Johnny Flynn (musician)

John (Johnny) Patrick Vivian Flynn (born 14 March 1983) is a British musician, singer, songwriter and actor.

Johnny Flynn
Flynn in 2010
Born (1983-03-14) 14 March 1983
Johannesburg, South Africa
Other namesJoe Flynn
OccupationMusician, singer, songwriter, actor
Years active2005–present
Beatrice Minns (m. 2011)

He is the lead singer and songwriter of the band Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit. Flynn has starred as Dylan Witter in the Channel 4 and Netflix television sitcom Lovesick (previously known as Scrotal Recall), and is signed to portray David Bowie in the upcoming film Stardust.[1][2]

Early life and education

Flynn was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the son of Eric Flynn, a British actor and singer, and Caroline Forbes.[3] From his father's first marriage he has two older half-brothers, actors Jerome Flynn and Daniel Flynn, and an older half-sister, Kerry Flynn, and from his father's second marriage, a younger sister, Lillie Flynn, who sings with the Sussex Wit.[4] At the age of two he moved with his family to the UK.[5]

Flynn won a music scholarship to Pilgrims School, an independent school in the city of Winchester in Hampshire, where he sang in the chapel choir and was required, due to his scholarship, to learn two instruments: the violin and trumpet.[6] Later, he would teach himself guitar and win a second music scholarship to Bedales School, an independent school in the village of Steep, near the market town of Petersfield, also in Hampshire[6], before moving on to Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art to study acting.

Flynn has scars on his face from an attack by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier when he was a child in South Africa.[7]


Film and television

In 2005, Flynn was one of Screen International's Stars of Tomorrow.

Flynn had parts in the television series Murder in Suburbia, Holby City and Kingdom. He rose to fame in his starring role of Dolf Vega in the film Crusade in Jeans (2006).

In 2011, Flynn's music was in the film A Bag of Hammers.

In 2013, Flynn was cast in Song One, a film starring Anne Hathaway. Flynn plays a musician by the name of James Forester, who becomes involved with Hathaway's character, following an accident involving her brother.[8]

In 2014, Flynn played the lead role of Dylan in the British rom-com TV series Scrotal Recall which aired on Channel 4. After finding success on Netflix, the streaming network went on to commission a second series of 8 episodes, without Channel 4's involvement, which was made available globally on the streaming network in November 2016 under the new name Lovesick.[9][10] The show's third series arrived on Netflix on 1 January 2018.

In 2015, he was one of the stars of the Comedy Central show Brotherhood. In it, he played one of two adult brothers who have to raise their younger brother when their mother unexpectedly dies.[11]

In 2017, he played the younger Albert Einstein in National Geographic's show Genius. Also in 2017, he played Pascal Renouf, a secretive outsider suspected of a series of brutal murders in director/writer Michael Pearce's debut dark thriller Beast, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released in the UK on 27 April 2018.[12][13]

In 2018, Flynn played William Dobbin in the ITV and Amazon Studios television serial adaptation of Vanity Fair.[14] He also played Felix Tholomyès in the BBC miniseries adaptation of Les Misérables.[15]

In 2019, he was cast as David Bowie in a biopic titled Stardust based on a screenplay by Christopher Bell and directed by Gabriel Range.[16]


Flynn performed in Propeller's all-male Shakespeare troupe, playing Curtis (The Taming of the Shrew) and Sebastian (Twelfth Night) in the 2007 season.[17] He has also performed in several other plays including Richard Bean's play The Heretic at the Royal Court Theatre (2011).[18] Johnny Flynn was cast in the role of Lee in Jerusalem, Jez Butterworth's hit play, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for best supporting actor.[19] In summer of 2012, Flynn appeared in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre's productions of Richard III, as Lady Anne, opposite Jerusalem co-star Mark Rylance and then as Viola/Cesario in the Globe's production of Twelfth Night with Rylance as well.[20] The productions transferred to the Apollo Theatre in the West End until February 2013. In March 2013 Flynn played the lead role in Bruce Norris' play The Low Road at the Royal Court.[21] In September 2015 he played Mooney alongside David Morrissey and Reece Shearsmith also at the Royal Court in Martin McDonagh's new play Hangmen.[22]

Awards and nominations

Flynn was longlisted in the Evening Standard Awards and the What's On Stage Awards for best Newcomer for his role in The Heretic in 2012.[23] He was nominated for an Olivier Award for his role in Jerusalem the same year.[24] He won a commendation in the 2012 Ian Charleson Awards for his role as Viola in Twelfth Night at the Globe Theatre.


