What happened to One Day's original Dexter actor – tipped as next Hugh Grant after film – The Mirror

British actor Jim Sturgess has shied away from acting in recent years after he starred as Dexter Mayhew in the 2011 film adaptation of David Nicholls’ best-selling novel, One Day
One Day fans have declared the new Netflix show better than the 2011 movie version starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.
The new Netflix series, which was released last week ahead of Valentine's Day has proved to be an incredible hit with viewers who have hailed the series 'a masterpiece' after the poorly received 2011 film adaptation starring actor Jim, 45, who was tipped to become the next Hugh Grant back in the early 2010's.
However, since the emergence of the now viral Netflix series – which features rising British stars Ambika Mod, from BBC drama 'This Is Going To Hurt', and Leo Woodall from 'The White Lotus', as lead characters Emma and Dexter – former fans of the 2011 movie have now insisted that Jim didn't do a good job of portraying the many different layers of his complicated character, Dexter, as they praise newcomer Leo, 27, for perfecting the role.
The story of One Day, by best-selling author David Nicholls, revisits the lives of the lovers every July 15 over two decades. When the movie version was released, fans of the best-selling novel flocked to theatres far and wide to see the heartbreaking romance story played out on screen. However, the flick received dire reviews at the time as unimpressed stans insisted that the characters casting was wrong and Hollywood star Anne, 41, was the complete wrong choice to play main character Emma.
Others were not convinced that Jim was the best person to play Dexter, but critics dubbed him as the next big thing – even comparing him to Hugh Grant as they predicted a long and successful career for him in romantic movies. However, that sadly wasn't the case for the English actor, who saw his work dry up after starring in One Day alongside Hathaway.
Before landing the lead role in the Hollywood blockbuster, Jim was an up-and-coming star who had had small roles in TV shows such as Touch of Frost and The Other Boleyn Girl – but beyond that, he was relatively unknown in the film industry. After impressing casting directors for One Day, the young actor, who was 32 at the time, was left deflated professionally when his first big movie received dire reviews.
Time magazine dubbed the film 'disjoined' – saying that 'characters that Nicholls brought so cunningly to life in the book feel rushed through a timeline, tied to an agenda'. Elsewhere, the New York Post took aim at Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway's lack of on-screen chemistry. Most notably, the American actress' Yorkshire accent was slated by fans and movie reviewers alike with some even calling her failed twang 'offensive'.
After landing the role, Jim even let it slip that he had never read the book One Day by David Nicholls. As the film due to be an exact on-screen adaption of the book, the actor's confession left a bitter taste in many die-hard fans' mouths.
Of not having read the book at his first audition for the role, Jim said: "I didn't really think about it at all when we were making the film. It's only now that people keep asking me how it feels to play such a well-known and loved character that I'm starting to think, "S***, I hope I've been all right."
After One Day, Jim already had another huge Hollywood blockbuster lined up as he appeared as Adam Ewing in the sci-fi Cloud Atlas opposite Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and the actor who was his greatest comparison – Hugh Grant. The film had a budget of $100m but only grossed $27m, which Jim later said was a huge disappointment to him.
Jim appeared in a supporting role in the 2012 film Spike Island, opposite Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke. He also appeared alongside Ray Winstone in the 2012 film Ashes about a son grappling with with father's Alzheimer's. Most recently, he appeared in the 2022 rom-com Alone Together alongside Katie Holmes.
While Jim's career remained mediocre, his One Day co-star Hathaway put the bad reviews behind her and went on to appear in The Dark Knight Rises and Les Miserables, and even nabbed an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the hugely successful Hollywood musical.
Jim has since admitted that he has found fame overwhelming at times and deliberately shied away from it. He has taken a break from acting and is now focusing on his career music under the stage-name, King Curious.
His debut album is set to be released in Autumn 2024 but the former actor has been sharing snippets of his album release with fans on YouTube, where he has 282 subscribers.
Jim tied the knot with actress Dina Mousawi in 2019 and the pair share son Zade, 4, together.
One Day is available to stream on Netflix now.
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