James Norton

James Norton

Jul. 18th, 1985
Born in
North Yorkshire
6' 1

James Norton's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Grantchester (UK) TV Show
Grantchester (UK)
Happy Valley (UK) TV Show
Happy Valley (UK)
McMafia TV Show
War & Peace (UK 2016) TV Show
War & Peace (UK 2016)
Death Comes to Pemberley (UK) TV Show
Death Comes to Pemberley (UK)
Lady Chatterley's Lover (UK) TV Show
Lady Chatterley's Lover (UK)
Life In Squares (UK) TV Show
Life In Squares (UK)

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


James Norton was born in 1985 to two teachers and has a younger sister who is a doctor. Growing up in North Yorkshire he espoused acting at a very early age - playing Joseph in his primary school nativity play aged five - and, after leaving Ampleforth College he did work experience at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Rather than go straight to acting school he read theology at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and then travelled to Nepal, where he became interested in Buddhism. On return he enrolled at RADA in London, graduating in 2010 and, just before graduating bagging a (very) small part as Carey Mulligan's boyfriend in the final scene of 'An Education'. In 2011 he appeared on the London stage in revivals of 'Journey's End' and 'The Lion in Winter' with Joanna Lumley and Robert Lindsay. At the tail end of 2013 he was in the faux-Austen mystery 'Death Comes To Pemberley' on television but 2014 has been the year when he became known to a wider audience via the period films 'Mr Turner' and 'Belle' as the heroine's first love interest and most particularly violent serial 'Happy Valley' as a murderous kidnapper and rapist and, by contrast in the post-war set whodunit series 'Grantchester' as a tipsy young vicar with a penchant for solving cases.
Has often brought his retired father, to appear as an extra on shoots.
Has diabetes mellitus type 1.
His family lived in the town of Malton in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire.
In 2014 bought a house in the Peckham area of London.
Attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London for three years, but left 6 months before graduation for an acting role in 2010.
Educated at Ampleforth College, a Roman Catholic (Benedictine) boarding independent school in the village of Ampleforth in North Yorkshire. He excelled in theatre and tennis.
Received a Fitzwilliam Travel Grant to travel to Northern India, to teach and perform for schoolchildren at 16 schools.
From 2004 read Theology at Fitzwilliam College at the University of Cambridge, graduating in 2007 with First Class Honors.
Son of Lavinia Jane Norman and Hugh Biddulph Norton, both teachers.
Was a member of the Marlowe Society theatre club at Cambridge.
At the age of 15, worked at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.
His father was born in Tanzania. He was a Lecturer at Hull School of Art and Design.
In 2015, he was made a trustee of the Royal Theatrical Support Trust.
Has one sister.
If it's a sunny day, I get this weird guilt if I'm not making the most of it, so I'll walk or go for a swim or get on my bike, or I'll go to the Heath, just have a reason to get out.
Obviously I have a relationship with religion, because I went to a Catholic school and studied theology. I can't call myself religious, but I'm definitely fascinated by it.
For any actor, it's a great privilege to play a character that is very distant from yourself.
I think the mistake lots of people make when it comes to a psychopath is that they completely write off their actions as cruel, callous and completely calculated, but actually, the truth is that they have interests and reasons behind their actions.
When I got into drama school, that's when I knew that I could safely say that I wanted to be a professional actor.
I love, when I'm on holiday in cities, going into church and feeling that reverence and that kind of automatic respect: the sort of magic which exists in those kind of religious temples.
I had the acting bug from a very early age.
You don't want a character who sits on an even playing field the whole time.
I love good stories; you have to have a good plot - characters which intertwine with a good plot.
For a long time I had a vintage stall, where I sold men's vintage clothing, and my girlfriend was convinced it was just to do with a problem I had where I just couldn't stop buying senseless clothes, even if they didn't fit me.
When I was playing a psychopath in Happy Valley (2014) it was really weird.
I grew up in North Yorkshire, but now London is home.
I do a mean mouth trumpet.
Happy Valley (2014) has really changed things for me.
I crashed my bicycle on the way to my first date with my ex-girlfriend and was cautioned by the police.
If you compare the violence in Happy Valley (2014) to the violence in something like Game of Thrones (2011), it's nothing. But it is shocking because it's so real and grounded. The characters could live next door to you - they're not in a remote fantasy world.
I wanted to do a degree in something I was interested in before going into acting.
Part of the reason that I love Grantchester (2014) is that it's a show in which the hero is a man of faith. He's not a comic device or a villain. He's just a very normal, very sympathetic young man who most people can identify with.


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