British actor Harris Dickinson stars alongside long-time heartthrobs Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White in The Iron Claw, out in theaters on Friday, December 22, and audiences will want to know more about this rising star.
The film follows the real-life story of the Von Erich brothers, who were thrown into the wrestling ring to follow in their father’s footsteps. The professional wrestlers had huge success in the 1980s, but many terrible family tragedies plagued the Von Erichs, leading to fans describing what happened to the family as the “Von Erich curse.” The film has incredible performances from Efron and Allen White, but Dickinson, 27, playing David Von Erich, with his gentle nature, is the beating heart of the wrestling film.
The Iron Claw isn’t the only 2023 role that Dickinson has shined in. He started the year off with the film Scrapper, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where he got positive reviews for his portrayal of a young father who is trying to reconnect with his 12-year-old daughter. Dickinson also played Bill in FX’s A Murder at the End of the World, which premiered in November, alongside The Crown alum Emma Corrin where they played amateur detectives who have been invited to solve a murder at a retreat.
Dickinson has been acting for years with his most notable roles in 2022’s Triangle of Sadness and playing Prince Philip in 2019’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. He’s also been in films like Where the Crawdads Sing and The King’s Man as well as the television show Trust.
Keep scrolling for five things to know about the dreamy British actor.
1. He Almost Enlisted in the Royal Marines
Dickinson was in the cadets and planned on joining the Royal Marines when he turned 17 but instead decided to professionally pursue acting even though he didn’t go to drama school. During this period of time, Dickinson folded clothes at Hollister and other various odd jobs in between auditions. “I remember, I’d be in the basement folding clothes and I’d get a call from an unknown number,” he told The Guardian in 2022. “And an unknown number always meant it was my agent. So every time, I thought: ‘This is it! I’m out of here!’ And I’d rush upstairs and listen to the voicemail and they’d be like: ‘Yeah, you didn’t get it.’”
2. His Longtime Girlfriend is Musician Rose Gray
Dickinson has been in a long term relationship with Rose Gray, a musician. The pair, who frequently attend events together, haven’t chatted about when they started dating, but a Hunger interview with both Dickinson and Gray reported that they’ve been dating since they were teenagers. In 2022, Dickinson mentioned living with Gray and their cat, a British shorthair named Misty Blue.
Recently, Dickinson directed a video for Gray’s single “Afraid of Nothing,” which isn’t their first collaboration. He also directed a video for her song, “Blue.” Dickinson said that their close relationship helps them creatively. “It’s also testing for a relationship because you’ve got to open yourself up to a different kind of dynamic. But it definitely helps with the closeness because you can get to things quicker without that sense of carefulness and trepidation around being offensive,” he told Hunger. “We’re so close that we can just be very direct. And I think she was the same with me, where if I had a crap idea, she’d say, ‘No, we’re not doing that.’”
3. Zac Efron Was an Acting Inspiration for Him
Dickinson shared how his onscreen brother inspired his pursuit of acting and not pursuing a career in the marines. Efron’s famous role as Troy Bolton in High School Musical was a big part of that. “I was battling between understanding my interest in theater and being in the Marines — there was this machismo,” Dickinson told Variety. “And I remember seeing High School Musical — and this is incredibly cheesy and vulnerable — but I remember thinking, ‘Oh, if Troy Bolton can do it …’ The films he’d done, they were cultural phenomena.”
High School Musical clearly left its mark on Dickinson. In a 2023 BuzzFeed interview, he sang a few bars of “Breaking Free” — and he wasn’t too bad!
4. He Felt Silly Wrestling in ‘Iron Claw’
Even though he had support from his Iron Claw costars, Dickinson initially felt silly when hitting the ring and training for the film, especially when hitting pillows for practice at home.
However, that doesn’t mean that Dickinson doesn’t think of wrestling fondly. He shared with Entertainment Weekly about the first time he saw wrestling as a kid, saying, “WWE came to London when I was a kid and I went. I was like, 13, maybe. It was a big moment.”
5. He Loves Sia
Dickinson told Vulture his favorite songs to sing along with in December 2023. “Sia’s ‘Chandelier’ or ‘Elastic Heart,’” he said. “You can shout it, you can belt it, it’s very uplifting, I find.”