Did you watch “Shadow and Bone” on Netflix and immediately Google “General Kirigan actor” or “hot Shadow and Bone actor”? Because, same. Well, you’ve ended up in the right place: Ben Barnes is absolutely the hot “Shadow and Bone” actor, and you may also know him from “The Chronicles of Narnia” movies as Prince Caspian.
Ready for 18 things to know about Ben Barnes, a very attractive man?
1. Ben Barnes was born in London to a Jewish mom and a non-Jewish dad.
2. “My mother was raised Jewish, my father is very scientific minded, and my school was vaguely Christian. We sang hymns in school. I liked the hymns bit, but other than that, I can take it or leave it. So I had a lot of different influences when I was younger,” Barnes said. His mom is from South Africa.
3. His first claim to fame was as a singer in the band Hyrise, who competed to represent Great Britain in Eurovision in 2004.
4. He studied English and drama at university, and “after I left university, I started doing plays in London. Obviously not in the West End, in theaters with like 20 seats. I started writing letters to agents, all of which just went completely unanswered — hundreds of them. Absolutely hundreds of them. I never got a reply. Eventually, I managed to get one agent to come and see this play I was doing. We went to the bar afterwards, had a beer, and he was like, ‘Right, come on. Let’s go.’ That person is still my agent in London almost 20 years later. That was the first little glimpse of hope that it might be something I can do as a career.”
5. He soon made his film debut in 2007 in “Stardust,” playing young Dunstan, but his big break would come later that year when he scored the role of Prince Caspian in “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
6. “Right when I first heard about the 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 remember 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 recalls.
7. Ben reunited with the Narnia cast a decade later:
And still posts about the films:
It’s 10yrs today since the release of ‘The Voyage of The Dawn Treader’! I have kept some of my best friends in the world from the films & treasure so many memories so even though we may speak about them less, I’m the luckiest: I’ve been able to take a piece of my #Narnia with me! pic.twitter.com/RSNKSeNBJ8
— Ben Barnes (@benbarnes) December 10, 2020
8. After Narnia, he starred in a series of movies, including “Dorian Gray” as the titular character and “Jackie & Ryan” opposite Katherine Heigl.
9. Around 2015, he made the shift from movies to TV, starring as Sam Adams in the “Sons of Liberty” miniseries, Logan Delos on “Westworld,” Billy Russo/Jigsaw on “The Punisher,” and Benjamin Greene on “Gold Digger.” All this to say: You probably saw him on your screen at some point in the last five years.
10. These roles are all untrustworthy men, and Ben has joked, “What is it about me that people want to see in a role where they really don’t trust me? There’s this sort of violence in these men, as well.” He continued, “What I find compelling about characters is seeking out the light in the shade. So if it is a violent, troubled, and untrustworthy character, what can I scratch out? What can I find that is vulnerable? What can I find that is decent in this person? Because we all have all these traits within us. It’s about what we choose to highlight and what we have a natural affinity with. It’s really interesting to me to show those different traits so that when people watch things, they feel torn about these characters.”
11. He went through a phase on Instagram of posting fan art of himself (if we were famous, tbh, we would do this, too):
12. When he first moved from London to Los Angeles, he said, “I did feel like I was just doing a Hugh Grant impression constantly. Just playing up to make myself feel a bit different from anybody else going in for various projects.”
13. Not only is he an actor, he’s a musician! Ben Barnes can sing!! He often covers songs on his social media:
Literally just listen:
I don’t have @tiktok but had to borrow an account to make this #Blackbird #challenge video. I have always loved this song & it’s roots in supporting the liberation of Black women. But to anyone who feels their wings are broken right now… your moment will arise#TheBeatles pic.twitter.com/HZPtHUtMyw
— Ben Barnes (@benbarnes) September 30, 2020
14. And of course, he stars in “Shadow and Bone” as General Kirigan. “I think that in the hands of a lesser actor, General Kerigan [sic] could have devolved into cartoon,” Leigh Bardugo, the Jewish author of the “Shadow and Bone” series, explained. “Ben brings this tremendous humanity to a character.”
15. He loves reading, he likes to smell new books when he gets them, and he describes himself as a “logophile” (a lover of words).
I chatted to @benbarnes about his literary loves ahead of the release of #shadowandbone, and ended up writing my favourite piece ever (yes, it knocked books to read based on your favourite Quality Street off the top spot): https://t.co/bh0CCc9IVJ pic.twitter.com/e0X9W1m7e7
— Sarah Shaffi (@sarahshaffi) April 20, 2021
16. He unironically posts Shakespeare quotes with photos of the outdoors:
‘…a straight back will stoop; a black beard will turn white; a fair face will wither… but a good heart… is the sun and the moon; or, rather, the sun, and not the moon, — for it shines bright, and never changes, but keeps his course truly.’#Shakespeare #heartrock #love pic.twitter.com/bmLW0wXPiF
— Ben Barnes (@benbarnes) August 18, 2020
17. He’s a Leo; his birthday is August 20.
18. This is the best interview exchange:
When did you first realize that you were hot?
[Laughing] That’s a horrible question. I-I-I… don’t like it. [Bursts out laughing] I mean look, growing up I was always the smallest, youngest person in any situation and room. So that was never something that entered my head particularly at all. Everyone I knew would get into drinking, girls, all this stuff, years before. It was something that I wouldn’t be looked at, just a child sitting on the periphery.
Obviously, a lot has changed since then.
I think [you realize you’re attractive] when you start to get cast as certain things, certain types of characters, like you say.
BEN BARNES, folks!!