Flynn released several studio albums and plays folk-influenced songs of his own composition. He wrote the entire score including the theme song for the BBC Four television series Detectorists[25] and made a cameo appearance performing the song in series one, episode 3. In 2015 he also composed the music (on period instruments) for the Globe Theatre's production of As You Like It.[26] He has composed music for several films, Television series and Theatre productions. In 2015 he also appeared on a compilation tribute album to Shirley Collins Shirley Inspired...[27] After a three-year break, Flynn produced a new album entitled Sillion which was released on 24 March 2017.




Year Title Role Notes
2006 Crusade in Jeans Dolf Vega
2011 Lotus Eaters Charlie
2012 Something in the Air N/A
2014 Song One James Forrester
2015 Clouds of Sils Maria Christopher Giles
2015 A Smallholding Tonkey
2016 Love Is Thicker Than Water Arthur
2017 Contractor 014352 Guy Bricklin Short film
2017 Beast Pascal
2020 Emma George Knightley Post-production
TBA The Dig Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Murder in Suburbia Josh Egan Episode: "Witches"
2006 Holby City Karl Massingham Episode: "Flight of the Bumblebee"
2008 Kingdom David Matthews Episode: #2.5
2014–2018 Lovesick Dylan Witter 22 episodes
2014 Detectorists Johnny Piper Episode: #1.3
2015 Brotherhood Toby 8 episodes
2017 Genius Young Albert Einstein 8 episodes
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries
2018 Vanity Fair William Dobbin 7 episodes
2018 Genius Alain Cury Episode: "Picasso: Chapter Two"
2018 Les Miserables Felix Tholomyès Episode: "#1.1"


  1. Sam Wollaston (3 October 2014). "Scrotal Recall; Detectorists; Peaky Blinders review – two charming comedies about sex and metal-detecting, and the return of the Shelby gang". The Guardian.
  2. "S'Black Mirror', 'One Day At A Time' & More Get Premiere Dates On Netflix – TCA". Deadline. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "On the Road With Johnny Flynn'". Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  5. Purcell, Andrew (2 December 2010). "Johnny Flynn's special relationship". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  6. "Interview with Johnyn Flynn - Platform 10". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  7. Patten, Dominic (28 May 2013). "Mary Steenburgen Joins Anne Hathaway In 'Song One'". Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  8. "Netflix Has Officially Renewed Scrotal Recall for Season 2". Premiere Date. Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  9. Virtue, Graeme (16 November 2016). "A whole new ball game: the unlikely return of STI sitcom Scrotal Recall". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  10. "Brotherhood... coming soon to Comedy Central". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  11. Jr, Mike Fleming; Jr, Mike Fleming (13 September 2017). "'Beast' Acquired For North America By 30WEST In Upstart's Third Major Toronto Deal". Deadline. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  12. "UK Release Date Confirmed For Beast". Filmoria. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  13. Tartaglione, Nancy; Tartaglione, Nancy (25 September 2017). "'Vanity Fair': Suranne Jones, Michael Palin Join Olivia Cooke In ITV/Amazon Drama". Deadline. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  14. "BBC One - Les Miserables, Series 1, Episode 1". BBC. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  15. Sneider, Jeff (31 January 2019). "David Bowie Movie In the Works Starring Actor-Singer Johnny Flynn". Collider. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  16. Theatre programme, Old Vic Theatre, London, January 2007.
  17. Rudland, Victoria (12 February 2011). "Theatre Review: The Heretic @ Royal Court". Londonist. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  18. "Theatre information". Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  19. Bosanquet, Theo (3 February 2012). "Cast: Spiro is Globe Shrew, Flynn & Barnett support Rylance". What's On Stage. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  20. Spencer, Charles (28 March 2013). "The Low Road, Royal Court". The Daily Telegraph. London: TMG. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  21. "Hangmen at The Royal Court Theatre". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  22. "ROYAL COURT THEATRE NOMINATED FOR NINE 2012 WHATSONSTAGE.COM AWARDS at The Royal Court Theatre". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  23. "Royal Court nominated for three Olivier Awards at The Royal Court Theatre". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  24. "Johnny Flynn - Detectorists (Original Soundtrack from the TV Series) - Out Now". Transgressive Records. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  25. "As You Like It starring Michelle Terry as Rosalind / Shakespeare's Globe". Archived from the original on 25 June 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  26. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. "JOHNNY FLYNN | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
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