Alex Etel
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Manchester, England, UK
Famous for:
His role in "Millions" (2004)
Show more

Millions Star


“It’s not a 13 year old’s normal job. My family thinks it’s weird.” Alex Etel (on being a child actor)

English child actor Alex Etel was discovered in his school by Academy Award nominated director Danny Boyle, who would direct him in his film debut, "Millions" (2004). He followed it up with another lead role in "The Water Horse" (2007) and will next be seen in the upcoming films "From Time to Time" and "Easter Sixteen."

“I would love to be an actor when I grow up. Anyone who has this opportunity and doesn’t follow it through would be pretty stupid.” Alex Etel (talking about his opportunity to be an actor)

Meanwhile, on the small screen, Etel played Harry Gregson on the BBC One series "Cranford" (2007).

"I like visiting the different places and driving around in limos because it makes you feel special. Oh, and I really liked it when we got the standing ovation in Toronto." Alex Etel (on his favorite part about being an actor)

Alexander Nathan

Childhood and Family:

"My sister always threatens to shave my eyebrows out of me. Why does she want to do that? She's evil." Alex Etel

On September 19, 1994, Alexander Nathan Etel was born in Manchester, England. His hobbies include football (his favorite team is Manchester United), swimming, listening to music, PlayStation, jumping on the trampoline, go-carting, and playing cricket. He is also qualified as a scuba diver following his experience on “The Water Horse.”

"When I'm not in school, I like to play football, go swimming, listen to music, play on the Playstation, play on my trampoline, go go-carting, and play cricket. My favorite TV programs are 'Friends' (I watch the videos all the time) and 'Malcolm in the Middle.’”

Talking about his future plans, Etel revealed, "I'm going to university, I know. My parents say it's important. I guess I'll find some backup idea of what I want to do in case the acting doesn't last. You can't play innocent forever!"

The Water Horse


"I'd never really thought about acting until I was asked to audition for 'Millions,' so I suppose I only realized it during filming." Alex Etel (on when he realized he wanted to act)

Alex Etel realized he wanted to be an actor after being cast in his first film, "Millions" (2004). In the British film, helmed by Academy Award-nominated director Danny Boyle and based on a book written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, Etel played the lead role of Damian, a 7 year old who learns that true wealth has nothing to do with money. His performance earned him a Saturn Award nomination for Best Performance by a Younger Actor, a British Independent Film Award nomination for Most Promising Newcomer, and a Critics Choice Award nomination for Best Young Actor. When asked how he first became involved with "Millions," Etel recalled, "Everything started in October 2002 when my headmistress told us that a camera crew would be coming into school to try and find two boys to be in something. I thought it was for a television program. I asked my Mum if I could audition and she had to sign a slip of paper to say that I could be filmed. So, some people from the casting agency came into school with a little video camera and asked us a few questions like, 'What do you want for Christmas?' and ‘What would you do if you found a million pounds?' I can't remember what I said, but a few weeks later they asked if they could send me a few scenes and if I could go to the casting agency in Manchester to do another audition. That was when I first met Danny and Frank, but I didn't really know who they were. I was called back to audition 7 times altogether over the next few months and then in April 2003, they told me I got the part. That was very strange. They phoned my Mum while I was at school and then my headmistress came into the class and called me out to the front. She said, ‘Children, you are looking at a film star.’ I was really shocked!"

Three years later, in 2007, Etel starred in his second film, "The Water Horse,” a fantasy film directed by Jay Russell. In the film adaptation of Dick King-Smith's children's novel of the same name, Etel starred as a young boy who discovers a mysterious egg and cares for what hatches out of it. Also starring in the film were Emily Watson, Ben Chaplin, and David Morrissey. Etel's work in the film received positive reviews and earned him a Saturn Award nomination for Best Performance by a Younger Actor and a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor.

About his character in “The Water Horse,” Etel explained, "The relationship between Angus and the Water Horse is of great importance because as the creature grows, it really becomes a quite beautiful metaphor for the relationship Angus once had with his father."

And about the filming, he revealed, "A few scenes are quite embarrassing, especially the first scene. In the first scene, I'm in a pair of swimming trunks and it was toward the end of the shoot and I'd been eating blueberry muffins quite a lot, so I was a bit pudgy. I was completely white because I'd had three winters on the go. So I wasn't looking at my best."

Meanwhile, Etel made his TV debut on the BBC One comedy-drama series "Cranford," which was adapted from three novellas by Elizabeth Gaskell that were published between 1849 and 1858, "Cranford," "My Lady Ludlow," and "Mr. Harrison's Confessions."

"I think the hardest part was when the filming had finished and it was time for ADR work (voiceovers for scenes that didn't come out very clear or where they are changing the words, etc.) It was a while after and we had to go to London to have our voices taped to go with a few different scenes in the film. It was hard because you are just saying the words and not actually acting them. So, you stand in a studio, follow a white line on a particular screen, and when it reaches a certain point, you have to start talking. I think that was the hardest part for me." Alex Etel (on the hardest part about being an actor)

Etel will soon complete his newest film, "From Time to Time," an adventure movie directed by Julian Fellowes based on Lucy M. Boston's book "The Chimneys of Green Knowe." He is also filming Jason Barry's upcoming film project, "Easter Sixteen," a historical drama about the 1916 Irish Uprising in which he will share the screen with Guy Pearce, Anthony LaPaglia, and Tony Curran.


Show Less