It's hard to believe when looking at him, but Ben Barnes's first stab at fame came in front of a microphone, and not a movie camera.
Barnes was dubbed the next teen heartthrob, but all too soon his singing career sank into a sorry sequence of dead notes that ended in 2003, when the band he teamed up with failed to qualify for the Eurovision Song Contest.
He retreated to Kingston University, in London, where he studied English and drama.
KALEEM AFTAB: The last time that we saw each other was a year ago.
You were still acting onstage in was nearly completed. BEN BARNES: It's so funny, last time I saw you this change in fortune was just happening. You'd just been to-or were about to go to-the audition for played at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Now it's getting released in a few cinemas in the U. They've cut it together with really cool music and got the likes of Pete Doherty on the soundtrack.
Hollywood usually casts young male Brits as villains or rebels, but Barnes comes equipped with way too much of that other clichéd English trait-charm-to be convincing in those dark roles.