Rising Star: Jim Sturgess

With a breakout role embodying a character inspired by a Beatles song, Hollywood was bound to take notice of Jim Sturgess.

Jim burst on the scene last fall in Julie Taymor’s “Across the Universe,” playing Jude, a young English man who travels to America in hopes of finding his estranged father. Jim wowed audiences in this powerful musical love story set in the tumultuous 1960s. He belted out classic Beatles songs and won the heart of the character Lucy, played by Evan Rachel Wood.

Jim would travel back to old England for his next role in “The Other Boleyn Girl,” playing opposite Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana.

Currently, Jim can be seen in “21,” a true story about a group of M.I.T. students who take on the odds in Las Vegas, learning how to count cards in blackjack and, subsequently, take the house for millions, all the while staying once step ahead of casino thugs.

“It’s the closest I’ve felt to being an action hero,” Jim told Access Hollywood of his new role in “21.” ” It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, I can check that off my list.”

To prep for his role in this casino caper, Jim told Access, he and co-star Kate Bosworth immersed themselves in Las Vegas culture, learning the hard way about knowing when to say when. The actor revealed to Access he lost upwards of $2,000 in one night while gambling.

The decadent Vegas life took its toll on Jim during the filming of “21.”

“I felt that after we did the film, I needed a long period of time away from Vegas. We were here for about a month and a half, which is way too long to spend here,” Jim told Access of Sin City. “You should really spend about three or four days here.”

“It is nice to come back and relive the whole experience,” Jim added when Access caught up with the actor at the “21” premiere in Las Vegas.

Jim, along with the entire cast of “21,” was honored with the Best Ensemble Award at ShoWest 2008.

Next up, you’ll be able to see Jim in “Crossing Over,” with Harrison Ford and Sean Penn, followed by more action in the lead role of “Fifty Dead Men Walking,” which chronicles the adventures of an undercover British agent who infiltrates the IRA.

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