George MacKay (actor)
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George MacKay Actor

George MacKay
George Andrew J. MacKay[1]

(1992-03-13) 13 March 1992 (age 28)
Hammersmith, London, England, United Kingdom
Years active2002-present

George Andrew J. MacKay (;[2][3][4] born 13 March 1992) is a British actor. He has appeared in films like The Thief Lord, The Boys Are Back (2009), Private Peaceful (2012), How I Live Now (2013), Sunshine on Leith (2013), For Those in Peril (2013), Pride (2014), Captain Fantastic (2016), Where Hands Touch (2018), Ophelia (2018), and 1917 (2019).

MacKay was nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2014 and received a Trophée Chopard at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.[5][6]

Life and career

MacKay was born in London, the son of Kim Baker, a British costume designer, and Paul MacKay, an Australian, from Adelaide, who works in lighting/stage management.[7][8][9] One of his grandmothers was from Cork, Ireland, and he also has Scottish ancestry.[7][10]

In 2002, MacKay was spotted while at The Harrodian School by an acting scout, who asked him if he would like to audition for a role in P.J. Hogan's 2003 film adaptation of Peter Pan. He attended a workshop, and won the role of one of the Lost Boys, Curly, in what was his big break. In 2005, at the age of 13, he won the role of Riccio in The Thief Lord, the film adaptation of Cornelia Funke's best-selling children's novel. He was also cast in the lead role in Johnny and the Bomb, a BBC three-part television drama adapted from Terry Pratchett's novel of the same name. He later applied unsuccessfully to both RADA and LAMDA.[11]

MacKay had some work in television, including roles in Rose and Maloney, Footprints in the Snow and The Brief.

MacKay in 2009

In the 2008 film Defiance, MacKay played Aron, the youngest of the four Bielski brothers. MacKay was then only 16 years old, and director Ed Zwick describes how impressed he was by him because on his way to the film set from the airport in Lithuania, MacKay was injured in a car accident that left him with a blackened eye he could barely open, yet he was "so game" to immediately start shooting his first scene. [12]

In 2009 he played Harry in The Boys Are Back starring Clive Owen. He co-starred in the Marc Evans-directed musical film Hunky Dory opposite Minnie Driver, Aneurin Barnard and Kimberley Nixon, which is set in 1970s Swansea.

In 2012, he played the main character, Private Tommo Peaceful, in Private Peaceful and appeared in the inspirational film The Best of Men.

In 2013, MacKay played Eddie in How I Live Now opposite Saoirse Ronan and directed by Kevin Macdonald, and starred as Davy in the musical film Sunshine on Leith, featuring songs by The Proclaimers, directed by Dexter Fletcher.

MacKay at the BFI London Film Festival in 2014

In 2014, MacKay played the role of Joe, a 20-year-old struggling to come out in a homophobic Britain in 1984 in the film Pride (based on a true story) also starring Bill Nighy. In the film Joe finds friends in the form of a group called LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) and a small Welsh mining community finds some unlikely friends.

From 14 April to 23 May 2015, Mackay took the lead role as Richard Miller in Eugene O'Neill's coming-of-age play, Ah, Wilderness! directed by Natalie Abrahami at The Young Vic. Reviewing the play for The Daily Telegraph, Dominic Cavendish was unimpressed by the staging but wrote: "In misfit modern dress, George Mackay is an absolute delight as the callow boy-wonder, catching all the wide-eyed innocence and insecurity of youth, by turns arrogant, self-dramatising, vulnerable".[13]

In July 2015, MacKay played the title role of Lewis Aldridge in the BBC's two-part television adaptation of Sadie Jones' debut novel The Outcast.[14] In February 2016, he portrayed the part of Bill Turcotte in the Hulu production of Stephen King's sci-fi/suspense thriller 11.22.63.

From 29 March to 14 May 2016, MacKay played the part of Mick in Harold Pinter's play The Caretaker directed by Matthew Warchus at The Old Vic Theatre in London opposite Timothy Spall and Daniel Mays.

In the 2016 film Captain Fantastic, MacKay played Bodevan, eldest son of Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen). The following year, he played Jack, the main character in Marrowbone, psychological horror directed and written by Sergio G. Sánchez, and also starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton and Mia Goth. In the 2018 film Where Hands Touch, he played the role of Lutz, a member of the Hitler Youth in Nazi Germany who falls in love with a biracial girl, portrayed by Amandla Stenberg.

The period from 2016 to 2018 was marked by a breakthrough in MacKay's career. Projects he was involved in during these years helped him draw attention of casting directors outside the United Kingdom.[7] In 2019, he played outlaw Ned Kelly in True History of the Kelly Gang directed by Justin Kurzel. He also played a young World War I soldier named William Schofield in 1917, directed by Sam Mendes.[15][16]

MacKay next will star in Nathalie Biancheri's Wolf alongside Lily-Rose Depp in 2020.[17]



