Martin Freeman

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Martin Freeman
Martin Freeman-5341.jpg
Freeman in February 2019
Martin John Christopher Freeman

(1971-09-08) 8 September 1971 (age 49)
Years active1997–present
Partner(s) Amanda Abbington

Martin John Christopher Freeman (born 8 September 1971) is an English actor. Among other accolades, he has won an Emmy Award, a BAFTA Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, and has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award.


Freeman's most notable roles are that of Tim Canterbury in the mockumentary series The Office (2001–2003), Dr. John Watson in the British crime drama series Sherlock (2010–2017), Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014), and Lester Nygaard in the first season of the dark comedy-crime drama series Fargo (2014). He has also appeared in films including the romantic comedy Love Actually (2003), the horror comedy Shaun of the Dead (2004), the sci-fi comedy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), the action comedy Hot Fuzz (2007), the semi-improvised comedy Nativity! (2009), the sci-fi comedy The World's End (2013), and as Everett K. Ross in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films Captain America: Civil War (2016), Black Panther (2018) and the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022).

Early life

Martin John Christopher Freeman [1] was born on 8 September 1971 in Aldershot, Hampshire, [2] the youngest of five children. His parents, Philomena (née Norris) and naval officer Geoffrey Freeman, separated when he was a child.[ specify ] His father died of a heart attack when Freeman was 10 years old. [3] Freeman's paternal grandfather, Leonard W. Freeman, was a medic in the British Expeditionary Force during World War II and was killed in action at Dunkirk just a few days before the Dunkirk evacuation. [4] Leonard's father, Richard, was born blind and worked as a piano tuner and organist at St Andrew's Church in West Tarring before becoming a music teacher in Kingston upon Hull. [4] Freeman attended the Salesian School in Chertsey, Surrey, before attending Brooklands College in nearby Weybridge for media studies. [5] His older brother, Tim, became a singer with the group Frazier Chorus.


Freeman filming Sherlock in May 2011 Martin Freeman during filming of Sherlock cropped.jpg
Freeman filming Sherlock in May 2011

Freeman attended the Central School of Speech and Drama [5] and has appeared in at least 18 TV shows, 14 theatre productions, and several radio productions. He is notable for his role as Tim Canterbury in The Office , a role which, he said in 2004, "cast a very long shadow" for him as an actor. [6] He appeared in the sitcom Hardware (2003-2004). He also appeared in several films, including Ali G Indahouse (2002) and Love Actually (2003). [5]

Freeman began to move into more serious dramatic roles on television with his appearance as Lord Shaftesbury in the 2003 BBC historical drama Charles II: The Power and The Passion . He can also be seen making a brief appearance in the first episode of the second series of This Life . Freeman also starred in the BBC television series The Robinsons and had a cameo in Episode 1 of Black Books . In 2007, he appeared in The All Together written and directed by Gavin Claxton, as well as the Bill Kenwright theatre production of The Last Laugh. Freeman is featured in the video for Faith No More's cover of "I Started a Joke". [7] In May 2009, he starred in Boy Meets Girl , a four-part drama that charts the progress of characters Veronica and Danny after an accident which causes them to swap bodies. [8]

Freeman played Dr. John Watson in Sherlock , the BBC contemporary adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories. The first episode of Sherlock, "A Study in Pink", was broadcast on 25 July 2010 to critical acclaim. For his performance in the role, he won the 2011 BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.

