James Oliver Wheatley

James Oliver Wheatley, star of the TV drama documentary "Britain’s Bloody Crown," is frustrated with being mistaken for a “Hackney hipster” due to his beard. Despite his desire to shave it off, the beard has become a key factor in landing him acting roles.
Portraying the Earl of Warwick in the Channel 5 series based on Dan Jones’s book "The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses And The Rise Of The Tudors," Wheatley, 37, grew his beard nearly a year ago for his role as Richard Neville. Known as “Warwick the Kingmaker,” Neville played a pivotal role in the Wars of the Roses, switching allegiance between the Yorkists and Lancastrians.
Even after filming wrapped up in Bucharest, Wheatley has been unable to part with his beard as directors keep requesting him to keep it for subsequent roles. He admitted, “I didn’t mind beards so much when I started to grow it, but I kind of like being clean-shaven." Despite his preference, his girlfriend prefers him without facial hair.
Living in Stoke Newington, he finds himself in the heart of the hipster beard culture and often feels compelled to explain he's not a hipster. Since "Britain’s Bloody Crown," Wheatley has appeared in various productions including "The Somnambulists" and "The Fixer," showcasing his versatility beyond historical dramas.
Jones, the creator of the series, emphasized that "Britain’s Bloody Crown" aimed not just for historical accuracy but also to dramatize compelling personal conflicts and power struggles of the era. He highlighted the series’ role in stimulating interest in history, comparing it to a gateway drug that leads to a deeper understanding of historical events.
The second episode of "Britain’s Bloody Crown," titled "The Kingmaker Must Die," featuring Wheatley, aired at 8 pm today, marking another chapter in the exploration of England’s turbulent history.