Rafe Spall

Rafe Spall

Spall in 2011
Born Rafe Joseph Spall
(1983-03-10) 10 March 1983
Camberwell, London, England
Residence West Kensington, London
Occupation Actor
Years active 2001 - Present
Spouse(s) Elize du Toit (m. 2010)
Children 2

Rafe Joseph Spall (born 10 March 1983)[1] is an English actor. He is best known for his roles in The Shadow Line, Pete versus Life, One Day, Anonymous, Prometheus, Life of Pi and The Big Short.

Early life

Spall was born at King's College Hospital in Camberwell, London, the second of three children of Shane (née Baker) and actor Timothy Spall.[2] Named after the protagonist in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, a role his father played in the Royal Shakespeare Company and one he would later play himself, he always had ambitions to act. Having achieved poor grades at his school, Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College, he left to become an actor and joined the National Youth Theatre after failing to get into his chosen drama schools.


Spall has frequently collaborated with Edgar Wright, appearing in his films Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End alongside Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Spall was also featured in Wright's segment in the 2007 Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez film Grindhouse.

In 2007 he performed for the first time with his father in the ITV adaptation of A Room with a View playing father and son.[3]

In 2012, Spall portrayed Canadian author Yann Martel in the Academy Award-winning drama film Life of Pi, directed by Ang Lee and starring Suraj Sharma and Irrfan Khan. The film was a critical and financial success, winning four Academy Awards and making over $600 million at the box office. In 2013, he played the newlywed husband in I Give It a Year, a comedy about the trials and tribulations of a couple during their first year of marriage.[4]

In 2014, Spall appeared in the coming-of-age drama X+Y, alongside Asa Butterfield and Sally Hawkins, and the seasonal family comedy Get Santa. In 2015, he played John Hancock in the History Channel three-part series, Sons of Liberty, alongside Jim Broadbent, and appeared in the Academy Award-winning biographical comedy-drama The Big Short, alongside Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell. Also that year, Spall played Harry Price in Harry Price: Ghost Hunter, ITV's adaptation of Neil Spring's debut novel, The Ghost Hunters. The film aired on ITV1 on 27 December.[5]

Personal life

Spall claims to have always struggled with his weight, going up to 114 kg, but said that he was given so many character parts that he attempted to slim down, losing over 32 kg.[6] Like his father, he is a very keen supporter of Crystal Palace. He is a patron of the Actors' Centre.[7]

While living in London Fields, he was in a relationship with his The Rotter's Club co-star Alice Eve from 2004 to 2006. In 2007, he dated Alexandra Mann, a designer and stylist. In February 2008, he met actress Elize du Toit through friends at a bar in London.[8] They were married on 14 August 2010[9][10] and live in West Kensington, London.[11] They have two children: a daughter named Lena (born 2011) and a son named Rex (born November 2012).[10]



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Beginner's Luck[12]
2004 Shaun of the Dead[13] Noel
2004 The Calcium Kid[14] Stan Parlour
2005 Green Street [15] Swill
2005 The Last Drop[16] Pvt. Wellings
2006 Kidulthood[17] Lenny
2006 A Good Year[18] Kenny
2007 Get Off My Land[19] Man
2007 Hot Fuzz[20] DC Cartwright
2007 Grindhouse[21] Ghost Featured in the segment "Don't"
2008 Close[22] Eric
2009 The Scouting Book For Boys[23] Steve
2009 Modern Life Is Rubbish[24] Liam
2010 Behind the Door[25] Bobby
2010 Sus[26] D.C. Wilby
2011 Anonymous[27] William Shakespeare
2011 One Day[28] Ian
2012 Prometheus[29] Millburn
2012 Life of Pi Yann Martel Replaced Tobey Maguire in post-production
2012 Earthbound[30] Joe Norman
2013 I Give It a Year[31] Josh
2013 The World's End[32] House Buyer
2013 The F Word Ben
2014 X+Y[33] Mr. Humphreys Nominated — BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Indiana Film Journalists Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
2014 Get Santa Steve
2015 The Big Short Danny Moses Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2016 The BFG Mr. Tibbs
2016 Swallows and Amazons Jim Turner


