Stephen Joseph Graham is an English actor. He is best known for playing Andrew "Combo" Gascoigne in the film This Is England and its television sequels This Is England '86, This Is England '88, and This Is England '90. His other film roles include Tommy in Snatch, Shang in Gangs of New York, Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies, Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano in The Irishman, and Scrum in the Pirates of the Caribbean films ' and '. On television, he has starred in the fifth series of the BBC One series Line of Duty, as Al Capone in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, and as Jacob Marley in the BBC/FX miniseries A Christmas Carol.
Stephen Joseph Graham was born on 3 August 1973 in the Southdene area of Kirkby, Lancashire. He was raised by his mother, a social worker, and his stepfather, a mechanic who later became a paediatric nurse. He maintained a good relationship with his biological father, who was half Jamaican and half Swedish. He attended Overdale Primary School in Kirkby, where he was encouraged to pursue an acting career at the age of eight by local actor Andrew Schofield, who had seen him perform as Jim Hawkins in a school production of Treasure Island. He then continued his education at Ruffwood Comprehensive and was subsequently introduced to Liverpool's Everyman Theatre at the age of 14, later going on to train at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance.
Graham has often portrayed characters from different British, Irish and American regions. He has played characters who are Cockney, Welsh, Geordie, Scouse and Scottish, as well as an Irish gang member in 19th-century New York City, a 1930s Chicago bank robber, a Brooklyn mobster, a Texan, the short-fused English nationalist "Combo" in This Is England, and a Jamaican gangster in Yardie. Graham was nominated for an RTS Award for his work in The Street and a British Independent Film Award for his work on This Is England. He appeared in the music videos for "I Remember" by Deadmau5 and Kaskade, both "Fluorescent Adolescent" and "When the Sun Goes Down" by the Arctic Monkeys, "Unlovable" by Babybird, and Gazelle's single "Finger on the Trigger". Graham also appeared in the music video "Soul Vampire" by Macclesfield-based neo-psychedelic band The Virginmarys, and the music video for "Turn" by Travis, also Kasabian's video "You're in Love with a Psycho". He appeared as an inmate within the open prison system for Goldie's "I Adore You" music video in 2017. In 2011 Graham starred in the BBC Christmas show Lapland, but when the series was remade as Being Eileen, Graham's role was recast with Dean Andrews. He also appeared on a promotional video for a DLC of the video game , titled "CODnapped". In November 2019 Graham was the guest for BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. In January 2020, Graham appeared in the ITV series, White House Farm as Welsh detective "Taff" Jones. Despite his long-standing reputation for his ability to adopt different accents, a number of critics criticised his performance and stated that his Welsh accent was inauthentic. Some online commentators described the accent as the "worst screen accent since Dick Van Dyke".
Graham married actress Hannah Walters on 6 June 2008; they had met and began a relationship while training at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance and currently reside in Ibstock, Leicestershire, having previously lived in the Beckenham area of London. They have a son named Alfie and a daughter named Grace. He is a fan of Liverpool FC and has made several appearances on the Sky Sports football show Soccer AM. Graham has struggled with depression, which once led to a suicide attempt in his early 20s: "I suffered from really bad depression and tried to take my own life once. Thankfully, the rope snapped and I'm here today. But I know the loneliness, isolation, and feeling you can't cope in the world." He is teetotal and suffers from dyslexia, revealing that his wife reads scripts for him and helps him decide whether to accept or decline a role: "She says, 'We're doing this,' and I say, 'OK.' If I can find socially aware, political things that are saying somethingwell, that's where I'm from. It's what I know. So it's where I've tried to keep my base."