Joseph William Gilgun
9 March 1984
Joseph William Gilgun (born 9 March 1984) is an English actor known for several roles, including that of Vinnie O'Neill in the Sky One series Brassic, Eli Dingle in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale, Jamie Armstrong in the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street, Woody in the film This Is England (2006) and its subsequent spin-off series, and Rudy Wade in E4's Misfits. From 2016 to 2019, he starred in the AMC television adaptation of the Vertigo comic Preacher as the Irish vampire Cassidy.
Gilgun was born in Chorley, Lancashire, to Judith and Andrew Gilgun. He grew up in Rivington, Lancashire, as part of a working-class family with his two younger sisters, Jennie and Rosie. Gilgun attended Rivington VA Primary School and Southlands High School. He has dyslexia and ADHD, which he describes as the "biggest pain of [his] life" and in interviews has openly discussed depression and anxiety. He started drama workshops at the age of eight, following advice from an educational psychologist, and was described as having "exceptional talent". He also trained at the Laine Johnson Theatre School and the Oldham Theatre Workshop. When he was 10, he got his first TV acting role in Coronation Street. He stayed with the show until he was thirteen years old.
Gilgun studied A Levels at Runshaw College.Outside of odd jobs and a few roles in small theater productions, Gilgun worked as a plasterer until returning to acting full-time with Emmerdale in 2006.
1994–2006: Early career
As a child actor, Gilgun played little tearaway Jamie Armstrong in Coronation Street between 1994 and 1997. He left the soap when the actress playing his on-screen mother left the show. Gilgun revisited the set in an ITV special The Kids from Coronation Street in 2004. In 1998, when he was 14 years old, he presented a feature on Wish You Were Here...? where he visited Phantasialand, one of Germany's largest theme parks.
Gilgun took a break in his teens, acting part-time in local and national stage productions including the Salford-based Hanky Park the Musical at The Lowry. He played Charlie Millwall in a critically acclaimed tour of the stage play Borstal Boy, which ended at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Gilgun found the break from acting difficult, telling The Guardian in December 2011 that "[I] went off the fucking rails" and became confused about what to do with his life. He ended up working as a plasterer.
2006–2015: This is England franchise and Misfits
He returned to acting full-time in 2006, when he won the roles of both trouble-prone Eli Dingle in long-running soap opera Emmerdale and kind-hearted skinhead Woody in This Is England, his debut as a film actor. This Is England was released in the UK on 27 April 2007 and subsequently won several awards including a BAFTA for Best British Film in 2008.
In 2007, Gilgun starred alongside welterweight boxing champion Michael Jennings in a locally produced feature-length documentary entitled Chorley: Where People Go to Fight. All proceeds went to Derian House Children's Hospice, with Gilgun helping to present the cheque. Additionally, he appeared in a Dingle-centred episode of Ghosthunting with... hosted by Yvette Fielding.
Gilgun was granted time off from Emmerdale to shoot the 2009 British crime thriller Harry Brown, where he played drug dealer Kenny Soames. Gilgun announced he would quit Emmerdale on 10 November 2009, feeling the time was right to move on. His last appearance was on 30 April 2010. An Emmerdale representative said the programme had not ruled out a future return for the character. Gilgun later indicated he currently had no such plans.
Gilgun reprised the character of Woody for three Channel 4 TV spin-off series of This Is England, called This Is England '86. and This is England '88 and This Is England '90, which aired in September 2010, December 2011 and 2015 respectively. In 2010, This is England writer-director Shane Meadows referred Gilgun to star in longtime collaborator Paul Fraser's music video for the song "Dead American Writers" by Tired Pony.
On 9 May 2011, it was announced that Gilgun had been cast as newcomer Rudy Wade in the third series of Misfits. The character Rudy can manifest a clone of himself that roughly represents his conscience. He appeared in the first episode of the third series in late October 2011. He replaced as lead the character of Nathan following the departure of Robert Sheehan. An online short called Vegas Baby covered Nathan Young's exit and Rudy's arrival. Gilgun said that replacing Sheehan had "been frightening... You'd think that it'd be a total ballache, what with being new and stuff and Rob doing such a good job".
In the following years, Gilgun appeared in the 2012 American science fiction film Lockout, co-written and produced by Luc Besson and starring Guy Pearce, the 2013 BBC series Ripper Street as a Fagin-type character, Carmichael, as well as starring in the final two series of Misfits. He appears in the music video for "Tiny Legs" by Then Thickens, released in 2014. Having been friends with a few members of the band from growing up around Chorley, Joe agreed to star in the video. It involved him having makeup, flour and eggs applied to his face amongst other things and took several, messy takes to get right.