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Out of Control[34] Ray
2003 The Lion in Winter[35] Prince John
2004 The Legend of the Tamworth Two[36] Crustie
2005 The Rotters' Club[37] Sean Harding
2005 Twisted Tales[38] Dominic Episode: "Death Metal Chronicles"
2006 The Romantics[39] John Clare
2006 The Chatterley Affair[40] Keith
2006 Cracker[41] DS McAllister
2006 Wide Sargasso Sea[42] Edward Rochester
2006 Dracula[43] Jonathan Harker
2007 A Room with a View[44] George Emerson
2008 He Kills Coppers[45] Frank Taylor
2008 Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me[46] Dennis Heymer
2009 Agatha Christie's Marple[47] Roger Bassington Episode: "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?"
2009 Desperate Romantics[48] William 'Maniac' Hunt
2011 The Shadow Line[49] Jay Wratten
20102011 Pete Versus Life[50] Pete Griffiths
2014 Black Mirror[51] Joe Potter Episode: "White Christmas"
2015 Sons of Liberty John Hancock
2016 Roadies (Showtime series) Reg Whitehead




  1. Yahoo! Movies profile Archived 22 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Timothy Spall's wife Shane on how her husband overcame 'terminal' cancer | Daily Mail Online Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Raphael, Amy (27 October 2007). "Rafe and Timothy Spall joint interview". Guardian. London. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
  4. "I give it a year next year". www.stephenmerchant.com. November 22, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
  5. Blanket, Jo (27 August 2015). "Rafe Spall to star in new ITV drama Harry Price: Ghost Hunter". ITV. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  6. Babb, Fran (19 August 2011). "Rafe Spall One Day Interview". Guardian. London. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
  7. "Rafe Spall, Patron". actorscentre.co.uk/. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  8. Hardy, Rebecca (1 February 2013). "Stepping out of my father Timothy's brilliant shadow: How Rafe Spall went from an unhappy 18.5 stone to a romantic lead role set to make him the new Hugh Grant". Daily Mail. London.
  9. Rafe Spall - Biography - IMDb Archived 2 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. 1 2 Gilbert, Gerard (20 August 2011), "Rafe Spall Profile", Independent, London
  11. "Rafe Spall My London", Evening Standard, 2009
  12. "Beginner's Luck", IMDb, 2001
  13. "Shaun of the Dead", IMDb, 2004
  14. "The Calcium Kid", IMDb, 2004
  15. "Green Street", IMDb, 2005
  16. "The Last Drop", IMDb, 2005
  17. "Kidulthood", IMDb, 2006
  18. "A Good Year", IMDb, 2006
  19. "Get Off My Land", BBC, 2007
  20. "Hot Fuzz", IMDb, 2007
  21. "Grindhouse", IMDb, 2007
  22. "Close", Pollibee Pictures, 2008
  23. "The Scouting Book For Boys", IMDb, 2009
  24. "Modern Life Is Rubbish", BBC, 2009
  25. "Behind The Door", IMDb, 2010
  26. "Sus", IMDb, 2010
  27. "Anonymous", IMDb, 2011
  28. "One Day", IMDb, 2011
  29. "Prometheus", IMDb, 2012
  30. "Earthbound", IMDb, 2012
  31. "I Give It A Year", IMDb, 2013
  32. Rafe Spall at the Internet Movie Database
  33. "X Plus Y announces cast". 18 July 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  34. "Out of Control", IMDb, 2002
  35. "The Lion in Winter", IMDb, 2003
  36. "The Legend of the Tamworth Two", IMDb, 2004
  37. "the Rotters' Club", IMDb, 2005
  38. "Twisted Tales", IMDb, 2005
  39. "The Romantics", IMDb, 2006
  40. "The Chatterley Affair", IMDb, 2006
  41. "Cracker", IMDb, 2006
  42. "Wide Sargasso Sea", IMDb, 2006
  43. "Dracula", IMDb, 2006
  44. "A Room With A View", IMDb, 2007
  45. "He Kills Coppers", IMDb, 2008
  46. "Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me", IMDb, 2008
  47. "Marple", IMDb, 2009
  48. "Desperate Romantics", IMDb, 2009
  49. "The Shadow Line", IMDb, 2011
  50. "Pete Versus Life", IMDb, 2011
  51. "'Mad Men' Star Jon Hamm Joins 'Black Mirror'", Variety, 2004
  52. "Constellations at The Royal Court Theatre". royalcourttheatre.com. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  53. "Bush Theatre". Bush Theatre. 21 November 2009. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  54. "Hello and Goodbye - Athol Fugard - 2008 - Productions - English Touring Theatre". Ett.org.uk. 17 May 2008. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  55. "Alaska at The Royal Court Theatre". royalcourttheatre.com. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  56. "John Gabriel Borkman". Donmar Warehouse. 14 April 2007. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  57. "The Knight of the Burning Pestle". British Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  58. "Just a Bloke at The Royal Court Theatre". royalcourttheatre.com. 17 November 2002. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  59. "A Prayer for Owen Meany - Productions". National Theatre. Retrieved 2012-02-02.

External links

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