George MacKay (actor)

George Andrew J. MacKay (/məˈk/;[2][3][4] born 13 March 1992) is an English actor. He has acted in films, television dramas, stage plays, and other media.

George MacKay
George Andrew J. MacKay[1]

(1992-03-13) 13 March 1992 (age 28)
EducationThe Harrodian School
Years active2002–present

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

Early lifeEdit

MacKay was born in the city's Hammersmith district, the son of Kim Baker, a British costume designer, and Paul MacKay, an Australian working in lighting/stage management.[7][8][9] One of his grandmothers was from Cork, Ireland; he also has Scottish ancestry.[7][10]

MacKay has one sibling, a younger sister. He spent his childhood in Barnes.[11][12]


2002-2007: Peter Pan and childhood rolesEdit

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 first professional acting job.

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

2008-2012: Defiance and adolescenceEdit

In the 2008 film Defiance, MacKay played Aron, the youngest of the four Bielski brothers. In 2009 he portrayed Harry in The Boys Are Back starring Clive Owen. MacKay 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.[citation needed] In 2012, he played the main character, Private Tommo Peaceful, in Private Peaceful, and appeared as a paralyzed soldier in the inspirational film The Best of Men.[citation needed]

When he was 17, MacKay unsuccessfully auditioned for admission both to RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) and to LAMDA (the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art).[13]

2013-present: young adult careerEdit

MacKay at the BFI London Film Festival in 2014

In 2013, MacKay portrayed 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 was praised for his acting in the Scotland-set For Those in Peril, first shown in Cannes in 2013. 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.

MacKay at age 20 in How I Live Now

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.

In July 2015, MacKay filled 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 performed 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. Both Spall's and MacKay's performances received some criticism in The New York Times: "A ... staginess undercuts Mr. MacKay’s grip on the initially grim-faced Mick; the actor has been allowed to turn several of the character’s longer speeches into breakneck verbal marathons calculated to earn applause."[15] In the 2016 film Captain Fantastic, MacKay portrayed Bodevan, eldest son of Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen).

The following year, he played Jack, the main character in Marrowbone, a psychological horror film directed and written by Sergio G. Sánchez, and also starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton and Mia Goth. MacKay portrayed Prince Hamlet in Ophelia, a 2018 film retelling the story of Shakespeare's play from the perspective of the young female character Ophelia. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and included Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, Clive Owen, and Tom Felton in the cast. praised the film, stating that it demonstrates "courage, intelligence, integrity, and agency."[16]

In the 2018 film Where Hands Touch, MacKay portrayed Lutz, a member of the Hitler Youth in Nazi Germany who falls in love with a biracial girl, portrayed by Amandla Stenberg.

In a 2019 release, MacKay interpreted the role of outlaw Ned Kelly in True History of the Kelly Gang directed by Justin Kurzel.[17] Adapted from the Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name by Peter Carey, the film premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.[18] MacKay played the lead role of Lance corporal William Schofield, a young British World War I soldier in 1917, directed by Sam Mendes.[19]1917 was nominated for Best Picture in the 92nd Academy Awards, along with nominations in nine other categories, winning three of the awards.

Upcoming WorkEdit

MacKay will star in Nathalie Biancheri's film Wolf alongside Lily-Rose Depp, being shot in Ireland in 2020.[20]

Other VenturesEdit

In 2015 MacKay and actress Freya Mavor co-founded an ongoing event in London called "Oofle Dust" (the title was first used by a glove puppet named Sooty who appeared on British television starting in 1952).[21]

Personal lifeEdit

MacKay avoids speaking of his personal life.[22] MacKay does not participate in social media.[23]

Filmography and performancesEdit


Year Title Role Director Notes Refs.
2003 Peter Pan Curly P.J. Hogan
2006 The Thief Lord Riccio Richard Claus
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
2012 The Devil's Dosh Marcus Zachary Guerra Short Film [24]
2013 How I Live Now Edmund 'Eddie' Kevin Macdonald
2013 Pieces Son Jack Weatherly Short Film [25]
2013 Sunshine on Leith Davy Dexter Fletcher
2013 For Those in Peril Aaron Paul Wright [26]
2013 Breakfast With Jonny Wilkinson Jake Simon Sprackling [27]
2014 Pride Joe "Bromley" Cooper Matthew Warchus
2014 Bypass Tim Duane Hopkins [28]
2015 Fuel to Fire Tomas Gant Sam McMullen Short Film [29]
2016 Captain Fantastic Bodevan Cash Matt Ross
2016 Narrated By Bill Sipowitz Gur Benshemesh Short Film [30]
2017 French Exchange Jack Jacob Perlmutter Short Film [31]
2017 Infinite Sid Connor O'Hara Short Film [32]
2017 Marrowbone Jack Sergio G. Sánchez
2018 Doublethink Hope/Hate Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard Short Film [33]
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 [34]
2019 1917 LCpl.William Schofield Sam Mendes
2019 Nuclear Boy Catherine Linstrum [35]
TBA Wolf Jacob Nathalie Biancheri Post-production


Year Title Role Notes Refs.
2004 Rose and Maloney Young Calum Episode 1: "Rose and Maloney — Part 1"
2005 Footprints in the Snow Nathan Hill TV movie [36]
2005 The Brief Zak Farmer Series 2; Episode 1: "Blame," Episode 2: "Lack of Affect"
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 Credited as "Richard Mackay"
2015 The Outcast Lewis Aldridge Miniseries
2016 11.22.63 Bill Turcotte Miniseries
2016 Neil Gaiman's Likely Stories Simon Powers Episode: "Foreign Parts" [37]
2018 To Provide All People Father TV movie [38]
2020 Ataraxia Boy Miniseries [39]


