MCM: Ben Whishaw


He’s played gadget guru “Q” in the past three Bond movies, and he’s been the voice of Paddington Bear including in the adorable QEII platinum jubilee special. Of course, what we care about most is Ben Whishaw’s frock flick credentials, which are solid. I’ve noticed him frequently in films that have a literary bent, either book adaptions or stories about writers, which is totally my jam. His theater background has served him well in onscreen Shakespeare as well, and he’s played bad guys and quirky roles. Hope to see more!




Pte. James Deamis in The Trench (1999)

Ben Whishaw, The Trench (1999)

An obligatory war film, this one set during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The internet tells me this is him, but he has a small role & all guys in uniform look alike to me, sorry!


Keith Richards in Stoned (2005)

Ben Whishaw, Stoned (2005)

A flick about the life & death (in 1969) of Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones. Whishaw makes young Keith Richards look pretty cute! Photo by Alamy.


Jean-Baptiste Grenouille in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

2006 Perfume the Story of a Murderer

OK, so he’s the creepy murderer here. I’m not a fan of this weird, kind of gross movie, but his performance does the job.


Arthur Rimbaud in I’m Not There (2007)

Ben Whishaw, I'm Not There (2007)

This flick imagines Bob Dylan & his music as different personae — such as the form of 19th-c. French symbolist poet Rimbaud.


Lord Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited (2008)

Ben Whishaw, Brideshead Revisited (2008)

This is a choppy & not-great adaption of Evelyn Waugh novel, but Whishaw works well as Sebastian.


John Keats in Bright Star (2009)

Bright Star (2009)

A poet boyfriend who likes cats! Too bad he dies at the end.



Ariel in The Tempest (2010)

Ben Whishaw, The Tempest (2010)

A more fantasy than strictly historical version, but I love his hair.


King Richard in The Hollow Crown: Richard II (2012)

Ben Whishaw, The Hollow Crown: Richard II (2012)

Embodying the flowery verse of Shakespeare’s despotic king.


Robert Frobisher in Cloud Atlas (2012)

Ben Whishaw, Cloud Atlas (2012)

He plays four characters in this movie, which jumps around in time. Frobisher is the main character of the part set in 1936 Cambridge & Edinburgh.


Freddie Lyon in The Hour (2011-2012)

Ben Whishaw, The Hour (2011-2012)

A short-lived thriller series set in Cold War-era Britain.


Sonny Watts in Suffragette (2015)

Ben Whishaw, Suffragette (2015)

Playing the bad guy, the husband that Carey Mulligan’s character is jerked around by.


Henrik in The Danish Girl (2015)

Ben Whishaw, The Danish Girl (2015)

An art dealer who starts up a relationship with Lili.


Herman Melville in In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

Ben Whishaw, In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

In the framing story set in 1850, he’s the author of Moby-Dick.


Michael Banks in Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Ben Whishaw, Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

The little boy from the original Mary Poppins movie is all grown up, has three kids & a mortgage, & is now as dour as his dad, until his old nanny comes back!


Uriah Heep in The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019)

Ben Whishaw, The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019)

The super-creepy bad guy who screws up David Copperfield’s life!


Patrick “Rabbi” Milligan in Fargo (2020)

Ben Whishaw, Fargo (2020)

During season 4, set in 1950s Kansas City, Missouri, he plays a member of one of the dueling crime families.



What’s your favorite of Ben Whishaw’s frock flick roles?

16 Responses

  1. Lynda


    Norman Scott in “A Very English Scandal”: he takes down stuffed shirt MP Jeremy Thorne (played by his Paddington II costar Hugh Grant). Some great mod looks!
    Perce in the BBC miniseries “Queers,” he delivers a powerful monologue while wearing a British army uniform, which I know isn’t usually your thing but he looks just so goddamn cute in it.

  2. Allison

    He was also John Proctor in ‘The Crucible’ on Broadway. It was an incredible cast – Sophie Okenedo as Elizabeth, Saorse Ronan as Abigail, and Ciaran Hinds as an absolutely terrifying Danforth. It was a modern dress Ivo van Hove production, so not really Frock Flicks territory – but wow, it was memorable.

    • Karen Anspach

      I agree! The entire cast was superb, Ronan, Wishaw and Hinds were unforgettable. The thing about Ben Wishaw is how well he can change his appearance for each role he plays.

  3. Bel

    love, love, love The Hour, and will never get over the fact that it ended on a cliffhanger and wasn’t renewed!

  4. Saraquill

    I know him best as the lead from Perfume. I’m still confused as to why my brother told me to watch it as a lesson in social skills.

  5. Lynne Connolly

    The first time I really noticed him was when he played Richard II in the TV Hollw Crown. He was utterly superb. Knows how to use blank verse, looked the part and brought a new vision to it. There are a few clips on YouTube. Patrick Stewart played John of Gaunt, and Rory Kinnear was Bolingbroke.

  6. Lily Lotus Rose

    I love Ben Whishaw!! Fave FrockFlick role–Sebastian in Brideshead Revisited. He looks ABSOLUTELY YUMMY in the pic from The Hollow Crown. (He also looked yummy in A Very English Scandal, which I think is too “late” for this site.) Yum.

  7. Colleen

    I loved him in Bright Star. His role as Richard II was interesting. I don’t know if he was written to be so obviously stereotypically gay, but if he was, Ben did it well (I know Ben is gay). He was also good in the Amazon Scandal series, which I know wouldn’t be listed on here, since it took place in the 60s.

  8. Adele

    He’s a great actor, but I feel even more sorry now for Harry ‘not exactly candy’ Hadden-Paton.
    Ben Whishaw plays (not exclusively) fey, nerdy, camp, creepy characters. I can’t personally think of one role of his that’s conventionally fwoar-worthy, although tastes do vary. Not saying he’s unattractive, but then nor is Harry.


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