David Thewlis

David Wheeler (born 20 March 1963), better known as David Thewlis, is an English actor, director, screenwriter, and author. He first rose to prominence for playing Johnny Fletcher in the film Naked (1993), for which he won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor. His most commercially successful roles to date have been of Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter film series and Sir Patrick Morgan/Ares in Wonder Woman (2017). Other notable film appearances include Dragonheart (1996), Seven Years in Tibet (1997), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008), War Horse (2011), The Theory of Everything (2014) and Anomalisa (2015).

Thewlis has combined major motion picture work with prominent television roles, including portraying Cyrus Crabb in the ABC miniseries Dinotopia (2002) and V. M. Varga in the third season of Fargo (2017).

David Thewlis
David Thewlis 2008
Thewlis in September 2008
Born
David Wheeler

20 March 1963 (age 55)
Alma materGuildhall School of Music and Drama
Occupation
  • Actor
  • director
  • screenwriter
  • author
Years active1985–present
Spouse(s)
Sara Sugarman
(m. 1992; div. 1994)
Partner(s)Anna Friel (2001–2010)[1]
Children1

Early life

Thewlis was born David Wheeler on 20 March 1963[2] in Blackpool, Lancashire, the second of three children of Maureen (née Thewlis) and Alec Raymond Wheeler.[3] Both parents worked at his father's shop. As a teenager, he played in a rock band called QED, and played lead guitar with a punk rock band called Door 66. He was educated at Highfield High School, a state secondary school in South Shore, Blackpool. Later, he enrolled in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating in 1984.[4]

Acting career

Thewlis had a minor role in an episode of the 1980s sitcom Up the Elephant and Round the Castle.[5] He also appeared in an episode of popular sitcom Only Fools and Horses (1985) as a friend of Rodney. His first professional role was in the play Buddy Holly at the Regal in Greenwich.[4]

Thewlis's breakout role was Naked (1993; dir. Mike Leigh), as the main character, Johnny, a highly intelligent, embittered, rambling street philosopher, for which Thewlis was named Best Actor by the National Society of Film Critics (United States), the London Film Critics Circle, the Evening Standard, the New York Film Critics' Circle and the Cannes Film Festival. That same year, he appeared on television as a sexual predator named James Jackson in Prime Suspect 3, opposite Helen Mirren and Ciarán Hinds. Before that, his first television appearance was in Valentine Park.

During the 1990s, Thewlis appeared in a variety of films, mostly fantasy and period, including Restoration (1995), Black Beauty (1994), Total Eclipse (1995) with Leonardo DiCaprio, The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Dragonheart (1996), and Seven Years in Tibet (1997), opposite Brad Pitt. He was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Divorcing Jack (1998), and played Clov in a television film of Samuel Beckett's Endgame (2000). Notable appearances also include Bernardo Bertolucci's Besieged (1998) and Paul McGuigan's Gangster No. 1 (2000), opposite Paul Bettany and Malcolm McDowell.

He auditioned for the role of Quirinus Quirrell in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, but the part went to Ian Hart. Despite missing out on the first film, he was cast in 2004 as Professor Remus Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He did not have to audition as he was director Alfonso Cuarón's first choice for the role.[6] Thewlis reprised the role in four other films in the series.

He appeared as an SS Commandant of a Nazi death camp and father of the main character in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which was well received. Other credits include Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Terrence Malick's The New World (2005), and The Omen (2006).

Thewlis played the late Dr. Michael Aris, husband of Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, with Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh as Suu Kyi, in the biopic The Lady directed by Luc Besson. In 2012, he received an International Festival of Independent Cinema Off Plus Camera Award. In the same year, he also played in Separate We Come, Separate We Go, directed by Harry Potter co-star Bonnie Wright.

In June 2015, Thewlis was reported to be filming scenes for a Donald Crowhurst biopic, The Mercy, on the beach at Teignmouth, Devon, playing Donald Crowhurst's press agent, Rodney Hallworth, while Colin Firth is playing Donald Crowhurst.[7] He also starred in Regression, a thriller released in autumn 2015. In September 2015, Thewlis starred as Inspector Goole in Helen Edmundson's BBC TV adaptation of J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls. In October 2015, he played King Duncan in the film Macbeth.

Thewlis portrayed Ares in Wonder Woman (2017), the DC Comics film featuring the character of the same name.[8][9] He briefly reprised his role as Ares in Justice League (2017).

Directing and other ventures

Thewlis directed Hello, Hello, Hello in 1995, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Short Film. He also wrote, directed and starred in the feature Cheeky (2003). Thewlis is also an author; his debut novel, The Late Hector Kipling, is a black comedy set in the art world and was published by Simon & Schuster in 2007.[10]

Personal life

In 1992, Thewlis married director Sara Sugarman; they divorced in 1994. He then had a brief relationship with Bill Oddie's daughter Kate Hardie. In 2001, he began a relationship with actress Anna Friel, whom he met on a flight to Cannes. They have one child together.[11] Friel and Thewlis ended their relationship in late 2010.[12]