Year Title Role Author Theatre Refs.
2014 The Cement Garden Jack Ian McEwan Heritage Arts Company
2015 Ah, Wilderness! Richard Eugene O'Neill The Young Vic Company
2016 The Caretaker Mick Harold Pinter The Old Vic


Year Title Role Author Station Refs.
2020 The Glass Menagerie Tom Tennessee Williams BBC Radio 3 [40]

Audio DramaEdit

Year Title Role Notes Refs.
2017 Living Room Milo Part of the BBC POD PLAY1 short-form audio drama series [41]

Awards and nominationsEdit

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 [42]
BAFTA Scotland Best Actor in Film Won [43]
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
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 [44]
Georgia Film Critics Association Breakthrough Award Nominated [45]
Online Film & Television Association Best Breakthrough Performance: Male Won [46]
1917, Where Hands Touch, and Ophelia London Film Critics Circle Awards British/Irish Actor of the Year Nominated [47][48]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Wells, John C. (2008). "Mackay, McKay". Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0. (i) mə ˈkaɪ [...] 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. məˈkaɪ, məˈkeɪ Note: /məˈkeɪ/ mainly in the US.
  4. ^ "'1917' Cast & Creators Discuss Making The Ambitious One-Shot Film". Entertainment Weekly. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  5. ^ "BAFTA EE Rising Star in 2014". BAFTA. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Trophée Chopard 2017". Chopard Diary | Our official blog. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  7. ^ a b Siobhan Synnot (30 September 2013). "Interview: George MacKay, star of Sunshine on Leith". The Scotsman. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  8. ^ "The Harrodian Eye – December 2010". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  9. ^ "IN PERSON: GEORGE MACKAY". Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  10. ^ Brown, Debra (7 July 2018). "Interview: George MacKay". The Scotsman. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  11. ^ Brown, Emma (14 December 2015). "The Lost Boy". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  12. ^ Aftab, Kaleem (27 June 2018). "'I'm trying to be more political': George MacKay on how acting in NHS drama 'To Provide All People' was a wake-up call". Independent. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  13. ^ Charles Gant (3 October 2013). "George MacKay: yours sincerely". The Guardian.
  14. ^ "BBC One: The Outcast: Episode 1 credits". BBC. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  15. ^ Wolf, Matt (6 May 2016). "Harold Pinter and Tracy Letts Revivals, and ISIS on Stage in London". New York Times. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  16. ^ Minow, Nell. "Ophelia movie review & film summary (2019) | Roger Ebert".
  17. ^ McNary, Dave. "Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult, George MacKay Join 'True History of the Kelly Gang'". Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  18. ^ "True History of the Kelly Gang". Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  19. ^ "DREAMWORKS PICTURES TO BEGIN PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY ON 1917". FilmInk. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  20. ^ "George MacKay & Lily-Rose Depp To Star In Genre Film 'Wolf'". Deadline. 12 February 2020.
  21. ^ van Spall, India (12 March 2020). "Inhaling George MacKay's Oofle Dust". Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  22. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (7 January 2020). "George MacKay's Appearing and Disappearing Act: '1917' Star Strives for Anonymity". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  23. ^ Pollard, Alexandra (26 January 2020). "George MacKay interview: 'I didn't realise there was a gender imbalance, because that imbalance served me'". Independent. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  24. ^ "The Devil's Dosh (2012)". IMDb. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  25. ^ "Pieces (2013)". IMDb. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  26. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (18 May 2013). "Cannes 2013: For Those In Peril - first look review". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  27. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (21 November 2013). "Breakfast With Jonny Wilkinson – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  28. ^ "Bypass (2014)". IMDb. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  29. ^ "Fuel to Fire (2015)". IMDb. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  30. ^ "Narrated By (2016)". IMDb. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  31. ^ "French Exchange (2017)". IMDb. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  32. ^ "Infinite (2016)". IMDb. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  33. ^ "Doublethink (2018)". IMDb. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  34. ^ Aftab, Kaleem (20 April 2020). "Review: A Guide to Second Date Sex". Cineuropa. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  35. ^ "Nuclear (2019)". IMDb. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  36. ^ "Footprints in the Snow (2005)". IMDb. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  37. ^ "Neil Gaiman's Likely Stories". IMDb. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  38. ^ "To Provide All People (2018)". IMDb. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  39. ^ "Ataraxia". IMDb. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  40. ^ "The Glass Menagerie". Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  41. ^ "Pod Play1: Living Room". Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  42. ^ "Stockholm International Film Festival announces 2013 award winners". Cision. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  43. ^ "British Academy Scotland Awards: Winners in 2013". BAFTA Scotland. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  44. ^ Lattanzio, Ryan. "Santa Barbara Film Fest Names 2020 Winners". IndieWire. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  45. ^ Neglia, Matt. "The 2019 Georgia Film Critics Association (GFCA) Winners". NextBestPicture. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  46. ^ "FILM: 24th Annual Film Award Winners". OFTA. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  47. ^ Grater, Tom. "'The Souvenir', 'The Irishman', '1917' Lead London Critics' Circle Film Award Nominees". Deadline. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  48. ^ Cline, Rich. "LONDON CRITICS NAME PARASITE FILM OF 2019". CriticsCircle (UK). Retrieved 6 April 2020.

External linksEdit