Also Credited As:Edward Westwick
|Edward Westwick on June 27, 1987 in Stevenage, England, GB|
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Edward William Westwick was born on June 27, 1987 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England. His father was a lecturer in business studies and his mother was an educational psychologist. He began acting at age six when his mother signed him up in a drama program. After finishing secondary school and uncertain about his future, Westwick attended The National Youth Theatre in London. His acting career started on the small screen, when, in 2006, he appeared on two of Britain's most popular medical melodramas; in "Doctors" (BBC, 2000- ), a series set in a busy Midlands practice following the lives of the patients and staff, and in "Casualty" (BBC, 1986- ), which was the longest running emergency medical show in the world.
After honing his acting skills on British TV, Westwick moved on to higher profile feature films; most notably in the critically acclaimed science fiction flick, "Children of Men" (2006), co-written and directed by famed director Alfonso Cuaron. Westwick had a minor role opposite Clive Owen and Julianne Moore. Another small role in Anthony Minghella's romantic drama "Breaking and Entering" (2006), starring Jude Law and Juliette Binoche, kept Westwick busy and on the radar of Hollywood execs. The versatile actor also appeared as a tough surrogate father figure to his naïve younger brother in the British coming-of-age drama, "Son of Rambow" (2007).
In 2007, Westwick landed the part of a lifetime when he was cast in a lead role in CW's new teen-centric series, "Gossip Girl." The series, produced by "O.C." creator Josh Schwartz, was based on the popular young adult book series revolving around the sexy adventures of New York City's privileged private school set. As Chuck Bass - he of the one cocked brow, pursed lips and devilishly irresistible schemes - Westwick was one of three male characters who gave the already seductive show an extra helping of eye candy - the other being Chace Crawford, who played Nate Archibald, the charming cougar magnet; and Penn Badgley, who as Dan Humphrey, was the "good guy" who dated reformed sinner Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) on and off-screen. Onscreen, Westwick had an on-again, off-again love affair with the show's seductress Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), but in real life, he dated co-star Jessica Szhor who played the quirky Vanessa Abrams. However, it was his relationship with co-star Crawford that caused the biggest stir and fueled rumors that both were gay. In truth, the relationship was more practical than anything else. Westwick had said in interviews that he shared an apartment in Chelsea with Crawford before both knew that "Gossip Girl" was going to be the hit series that it was. So popular was his pink bowtie-wearing character, that he earned a Choice TV Villain nomination at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards.
Besides acting, Westwick also dabbled in music, once fronting the British indie band, "The Filthy Youth." However, his filming schedule on "Gossip Girl" did not leave much time for the rocker to perform with his band. In 2008, he raised his profile even higher after becoming the model and spokesperson of K-Swiss, the athletic and apparel brand known for its all-white sneakers.
Westwick's pitch perfect portrayal of the manipulative Chuck Bass led to a number of equally disturbing, yet emotionally exhausting roles on the big screen. He appeared in the 2008 horror film "100 Feet" as Joey, a handsome delivery boy who gets entangled in a dangerous love affair with a woman (Famke Janssen) who is under house arrest and is haunted by her late husband's ghost. He also starred in the psychological thriller "S. Darko" (2009), the sequel to the cult hit "Donnie Darko" (2001), which propelled Jake Gyllenhaal's career into superstardom. Westwick's career soared to new heights in 2009 when he was cast as the tormented Heathcliff, alongside Gemma Arterton of "Quantum of Solace" (2008) fame in the film adaptation of Emily Bronte's 19th century novel "Wuthering Heights."