Freeman played Bilbo Baggins, the main character, in the three-part Peter Jackson film series The Hobbit . [9] [10] Accolades that his performance in the first part, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey , garnered him include Best Hero at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards [11] and Best Actor at the 18th Empire Awards. [12]

Freeman in April 2016 Martin Freeman, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016 at The Royal Albert Hall (26118668654).jpg
Freeman in April 2016

Freeman appeared in all three films of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's comedic Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy , commencing with a brief non-speaking role in Shaun of the Dead as Yvonne's boyfriend, Declan, followed by a brief cameo in Hot Fuzz as a police officer. He was a main cast member in the 2013 finale to the trilogy, The World's End . On 5 October 2013, he was presented with a fellowship bearing his name by the members of University College Dublin's Literary & Historical Society. In April 2014, he played insurance salesman Lester Nygaard in the dark comedy-crime drama series Fargo . [13] For his performance in this series, he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award, [14] a Golden Globe Award, [15] and a Critics' Choice Television Award. [16] He opened in the title role in Shakespeare’s play Richard III in July 2014 at Trafalgar Studios. [17]

In 2015, Freeman starred as producer Milton Fruchtman in the television film The Eichmann Show , based on blacklisted TV director Leo Hurwitz's filming of the 1961 trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. The film intercut dramatic scenes with historical footage from the trial. The Daily Telegraph described the film as "absolutely enthralling". [18] [19] He also played Everett K. Ross, [20] a Central Intelligence Agency agent in Captain America: Civil War , which was released in May 2016. [21]

In 2017, Freeman starred in Cargo , which premiered at the Adelaide Film Festival on 6 August 2017. [22] The film is a feature-length remake of a 2013 short film of the same name. [23] Later in the year he appeared opposite Tamsin Greig in Labour of Love , a political comedy by James Graham, at the Noël Coward Theatre. [24] Labour of Love charts both the evolution of the UK Labour Party in recent decades and its presence in a tight-knit Nottinghamshire community. Freeman portrays fictional Labour MP David Lyons, whose modernising ideas pit him against the traditional left-wing constituency agent Jean Whittaker (Greig). [24]

In 2018, he reprised his role as Everett K. Ross in Black Panther , which was set around two weeks after the event in Captain America: Civil War, making it his second appearance in Marvel Cinematic Universe. [25] [26] Between May 2017 and July 2019, Freeman starred in numerous adverts for Vodafone.

Since March 2020, Freeman has starred in the FX/Sky One comedy series Breeders . Freeman also serves as creator and an executive producer for the series. [27] On 18 May 2020 FX and Sky One renewed Breeders for a second season. [28]

Charity work

In 2011, Freeman umpired a charity cricket match to raise money for victims of the Christchurch earthquake. [29]

In June 2018, Freeman was part of To Provide All People, a BBC Wales drama celebrating 70 years of the National Health Service. [30]

Personal life

Freeman resides in the Belsize Park area of London. [31] He previously lived in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, with actress Amanda Abbington. They were together from 2000 to 2016, and have a son named Joe and a daughter named Grace. [32] They appeared together in productions such as Sherlock, Swinging with the Finkels, The Debt, The Robinsons, and The All Together. On 22 December 2016, Freeman announced that he and Abbington had separated. [33]

Freeman is a supporter of the Labour Party. As a teenager, he supported the now-defunct political group Militant and volunteered with the Labour Party Young Socialists. [31] In 2015, he appeared in a party political broadcast to endorse the Labour Party ahead of the 2015 UK general election. [34] In August 2015, he was a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn's campaign in the Labour Party leadership election. [35] He is a vegetarian [36] and a practising Catholic. [5] He is a close friend of actor Simon Pegg, who is the godfather of his son. [37]

Freeman's personal style follows that of British mod subculture, and he cites Paul Weller as one of his heroes and influences on his style. [38] [39] He is a fan of soul, Motown, and jazz music, and presented an episode of BBC Two's The Culture Show in 2009 entitled "Martin Freeman Goes to Motown". [40] He also selected music for a 2006 Motown compilation entitled Made to Measure, [41] and worked on a jazz compilation with his friend Eddie Piller entitled Jazz on the Corner, which was released on Acid Jazz Records on 23 March 2018 and featured tracks by Kamasi Washington and The Brand New Heavies. [42] The pair presented Craig Charles' Funk and Soul Show on 31 March 2018. [43] In 2019, a follow-up album entitled Soul on the Corner was announced, featuring tracks by Leroy Hutson and Bobby Womack. [44]



