Rafe Spall

Rafe Joseph Spall (born 10 March 1983)[2] is an English actor. He is best known for his roles in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy of films, portraying Noel in Shaun of the Dead (2004), Andy Cartwright in Hot Fuzz (2007), and briefly appearing as a homebuyer in The World's End (2013).

Rafe Spall
Spall in 2011
Rafe Joseph Spall[1]

(1983-03-10) 10 March 1983
Camberwell, London, England
ResidenceHorsley, Gloucestershire, England
Years active2001present
Elize du Toit (m. 2010)

Additionally, Spall has appeared in films including A Good Year (2006), One Day (2011), Anonymous (2011), Prometheus (2012), Life of Pi (2012), The Big Short (2015), The BFG (2016), The Ritual (2017), and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). He played the title role of Pete Griffiths in Pete versus Life from 2010–2011, and has portrayed characters on the TV series The Shadow Line and Black Mirror. He appears in the Men in Black spin-off film Men in Black: International (2019).

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. 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. When he was 12, his father was diagnosed with leukaemia and spent the next 18 months in treatment. He was overweight as a teen, which he calls a "painful" experience.[3] Having achieved poor grades at his school, Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College,[4] he left to become an actor and joined the National Youth Theatre at 15. He failed to get into his chosen drama schools, such as RADA, at 17, but worked anyway. After being perennially cast in "fat" roles, he lost 77 lbs. at age 19, which brought more acting opportunities.[3]


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.[5]

In 2011 he starred in One Day.

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.[6]

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.[7]

Spall portrayed Eli Mills in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), the fifth instalment of Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park series, and directed by The Impossible helmer J. A. Bayona.[8]

Personal life

Spall says he has always struggled with his weight, going up to 114 kg (251 lb), but said that he was given so many character parts that he attempted to slim down, losing over 32 kg.[9] Like his father, he is a keen supporter of Crystal Palace. He is a patron of the Actors' Centre.[10]

In February 2008, Spall met actress Elize du Toit; they were married on 14 August 2010[11] and live in West Kensington, London.[12] They have three children: a daughter Lena, born 2011, a son Rex, born November 2012 and another son born in 2015.[11]



Year Title Role Notes
2001Beginner's Luck
2004Shaun of the DeadNoel
2004The Calcium KidStan Parlour
2005Green Street HooligansSwill
2005The Last DropPvt. David Wellings
2006A Good YearKenny
2007Hot FuzzD.C. Andy Cartwright
2007GrindhouseFeatured GhostSegment: "Don't"
2009The Scouting Book For BoysSteve
2009Modern Life Is RubbishLiam[14]
2010Behind the DoorBobby
2010SusD.C. Wilby
2011AnonymousWilliam Shakespeare
2011One DayIan Whitehead
2012Life of PiWriter
2012EarthboundJoe Norman
2013I Give It a YearJosh Moss
2013The World's EndYoung Man
2013The F WordBenAlso released as What If
2014X+YMartin HumphreysNominated — BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actor[15]
2014Get SantaSteve
2015The Big ShortDanny MosesNominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2016The BFGMr. Tibbs
2016Swallows and AmazonsJim Turner / Captain Flint
2016Mum's ListSinge
2017The RitualLuke
2018Jurassic World: Fallen KingdomEli Mills
2019Men in Black: International[16][17]Agent C
2019Just MercyTommy ChampanPost-production


Year Title Role Notes
2002Out of ControlRayTelevision film
2003The Lion in WinterPrince JohnTelevision film
2004The Legend of the Tamworth TwoCrustieTelevision film
2005The Rotters' ClubSean Harding3 episodes
2005Twisted TalesDominicEpisode: "Death Metal Chronicles"
2006The RomanticsJohn ClareMiniseries
2006The Chatterley AffairKeithTelevision film
2006CrackerDS McAllisterTelevision film
2006Wide Sargasso SeaEdward RochesterTelevision film
2006DraculaJonathan HarkerTelevision film
2007A Room with a ViewGeorge EmersonTelevision film
2008He Kills CoppersFrank TaylorTelevision film
2008Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than MeDennis HeymerTelevision film
2009Agatha Christie's MarpleRoger BassingtonEpisode: "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?"
2009Desperate RomanticsWilliam Holman Hunt6 episodes
2011The Shadow LineJay Wratten6 episodes
2010–2011Pete Versus LifePete Griffiths11 episodes
2014Black MirrorJoe PotterEpisode: "White Christmas"[18]
2015Harry Price: Ghost HunterHarry PriceTelevision film
2015Sons of LibertyJohn HancockMiniseries
2016RoadiesReg Whitehead10 episodes
2018Grandpa's Great EscapeAdult Jack (voice)Television special
2019The War of the WorldsGeorge3 episodes




  1. England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007
  2. Yahoo! Movies profile Archived 22 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Rafe Spall: From fat boy to slim son of Tim". Evening Standard. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  4. Raphael, Amy (25 May 2012). "Rising son: Rafe Spall's time has come". Evening Standard. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  5. Raphael, Amy (27 October 2007). "Rafe and Timothy Spall joint interview". Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  6. "I give it a year next year". www.stephenmerchant.com. 22 November 2012. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  7. Blanket, Jo (27 August 2015). "Rafe Spall to star in new ITV drama Harry Price: Ghost Hunter". ITV. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  8. Kroll, Justin (7 November 2016). "Toby Jones and Rafe Spall in Talks to Join Sequel to 'Jurassic World' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  9. Babb, Fran (19 August 2011). "Rafe Spall One Day Interview". Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  10. "Rafe Spall, Patron". actorscentre.co.uk/. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  11. Gilbert, Gerard (20 August 2011), "Rafe Spall Profile", Independent, London
  12. "Rafe Spall My London", Evening Standard, 2009, archived from the original on 25 November 2009
  13. "Close", Pollibee Pictures, 2008
  14. "Modern Life Is Rubbish", BBC, 2009, archived from the original on 8 March 2012
  15. "X Plus Y announces cast". 18 July 2013. Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  16. Kit, Borys (29 June 2018). "'Men in Black' Movie Spin-Off Adds 'Jurassic' Actor to Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  17. Chitwood, Adam (5 December 2018). "The 'Men in Black' Reboot Is Titled 'Men in Black International'". Collider. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  18. "'Mad Men' Star Jon Hamm Joins 'Black Mirror'", Variety, 2004
  19. "Constellations at The Royal Court Theatre". royalcourttheatre.com. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  20. "Bush Theatre". Bush Theatre. 21 November 2009. Archived from the original on 17 August 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  21. "Hello and Goodbye - Athol Fugard - 2008 - Productions - English Touring Theatre". Ett.org.uk. 17 May 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  22. "Alaska at The Royal Court Theatre". royalcourttheatre.com. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  23. "John Gabriel Borkman". Donmar Warehouse. 14 April 2007. Archived from the original on 14 December 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  24. "The Knight of the Burning Pestle". British Theatre Guide. Archived from the original on 18 November 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  25. "Just a Bloke at The Royal Court Theatre". royalcourttheatre.com. 17 November 2002. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  26. "A Prayer for Owen Meany - Productions". National Theatre. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
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