Emerald Fennell's second feature Saltburn arrives in UK cinemas this week, and it looks set to cause just as much of a splash as her Oscar-winning debut Promising Young Woman.


The film follows an outcast at Oxford University (Barry Keoghan) who is invited to spend a glamorous summer at the eponymous estate of a classmate (Jacob Elordi) with whom he develops an obsession.

Saltburn is populated by a colourful cast of characters played by some big names, such as Carey Mulligan and Rosamund Pike, while there are also a few rising stars in the cast.

One such cast member is Archie Madekwe, who takes on the role of Farleigh Start.

So, who is Saltburn actor Archie Madekwe? Read on for everything you need to know.

Who is Archie Madekwe?

Madekwe is an actor who plays an important role in Emerald Fennell's new film Saltburn.

He plays the character Farleigh Start, the American cousin of Jacob Elordi's Felix Catton, who is described by Fennell as "a real piece of work" who is "caught between two worlds".

How old is Archie Madekwe?

Madekwe was born on 20th February 1995 and is currently 28 years old.

What nationality is Archie Madekwe?

Although Madekwe is playing an American character in Saltburn, he's actually English.

He was born in South London and went on to attend both the BRIT School and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), although he left the latter early after being cast in a West End play.

What has Archie Madekwe previously starred in?

Archie Madekwe and David Harbour in Gran Turismo wearing racing outfits
Gran Turismo. Sony

It's been a busy year for Madekwe, who earlier in 2023 played the lead role of Jann Mardenborough in Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story and had a small role in Netflix actioner Heart of Stone.

Before that, his biggest film appearance had been as Simon in Ari Aster's 2019 horror film Midsommar – while other big screen credits include Teen Spirit and Voyagers.

He's also frequently appeared on TV since making his debut in an episode of Casualty in 2014, with highlights including roles in Fresh Meat, the BBC adaptation of Les Misérables and, most notably, a leading role in Apple TV+ sci-fi drama See.

What has Archie Madekwe said about Saltburn?

Speaking about his character in the film's press notes, Madekwe said that he "had a rough beginning in life and now is enjoying being part of the Cattons as much as he can".

"But as the only person of colour, he is often the odd one out in a racist, classist social structure."

He added: "Emerald described him in the script as an 'impish villain with a cruel streak'. Still, he’s not fully a villain. There’s a lot of anxiety and self-protection beneath Farleigh’s malice.

"He fears the Cattons won’t be loyal to him, so he uses his wit, charm and cruelty to constantly try to woo everyone around him."

Is Archie Madekwe on Instagram?

Yes, you can find him on Instagram at the handle @archmadekwe, where he currently has around 107,000 followers.

Is Archie Madekwe on Twitter/X?

No, Archie Madekwe is not currently on Twitter/X.

Saltburn is released on 17th November 2023. Check out more of our Film coverage, or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what’s on tonight.


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