British actor Ben Chaplin made his screen debut in the beginning of 1990s and acted in an episode or two of various TV series like ‘Casualty’ (1990), ‘Soldier Soldier’ (1991), ‘A Fatal Inversion’ (1992), ‘Between the Lines’ (1992) and ‘Performance’ (1992). His first significant role was in Edward Bennett directed television movie ‘Bye Bye Baby’ which aired on Channel 4 in 1992. The following year, he made his film debut playing the role of Head Footman Charlie in James Ivory and Ismail Merchant's period drama 'The Remains of the Day' which boosted his profile more. Further recognition and mainstream success came his way when he played the lead part of the weird and agoraphobic Matthew Malone in the first series of the BBC Two sitcom 'Game On' in 1995. The same year the neo-noir crime film ‘Feast of July’, in which he was seen as the socially inept Con Wainwright, released too. It became his breakthrough film role. The period saw him acting in other television projects too. These included an episode each of TV series ‘Minder’ (1993), ‘Class Act’ (1994) and ‘Stages’ (1994) as well as 4 episodes of another TV series ‘The Return of the Borrowers’ (1993). Additionally, he also acted in the TV movie ‘Tuesday’ (1993) and the TV miniseries 'Resort to Murder'(1995).
Success in Hollywood came with the hit romantic comedy film ‘The Truth About Cats & Dogs’ (1996) wherein Ben Chaplin played the role of photographer Brian alongside Uma Thurman and Janeane Garofalo. His next two films were the romantic drama ‘Washington Square’ (1997) and the epic war film ‘The Thin Red Line’ (1998). In the former, which was based on Henry James 1880 novel of the same name, he played the role of fortune-hunting Morris Townsend and earned appreciation for his performance. The film received positive reviews too, though it failed at the box office. The latter film, which was an adaptation of James Jones 1962 novel of the same name, had him playing the role of Pvt. Jack Bell. The film was both a critical and commercial success and won him (along with other star cast) the ‘Satellite Award’ in the category of Outstanding Motion Picture Ensemble.
Following these, Ben Chaplin played the role of a sceptical crime writer Peter Kelson in the horror film 'Lost Souls' (2000); a simple low-level bank clerk John in the comedy thriller film 'Birthday Girl' (2001); rookie detective Sam Kennedy in the psychological thriller film ‘Murder by Numbers’ (2002) and 2nd Duke of Buckingham George Villiers in the romantic period drama ‘Stage Beauty’ (2004). Additionally, he was also cast in the Taiwan-made action-adventure romance film ‘The Touch’ (2002), had a supporting role in the dark thriller ‘Chromophobia’ (2005) and a minor role in the historical romantic drama film ‘The New World’ (2005). His film roles in the second half of the decade included that of Keith Bergman in the comedic drama ‘Two Weeks’ (2006), Lewis Mowbray in the children's fantasy drama ‘The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep’ (2007), George Coulouris in the period drama 'Me and Orson Welles' (2008), Basil Hallward in the dark fantasy horror film ‘Dorian Gray’ (2009), Billy Norton in the independent crime film 'London Boulevard' (2010) and Daniel MacQueen in the family drama film 'Ways to Live Forever'(2010).
In 2011-2012, Ben Chaplin returned to television and played the role of Alvo in 5 episodes of the British psychological thriller television series ‘Mad Dogs’. Later in 2015–2016, he acted in the American adaptation of the show, yet again titled ‘Mad Dogs’ (10 episodes). However, he was seen in a different role this time – that of Joel. His other major TV series since 2011 include the 2013 romantic drama series ‘Dates’ wherein he played the role of Stephen, the 2020 fantasy adventure series ‘The Letter for the King’ in which he was seen as The Black Knight and 2021-2022 sci-fi drama series ‘The Nevers’ where he played one of the main roles of Detective Frank Mundi. His other TV series work include an episode each of ‘Doll & Em’ (2013) and ‘Urban Myths’ (2017).
Apart from TV series, Ben Chaplin became a part of several TV miniseries as well. In 2012, he portrayed the role of Sir Thomas Langley in the ‘World Without End’ and the following year was seen as Magistrate Mohune in ‘Moonfleet’. He next played the part of Philip in ‘The Secrets’ (2014), Cpt. John Clarkson in ‘The Book of Negroes’ (2015), Mark Costley in ‘Apple Tree Yard’ (2017) and Duncan Allen in ‘Press’ (2018). Amongst these the historical war drama ‘The Book of Negroes’, the drama ‘Press’ and the thriller drama ‘Apple Tree Yard’ have a Rotten Tomato score of 100%, 95% and 92% respectively. Additionally, he was seen in the role of Captain Frederick John Roberts in the TV movie ‘The Wipers Times’ (2013) too.
Ben Chaplin also continued working in films and played the roles of Poe in the fantasy comedy horror film 'Twixt' (2011), Gary in the political drama ‘War Book’ (2014), Ella's Father in the fantasy adventure drama ‘Cinderella’ (2015), Ben Eagle in the war drama ‘Little Boy’ (2015), Captain Moulle in action adventure drama ‘The Legend of Tarzan’ (2016), Robert Tibbo in the biographical thriller ‘Snowden’ (2016), Kevin Henry in the drama ‘The Children Act’ (2017), Paul in the adventure drama ‘Roads’ (2019) and Stuart Piggott in the historical drama ‘The Dig’ (2021).