The EastEnders legend you never knew was in a Hollywood blockbuster

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Jake Wood cemented his name in British pop culture as one of the most iconic characters in EastEnders history.

His career featured a role in Only Fools and Horses and he even appeared in the 12th season of Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, but it was his stint on EastEnders that will have lived in fans’ memory the longest.

However, most people don’t know that Jake’s career saw him play a role in a big Hollywood blockbuster.

READ MORE: Former EastEnders actress who regrets appearing on the show

2006 was the first year Jake entered the EastEnders set as a character that divides Max Branning, but it was also the year he made his big breakthrough in Hollywood.



Jake landed EastEnders and a role in Hollywood the same year

The London-born actor starred alongside Hollywood heavyweights Edward Norton and Jessica Biel in the magical thriller The Illusionist.

The film was loosely based on S Eisenheim the Illusionist, Millhauser’s short story. It tells the story of Eisenheim, a magician from Vienna at the turn of the century, who finds his childhood sweetheart, a woman well above her social rank.

Jake played the character of Jurka and was praised for his range of acting skills and for adding nuance to the character beyond what was written in the script.

This news will come as no surprise to EastEnders fans who will have seen Jake’s character Max Branning go through a wide range of emotions when it comes to his love life, relationship with his children, and friendships.



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Jake walked away from EastEnders earlier this year, but made sure fans could still see him perform by taking the stage alongside Lily Allen in 2:22 A Ghost Story.

The play opened to the public yesterday (August 5) after a few previews and will run for three months until October 16.



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