10 film stars who started on Channel 4

on Fri, 08/19/2011 - 15:38
Following the release of The Inbetweeners Movie, here are ten reasons the stars could enjoy long careers...
With the phenomenal release of The Inbetweeners Movie this week, it's tempting to guess which one of the fabulous four will make it big after the hype's died down. Our cinema screens are filled with stars who made their start in television, but it still holds a stigma that's not entirely fair. Nowadays, film stars are lining up to take part in the next big HBO series, but it hasn't always been that way. British stars especially can find it difficult to make the transition, but should we be worrying about Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, Blake Harrison and James Buckley? We don't think so, and this list of Channel 4/E4's famous faces goes some way towards proving it...

Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd)
It’s been a little bit of a slow builder for O’Dowd since landing his breakout television role in nerd-based comedy, The

IT Crowd, but his chance to shine came in this year’s mega hit Bridesmaids. He even got to play the main love interest to Kristin Wiig’s unlucky-in-love protagonist, a far cry from his hopeless sitcom character. Other than that, he’s starred in the dreadful Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel and only slightly better The Boat That Rocked. We might also forget about Gulliver’s Travels and Dinner For Schmucks if he promises never to do it again.

Nicholas Hoult (Skins)
Probably the best-known Skins alumnus in this list, Nicholas Hoult has done extremely well for himself since leaving the first generation of rebellious ‘yoofs’. He’s still best known around the world for his role alongside Hugh Grant in About a Boy, but grew up into a capable adult performer too. In recent years he’s made smart choices in film's like A Single Man, in which he played a love interest for Colin Firth’s character. His most recent role, which could also prove to be the making of him, was as Beast in the very well received X-Men: First Class. He can be seen next as the lead in Jack the Giant Killer.

Andrew Garfield (Sugar Rush; Boy A)
Now he’s prancing around in his Spider-Man costume and inventing media empires, many forget that Andrew Garfield had his start on television. Even less is known about his role on E4’s lesbian comedy-drama, Sugar Rush, as the hopeless boy next door in love with the show’s protagonist. After his debut, he went on to star in Channel 4 drama Boy A, for which he won a BAFTA for his performance. Alongside his television work, Garfield landed small roles on the big screen, before getting his breakthrough last year with The Social Network. For some reason, Never Let Me Go was less well received, but you can see him next swinging around in the aforementioned superhero blockbuster.

Dev Patel (Skins)
Although he’s disappeared of late, no doubt in disgrace for his involvement in The Last Airbender, Dev Patel officially became one to watch after his star turn in Slumdog Millionaire. He made his on-screen debut in E4’s Skins alongside Nicholas Hoult, playing Anwar, the sole Muslim member of his group of friends. His performance in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog won his numerous awards, whilst his part in The Last Airbender awarded him a Razzie for worst supporting actor. He can next be seen in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, alongside Bill Nighy, Judie Dench and Maggie Smith.

Robert Sheehan (Misfits)
Sheehan doesn’t yet have a sparking resume, but he was the best thing in E4’s superhero comedy Misfits, and he recently announced his departure for Hollywood. He has already racked up some credits, and is becoming a little better known in film. He starred in Cherrybomb alongside Potter star Rupert Grint but his most high-profile role has been in the Nicolas Cage stinker, Season of the Witch. British production Killing Bono was also ill-received by critics, but the boy seems determined.

Kaya Scodelario (Skins)
After being the only cast member to remain through the first four series of Skins, Kaya Scodelario has achieved more success than a lot of her peers on departure. Achieving critical acclaim and various accolades during her time on the show, she had a leg-up when it came to landing roles in small British films like Shank. Her debut was technically in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it supporting role in Moon, but it was too small to be noticed. Her appearance in the Clash of Titans remake was slightly more prominent, and somebody must have noticed. She’s since landed the role of Cathy in the upcoming Wuthering Heights adaptation, which will premiere at the Venice Film Festival this year.

James McAvoy (Shameless)
He’s a handsome Hollywood star now, but James McAvoy made his debut on Shameless, the Channel 4 drama about a working class family living in Manchester. He was the moral hero of the show, and departed fairly early, giving him the chance to make his mark away from the series. He went on to play the slightly undignified role of a faun in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but then went on to star in Starter for 10, The Last King of Scotland, and Becoming Jane. His breakthrough came with British period drama Atonement, in which he played the tragic male lead. His performance was praised and his star power rose overnight. He recently showed he could also open a Hollywood blockbuster with his role in X Men: First Class.

Jack O’Connell (Skins)
Embodying what most people dismiss Skins for, Jack O’Connell has made a career of playing rotten scoundrels, whether they’re murderous or just angry sods. Pre-Skins, he appeared in British hoodie-horror Eden Lake, in which a gang of young boys target a couple on holiday. Just as brutal was Harry Brown, in which he played another gang-member, this time on the rough streets of inner city London. His role in the E4 drama had a similar tone, but he emerged as one of the more significant talents from the show’s second generation. Watch this space.

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Spaced)
In terms of Hollywood power, these two are several heads and shoulders above the rest of this list. Starting out in brilliant the sitcom Spaced on Channel 4, Simon Pegg gave a role to his long-time friend Nick Frost, and their double-act is now the stuff of comedy legend. Starting with the enormously successful Shaun of the Dead, both are now landing high-calibre roles on their own. They followed their zombie comedy with Hot Fuzz, and recently co-starred with US star Seth Rogan in sci-fi send-up Paul. Pegg’s now appeared in almost everything his original sitcom worshipped, from Star Trek to Doctor Who.