1998I Just Want to Kiss YouFrankShort film
1999ExhaustThe Car OwnerShort film
2000The Low DownSolomon
2001Round About FiveThe ManShort film
2001Fancy DressPirate
2002 Ali G Indahouse Richard Cunningham
2003 Love Actually John
2004Blake's Junction 7VilaShort film
2004Call RegisterKevin
2004 Shaun of the Dead DeclanCameo
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Arthur Dent
2006 Confetti Matt Norris
2006 Breaking and Entering Sandy Hoffmann
2007 Dedication Jeremy
2007 The Good Night Gary Shaller
2007 Hot Fuzz Met. Sergeant
2007Lonely HeartsThe PigShort film
2007 The All Together Chris Ashworth
2007RubbishKevinShort film
2007 Nightwatching Rembrandt van Rijn
2008 Rembrandt's J'Accuse Rembrandt van RijnDocumentary
2009 Nativity! Paul Maddens
2009 Swinging with the Finkels Alvin Finkel
2010 Wild Target Hector Dixon
2010The Girl is MimeClive BuckleShort film [45]
2011 What's Your Number? Simon
2012 The Pirates! Band of Misfits The Pirate with a Scarf (voice)
2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Bilbo Baggins
2013 The World's End Oliver Chamberlain
2013 Svengali Don
2013 Saving Santa Bernard D. Elf (voice)
2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Bilbo Baggins
2013 The Voorman Problem Dr. WilliamsShort film
2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Bilbo Baggins
2015Midnight of My Life Steve Marriott Short film
2015 Tubby Hayes: A Man in a HurryNarratorDocumentary
2016 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Iain MacKelpie
2016 Captain America: Civil War Everett K. Ross
2017 Ghost Stories Mike Priddle
2017 Cargo Andy Rose
2018 Black Panther Everett K. Ross
2019 The Operative Thomas
2019 Ode to Joy Charlie
2020 A Christmas Carol Bob Cratchit (voice)
2022 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Everett K. RossFilming


1997 The Bill Craig ParnellEpisode: "Mantrap"
1997 This Life StuartEpisode: "Last Tango in Southwark"
1998 Casualty Ricky BeckEpisode: "She Loved the Rain"
1998Picking up the PiecesBrendanEpisode: "1.7"
2000 Bruiser Various roles6 episodes
2000 Lock, Stock... Jaap2 episodes
2000 Black Books DoctorEpisode: "Cooking the Books"
2001 World of Pub Various roles5 episodes
2001Men OnlyJamieTelevision film
2001–2003 The Office Tim Canterbury 14 episodes
2002Helen WestDC Stone3 episodes
2002 Linda Green MattEpisode: "Easy Come, Easy Go"
2003 Charles II: The Power and The Passion Lord Shaftesbury Miniseries
2003The DebtTerry RossTelevision film
2003 Margery and Gladys D.S. StringerTelevision film
2003–2004 Hardware Mike12 episodes
2004 Pride FleckTelevision film
2005 The Robinsons Ed Robinson6 episodes
2007 Comedy Showcase Greg WilsonEpisode: "Other People"
2007 The Old Curiosity Shop Mr. CodlinTelevision film
2008 When Were We Funniest? Himself4 episodes
2009 Boy Meets Girl Danny ReedMiniseries
2009 Micro Men Chris Curry Television film
2010–2017 Sherlock Dr. John Watson 13 episodes
2014–2015 Fargo Lester Nygaard / Narrator11 episodes
2014 The Life of Rock with Brian Pern Young Brian PernEpisode: "Jukebox Musical"
2014 Saturday Night Live HostEpisode: "Martin Freeman/Charli XCX"
2015 The Eichmann Show Milton FruchtmanTelevision film
2015 Robot Chicken Reverend Parris (voice)Episode: "Zero Vegetables"
2015 Toast of London HimselfEpisode: "Global Warming"
2015Stick ManStick Man (voice)Television film
2016–2017 StartUp Phil Rask20 episodes
2017 Carnage: Swallowing the Past JeffTelevision film
2018To Provide All PeopleConsultant CardiologistTelevision film
2019 A Confession Det. Supt. Steve Fulcher6 episodes
2020–present Breeders Paul WorsleyMain role; also creator and executive producer
2020 Talking Heads GrahamEpisode: "A Chip in the Sugar"
2021 DuckTales Poe De Spell (voice)Episode: "The Life and Crimes of Scrooge McDuck!"
TBCThe ResponderTony SchumacherUpcoming six-part drama [46]

