Actor, presenter and comedian famed for his role as Adam Williams in the romantic comedy-drama Cold Feet.
James Nesbitt grew up in the village of Broughshane, before moving to Coleraine, County Londonderry. Wanting to be a teacher like his father, he began a degree in French at the University of Ulster but dropped out after a year to pursue an acting career, transferring to the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
After graduating in 1987, James spent seven years performing in plays that varied from the musical Up on the Roof to the political drama Paddywack. He made his feature film debut playing talent agent Fintan O’Donnell in Hear My Song, which was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 1993 BAFTA awards.
James Nesbitt got his breakthrough television role in the romantic comedy-drama Cold Feet, winning him a British Comedy Award, a Television and Radio Industries Club Award, and a National Television Award.
In 1998, James landed his first significant film role as pig farmer “Pig” Finn in Waking Ned. With the rest of the starring cast, Nesbitt was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. In Lucky Break (2001), he made his debut as a film lead, playing prisoner Jimmy Hands.
The next year, James played Ivan Cooper in Bloody Sunday, a TV-film based on the 1972 shootings in Derry. A departure from his previous “cheeky chappie” roles, the film marked a turning point in his career. He won a British Independent Film Award and was nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor.
Nesbitt also starred in Murphy’s Law from 2001 to 2007 as undercover detective Tommy Murphy, a role created for him by writer Colin Bateman.
James starred in the dual role of Tom Jackman and Mr Hyde in Steven Moffat’s Jekyll, his performance earning him a Golden Globe Award nomination in 2008. He has since appeared in several more dramatic roles, starring alongside Liam Neeson in Five Minutes of Heaven and as one of the three lead actors in the television miniseries Occupation.
In 2010, James starred in the movies Outcast and The Way and, from 2012 to 2014, portrayed Bofur in Peter Jackson’s three-part film adaptation of The Hobbit.