Will Poulter
Poulter in 2014
William Jack Poulter

(1993-01-28) 28 January 1993 (age 30)
Alma materUniversity of Bristol
Years active2007–present

William Jack Poulter (born 28 January 1993) is a British actor. He first gained recognition for his role as Eustace Scrubb in the fantasy adventure film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010). He received critical praise for his starring role in the comedy film We're the Millers (2013), for which he won the BAFTA Rising Star Award.

Poulter starred in the first and third film of the dystopian science fiction film trilogy The Maze Runner (2014–2018), the period epic film The Revenant (2015), the crime drama film Detroit (2017), the interactive science fiction film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018), and the folk horror film Midsommar (2019). In 2021, he had a leading role in the Hulu miniseries Dopesick, for which he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie. In 2023, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Early life

Poulter was born on 28 January 1993[1] in Hammersmith, London, the son of Neil Poulter, a professor of Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at Imperial College London,[2] and Caroline (née Barrah), a former nurse who was brought up in Kenya.[3][4] He was a pupil at Harrodian School, whose well-known acting graduates include George MacKay and Robert Pattinson.[5] He struggled in school due to dyslexia and developmental coordination disorder, saying in 2013, "It felt like it didn't matter how hard I tried, I wasn't getting anywhere. That's the most demoralising thing, as a kid. And to find something like drama, which I loved so much... it gave me a sense of purpose."[6]

Poulter began studying drama at the University of Bristol in 2012, before dropping out after a year.[7][8] In 2023 Poulter stated, "The dropping out part is 100% true. I always had an ambition to go to university and study drama. I was not certain of whether acting could be my long-term guaranteed career path and then I got offered The Maze Runner and that's ultimately why I left. Thankfully I've been able to call myself a full-time actor since."[9]


2007–2012: Early work

Poulter played the role of Lee Carter in the 2007 movie Son of Rambow, alongside his co-star Bill Milner. He performed with other young comedic actors in School of Comedy,[10] which aired its pilot on Channel 4's Comedy Lab on 21 August 2008, before being commissioned for a full series in 2009.[11]

In 2010, he played the role of Eustace Scrubb in the film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which was filmed in Queensland, Australia, and was accompanied by some members of his family.[12][13] In 2010, he appeared in the BBC Three pilot The Fades, a 60-minute supernatural thriller written by Jack Thorne. The pilot was picked up as a six-part series in 2011, of which Poulter was not included.[14]

In 2011, Poulter starred alongside Charlie Creed-Miles as Bill's son Dean, in the British independent film Wild Bill, directed by Dexter Fletcher.[15] The cast included a host of British talent with Leo Gregory, Neil Maskell, Liz White, Iwan Rheon, Olivia Williams, Jaime Winstone, Andy Serkis, and Sean Pertwee, and scored a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer.[16] In 2012, Poulter began studying drama at the University of Bristol where he lived in Badock Hall, however dropped out after a year in order to pursue acting full time.[17]

2013–present: mainstream recognition and further work

Poulter at the London premiere of We're the Millers in 2013

In 2013, he played Kenny in We're the Millers,[18] starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. He also appeared as a caretaker in the music video for Rizzle Kicks' song "Skip to the Good Bit".[19] Though he loved the script and auditioned for the role of Augustus Waters, he was denied the part in The Fault in Our Stars.[20]

In 2014, he played Fordy in the crime film Plastic, directed by Julian Gilbey and starring Ed Speleers, Alfie Allen, Sebastian De Souza and Emma Rigby. The same year, he played Gally in the film adaptation of The Maze Runner,[18] alongside Dylan O'Brien and Kaya Scodelario. Poulter went on to describe the film, and his role in it, as "a turning point" in his career.[20]

In 2015, Poulter starred as Shane in the Irish indie film Glassland,[18] directed by Gerard Barrett and co-starring Jack Reynor and Toni Collette.[18]

Poulter at the Paris premiere of The Revenant in 2016

In 2014, Poulter won the BAFTA Rising Star Award, voted for by the public.[21][22] The same year, he also won the MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with his co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Emma Roberts) for his performance in We're the Millers.[23]

In 2014, Poulter was chosen as one of 23 upcoming actors to feature in July's issue of Vanity Fair, with all actors being named "Hollywood's Next Wave".[24]

Poulter played Jim Bridger in the revenge-thriller The Revenant (2015), directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. The film centres on an 1820s frontiersman on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.[25] In 2017, he played the racist police officer Philip Krauss in the film Detroit,[18] about the 1967 Detroit riots. His performance was praised by Metro's Matt Prigge, who called him "terrifyingly confident".[26]

