Jaye Davidson is a British-American former actor and model, who is best known for his breakthrough role as the character Dil in the 1992 film “The Crying Game,” directed by Neil Jordan.
Davidson was born Alfred Amey on March 21, 1968, in Riverside, California, United States. His mother is English, and his father is Ghanaian. Davidson’s family moved to the United Kingdom when he was very young, and he grew up in Hertfordshire, England.
After high school, Jaye Davidson started working for Walt Disney in their London office. He specifically worked as a costumed character, playing the character Pluto.
Before entering the world of acting, Jaye Davidson initially pursued a career in fashion and modeling and worked as a fashion assistant. His responsibilities included buying fabric, ensuring smooth operations in the workroom, and searching for buttons all over London.
Jaye Davidson was discovered at the wrap party for the film “Edward II.” He was drunk at the time, and someone asked if he was an actor. He replied in the negative and declined an offer to audition for a film. However, the person he was with gave them his contact information, and he received a phone call later on, leading to his casting in “The Crying Game.”
The Crying Game
“The Crying Game” is a 1992 British drama film written and directed by Neil Jordan. The film tells the story of an Irish Republican Army (IRA) member named Fergus, played by Stephen Rea, who becomes involved with a British soldier named Jody, played by Forest Whitaker.
After an unexpected turn of events, Fergus forms a bond with Jody, who asks him to visit his girlfriend, Dil, played by Jaye Davidson, in London and protect her. Fergus agrees and finds himself drawn to Dil. However, as the story progresses, a surprising revelation about Dil’s identity is made, which challenges Fergus’s perceptions of love, loyalty, and personal identity.
The decision to keep Jaye Davidson’s gender a secret during the promotion of “The Crying Game” was made to preserve the surprise and impact of the film’s plot twist. In the film, Jaye Davidson’s character, Dil, is initially presented as a woman, but it is revealed later that Dil is biologically male.
The twist regarding Dil’s gender was an integral part of the film’s narrative and had a significant emotional impact on audiences. To maintain the surprise element, the filmmakers and marketing team decided to keep Jaye Davidson’s gender undisclosed, allowing viewers to experience the revelation firsthand when watching the film.
This marketing strategy proved successful as it created a sense of anticipation and curiosity among audiences, leading to increased interest and discussion surrounding the film. It became one of the most notable plot twists in cinema history and contributed to the film’s critical acclaim and commercial success.
The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and Jaye Davidson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film. It remains a significant work in the history of British cinema.
After his breakthrough role in “The Crying Game,” Jaye Davidson briefly returned to his fashion career. However, he later accepted the role of the villainous sun god Ra in the 1994 film “Stargate” alongside Kurt Russell and James Spader.
Despite his reluctance to take on the role due to the attention he received after “The Crying Game,” Davidson made an unexpected demand of $1 million, assuming it would be turned down. Surprisingly, his request was accepted, leading him to accept the role.
“Stargate” is a science fiction film released in 1994, directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Emmerich and Dean Devlin. The film follows a team of scientists and military personnel who discover a mysterious artifact known as the Stargate, which is an ancient alien device capable of creating a wormhole that allows for interstellar travel.
In the film, Jaye Davidson portrays the character Ra. Ra is an ancient alien entity who takes on the appearance of an Egyptian god and presents himself as a deity to the people of Abydos, the planet where the Stargate leads. Ra uses advanced technology and manipulates the local population for his own purposes, including maintaining control over the planet’s resources and suppressing any resistance.
Davidson made appearances as himself in the 1996 documentary “Catwalk” and had small roles in the 1999 film “Cousin Joey.” In 2009, he resurfaced from obscurity to play a Nazi photographer in “The Borghilde Project.”. However, he ultimately decided to step away from acting and has since kept a low public profile.
Why Did He Quit Acting?
Jaye Davidson quit acting because he genuinely hated the fame he was receiving. He became more interested in the fashion business and shifted his focus towards that.
It seems that he found more fulfillment and enjoyment in working on big photoshoots in the fashion industry.
Additionally, Davidson expressed his views on Hollywood’s treatment of gay characters, emphasizing the importance of rising above oppression and embracing one’s true desires.
What is Jaye Davidson Doing Now?
Davidson seems to have chosen to live a simple and blissful life in Europe, away from the media spotlight and public attention and works as a fashion stylist in Paris.
According to The Crying Game director, Neil Jordan, who still keeps in touch with Davidson, “He’s a very happy man now, he’s bulked up now. … Different person now. But very healthy and very good.”
In 2017 Davidson attended The Crying Game’s 25th anniversary reunion and discussed the cultural impact of the film.