BBC Ridley Road: Eddie Marsan’s career from 90s EastEnders thug to breaking Hollywood opposite Will Smith

Eddie Marsan is one of the UK’s most gifted and accomplished actors, and his leading role as Soly Malinovsky in the new BBC drama, Ridley Road, is testament to years of hard graft..

Often portraying villains throughout his 29-year-long career, his new role as hot-headed leader of the anti-fascist organisation 62 Group sees him finally on the right side of history.

While his role in Ridley Road may be some people’s first introduction to the actor, Eddie has actually notched up over 100 acting credits to his name across television and film since his first role in 1992.

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And it seems that no job is too small with Eddie turning up in both EastEnders and The Bill in his career and then on the other hand landing huge knockout blockbusters like Hancock and Sherlock Holmes.

What’s more, the dad-of-four doesn’t just stick to acting either, with Eddie becoming a leading voice against antisemitism on social media over recent years.

First steps into acting

Eddie kicked off his career on ITV’s The Bill which has often been the first stomping ground for many of Britain’s best-loved actors.

From 1992 to 1996, Eddie appeared on the show four times playing the roles of Martin Price, Roy Kilby, Dean Stacey and Gary Vaughan.

He also appeared on EastEnders in 1996 playing the role of thug Roddy who attacked stall owner Sanjay.

In 2013, Eddie joked about his time on the show and expressed regret he didn’t play a more likeable character.

He tweeted: “Not Fair. When I did Eastenders, I was the head of BNP and beat up Sanjay.

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“Danny Dyer gets storylines with Timothy West as his Dad. WTF.”

In the 1990s Eddie also appeared in comedy series Game On, Casualty, Kavanagh QC and Grange Hill.

Family life

51-year-old Eddie married make-up artist Janine Schneider back in 2002 and the couple are still together nearly 20 years later.

The couple have a busy house bringing up four children together with two of the kids appearing in ITV’s Isolation Stories in 2020 with Eddie.

His eldest daughter Tilly is 15, followed by Blu who is 14, 11-year-old Bodhi, and the couple’s youngest child is seven-year-old Rufus.

Eddie has been known to occasionally share photos of him and his family on Instagram.

Breaking Hollywood

Eddie really shows off his acting talents with the list of incredible films he has been in alongside some of the best performers and directors on the planet.

In the 2000s his career in Hollywood sky-rocketed with roles in the 2002 Scorsese film Gang’s of New York, 21 Grams, V For Vendetta, Miami Vice and Mission: Impossible III.

However, it was his role in 2008 as a super-villain opposite Will Smith in Hancock that took his fame to even higher levels.

In 2009 this was followed by another major role in Guy Richies’ Sherlock Holmes as Inspector Lestrade with both Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr.

In the 2010s his huge success continued with a terrifying role as a domestic abuser opposite Olivia Coleman in Tyrannosaurus, another outing in the Sherlock Holmes sequel, Deadpool 2 and Hobbs and Shaw.

With Eddie still only in his early 50s there is no doubt much more to come from this incredible and fearless actor.

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