Neil Jackson (born 5 March 1976) is an English actor and writer who has appeared in several television series and films, but is probably best-known for his role as Marcus on Blade: The Series and Sasha on Make It or Break It. His screenwriting credits include the film The Passage directed by Mark Heller and released in 2007. He has starred in several other films including Quantum of Solace and Push.

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[hide]*1 Early life

[edit] Early life[edit | edit source]

Jackson was born at home in Luton, England, the second of four sons to Evelyn and Dennis Jackson.

Neil was introduced to acting when studying Drama at GCSE level in Harlington Upper School. His teacher, Nigel Williams, placed him in several of the school plays including Annie, Little Shop of Horrors, Hard Times, and West Side Story. He also acted in National Youth Theatre as a teenager before moving to Cardiff to study sport at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC) in Wales.

In Wales, Jackson started competitive boxing after learning of the British Universities Boxing Championships, an inter-university competition held throughout the whole of Britain. He entered and won the gold at light-middle weight. He went on to successfully defend his title two years later at middle weight. His boxing earned him a scholarship to stay on at UWIC and study for his Masters degree. He graduated in 1998.

[edit] Career[edit | edit source]

Not knowing how to get into acting, Jackson wrote a musical and entered it into a national competition for new writers. It came in third and gained attention from producers in London including Michael Armstrong. He later enrolled in Michael Armstrong's Acting Academy, graduating in 2002.

Jackson's first professional acting job was a UK national touring production of Strindberg's classic Miss Julie. He understudied the lead character, Jean, a role he took over in the West End production later that year. His big break came when Oliver Stone cast him as Perdiccas in Alexander[1] alongside Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie. He recalls having a black eye and three stitches in his eyebrow when he first met Oliver Stone, a fact he jokes must have assisted him as Stone cast him for the role on the spot. He was also in the football drama Dream Team for a season as lottery winning chairman Phil Wallis.

In 2006 he made a guest appearance on Cold Case, in the episode "Sandhogs" of Season 4. He portrayed "Donny", the victim that was killed in a cave-in by his own brother. Then in 2007 saw the release of The Passage, a film written by Jackson and shot in Morocco, in which he played a lead character alongside Stephen Dorff. The film won the 2008 Jury Award at the Durango Film Festival. He made a guest appearance on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, in the episode "A La cart" of season 8. He appeared as Ian on How I Met Your Mother. The following year in 2008 he made a guest appearance on CSI: Miami and in 2009 he appeared as a wraith in Stargate: Atlantis.

Jackson shot a scene in Panama for the Bond movie Quantum of Solace, where he plays the character of Mr. Slate.[2] He is currently starring in the ABC Family original series, Make It or Break It as Sasha Belov. Additionally, Jackson has appeared as Lucas Hellinger, a Blackout conspirator, on the show FlashForward. In 2010 he starred as the chauffeur Harry Spargo in the BBC revival of Upstairs Downstairs. Jackson was recently cast in the lead role of Sir Percy Blakeney/The Scarlet Pimpernel in Fairbanks Productions' adaptation of the classic tale, scheduled for 2012.

[edit] Filmography[edit | edit source]

[edit] References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ "Neil Jackson Discusses Life on the Set of Alexander". 17 June 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  2. ^ Mr Bond, I expect you to die! (31 October 2008). "Neil Jackson on his role in Quantum of Solace". BBC. Retrieved 4 September 2011.

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