2015–Present: Continuing work with television
In March 2015 Gilgun earned the role of drug-addicted, Irish vampire Cassidy, one of the main characters in the AMC series Preacher. Speaking of the casting of Gilgun, Preacher executive producer Seth Rogen said: "It's one of those things that happens only a few times throughout your career, where you just go 'Oh, it's you. You're the character that is written on the page'... You could tell Joe's lived like 100 lifetimes, and he's probably done some shit you do not want to hear about, but at the same time, he's one of the most fun, loving people you'll ever be around. And it was exactly what the character needed to be."
Gilgun was part of the main cast all four seasons of Preacher which premiered on 22 May 2016 and concluded on 29 September 2019. Additionally, Gilgun was also an executive producer of the show, producing half of its third season and all of its fourth.
In 2019, Gilgun created, executive produced, and starred in the Sky One comedy series Brassic. Gilgun stars as Vinnie, a working-class petty criminal living in Northern England. The six-episode series premiere on 22 August 2019. The series was well-reviewed and received a second season renewal before the first season had aired.
He has opened up in podcasts and various media sources about his bipolar disorder and the effects that has had on his life. He has stated that many of the stories within the show Brassic are based upon his life.
|2006||This Is England||Richard "Woody" Woodford|
|2009||Harry Brown||Kenneth "Kenny" Soames|
|2010||Top of the Range||Joe||Short (10 minutes)|
|2013||Tennis||Jerry||Short (23 minutes)|
|2015||The Last Witch Hunter||Ellic|
|1994–1997||Coronation Street||Jamie Armstrong||Series regular|
|1998||Wish You Were Here...?||Guest Presenter||Guest|
|2005||Shameless||Rico||Season 2, episode 2|
|Big Dippers||Carl||Television film|
|2006||Sorted||Car Mechanic||Season 1, episode 5|
|2006–2010||Emmerdale||Eli Dingle||Series regular|
|2010||This Is England '86||Richard "Woody" Woodford||TV series (4 episodes)|
|2011||This Is England '88||TV series (3 episodes)|
|2011–2013||Misfits||Rudy Wade||TV series (series 3–5)|
|2013||Ripper Street||Carmichael||Season 1, episode 2|
|Coming Up||Martin||Series 8, episode 1|
|2015||This Is England '90||Richard "Woody" Woodford||TV series (4 episodes)|
|2016–2019||Preacher||Cassidy||Main character, also executive producer|
|2019–present||Brassic||Vincent "Vinnie" O'Neil|
Awards and nominations
|Year||Result||Award||Category||Film or series||Character|
|2006||Nominated||British Independent Film Awards||Best Supporting Actor/Actress||This is England||Woody|
|2007||Nominated||British Soap Awards||Best Newcomer||Emmerdale||Eli Dingle|
|Nominated||National Television Awards||Most Popular Newcomer|
|Nominated||TV Quick and TV Choice Awards||Best Soap Newcomer|
|2008||Nominated||Digital Spy Awards||Villain of the Year|
|2012||Won||Virgin Media TV Awards||Best Newbie||Misfits||Rudy Wade|
|Won||SFX Awards||Breakout Star|
|Nominated||BAFTA Television Award||Best Actor||This Is England '88||Woody|
|2021||Nominated||British Academy of Film and Television Arts||Male Performance in a Comedy Programme||Brassic||Vinnie O'Neill|
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- Nicholson, Rebecca (11 August 2019). "Joseph Gilgun: 'In a working-class community, often you're accepted for the oddball you've become'". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
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- [dead link]
- Considine, Clare (10 December 2011). "Emmerdale misfit Joe Gilgun is most at home with the This Is England gang". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "This Is England News, Reviews, Summary, Cast and Crew, Videos". Starpulse.com. 2 March 2012. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
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- http://thevoidmovies.wordpress.com/2007/page/9/. Retrieved 5 May 2009. Missing or empty
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- [dead link]
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- "Shane Meadows returns with Christmas special: This Is England '88 - Channel 4 - Info - Press". Channel 4. 30 January 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "Misfits casts Joe Gilgun as new recruit Rudy - Channel 4 - Info - Press". Channel 4. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "Misfits - Series 3 news - plus an online short - Misfits blog". E4.com. 11 April 2011. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
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- "'Preacher' Series Gets Its Cassidy". BD. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Celebrity News, Gossip and Photo Galleries - HuffPost Celebrity UK". Spinnermusic.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "Preacher Casts Cassidy – Joseph Gilgun". DC. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "'Preacher' Star Joseph Gilgun on Vampires, God, and Other Imaginary Things". Observer. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- Mangan, Lucy (22 August 2019). "Brassic review – a tale of northern ne'er-do-wells with humour and heart to spare". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- "Will there be a series 2 of Brassic and how can you watch the first series?". Metro. 28 August 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- Lord, Annie (7 May 2020). "Joe Gilgun: 'Stealing all day is hard graft'". The Independent. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
- Krol, Charlotte (30 August 2019). "'Brassic' star Joe Gilgun talks "exposing" his bipolar disorder in new British comedy". NME. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
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