Sean Harris

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Sean Harris
Born (1966-02-08) 8 February 1966 (age 52)
Bethnal Green, London, England
Education Drama Centre London
Occupation Actor, writer
Years active 1994–present

Sean Harris (born 8 February 1966) is an English actor and writer. He is known for his role as Solomon Lane in the films Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) and Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018).

Harris won a British Academy Television Award for Best Actor for his role in the miniseries Southcliffe (2013). He also received three consecutive BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actor nominations.

Early life and education

Harris was born in Bethnal Green, London, and grew up in Lowestoft, Suffolk.[1] He attended Denes High School, now the Ormiston Denes Academy in Lowestoft, Suffolk.[2] At 23, he moved to London to train at the Drama Centre London from 1989 to 1992.[3]



Harris was a member of the Glasgow Citizens Theatre, where he performed in stage productions such as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet directed by Giles Havergal and as Carino in Don Juan directed by Robert David MacDonald. He also appeared as Lysander in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Matthew Lloyd at the Haymarket Theatre (Leicester) and as Johnny in a Nottingham Playhouse production of Angels Rave On, directed by Jonathan Church.[4]


Harris' television credits include serial killer Ian Brady, on ITV1's television mini-series, See No Evil: The Moors Murders (2006), the 2007 television film Wedding Belles, Channel 4's drama series Cape Wrath (Meadowlands in the United States) as Gordon Ormond and the BBC series Ashes to Ashes as Arthur Layton.

In 2009, he played corrupt Detective Inspector Bob Craven in Channel 4's critically acclaimed Red Riding trilogy and as photographer Anton Blair in Dean Cavanagh's comedy series, Svengali.[5]

In the BBC TV drama Five Daughters (2010), Harris portrayed Brian Tobin, co-founder of the drug treatment facility, The Iceni Project, based in Suffolk. In preparing to play Tobin, Harris followed the real Brian Tobin around during pre-production.[6]

From 2011-2013, Harris appeared as the assassin Micheletto in The Borgias, a series created by Neil Jordan. In 2013, he starred as Stephen Morton in the Channel 4 drama Southcliffe,[7] for which Harris would win a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for Best Actor in 2014. He also played Joss Merlyn in the poorly received BBC adaptation of Jamaica Inn, which became a subject of controversy and made national news over its mumbling cast and other sound problems.[8][9]


Harris played the main cast role of Thomas the Disciple, and later Thomas the Apostle in the 1999 biblical, historical, drama television film version of Jesus.[10] His notable roles include that of Joy Division's lead singer Ian Curtis in Michael Winterbottom's 2002 film 24 Hour Party People and as Steven in the film short True Love (Once Removed), directed by Kevin Thomas. The film won Best Short Film at both the Palm Springs and Houston Film Festivals, was selected for the Clermont-Ferrand, London Raindance and Los Angeles Short Film festivals and also qualified for an Oscar nomination in 2004.[11]

Harris also played Nick Sidney in the 2005 mockumentary Brothers of the Head, directed by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe. In 2007, he appeared in his first feature film lead role as Eddie in Saxon, directed by Greg Loftin. In 2009, he played Stretch in Harry Brown, directed by Daniel Barber.

In 2010, Harris appeared in another film short, Native Son, written and directed by Scottish director Scott Graham. It premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.[12]

In 2012, he played Fifield in the Ridley Scott's Prometheus.

In 2014, Harris played Mick Santino in Deliver Us From Evil (2014), directed by Scott Derrickson and based upon the 2001 novel "Beware the Night" by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool. He was cast by Derrickson for the film, without an interview, based upon the director having seen the actor's performance in Harry Brown.[13] That same year, he appeared as Gene Womack in Guy Myhill's The Goob. Myhill previously directed Harris in two film shorts, Two Halftimes to Hell (1997) and The Fabulous Bilsons (2001). Harris finished the year with his performances as Captain Sandy Browning in the critically acclaimed '71, directed by Yann Demange, for which he earned a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and as Campbell in Serena (2014), directed by Susanne Bier.

In 2015, Harris appeared as Solomon Lane in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, directed by Christopher McQuarrie, and as Macduff in Justin Kurzel's Macbeth. His next project, Trespass Against Us, was released in 2016.[14]

Harris filmed Possum in 2016, a film by Matthew Holness, in which he plays the main character.[15][16] He reprised his role as Lane in the sequel Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018).[17]

Music videos

Harris did a cameo appearance as a clown in a music video for the Norwich band the Black Sharks' debut album titled Lose Control, directed by Myhill (evidently filmed at the same time as The Fabulous Bilsons).

In 2007, he appeared in a video for Mark Ronson's "Stop Me".[18]

In 2012, Harris appeared in London-based music group Barbarossa's video short, Battles, directed by Montserrat Lombard.[19] Harris and Lombard have been working on the screen play for a film short, White as well as a script for a feature-length film, Imager. He will play the lead in the film short with Lombard directing once again.

