MCM: Jeremy Northam


Okay, so I have a type, and that type is tall, dark, and handsome. Jeremy Northam. How have we not celebrated this talented and super-hot British actor before? Well, I am here to rectify things. To wit:


Emma (1996)

He was the best thing about this Jane Austen adaptation because he is HOT HOT HOT. And, excellent at teasing. If you could swap him into the Kate Beckinsale miniseries my life would be complete.

1996 Emma


1996 Emma

“Naughty, Emma! I may have to spank you!”

1996 Emma

I’m sorry, I’ll say it — he can manspread around me ANYTIME.


Amistad (1997)

He plays the judge who rules in favor of the enslaved Africans who, in 1839, took over their slave ship.

1997 Amistad

Fighting the power!


An Ideal Husband (1999)

He’s SO sweet and SO cute as the almost-perfect husband who has one flaw in his past.

1999 An Ideal Husband

I’m pretty sure Cate will forgive you, Jeremy. Especially since you actually make that mustache work in a non-pornstar way.


The Winslow Boy (1999)

As a noble lawyer who defends a boy accused of stealing, while developing a Thing(TM) for the boy’s older, feminist sister.

1999 The Winslow Boy



Voices (1999)

Per IMDB (haven’t seen it): “A story about real life early 20th-century British composer and music critic Philip Arnold Heseltine.”

1999 Voices


The Golden Bowl (2000)

A less than successful, early-1900s Merchant-Ivory production.

2000 The Golden Bowl

Although with that beard, Northam sure makes things more interesting.

2000 The Golden Bowl

Okay so the masquerade scene is great!


Enigma (2001)

He plays an MI5 agent during World War II who is keeping an eye on the codebreakers at Bletchley Park.

2001 Enigma

And he’s kinda ominous. In a hot sort of way.


Gosford Park (2001)

He’s the only non-fictional character — actor Ivor Novello — in this faaaabulous 1930s murder mystery.



Possession (2002)

I’m sorry, I felt very meh about this! Northam is a Charles Dickens-esque poet who has an affair.

2002 Possession

Victorians, man.


The Tudors (2007-08)

Wait, there was an actual quality actor in this? Yes, yes there was — Northam as Sir Thomas More.

2007-8 The Tudors

And looking spot-on for the real More’s portrait, I have to say.


Creation (2009)

It’s about Charles Darwin’s relationship with his wife, and that just doesn’t inspire me to want to watch it. Northam plays “Reverend John Brodie Innes.”

2009 Creation

Sorry, it’s not my era.


Glorious 39 (2009)

Northam plays a shady government operative in this just-pre-World-War-I thriller that I HIGHLY recommend.

2009 Glorious 39

Again, ominous and hot. He does this so well.


New Worlds (2014)

Northam takes King Charles II out for a cartoonishly villainous spin.

New Worlds (2014)

Looking HOT in his full-bottomed wig!


The Crown (2016)

He played prime minister Anthony Eden in this Queen Elizabeth II bio-series.

2016 The Crown

And is transitioning nicely into a silver fox!


Which is your favorite of Jeremy Northam’s historical costume roles?

18 Responses

  1. Shannon Russell

    The thing that thrills me about Jeremy Northam as Ivar Novello in Gosford Park is that not only is he lovely but he is a wonderful singer and pianist in that movie. (When it is not him it is his brother Christopher playing!)

  2. Charity

    His voice is like melted chocolate. I could listen to it all ni–err, day long. ;)

    He was one of my first crushes as a teenager when I saw “Emma” for the first time. To this day, it’s still in my top five favorite movies and his Knightley is my favorite out of all the Austen heroes (sorry, Darcy!). I do lame fangirl squealing whenever I see or hear him in anything… and I’ve seen everything on this list (and then some).

    He’s really marvelous in everything, but I especially enjoyed his too-brief stint on “The Crown.” And I LOVED his Sir Thomas More on “The Tudors” SO MUCH. I felt he, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and Natalie Dormer MADE the first two seasons of the show; when it lost all of them in season two, the quality fell down about ten notches. (I actually hated the way the show depicted Anne Boleyn, but Natalie was absolutely splendid; Jeremy was a rock-solid, likable fanatic as More; and Maria stomped my heart into oblivion and made me All About Katharine of Aragon from then on out, so I thank all three of them for the awesomeness.)

    Northam in a fedora saying “ooovaltine” in Enigma was almost more than I could take. ;)

  3. Susan Pola Staples

    Gotta be Emma, An Ideal Husband, Gosford Park & the Tudors as my favourites. Enigma & Golden Bowl as a close second.

  4. Saraquill

    I’ll be sitting on the corner here squeeing over the Collar of Esses recreation. Yay jewelry geekery!

