Actor Micheal Ward, the star of “Small Axe” who was born in Jamaica, is set to appear alongside Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman in “Empire of Light,” a new feature film from the British filmmaker Sam Mendes. War is well known for his role in “Lovers Rock,” the second episode of the “Small Axe” anthology film series from Steve McQueen. Ward is currently working on the second season of “Top Boy,” a Netflix series, and is slated to feature in Netflix’s film “Beauty,” with co-stars Sharon Stone and Giancarlo Esposito.
Micheal Ward was born in Spanish Town and grew up in East London. He was a student at Chadwell Health Academy before moving to pursue studies in the performing arts at Epping Forest College. He has appeared in several British television series and films. Prior to becoming an actor, he worked as a model. He received the BAFTA Rising Star Award at the 2020 staging of the awards ceremony.
He had his breakout role in “Top Boy,” which was more than just a career boost. He was still in school when the second series of “Top Boy” was to begin, and he sent a message to Ashley Walters, the star of the show, to ask for an audition, and he ultimately was hired to become part of the program. He said he wanted to be a part of it even before he realized what being an actor meant.
Ward says the last couple of years have been the best of his life. He explains that after moving to Romford at the age of four, he constantly played football and was considered by coaches to be a star of the future, but his love for acting took over. One of his drama teachers signed Ward on when she left the school to work at an acting agency and started finding him roles in music videos. He was amazed that the producers of “Top Boy” chose him to play the role of “Jamie.” “For me to even get an agent without any training or experience – what did any of them see in me? It’s just a weird situation.”
According to Deadline, “Empire of Light” is a romantic drama set on the South Coast of England during the 1980s and centers on an old cinema in that location. The film is Mendes’ first solo effort in screenwriting. Mendes, the director of film critics’ favorites like “American Beauty,” “Skyfall,” and “Revolutionary Road,” collaborated in writing his most recent film “1917” with Krysty Wilson-Cairns. In “Empire of Light,” Mendes is renewing his collaboration with cinematography legend Roger Deakins, the winner of an Oscar for Best Cinematography in 2020 for “1917.” Mendes will produce “Empire of Light” via his Neal Street Productions company with Pippa Harris.
Photo: Michael Ward Instagram