Jacob Fortune-Lloyd is an English actor who is known for his performance in the British television series Wolf Hall (2015) and Medici (2018), and the American television series The Queen’s Gambit (2020).
Jacob Fortune-Lloyd was born on Thursday, January 17, 1991 (age 30 years; as of 2021), in Hillingdon, Greater London, England. From a very young age, he showed interest in performing and took drama classes in his school. He pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St. Anne’s College, Oxford University. He then attended Guildhall School of Music and Drama and graduated in 2014. Guildhall School of Music and Drama – Graduates 2014 While studying at Guildhall school, he took part in the school’s production of plays like Agamemnon, The Man of Mode, Guys & Dolls, The Insect Play, Arms & The Man, Uncle Vanya, Dear Dr Goebbels, and Medieval Mystery Plays. He has taken TV and film workshops with actors like Adrian Lester, Jodie Whittaker, and Damien Lewis, and directors like Peter Cregeen, Nic Phillips, and Richard Kwietniowski. He also attended acting technique workshops with Declan Donnellan (director) and Mike Alfreds (theater director), and radio workshops with Jane Morgan (singer) and Nigel Anthony (theater actor).
Height Guildhall School of Music and Drama – Graduates 2014: 6′ 2″
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown
After his graduation, he performed for the Royal Shakespeare Company in their production of The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, and Othello.
He performed in the theater productions like The Importance of Being Earnest and The Moderate Soprano and has worked in London theaters like the Courtyard Theatre, Theatre 503, Trafalgar Studios, and Rustaveli Theatre.
Since 2009, he is a member of One Oh One Theater Company. He also works with Matchstick Theatre Company in Deptford as a co-producer.
In 2015, he made his television debut with the British series ‘Wolf Hall’ in the role of ‘Francis Weston.’
He then acted in the British television series The Living and the Dead (2016), The Collection (2017), Medici (2018), Endeavour (2018), and Strike Back (2020). Jacob made his American debut with ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ in which he portrayed ‘D. L. Townes,’ a photographer, journalist, and chess player, and Beth Harmon’s (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) love interest.
In 2017, he made his film debut in the British-American film ‘The Crooked House’ as ‘Brent.’
He then appeared in the American film Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019). He starred in Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Merchant of Venice (2015) and Othello (2015), and Oscar Wilde Season’s The Importance of Being Earnest (2018), which were streamed live.
- Actor: Rock Hudson
- Actress: Doris Day
- Director: Barry Jenkins
- Film(s): Pillow Talk (1959), Moonlight (2016), If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
- Novelist: James Baldwin
- Poet: Robert Burns
- Book: Another Country by James Baldwin
- One of his hobbies is cycling; he was involved in long-distance cycling during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK. A few of his other hobbies are watching films, listening to music, and reading.
- He likes animals and owns a pet dog.
- He is a sports fanatic and plays sports like football, rugby, and tennis. He also likes horse riding and swimming.
- Jacob is musically apt. He sings at the tenor range and is good at playing instruments like piano and harmonica. He can also beatbox.
- He is a polyglot, being fluent in Italian and French. Apart from that, he can speak in several dialects like American (General, Southern states, New York), Irish, Scottish, Northern (General, Yorkshire, Manchester), South African, and Australian.
- He is also good at dance and can dance in styles like 20th century, ballroom, and period dance.
- At the age of eight, he got a chance to play his first acting role (which was also a lead role) in his school’s rap rendition of ‘The pied piper of Hamelin,’ directed and written by his teacher Ms. Gregory.
- Since childhood, he was interested in performing but did not realize that he could be an actor until he reached the second year in his university. According to him,
It’s strange because I’d loved performing from an early age. I just never put two-and-two together — possibly because no-one in my family is in the industry.”
- Jacob pursued a major in English literature at university and wished to become an English teacher. According to him,
If I wasn’t acting, I think I would have enjoyed being an English teacher, discussing works of literature with young people and discovering their fresh takes on them.”
- For his preparations for his roles in films or television, he listens to music and watches films.
- In 2018, he appeared as ‘Archbishop Francesco Salviati’ in the Netflix series Medici. To prepare for his role, he observed and studied snakes to understand his character’s sneakiness.
- In the 2020 Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, he plays a photographer when he does not even know how to hold a camera. After the series, he became interested in photography and decided to pursue and applied for an introductory course in photography in London in 2021, but due to the COVID crisis there, he had to postpone his plans.
- In The Queen’s Gambit, his character was a fellow chess player. However, when it comes to real life, he put his favors upon backgammon (a type of board game) than chess. According to him,
Backgammon the actor reveals that he favours backgammon to chess.I love me some backgammon. It’s the perfect balance of skill and luck. Playing backgammon all day with an old friend and shooting the breeze? Heaven.”
- Jacob admires the novelist James Baldwin and director Berry Jenkins. In an interview, when asked as to what his dream role would be, he stated that he would like to play ‘Vivaldo’ if Jenkins ever decides to turn Baldwin’s Another Country into a film.
- He is also an active philanthropist and extends his support to Albrighton Community Centre, London.
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