I trained at RADA, and have 30 years experience in front of and behind the camera as an Actor and Director.
I was inspired to direct whilst working with another actor/director Sir Kenneth Branagh and his Renaissance Theatre Company, touring Shakespeare around the World and in London’s West End, playing alongside Emma Thompson and being directed by Ken Branagh and Dame Judi Dench. And following that, the Oscar winning film version of Henry V, also directed by Branagh.
As well as a list of other Shakespeare productions and the Award winning Translations at the Donmar Warehouse, directed by Sam Mendes, I have had a prolific Television acting career, starring alongside Michael Gambon in seasons of ITV’s Maigret, playing Tony Blair in Peter Kosminsky’s multi BAFTA winning Government Inspector, Wolf Hall and Black Mirror.
Directing started with my cult hit short My Own Private Lido, and progressed to winning International Festival Awards for my other films, and then into Television. I have directed over 60 hours of Drama, in America (with Shonda Rhimes), on Private Practice, and the UK, most recently on BBC’s Call the Midwife, and was nominated for Best Film at Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards for my first feature, City Slacker. My next production for Amazon, Agatha Raisin, starts shooting in 2021.
I also direct for Theatre and music commercials, my latest for Tom Jones.
(James is represented by Charles Walker at United Agents, UK, and in the US by JD Sobol. He is a DUK, Equity and DGA member).