Jaye Davidson is an American-born British model, retired actor and fashion promoter, perhaps still best known for playing the transgender woman Dil in the 1992 thriller film “The Crying Game”.
Early Life, Family, Educational Background
Jaye Davidson was born as Alfred Amey on 21 March 1968, in Riverside, California USA, to a Ghanaian father who passed away, and English mother, a successful businesswoman. He holds American nationality and is of mixed ethnical background. When he was two and a half years old, his family moved to the UK.
Growing up with his two sisters in the London suburb of Hertfordshire, England UK, Davidson dropped out of school at the age of 16 and started doing various jobs, such as running for a production company and working in a factory. Other details regarding early life are unknown to public.
Davidson dropped out of school at the age of 16 and started doing various jobs, such as running for a production company and working in a factory. He subsequently pursued a career in the fashion business, and later became a fashion assistant whose job was mainly buying the fabric for fashion designers David and Elizabeth Emmanuel.
“The Crying Game”
At the age of 25, Davidson was discovered by a casting associate at a wrap party for Derek Jarman’s film “Edward II”, the 1991 British historical drama. With absolutely no experience in acting, he auditioned for the supporting role of the enigmatic singer and hairdresser Dil in the Neil Jordan 1992 film “The Crying Game”, after which he was offered the role. Reportedly, the producers liked his masculine and feminine body features, believing that he would be perfect for the role of a transgender woman Dil.
As the business of his employers in the fashion industry was collapsing, Davidson accepted the part.
Although it was a box-office flop when it was initially released in the UK and Ireland, “The Crying Game” received huge critical acclaim and was a great box-office success in the US. It became a cultural phenomenon, causing a huge stir as the whole ‘secret’ behind it was that Dil was transgender.
The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including for Best Supporting Actor – the first British person of colour to be nominated for an Oscar – and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Davidson, who was also voted for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor and the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actress. His popularity was boosted, but interestingly Davidson did not quite enjoy the fame and attention he received, and even expressed a desire to not win the Oscar upon his nomination, stating that he is not an actor.
However, such was the recognition that Davidson received that he was soon offered with another great acting opportunity, the starring role of Ra in Roland Emmerich’s 1994 science fiction adventure film “Stargate”, opposite Kurt Russell and James Spader. Being reluctant to accept it as he was not comfortable with the huge amount of popularity he had attracted, Davidson requested $1 million, believing the producers would offer the role to somebody else, however, his demand was accepted, and he took the part.
The film was a major success, with his portrayal of the evil sun god Ra a hit with critics and fans, reinforcing the young actor’s popularity.
Speaking about his other projects, Davidson appeared as Jo in the 1994 television film “Jiggery Pokery”, a dramatic musical, and the following year appeared as himself in “Catwalk”, a documentary which talks about fashion shows and portrays famous fashion designers and models. In 2009, he took the role of a Nazi photographer in the short black comedy “The Borghilde Project.”
Davidson later retired from his acting career, expressing his dislike of the fame he was receiving, and returned to his career in fashion and modelling. The stardom he had achieved allowed him to become involved with big names in the fashion industry, doing high-profile photo shoots for Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue, Michael Roberts for Joseph, and Annie Leibowitz for GAP. He has been seen accompanying famous models such as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington.
When it comes to his personal life, Davidson is gay. He has been married to Thomas Clarke since 2017, and the couple lives in Paris, France.
Davidson is 5ft 3ins (1.6m) tall and weighs around 132 lbs (60 kgs). Unlike his earlier appearance, he now has a shaven head and a traditionally masculine look, with many tattoos. His eyes are dark brown.
According to sources, as of early 2020, Davidson’s net worth amounts to approximately $1.5 million, accumulated from his acting and modelling careers since the early 1990s.