March 10, 1983
East Dulwich, London, England, GB
Alice Eve, Elize Du Toit
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After playing a series of self-described "fat kid" roles early in his career, Rafe Spall decided to permanently change his eating habits and trim down. He began incorporating healthy eating and exercise into his daily life, vowing to become as sculpted and toned as a leading man. Soon enough, the pounds began to shed, and better roles followed, including sizable parts in "Anonymous" (2011) and Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" (2012). In 2013 Rafe appeared as Rose Byrne's dapper newlywed husband in the romantic comedy "I Give It a Year," which would prove to be his first starring vehicle. The film earned him praise, as well as comparisons to Hugh Grant, while also establishing Rafe Spall as one of the film world's hottest young actors.
Arriving at that level of stardom, however, was not easy. Born in London in 1983, Rafe Spall was exposed to acting at a very young age; his father is the BAFTA Award-nominated actor, Timothy Spall. While still in his early teens, Rafe followed his father's footsteps and joined the National Youth Theatre. Then in 1996, Timothy Spall was diagnosed with leukemia. Another setback came after Rafe was rejected from the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Refusing to take rejection as a hindrance, Rafe decided to work his way to the very top of the acting food chain. Over the next few years he took small parts in numerous plays and television shows, all of which would ultimately serve as his acting education.
His first major role came in 2004 when he was cast as a chubby shop employee in Edgar Wright's zombie farce, "Shaun of the Dead." The film was both a critical and commercial success, allowing Rafe to appear in more than a dozen television shows and movies over the next three years, including Wright's 2007 follow-up, "Hot Fuzz." That same year, Rafe appeared alongside his father for the first time in the British TV drama, "A Room with a View," which was also one of the very first roles to showcase his brand new look. Rafe's next big break came in 2010 when he was cast as sportswriter Pete Griffiths in the Channel 4 sitcom, "Pete Versus Life."
In 2012 Rafe appeared in two of the year's biggest blockbuster movies: "Prometheus," the sci-fi "Alien" prequel, and director Ang Lee's Academy Award-winning adventure drama, "Life of Pi." However, despite the fact that Spall was now sporting a muscular physique that was a far cry from his early days playing "fat kids," some casting agents still questioned whether he was leading man material. He had to perform four auditions prior to landing the lead in 2013's "I Give It a Year," even giving up wheat, sugar and dairy in order to maintain his chiseled appearance. Rafe ultimately landed the part, and has since begun to firmly cement his status as a leading man on the rise.