Ben Barnes Celebrates His Birthday with a River Plunge and New Music Announcement: 'This Is 40!'

Ben Barnes marked his 40th birthday on Instagram Friday

Ben Barnes Instagram
Photo: Ben Barnes Instagram

Ben Barnes is plunging into 40!

The Shadow and Bone star celebrated his 40th birthday on Friday, and he commemorated the day with a relaxing swim in a river.

"This is 40!" he captioned a photo of himself neck-deep in the water.

Barnes' post gathered plenty of well-wishes from the star's famous friends, who chimed in with comments celebrating his milestone birthday.

"Happy birthday ❤️," Gemma Chan commented.

Robbie Amell wrote, "I hope I look like you when I'm 40, you stud!!"

Barnes' Chronicles of Narnia costar William Moseley added, "Happy Birthday mate. 🔥🔥🔥."

And to help him ring in a new decade, Barnes also revealed plans to launch a music career, which he said has been an "unfulfilled dream" of his.

"They say life begins at 40… well, not mine," he wrote on Twitter. "I am 14,609 days old today and I am celebrating every one of them. I have spent most of them pursuing dreams, surrounding myself with people I love and supported by all of you… and I know just how incredibly lucky that makes me."

Barnes continued, "One of my biggest unfulfilled dreams has been to release my own music. Music has been my passion my whole life and after a few false starts 20 years ago, I decided not to pursue it as a career. But today, I am realizing that ambition and announcing the release of my own songs."

The actor announced his upcoming EP, Songs For You, which will be available Oct. 15. Barnes said he hopes his new music is both "personal and intimate," but also " joyful, honest, soulful and passionate."

"This is a special moment for me," he added. "The experience of the past year & a half has offered a fresh perspective to us all and has certainly helped me understand what kind of man I want to be for the next 40 years… and it's not one who is prepared to let his dreams just be dreams."

While Barnes has been hard at work on Songs For You, he's also been busy with his hit Netflix series Shadow and Bone, which was renewed for Season 2 in June. Barnes stars as the show's villain, General Kirigan.

Ben Barnes
CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images

Barnes previously told PEOPLE that he took the role after reading the Shadow and Bone trilogy, which convinced him to play Kirigan following a string of other "problematic" character roles on shows like Westworld and The Punisher.

"I sort of thought I'd had enough of playing sort of manipulative, problematic, antagonist characters over the last four or five years," he said. "But I just found this world so appealing when I was reading the book and I haven't played a character that was sort of so high in status in terms of the hierarchy of the world."

Barnes added, "I thought that was a sort of different angle for me to approach fantasy from, having sort of played 'boy with sword' for a few years. The rescuing the damsel and fighting the monster was played out a bit for me."

Shadow and Bone Season 2 does not yet have a release date.

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