Year Title Role Director Notes
2003 Peter Pan Curly P.J. Hogan
2006 The Thief Lord Riccio Richard Claus
2006 Tsunami: The Aftermath Adam Peabody Bharat Nalluri
2008 Defiance Aron Bielski Edward Zwick
2009 The Boys Are Back Harry Scott Hicks
2011 Hunky Dory Jake Zeppi Marc Evans
2012 Private Peaceful Private Tommo Peaceful Pat O'Connor
2013 How I Live Now Edmund 'Eddie' Kevin Macdonald
2013 Sunshine on Leith Davy Dexter Fletcher
2013 For Those in Peril Aaron Paul Wright
2013 Breakfast With Jonny Wilkinson Jake Simon Sprackling
2014 Pride Joe "Bromley" Cooper Matthew Warchus
2014 Bypass Tim Duane Hopkins
2016 Captain Fantastic Bodevan Cash Matt Ross
2017 Infinite Connor O'Hara Short film
2017 Marrowbone Jack Sergio G. Sánchez
2018 Where Hands Touch Lutz Amma Asante
2018 Been So Long Gil Tinge Krishnan
2018 Ophelia Hamlet Claire McCarthy
2019 True History of the Kelly Gang Ned Kelly Justin Kurzel
2019 A Guide to Second Date Sex Ryan Rachel Hirons
2019 1917 Cpl.William Schofield Sam Mendes
2019 Nuclear Catherine Linstrum


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Rose and Maloney Young Calum Episode 1: "Rose and Maloney -- Part 1"
2005 Footprints in the Snow Nathan Hill TV Movie
2006 Johnny and the Bomb Johnny Maxwell Miniseries
2006 Tsunami: The Aftermath Adam Peabody Miniseries
2007 The Old Curiosity Shop Kit Nubbles TV Movie
2012 Birdsong Private Douglas TV Movie
2012 The Best of Men Private William Heath TV Movie
2015 The Outcast Lewis Aldridge Miniseries
2016 11.22.63 Bill Turcotte Miniseries
2018 To Provide All People Father TV Movie


Year Title Role Notes
2014 The Cement Garden Jack Heritage Arts Company
2015 Ah, Wilderness! Richard The Young Vic Company
2016 The Caretaker Mick The Old Vic

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Category Result Ref.
2009 The Boys Are Back British Independent Film Awards Most Promising Newcomer Nominated
2010 London Film Critics Circle Awards Young British Performer of the Year Nominated
2013 For Those in Peril Stockholm International Film Festival Best Actor Won [18]
BAFTA Scotland Best Actor in Film Won [19]
2014 Breakfast with Jonny Wilkinson, For Those in Peril, How I Live Now and Sunshine on Leith London Film Critics Circle Awards Young British Performer of the Year Nominated
Himself Berlin International Film Festival EFP Shooting Star Won [20]
BAFTA EE Rising Star Award Nominated
Sunshine on Leith Empire Awards Best Male Newcomer Nominated
How I Live Now and Sunshine on Leith Richard Attenborough Film Awards British Breakthrough Award Won
2017 Captain Fantastic Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
Himself Cannes Film Festival Chopard Trophy for Male Revelation Won
2019 1917 Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama Nominated
2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuoso Award Won [21]
Georgia Film Critics Association Breakthrough Award Nominated [22]
Online Film & Television Association Best Breakthrough Performance: Male Won [23]
1917, Where Hands Touch and Ophelia London Critics Circle Film Awards British/Irish Actor of the Year Nominated [24][25]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Wells, John C. (2008). "Mackay, McKay". Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0. (i) m? 'ka? [...] In British English usually (i).
  3. ^ Jones, Daniel (2011). Roach, Peter; Setter, Jane; Esling, John (eds.). "Mackay(e), MacKay(e)". Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-15255-6. m?'ka?, m?'ke? Note: /m?'ke?/ mainly in the US.
  4. ^ "'1917' Cast & Creators Discuss Making The Ambitious One-Shot Film". Entertainment Weekly. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ "BAFTA EE Rising Star in 2014". BAFTA. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ "Trophée Chopard 2017". Chopard Diary | Our official blog. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Siobhan Synnot (30 September 2013). "Interview: George MacKay, star of Sunshine on Leith". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ "The Harrodian Eye - December 2010". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Brown, Debra (7 July 2018). "Interview: George MacKay". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ Charles Gant (3 October 2013). "George MacKay: yours sincerely". The Guardian.
  12. ^ "Director Sam Mendes discusses 1917". Directors Guild of America. Retrieved 2020.
  13. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (22 April 2015). "Ah, Wilderness!, Young Vic, review: 'nice acting, shame about the sand'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ "BBC One: The Outcast: Episode 1 credits". BBC. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ McNary, Dave. "Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult, George MacKay Join 'True History of the Kelly Gang'". Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ "George MacKay & Lily-Rose Depp To Star In Genre Film 'Wolf'". Deadline. 12 February 2020.
  18. ^ "Stockholm International Film Festival announces 2013 award winners". Cision. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ "British Academy Scotland Awards: Winners in 2013". BAFTA Scotland. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ "Berlin International Film Festival". IMDb. Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^ Lattanzio, Ryan. "Santa Barbara Film Fest Names 2020 Winners". IndieWire. Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ Neglia, Matt. "The 2019 Georgia Film Critics Association (GFCA) Winners". NextBestPicture. Retrieved 2020.
  23. ^ "FILM: 24th Annual Film Award Winners". OFTA. Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ Grater, Tom. "'The Souvenir', 'The Irishman', '1917' Lead London Critics' Circle Film Award Nominees". Deadline. Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ Cline, Rich. "LONDON CRITICS NAME PARASITE FILM OF 2019". CriticsCircle (UK). Retrieved 2020.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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