1. He’s a versatile actor
He’s played a young Jim Broadbent in The Sense of an Ending, and was one of the brave few tackling the beach in Dunkirk. He’s in Netflix’s historical action-drama about Robert the Bruce, Outlaw King, and was the lead in Glue, a gritty E4 television series. In On Chesil Beach he’s playing a repressed virgin. ‘Broad’ doesn’t do him justice.
2. He’s working with the best source material
For those of you who aren’t renaissance men and for whom the outer limits of reading is Rafa’s introduction to the matchday programme every other weekend, On Chesil Beach is a Booker Prize shortlisted novel by Ian McEwan, widely considered to be one of the best British living novelists today. It’s only 166 pages: pick it up and have a go.
3. He acts the socks off Dominic West
It’s no mean feat to manage to outdo dear old Dominic West in the acting stakes, but Billy ‘Absolute’ Howle manages to do just that. His chemistry with leading lady and notorious tongue twister Soairse Ronan is off the charts, and Dom’s left looking more like Don’t Get Done, Get Dom’s Dominic Littlewood than the multiple award-winning actor.
4. His social media presence is on point
When he’s not retweeting theatrical legend Samuel West’s photographs of his daughter’s doodles at Pizza Express and information about archaeological digs, Billy takes the time to do, then tweet out the results of,
Joe.co.uk quizzes he took on 1990s movies. He got 100 percent, obviously.
5. He’s about to become big. Like, really big
Next stop superstardom for Stoke’s own Billy, and – like the indie music he so loves – a lot of people are about to get to know him. Now you’ve read this you can claim bragging rights: you knew him before he was cool. Well done you.
On Chesil Beach is released on 18th May