  5. Guest

    I don’t know what it is, but I really don’t like him.
    (It might be because the first character I saw him play was Thomas More, and I am Not A Fan of Mr. “Humanist” who wrote Utopia about religious tolerance, but then went and burned several reformers as heretics:/
    I do acknowledge that growing up in a lutheran country might make me a bit biased against him, even though I’m personally an atheist, but that doesn’t change that I am not a fan of More)

  6. ljones1966

    He was the best thing about this Jane Austen adaptation because he is HOT HOT HOT. And, excellent at teasing. If you could swap him into the Kate Beckinsale miniseries my life would be complete.

    Actually, I’m rather glad he wasn’t in the Kate Beckinsale version. He probably would have wasted.

    It’s strange that the first movie that I ever saw Northam in wasn’t even a period film.

  7. revknits

    I love him too. my first intro was S&S – I kept wondering why Alec Baldwin looked so good! Seriously have loved all his performances. Now I want to watch Gosford Park again.

    • M.E. Lawrece

      Oh, goddess, yes! He was marvelous in “Gosford Park”: handsome as hell and truly kind and courteous, even in the face of nasty Posh Attitude, (Managed the singing well, too.) I should really see “Possession,” in spite of the poor reviews.

      By the way, “Creation” is worth seeing. As well as being a giant of scientific discovery, Darwin was also a sweet guy: an abolitionist, an animal lover, and a devoted family man. The spouse and I enjoyed touring his and Emma’s home, Down House, in Kent, then repairing to the pub where he would occasionally take a pint.

  8. LadySlippers

    Here I was thinking I hadn’t seen much with him in it — only to discover how wrong I was! He’s not only handsome but exceptionally magnetic on screen. I’d love to see if the magnetism is present in person too. I volunteer to test that theory out. 😉

  9. Joanne

    I just saw Emma again this weekend and he is the PERFECT Mr Knightley. When he asks Emma who she is going to dance the last dance with and you can just tell that he wants to dance with Emma, I get all swooney. And when he calls Emma his “wonderful, darling friend.” And especially when he says upon hearing that Emma is trying to be nicer, “the truest friend does not doubt, but hope,” I’m done.

    And yes, I loved him in Gosford Park. Must try Enigma and Glorious 39.

    • LadySlippers

      I had not realised he was in Glorious 39, so I plan on checking that out (I’ve been undecided until yesterday).

      And yes, his voice is swoon worthy. 😍

  10. Jenno

    Here for Possession, which I possibly love because the book was incredible (A. S. Byatt invented not just Northam’s character, the poet Ash, but all his poetry). Northam’s final scene in the movie is worth the price of admission. Plus Jennifer Ehle, who is always amazing, and Aaron Eckhart as a sensitive grad student, and the way they handle the timeline back-and-forth…but yeah, the book was the bomb.

  11. Shellie Eyre

    Not a film, but if you can track down the BBC’s version of Sherriff’s “Journey’s End” (set, literally, in a trench in WWI) you’ll not only get Northam in uniform, but also the rather wonderful Edward “Born To Play Lord Peter Wimsey” Petherbridge, a man who could out-elegant King Elegant of the Elegant People.

  12. Gail Thomas

    Emma, The Tudors, Gosford Park, and The Crown. But #1 performance – Emma. Oh Mr. Knightley!

  13. Judith Naimark

    Try Possession again. This is the film which turned me into a Northam fanatic. He’s so sexy when they finally get to the love scene. The cinematography and music are beautiful, as well. The Golden Bowl didn’t succeed commercially only because of the sabotage of the Weinstein Bros. I love how he simulates pleasuring Uma Thurman. Other TV & film performances not included here, because they are modern dress, are worth exploring, as well (though you may have to buy the DVD in order to see them): The Misadventures of Margaret. Happy, Texas; A Village Affair; Miami Medical; White Heat; Mimic (if you can withstand the horror aspect); The Statement. Dean Spanley, though period, has little opportunity for sexiness, but is most worthy of praise.

  14. Lily Lotus Rose

    Favorite role: Knightley in EMMA–all the way. Close second is Ash in Possession. (For those who need convincing–this movie is WONDERFUL. It’s perfectly cast, and Gabriel Yared’s musical score is absolutely gorgeous, too.) Third choice: The Golden Bowl, the movie is not great, not at all, but Jeremy’s hotness makes up for many of its deficiencies, and the overall look of the movie is beautiful. I’ve seen several of his other roles on this list, and he does a good job in them all. Aside from being very easy on the eyes, the man is an excellent actor–no matter which clothes he is (or isn’t) wearing.