Date of Birth : May 31st 1978
After graduating from RADA in 2000, Mays soon started appearing in a number of supporting roles ranging from a bit part in the BBC soap opera EastEnders in 2000 to playing a pilot in Jerry Bruckheimer’s big-budget Pearl Harbour (2001). He was cast in the Mike Leigh film All or Nothing (2002) as Jason, a violent thug who abused his girlfriend, and also appeared in Leigh’s next project, Vera Drake (2004), in which he played Sid, the protagonist’s son. His performances for Leigh made a big impact resulting in many more offers of work.
One of Mays’ most notable early roles was in the improvised BBC drama Rehab. Directed by acclaimed film maker Antonia Bird, Rehab was a hard-hitting drama about life in side a rehab facility. He starred as Adam a young heroin addict released from prison and sent directly to rehab. For his performance Mays was awarded the Best Actor award at the Palmare-Reims Television Festival in 2003.
In less than a decade since his first professional job, Mays has continued to work regularly and has become one of Britain’s most in-demand young actors. He continues to appear in a wide variety of productions which have included a part in Johnny Vaughan’s sitcom, Top Buzzer (2004); the lead role of Carter Krantz in BBC Three’s Funland (2005); as well as film appearances in Atonement (2007) and The Bank Job (2008).
Mays recently starred in Channel 4’s Friday-night comedy-of-errors sitcom Plus One, in which he played Rob Black, the perennial victim of Sod’s law whose girlfriend has dumped him to marry “Duncan from Blue”. He is currently playing the role of Michael Myshkin in Channel 4’s adaptation of David Peace’s Red Riding trilogy.
In addition to his TV and film work, Mays has also starred in six stage plays at London’s Royal Court Theatre. The productions have included Ladybird, Motortown, The Winterling and Scarborough. Simon Stephens wrote the lead role of Danny in Motortown with Mays in mind. He went on to win critical acclaim for his performance, but the hard-hitting play was considered too much for some audience members and walkouts were not uncommon.