Poulter was initially cast as Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the 2017 adaptation,[18] of the Stephen King novel It. However, it was announced in June 2016 that Bill Skarsgård had been cast instead because Poulter dropped out due both to scheduling conflicts (the film was set to shoot at the same time as Poulter was set to begin work on Detroit) as well as the departure of its initial director, Cary Fukunaga.[27]

In 2018, Poulter reprised his role as Gally in Maze Runner: The Death Cure, the third and final instalment of the Maze Runner film series.[18] Later that year, he starred in the film The Little Stranger,[18] as Roderick "Roddy" Ayres, a facially disfigured, haunted war veteran; and as game developer Colin Ritman in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, a standalone interactive film of the Black Mirror television series.[28] In 2019, he played the character of Mark in Ari Aster's horror film Midsommar.[18] In 2020, he participated in filming The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope,[18] an interactive choice game created by Supermassive Games, in which he portrays Andrew, Anthony, and Abraham.

Poulter played the role of OxyContin sales representative Billy Cutler in Hulu's 2021 drama miniseries Dopesick.[18] Poulter's performance was nominated for a 2022 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for this role.[29]

In October 2021, Poulter was cast as Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which released on 5 May 2023.[30][31]

Personal life

Poulter is a supporter of Arsenal F.C.[9][32]


Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Son of Rambow Lee Carter
2010 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Eustace Scrubb
2012 Wild Bill Dean
2013 We're the Millers Kenny Rossmore / Kenny Miller
2014 Plastic Fordy
The Maze Runner Gally
A Plea For Grimsby Jone Short film
Glassland Shane
2015 The Revenant Jim Bridger
2016 Kids in Love Jack
2017 War Machine Sgt. Rick Ortega
Detroit Philip Krauss
2018 Maze Runner: The Death Cure Gally
The Little Stranger Roderick "Roddy" Ayres
2019 Bainne Irish farmer Short film
Midsommar Mark
2021 The Score Troy
2023 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Adam Warlock
TBA On Swift Horses Post-production[33]
Death of a Unicorn Post-production[34]


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Comedy: Shuffle Find Your Folks Presenter 2 episodes
2008 Comedy Lab Various Episode: "Kids School of Comedy"
Lead Balloon Sweet Throwing Boy Episode: "Nuts"
2009–2010 School of Comedy Various characters 8 episodes; also writer
2010 The Fades Mac Episode: "Pilot"
2018 Black Mirror: Bandersnatch Colin Ritman Stand alone interactive film from TV series Black Mirror
2021 The Underground Railroad Sam Episode: "Chapter 2: South Carolina"
Dopesick Billy Cutler Miniseries
2022 Why Didn't They Ask Evans? Bobby Jones Miniseries[35]
2023 The Bear Luca Episode: "Honeydew"[36]

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2020 The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope Andrew, Anthony, and Abraham[37] Voice and motion capture


Year Title Role Notes
2022 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Firewall Brody Teague Voice

Awards and nominations

Year Work Award Category Result Ref
2008 Son of Rambow British Independent Film Awards Most Promising Newcomer Nominated [38]
2009 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in an International Feature Film – Leading Young Performers (shared with Bill Milner) Nominated [38]
2010 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Phoenix Film Critics Society Best Performance by a Youth in a Leading or Supporting Role – Male Nominated [38]
2011 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film – Young Ensemble Cast (shared with Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes) Nominated [38]
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films Best Performance by a Younger Actor Nominated [38]
London Film Critics' Circle Young British Performer of the Year Nominated [38]
2013 Wild Bill Nominated [38]
2014 We're the Millers Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Liplock (shared with Emma Roberts and Jennifer Aniston) Nominated [38]
MTV Movie Awards Breakthrough Performance Won [38][23]
Best Kiss (shared with Emma Roberts and Jennifer Aniston) Won [38][23]
Best Musical Moment Nominated [38][23]
British Academy Film Awards EE Rising Star Award Won [38][21]
Empire Awards Best Male Newcomer Nominated [38]
2015 The Maze Runner MTV Movie Awards Best Fight (shared with Dylan O'Brien) Won [38]
2022 Dopesick 5th Hollywood Critics Association Film Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Streaming Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Nominated [38]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Nominated [38][29]
Online Film & Television Association OFTA Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Limited Series Nominated [38]


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