Joseph Matthew Alwyn, better known as Joe Alwyn, was born in North London on February 21, 1991. Joe is the middle son of psychotherapist Elizabeth and documentary filmmaker Richard Alwyn, and the brother of Thomas and Patrick Alwyn.
Joe was educated at the City of London School, and despite being an introverted child, always wanted to act. He became a member of the National Youth Theater as a teenager while studying English literature and Drama at the University of Bristol. He also participated in two student productions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. After graduating in 2012, he completed his academic training at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama.
Two weeks after finishing his graduate showcase, in early 2015, Alwyn was cast as the lead role in the war drama directed by Ang Lee, one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed directors. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is an adaptation of the Ben Fountain novel of the same name, and featured a cast of stars such as Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, Garrett Hedlund and Steve Martin.
The film had its world premiere at the 54th New York Film Festival on October 14, 2016, and was theatrically released in the United States on November 11, 2016, by TriStar Pictures. The film had high production costs associated with being the first ever feature film using an extra high frame rate of 120 frames per second, further enhanced by the 3D format and 4K HD resolution. Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, it set Joe on a trajectory to becoming one of the most in-demand young actors in British film and Hollywood.
In 2017, Joe starred as Adrian Finn in The Sense of an Ending, a British-American drama film directed by Ritesh Batra, written by Nick Payne, and based on the novel of the same name by Julian Barnes.
The film had its world premiere at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on 2 January 2017. It was released in the United States on 10 March 2017, by CBS Films and Lionsgate, and in the United Kingdom on 14 April 2017, by StudioCanal.
In 2018 Joe will appear in four films: Boy Erased, Mary Queen of Scots, The Favourite and Operation Finale.
Boy Erased is a film based on the memoir of Garrard Conley, entitled Boy Erased: A Memoir. Starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Joel Edgerton. Joe plays Henry in the film which tells the story of Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe) as gay at the age of 19. Jared is quickly pressured into attending a gay conversion therapy program – or else be shunned by his family, friends, and church. It is within the program that Jared comes into conflict with its head therapist (Joel Edgerton).
In Mary Queen of Scots Joe is Robert Dudley, Queen Elizabeth’s counselor and lover. The film will tell about the life and death of Queen Mary and her rivalry with her cousin, Elizabeth 1.
The Favourite is a comedy-drama film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, from an original screenplay by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. The story focuses on the behind-the-scenes politics between two cousins jockeying to be court favourites during the reign of Queen Anne in the early 18th century. It stars Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult and Joe Alwyn who plays Samuel Masham, a courtier at the court of Queen Anne and the husband of her favourite, Abigail Masham, Baroness Masham.
Operation Finale is an American historical drama film directed by Chris Weitz and written by Matthew Orton. The film stars Oscar Isaac as Peter Malkin and Ben Kingsley as Adolf Eichmann with Joe Alwyn as Klaus Eichmann. The plot follows the story of the Jewish Nazi hunters sent out to find and capture former SS officer Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires in the 1960s.
For 2019, Joe has signed on to play a Lieutenant in Waiting for the Barbarians, an adaptation based on the novel of the same name by J.M. Coetzee. The film tells of a British magistrate who works in a small colonial city and begins to question his loyalty to the empire after witnessing the cruel treatment of prisoners of war. In addition to Joe, the cast includes Mark Rylance, Robert Pattinson, and Johnny Depp.