Awards and nominations

2002 The Office British Comedy Awards Best Comedy ActorNominated
2004The Office (for "The Office Christmas Specials") BAFTAs Best Comedy Performance Nominated
British Comedy AwardsBest TV Comedy ActorNominated
Love Actually Phoenix Film Critics SocietyBest CastNominated
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association AwardBest Ensemble CastWon
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Acting EnsembleNominated
Hardware Rose d'Or Best Male Comedy PerformanceWon
2011 Sherlock BAFTAs Best Supporting Actor Won
Sherlock (for "A Scandal in Belgravia") Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
Gold Derby TV AwardsTV Movie/Miniseries Supporting ActorWon
Sherlock Crime Thriller Awards Best Supporting ActorWon
Online Film Critics' AwardsBest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or MiniseriesNominated
PAAFTJ AwardsBest Cast in a Miniseries or TV MovieWon
PAAFTJ AwardsBest Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV MovieNominated
Tumblr TV AwardsHottest Male Character in a TV ShowNominated
Tumblr TV AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesWon
Tumblr TV AwardsBest Male Character in a TV SeriesNominated
Tumblr TV AwardsBest Cast in a TV ShowWon
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Total Film Hotlist AwardsHottest ActorNominated
2013 Empire Awards Best Actor Won [12] [47]
Saturn Award Best Actor Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Scared-as-S**t PerformanceNominated [48]
MTV Movie AwardsBest HeroWon [11]
SFX AwardsBest ActorNominated
Shorts AwardsVisionary ActorWon
New Zealand Movie AwardsHero of the YearNominated
Constellation AwardsBest Male Performance In A 2012 Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, Or Mini-SeriesNominated
Tumblr Movie AwardsBest Leading ActorNominated
Tumblr Movie AwardsBest ShipNominated
Online Film Critics' AwardsMost Cinematic MomentNominated
Stella AwardsBest Actor in a Leading RoleWon
The World's EndAlternative End of Year Film AwardsBest Ensemble CastWon
2014 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Empire Awards Best Actor Nominated
MTV Movie AwardsBest HeroNominated
Constellation AwardsBest Male Performance In A 2013 Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, Or Mini-Series2nd Place
YouReviewers AwardsBest HeroNominated
Stella AwardsBest Actor in a Leading RoleWon
Online Film Critics' AwardsMost Cinematic MomentNominated
CinEuphoria AwardsBest EnsembleNominated
Fargo Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Movie or Mini-SeriesNominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
Online Film Critics' AwardsBest Actor in a Motion Picture or MiniseriesNominated
Online Film Critics' AwardsBest Ensemble in a Motion Picture or MiniseriesNominated
Golden Globe Award Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Crime Thriller AwardsBest ActorNominated [49]
Critics' Choice Television AwardsBest Supporting Actor in a Movie or Mini-SeriesNominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Won
Online Film Critics' AwardsBest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or MiniseriesNominated
Online Film Critics' AwardsBest Ensemble in a Motion Picture or MiniseriesNominated
2015 The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies MTV Movie AwardsBest HeroNominated
Favorite British Artists of the YearFavourite Actor in a Motion PictureNominated
FargoFavorite British Artists of the YearFavourite Actor in a Television SeriesNominated
Richard IIIThe Mousetrap AwardsBest Male PerformancerWon
2016Stick ManBritish Animation AwardsBest Voice PerformanceWon
2018Labour of Love WhatsOnStage Awards Best Actor in a PlayNominated
2019 Black Panther Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won

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