TIFF 2012 up-and-comers: Jeremy Irvine from ‘Great Expectations’

Carly Maga
Wide Screen

Picking Jeremy Irvine as one of the most promising up-and-comers of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival is almost too easy. Of course, an actor who makes his TIFF debut as the lead role in a movie called "Great Expectations" is bound to draw a few of his own.

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That film, of course based on the Charles Dickens novel of the same name, was already one of this year's most-coveted tickets, coming from British director Mike Newell ("Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Love in the Time of Cholera") and starring Helena Bonham Carter as the crazed and heartbroken Miss Havisham and Ralph Fiennes as the criminal Magwitch. But after the Toronto premiere, we have our eyes on a slightly less well-known name in the credits.

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Not only did Irvine grab our attention on the red carpet with a dashing suit and the perfect amount of stubble on his chin, but his performance as the orphan Pip in the stunning period adaptation of "Great Expectations" made us sure that he's more than just a pretty face. And he's got a great story, too.

Irvine grew up in the English countryside as the son of a local politician mother and an engineer father. After a few smaller student and professional acting gigs, Steven Spielberg himself practically plucked Irvine out of obscurity to star as Albert in last year's Academy Award-nominated film "War Horse."

From there, well, we know the rest. Tearjerker fans can really look forward to "Now Is Good," in which Irvine co-stars with Dakota Fanning, who plays a girl with leukemia who wishes to lose her virginity before she dies. Now with "Great Expecations" thrusting him firmly into the film industry spotlight, Irvine also has two otherstar-studded films coming in 2013: "A Night in Old Mexico" with Robert Duvall and "The Railway Man" with Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skarsgård.

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Considering Irvine once tried to join the army reserves and only enrolled in acting school because someone told him it was like boot camp, things sure look like they're working out for this British beau.

To boot, Irvine has a little brother Toby, who actually plays young Pip in "Great Expectations." The two Irvines adorably accompanied each other at the Toronto premiere. Is the world so lucky as to have two handsome and talented brothers in our midst? Expectations are great.