• Golden Globe Awards

Nominee Profile 2021: James Corden, “The Prom”

The multi-talented James Corden, who is an actor, comedian, singer, writer, producer and television host, always credited the upbringing by his social worker mom and his musician father as the secret to his success.
Growing up in Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire with two sisters in what he described as a “glorious family environment,” Corden admitted that he was the quiet one out of the three of them. His family is not perfect, he said, but there was always love in the house.
Corden recalled, “I was not the best student in school, which I think frustrated my father, but then at the same time, he would always give me incredible pearls of wisdom where he would say things like, the difference between doing something and not doing something is doing something. So if you’re going to tell people you’re going to do something, you’ve got to see it through and do it.”
He rose to prominence when he starred in the British television series Fat Friends as Jamie Rymer. He pointed out that the show was a seminal moment in his life because he was the lead. He pointed out that British director and writer Mike Leigh saw his episodes in that show and cast him in a film called All or Nothing where he played the son of Lesley Manville and Timothy Spall. That film led Corden to be cast in the play, The History Boys.
From Fat Friends, Corden landed his very own series, Gavin & Stacey, for which he received numerous awards. The series also proved to be popular and was critically well-received. Corden wrote the series as well with his Fat Friends co-star Ruth Jones. They played the friends of the title characters with Jones portraying Vanessa Shanessa “Nessa” Jenkins and Corden portraying Neil “Smithy” Smith.
Corden branched out to hosting awards shows and later succeeded Craig Ferguson as host of the American late-night talk show The Late Late Show. His own late-night television talk show, The Late Late Show with James Corden where he launched his Carpool Karaoke, also became a hit.
He was able to get the likes of Mariah Carey, Sir Paul McCartney, Adele, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, Sia, Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber and even the former First Lady Michelle Obama to jam with him and do their favorite songs in Carpool Karaoke. Sometimes, the host and his talented guests’ sing-along, complete with costumes and props.
He also easily jumped onto the stage like his memorable performance playing the lead part, Francis Henshall, in the comedy play One Man, Two Guvnors where he received critical acclaim and recognition.
Corden naturally transitioned to doing films as well, like the fantasy adventure comedy Gulliver’s Travels (2010), the musical Into the Woods (2014), the satirical dark comedy crime-thriller Kill Your Friends (2015), the live-action/computer-animated comedy Peter Rabbit (2018) and the musical fantasy Cats (2019).
This year, he joined the Ryan Murphy bandwagon being cast as Barry Glickman, a narcissistic Broadway actor, in the musical comedy film, The Prom, where he received his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
On working with Murphy and The Prom, Corden said, “Ryan guided me through it in the most glorious way and I felt free to try things and free to go to those places, safe in the knowledge that I was wearing this parachute if you like, where he would catch me if it wasn’t even right but I do find myself getting incredibly moved by those moments. The message of the film is acceptance, love and forgiveness. I’ll always be proud that I got to play a part like this that has such a sort of beginning, middle and end really.”
Corden sang and danced with his stellar co-stars: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells.
A father of three, the British actor from Hillingdon, London who is now based in Los Angeles, has one wish for his children: “Happiness. It is so rarely talked about in our industry. We don’t seem to ever equate happiness with success. People always talk about money and power. Happiness is the key. That’s all we should be striving for. They should come out with a list of the 100 Happiest People in Hollywood.”