Born in Nottingham and raised in South London, England, Lennie James trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. His many theatre credits include Etta Jenks, opposite Miranda Richardson, and Roy Williams’ Fallout at The Royal Court; August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Coup with Norman Beaton at The National; The Young Vic’s production of A Raisin In The Sun; and the eponymous hero in the Tricycle’s production of Macbeth.
James has had a rich and varied television career on both sides of the Atlantic, including Civvies and Comics by Lynda La Plante, Undercover Heart, Out Of The Blue, the award-winning Buried (Bafta), and Storm Damage (RTS). He starred in the critically acclaimed Run for C4 and Jed Mercurio’s Line of Duty for BBC2, both in which he was nominated for best actor at the RTS Television Awards 2013/14.
In the US, he has been praised for his performances as the mysterious Robert Hawkins in CBS’ history making series Jericho, HBO’s Hung, Detective Joe Geddes in AMC’s Low Winter Sun as well as 8 seasons of AMC’s The Walking Dead, where he won Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series at the OFTA (Online Film & Television Awards) in 2013. James was also nominated for Drama Guest Actor at the Golden Derby Awards in 2013 as well as Best TV Supporting Actor at the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards in 2016 for his role in The Walking Dead and was recently announced as cross over character to star in AMC’s companion series Fear The Walking Dead. Lennie can also be seen as the lead in the UK series ground breaking medical drama Critical for Sky 1 TV. Other television credits include: Buried, The State Within, Spooks, Fallout and The Prisoner.
James has many notable film credits to his name, including: Sol in Guy Ritchie’s Snatch, starring Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro; Sahara, alongside Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz; Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People; Nick Love’s Outlaw, with Bob Hoskins; The Next Three Days, with Russell Crowe; Luc Besson’s Colombiana, with Zoe Saldana; and Lockout, opposite Guy Pearce. Lennie also starred in the modern day western Swelter, in Tate Taylor’s James Brown biopic Get On Up, opposite Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman and most recently in Double Play – the film adaptation of Frank Martinus Arion’s novel as well as Warner Bros. Blade Runner 2049 sequel opposite Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling.
Lennie can currently be seen in critically acclaimed series Save Me, a new production created and written by James in which he stars for Sky Atlantic.