Personal life

Harris maintains a very private life. Known as an intense actor of Stanislavski's system, Harris frequently remains unavailable for interviews while filming, preferring not to break with character.[20] However, his "method" allows him to film with few takes.[21]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Two Half-Times to Hell Tom Short film
1997 Wet Work Sean Short film
1999 Jesus Thomas / Thomas the Disciple / Thomas the Apostle Biblical, Historical, Drama, 240 Minute Television Film
2001 The Discovery of Heaven Bart Bork
2001 The Bilsons Perry Short film
2002 True Love (Once Removed) Steven Short film
2002 Tom & Thomas Kevin
2002 24 Hour Party People Ian Curtis
2002 Pay Day Andy Short film
2003 Nicotine Yellow Diggie Short film
2004 Trauma Roland
2004 Creep Craig, the "Creep"
2004 The Hare Soldier Short film
2005 Asylum Nick
2005 Frozen Hurricane Frank
2005 Brothers of the Head Nick Sidney
2005 Isolation Jamie
2007 Outlaw Simon Hillier
2007 Saxon Eddie
2009 Harry Brown Stretch
2010 Native Son John Short film
2010 Brighton Rock Hale
2011 A Lonely Place to Die Mr Kidd
2012 Prometheus Fifield
2014 Deliver Us from Evil Santino
2014 '71 Captain Sandy Browning Nominated - British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2014 Serena Campbell
2015 The Goob Gene Womack
2015 Paradise Lost?[22][23] Satan Short film
2015 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Solomon Lane
2015 Macbeth Macduff Nominated - British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2016 Trespass Against Us Gordon Bennett Nominated - British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2017 Possum Puppeteer/Ventriloquist
2018 Mission: Impossible – Fallout Solomon Lane
2019 The King William Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Minder Dean TV series (1 episode: "Bring Me the Head of Arthur Daley")
1994 The Bill Matthew Grogan / Russell Hines / Stuart Kennedy TV series (3 episodes)
1995 Signs and Wonders Carl Maynard TV film
1995 The Vet Neil Fairbrother TV series (1 episode: "Home Truths")
1996 A Mug's Game Con TV series
1998 Kavanagh QC Mark Holmes TV series (1 episode: "Care in the Community")
1999 Jesus Thomas TV film
1999 Hot House Cheddar TV film from a BBC series entitled "Acts of Passion"
2000 Casualty Tim Vanner TV series (1 episode: "Starting Over")
2001 The Hunt Clem Mackie TV film
2002 Judge John Deed Gerry Hewitt TV series (1 episode: "Political Expediency")
2003 The Vice Miles Wilson TV series (1 episode: "Control")
2003 Strange Robin Thomas TV series (1 episode: "Asmoth")
2006 See No Evil: The Moors Murders Ian Brady TV film
2007 Wedding Belles Adrian Collins TV film
2007 Ashes to Ashes Arthur Layton TV series (2 episodes)
2007 Cape Wrath (TV series) Gordon Ormond TV series (3 episodes)
2009 Red Riding Trilogy Detective Superintendent Bob Craven TV film
2009 Law & Order: UK Roland Kirk TV series (1 episode: "Community Service")
2009 Waking the Dead Radovan Sredinic TV series (2 episodes)
2010 Five Daughters Brian Tobin TV series (3 episodes)
2011–2013 The Borgias Micheletto Corella TV series
2013 Southcliffe Stephen Morton TV Miniseries (4 episodes)
Winner - British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
2014 Jamaica Inn Joss Merlyn TV Miniseries

Screen plays

Title Notes
White Short film co-written with Montserrat Lombard.
Imager Feature co-written with Montserrat Lombard.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2014 British Academy Television Awards Best Actor Southcliffe Won
2014 British Independent Film Award Best Supporting Actor '71 Nominated
2015 British Independent Film Award Best Supporting Actor Macbeth Nominated
2016 British Independent Film Award Best Supporting Actor Trespass Against Us Nominated


  1. ^ Mottram, James. "Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon". Independent. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Jones, Laura. "BAFTA thank you to Lowestoft teacher". Lowestoft Journal. Retrieved 2016-03-06. 
  3. ^ "The Borgias Cast". Showtime. 
  4. ^ Troika. "Sean Harris". Retrieved 2016-01-05. 
  5. ^ "Live at the Foundry - Svengali". Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "BBC Suffok". 20 April 2010. 
  7. ^ Robinson, John (2013) "Southcliffe: the most harrowing drama on TV", The Guardian, 26 July 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013
  8. ^ "BBC blames mumbling Jamaica Inn cast". Telegraph Online. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "BBC's Jamaica Inn drama loses quarter of audience after sound quality issues". The Guardian. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  10. ^ Jesus (1999 film)
  11. ^ "Bandits Productions Kevin Thomas Films". Bandits Productions. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Semainedelacritique Cannes Native Son World Premiere, 2010". Archived from the original on 2 May 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Dickson, Evan. "[Interview] Scott Derrickson". Bloody Disgusting, 1 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Sandwell, Ian. "Lionsgate Acquires Trespass Against Us". Screen Daily. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "Possum Sounds Like Classic Horr at its Finest". 
  16. ^ "Sean Harris to lead fyzz facility horror-'possom'". 
  17. ^ "Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie mark the end of filming on Mission: Impossible – Fallout". Retrieved 6 April 2018. .
  18. ^ "Mark Ronson - "Stop Me"". Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  19. ^ "Battles". Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  20. ^ Long, Natalie, ed. (4 August 2013). "GulfNews". Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "Kitley's Krypt". Archived from the original on 11 April 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "Paradise Lost?". 
  23. ^ "Paradise Lost?(Part II)". 

External links

  • Sean Harris on IMDb
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