Age: 27

You’ll know her from: Happy Valley, Game of Thrones, Black Mirror

Took up acting because: “I was always determined to do it. It was that classic thing where as a child, I’d be writing plays and then charging adults for tickets to see my show.”

First job: “When I was 10 years old, I played Fizz in Bugsy Malone. In my adult career, the first role I landed was for the TV series Whitechapel during my third year at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama.”

Inspired by: “Early on in my career I was working on The Hour, which was a great privilege. I learned so much from Ben Whishaw. He’s a very intelligent man and I’d love to work with him again one day.”

Pinch-me moment: “When Steven Spielberg cast me in LA for Ready Player One. Even though he’s the don of directing, he’s a lovely, pleasant man… I slightly lost it when he said I’d got the part.”

Three words that best describe you: “Grounded, happy, cheeky.”

Next starring in: Ready Player One with Marc Rylance


Age: 31

You’ll know him from: The White Queen, Marcella, Foyle’s War

Took up acting because: “In no uncertain terms, I realised it’s what I felt gutted when the bell went, rather than dying to get the hell out”

First job: “A film called Red Tails. I was still at RADA and was flown out to Prague to pretend to be a pilot in a flight simulator for two weeks. I thought I was pretty damn cool at that point.”

Inspired by: “Tom Hanks, because he has the most extraordinary catalogue of films and yet he seems like the sweetest, most humble of men. I would love to work with him one day.”

Pinch-me moment: “Recording in Tori Amos’ personal studio. I was the male lead in a musical called The Light Princess at the National Theatre and spent two weeks recording one-on-one with her, a Grammy-nominated artist. She’s not as eccentric as you’d imagine.”

Three words that best describe you: “Ambitious, kind, honest.”

Next starring in: Midsomer Murders


Age: 32

You’ll know him from: Romeo & Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe, Merlin, Bates Motel

Took up acting because: “My parents made me! They were worried that I was too shy. My acting career was going so badly that I worked in lighting for a bit. Then, when I went to what was supposed to be my final audition – I decided I’d had enough – I got the part and was hooked.”

First job: “I did a festival of West African plays at the Almeida Theatre. I was in three plays over the course of the schedule, so it was a brilliant segue from drama school into the profession.”

Inspired by: “I love the work of Jacques Audiard, because he’s so interested in the oddities of humans. A particular favourite is The Beat That My Heart Skipped.”

Pinch-me moment: “I did a video game – Fifa 17 – and when the trailer came out I was blown away. I’m a big football fan (Man United is my team because my dad’s from that city) and the new version of the game features me as a ‘rising star’. It’s surreal, but very exciting.”

Three words that best describe you: “Master. Of. Digression.”

Next starring in: What Happened to Monday? Opposite Glenn Close and Willem Dafoe


Age: 22

You’ll know her from: Top Boy, Banana, Cucumber, Urban Hymn

Took up acting because: “I originally wanted to be a basketball player, but when I was 12 years old, my teacher invited me to an acting class. The next thing I knew, I was playing civil-rights activist Rosa Parks. I instantly got the bug and will always feel indebted to that teacher for changing the course of my life.”

First job: “A movie called Victim. It was super-indie, but that film helped me learn about being on set and the basics of acting.”

Inspired by: “Saoirse Ronan. I’ve enjoyed her work and the choices she’s made. The power in her performances is so inspiring.”

Pinch-me moment: “Being on set with Steven Spielberg, who directed me on Ready Player One. He actually introduced himself! I’d like to have more of those kind of moments.”

Three words that best describe you: “Soulful, spiritual, Joyful.”

Next starring in: The Commuter with Liam Neeson and Ready Player One alongside Mark Rylance


Age: 29

You’ll know her from: Primeval, The Fall, Humans

Took up acting because: “I can’t remember wanting to do anything else. From as early as I can remember, I wanted to entertain people. I think I was quite a precocious kid.”

First job: “A play called Buddleia in Dublin, which then transferred to the Donmar Warehouse in London. I was in it, on and off, for two years from the age of eight to 10, and it was an amazing introduction to the job. It also stood me in good stead for when I work with child actors. I make sure they feel as much a part of the production as possible, which is how the other actors treated me when I was a child. It’s very important.”

Inspired by: “I worked with Carrie-Anne Moss on the second series of Humans. She’s an amazing actress, but also a student and teacher of Kundalini yoga; she’s very cool.”

Pinch-me moment: “I worked with Guy Pearce and Sam Neill on an Australian film called In Her Skin. They say you should never meet your heroes, but I would say don’t listen to that because they are two gorgeous people and massive talents.”

Three words that best describe you: “Loyal, zany and fun-loving.”

Next starring in: The Flag with Sorcha Cusack


Age: 21

You’ll know him from: Casualty and Macbeth at the Royal Exchange Theatre

Took up acting because: “I guess I was always fascinated by watching people’s behaviour, almost imitating them. I was always experimenting with voices and loved storytelling: traits that are perfect for acting.”

First job: “I was 12 years old and performed in Macbeth at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, where I’m from. It was my first taste of the profession and confirmed, even at that young age, that being an actor was the best decision I’d ever made.”

Inspired by: “My parents, because they were so selfless in my younger years and made sure my sister and I had all the opportunities we wanted.”

Pinch-me moment: “There’s been quite a few in the past five months, filming Dunkirk. But if I were to boil it down, being offered a place at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama was very pivotal in my life.”

Three words that best describe you: “Dependable, sparky, imaginative.”

Next starring in: Dunkirk opposite Tom Hardy and Harry Styles

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