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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gladiators Do It in Open-Toed Sandals

What a difference a decade makes. It was just ten years ago the actor Jamie Bell toe-tapped his little way into our hearts in the smash movie, "Billy Elliott". But now, 24 year old Bell is all grown up and looks to be vying for the title of most serious actor of his generation. At right is a still photo from Bell's upcoming movie, "The Eagle", in which he plays a Celtic slave to Channing Tatum's Roman soldier in 140 A.D. Britain.
After the mega-success of "Billy Elliott", Jamie Bell could have done almost anything; the doors to Hollywood were wide open. But this kid is smart. He didn't sing and dance on a new Mickey Mouse Club, he didn't go on Saturday Night Live and make a cringe-worthy laughing stock of himself by putting his dick in a box ala Justin Timberlake, and he didn't sell his soul by making one really bad B-Movie after another ala Owen Wilson. Instead he waited and chose his roles carefully, based on the quality of directors of his offered films. He reportedly didn't want to be overtaken by childhood Hollywood fame; when he didn't get an Oscar nomination for "Billy Elliott", he said, "Could you imagine me going back to school after winning an Oscar? It would have ruined me." Very smart kid.
After "Billy Elliott", Bell had great turns in prestige projects
"Nicholas Nickleby", "King Kong", "Flags of Our Fathers" and the very gritty "Defiance". Even more interesting, Bell seems to have passed up lead roles for smaller parts in big films; was he taking his time to learn his craft? Who knows, but from the looks of Bell's line-up of upcoming films, it seems like he might finally be ready to his place in a starring role. In addition to "The Eagle", Bell is taking top-billing on his next four films, including the high profile project, "The Adventures of Tintin". We're guessing 2011 might finally be the year in which Jamie Bell's Hollywood star finally rises and threatens to steal the spotlight from any other young actor of his generation.

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