‘Artemis Fowl’: Who Is Ferdia Shaw, the Actor Who Plays Artemis in the New Disney+ Movie?

Artemis Fowl is finally streaming on Disney+, and fans can’t get enough of Ferdia Shaw, the actor who plays Artemis. He’s a newcomer to Hollywood, but he’s already winning fans over. Here’s what we know about Shaw and how he got his start.

Artemis Fowl: Ferdia Shaw
Ferdia Shaw | Disney Enterprises

Who is Ferdia Shaw?

Ferdia Shaw is a 16-year-old actor who was born in Dublin, Ireland, and raised in the town of Kilkenny. He is the grandson of Robert Shaw, the English writer and Academy Award-nominated actor who starred in classic movies like A Man for All Seasons and Jaws.

Shaw started his acting career performing in local theatre productions with Kilkenny’s Barnstorm Theatre Company. He also is a member of Young Irish Film Makers, where he learns about the ins and outs of filmmaking and has even made some short films himself. 

Other than an appearance in the short film, Kilkenny Famine Experience, Shaw has not had any movie or TV roles. Artemis Fowl is his first and most notable acting project.

He beat out 1,200 kids for the part of Artemis Fowl II

In an interview with World Today News, Shaw revealed that he auditioned for the role of Artemis Fowl II with 1,200 other young actors. When he landed the role, he said it felt unbelievable. 

“It was surreal, especially since it’s my first film role,” said Shaw. “When I went to the third audition, I thought maybe I had a chance to win.”

The actor also opened up about working with big Hollywood names, including Colin Farrel and director Kenneth Branagh. This being his very first movie, he said he learned a lot from the two.

“Kenneth has made so many great films in so many registers: Shakespeare, Marvel, Agatha Christie, etc., as he is also an actor, he knows how to put himself in your place,” Shaw explained. “He lets you do the scene as you want and then gives you a little indication to see what it would look like, it’s very interesting, we can try a lot of things. With Colin, we have beautiful scenes together…he is both cool and very professional.”

World Today News
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Ferdia Shaw’s character in ‘Artemis Fowl’ is based on a book series

In Artemis Fowl, Shaw plays the titular character of a young criminal mastermind, who can get himself out of any situation. The movie follows the 12-year-old genius as he infiltrates a magical underworld of fairies to save his kidnapped father. He treks out on a journey to find a powerful ancient artifact that could be dangerous if it ends up in the wrong hands.  

When talking to World Today News, Shaw revealed that he is a fan of Eion Colfer books the movie is based on. And said he knew all about the character when he went in for the audition. 

“I love his (Colfer’s) books and that’s why I went to the audition: because I knew the subject,” said Shaw.  “Playing Artemis is a good start to my career and, when I think about it, I find that totally crazy!”

Artemis Fowl is currently streaming on Disney+.