Benjamin Thomas “Ben” Barnes (born 20 August 1981) is an English actor, best known for his portrayal of Caspian X in The Chronicles of Narnia films Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
In the spring of 2008, Barnes finished filming the role of John Whittaker for Noël Coward’s romantic comedy, Easy Virtue opposite Jessica Biel. Written and directed by Australian Stephan Elliott, the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on 8 September 2008. The film has screened at the Rio, Rome, Abu Dhabi, London and Adelaide Film Festivals. It also screened at the Tribeca Film Festival prior to its U.S. release on 22 May 2009.
Barnes next starred in the title role in a film adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray, directed by Oliver Parker for Ealing Studios. The film was released on 9 September 2009, in the United Kingdom, and had its world premiere that month at the Toronto International Film Festival. For the remainder of 2009, Dorian Gray was released in Australia, Italy, Finland and Portugal. Dorian Gray had a 2010 release in Russia, Greece, Germany and Spain. In the United States, the film was released on 24 August 2010, as a direct-to-video DVD and Blu-ray.
In May 2009, Barnes was nominated for MTV Movie Awards’ Best Breakthrough Male for his performance in Prince Caspian, which went to Robert Pattinson from Twilight.
In June 2009, Barnes filmed the psychological thriller Locked In, directed by Suri Krishnamma, on location in Boston. In the movie (which was originally titled Valediction), Barnes plays an American father named Josh whose daughter seems to be in a coma after being in a car accident.
Barnes appeared as King Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third installment in the series. Directed by Michael Apted, the movie was filmed from July to November 2009 in Brisbane, Australia, and released in December 2010.
In January 2010, Barnes began filming Killing Bono, a comedy based on the Neil McCormick memoir Killing Bono: I Was Bono’s Doppelgänger, in which McCormick recounts his youth in Ireland as an aspiring rock star who is overshadowed by his friend Bono, the lead singer of U2. Barnes played McCormick in Killing Bono, which is directed by Nick Hamm. Filming started at the beginning of January in the city of Lisburn. Killing Bono was released on 1 April 2011, in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Barnes returned to the West End stage in London, with a starring role as World War I soldier Stephen Wraysford in Birdsong, a drama based on the Sebastian Faulks novel of the same title. The play, directed by Trevor Nunn and adapted for the West End stage by writer Rachel Wagstaff, began previews at the Comedy Theatre in London on 18 September 2010, and opened on 28 September 2010. The play closed on 15 January 2011.
Barnes was cast as Thomas in the film The Seventh Son, an adaptation of the book The Spook’s Apprentice. Filming began in March 2012, and the film is scheduled for an October 2013 release.