Johnny Flynn (born 14 March 1983) is a South African born English musician and actor. He is the frontman of the folk-rock band Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit. As an actor he is credited as Joe Flynn, due to the fact that there was already another actor registered as “Johnny Flynn”.
Flynn was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the son of Eric Flynn and Caroline Forbes. From his father’s first marriage he has two older half-brothers, actorsJerome Flynn and Daniel Flynn, and an older sister, Kerry Flynn, and from his Father’s second marriage, a younger sister, Lillie Flynn, who sings with the Sussex Wit. At the age of three he moved with his family to Hampshire, England, fleeing South Africa after apartheid-supporters murdered his mother’s cousin and her husband, a mixed-race couple, for lending support to the African National Congress.
He attended Winchester College where he sang in the chapel choir and was required, due to his music scholarship, to learn two instruments: the violin and trumpet. Later, he would teach himself guitar and win a second music scholarship to the Bedales School.
In 2005, Flynn was one of Screen International’s Stars Of Tomorrow. He is best known for his starring role of Dolf Vega in the film Crusade in Jeans (2006). He had smaller parts in television series Murder in Suburbia, Holby City and Kingdom.
Flynn has performed in Propeller’s all-male Shakespeare troupe, playing Curtis (The Taming of the Shrew) and Sebastian (Twelfth Night) in the 2007 season. He has also performed in several other plays including Richard Bean’s play The Heretic at the Royal Court Theatre (2011). Johnny Flynn was cast in the role of Lee in Jerusalem, Jez Butterworth’s hit play, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for best supporting actor. In summer of 2012, Flynn appeared in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s productions of Richard the Third, as Lady Anne, opposite Jerusalem co-star Mark Rylance and then as Viola/Cesario in the Globe’s production of Twelfth Night with Rylance as well. The productions transferred to the Apollo Theatre in the West End until February 2013. Flynn is currently playing the lead in Bruce Norris’ new play at The Low Road.
In 2013, Flynn was cast in Song One, a film starring Anne Hathaway. Flynn plays a musician by the name of James Forrester, who becomes involved with Hathaway’s character, following an accident involving her brother.
Flynn has released several studio albums and plays folk-influenced songs of his own composition.