only as an actor but also as a singer in his breakthrough movie, Across the Universe, that he has sung songs – some of them self-penned – for the soundtracks of three of his subsequent movies: 21, Heartless and Crossing Over. His long-time girlfriend, Mickey O'Brien, recently hit it big as a member of the buzz band La Roux, yet Sturgess admits to being somewhat nostalgic for the time when both of them were working dead-end jobs, just dreaming of the success they now enjoy. “I miss those times,” he told Vogue's Caroline Palmer. “It was this great big group of us, and we would just hang out, skateboard, and go see shows.”

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