Thewlis owns a converted Victorian ballroom in Clerkenwell. He is often mistaken for fellow actor Rhys Ifans (Friel's subsequent partner): "Twice a week, people come up to me and say, 'You were great in Notting Hill.' The public seem to think we are the same person."[4]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1987 Road Joey
The Short and Curlies Clive Short film
1988 Vroom Ringe
Little Dorrit George Braddle
1989 Resurrected Kevin Deakin
1991 Life Is Sweet Nicola's lover
Afraid of the Dark Locksmith
Tom Miller
1992 Swords at Teatime Michael Short film
Damage Detective
1993 The Trial Franz
Naked Johnny
1994 Black Beauty Jerry Barker
1995 Total Eclipse Paul Verlaine
Restoration John Pearce
Hello, Hello, Hello N/A Short film; directed and wrote
1996 James and the Giant Peach Earthworm Voice
Dragonheart King Einon
The Island of Dr. Moreau Edward Douglas
1997 American Perfekt Santini
Seven Years in Tibet Peter Aufschnaiter
1998 The Big Lebowski Knox Harrington
Divorcing Jack Dan Starkey
Besieged Jason Kinsky
1999 Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? Nesbit
2000 The Miracle Maker Judas Iscariot Voice
Gangster No. 1 Freddie Mays
Beckett on Film – Endgame Clov
2001 Goodbye Charlie Bright Charlie's dad
2002 D.I.Y. Hard Man
2003 Cheeky Harry Sankey Also directed and wrote
Timeline Robert Doniger
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Remus Lupin
2005 Kingdom of Heaven Hospitaller
All the Invisible Children Jonathan Segment: "Jonathan"
The New World Edward Wingfield
2006 Basic Instinct 2 Roy Washburn
The Omen Keith Jennings
2007 The Inner Life of Martin Frost Martin Frost
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Remus Lupin
2008 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas SS-Obersturmbannführer Ralph
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Remus Lupin
Veronika Decides to Die Dr. Blake
2010 Mr. Nice Jim McCann
London Boulevard Jordan
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Remus Lupin
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
The Lady Michael Aris
Anonymous William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley
War Horse Lyons
2012 Separate We Come, Separate We Go Norman Short film
2013 Red 2 The Frog
The Fifth Estate Nick Davies
The Zero Theorem Joby
2014 The Theory of Everything Dennis Sciama
Stonehearst Asylum Mickey Finn
Queen and Country Bradley
2015 Regression Professor Kenneth Raines
Legend Leslie Payne
Macbeth King Duncan
Anomalisa Michael Stone Voice
2017 Wonder Woman Sir Patrick Morgan / Ares
Justice League Ares Cameo
2018 The Mercy Rodney Hallworth
2019 Eternal Beauty Mike Post-production
2020 Avatar 2 TBA Post-production
2021 Avatar 3

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Only Fools and Horses Stew Episode: "It's Only Rock and Roll"
Radio Pictures Jim Grams Television film
1986 The Singing Detective Second Soldier 2 episodes
1987–1988 Valentine Park Max 12 episodes
1989 A Bit of a Do Paul Simcock 6 episodes
Skulduggery Tony Television film
1990 Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Doctor 3 episodes
1991 Journey to Knock Terry Television film
Shrinks Terry Slater Episode 1.5
Screen One Tim Shanks Episode: "Filipina Dreamgirls"
1992 Black and Blue Crematorium attendant Television film
1993 Frank Stubbs Promotes Mike Bence Episode: "Striker"
Prime Suspect 3 James Jackson Television film
1994 Dandelion Dead Oswald Martin 4 episodes
1999 Love Story Dealer Television film
2000 Endgame Clov Television film
2001 Hamilton Mattress Hamilton Mattress Voice
Television film
2002 Dinotopia Cyrus Crabb 6 episodes
2007 The Street Joe / Harry Jennerson Episode: "Twins"
2014 Family Guy British Father Voice
Episode: "Chap Stewie"
2015 An Inspector Calls Inspector Goole Television film
2017 Fargo V. M. Varga 10 episodes
2018 Big Mouth Shame Wizard Voice (7 episodes)

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2004 World of Warcraft Lord Darius Crowley
2010 World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Bibliography

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film Result
1993 Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Naked Won
Evening Standard British Film Award Best Actor Won
London Film Critics' Circle British Actor of the Year Won
National Society of Film Critics Best Actor Won
New York Film Critics Circle Best Actor Won
1995 BAFTA Award Best Short Film
(shared with Helen Booth and James Roberts)
Hello, Hello, Hello Nominated
1998 British Independent Film Award Best Performance by a British Actor in an Independent Film Divorcing Jack Nominated
2006 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actor Basic Instinct 2 / The Omen Nominated
2007 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor – Drama Series The Street Nominated
2008 British Independent Film Award Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Film Won
2009 Scream Award Best Ensemble
(shared with the entire cast)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Won
2010 Evening Standard British Film Award Peter Sellers Award for Comedy London Boulevard Won
2011 Scream Award Best Ensemble
(shared with the entire cast)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Nominated
2016 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Best Depiction of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction
(shared with Jennifer Jason Leigh)
Anomalisa Won
2017 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Fargo Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated

References

  1. ^ David Thewlis is the 'Anonymous' actor who's everywhere, Los Angeles Times, 12 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Behind The Voice Actors - David Thewlis". Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  3. ^ "David Thewlis profile at FilmReference.com". Film Reference.com. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
  4. ^ a b c Grice, Elizabeth (4 May 2005). "'Anna has changed me for the better'". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
  5. ^ "Up the Elephant and Round the Castle(1983–1985) - Full Cast & Crew". IMDb.com. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  6. ^ Morris, Clint (9 June 2004). "Interview: David Thewlis". Movie Hole. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
  7. ^ "PICTURES: Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz on a Teignmouth film set". Archived from the original on 30 June 2015.
  8. ^ Mendelson, Scott. "Gal Gadot Releases First 'Wonder Woman' Image While Warner Bros. Announces The Cast". Forbes.
  9. ^ Osborn, Alex. "Wonder Woman: Harry Potter Actor David Thewlis Reportedly Cast as Villain Ares". IGN.
  10. ^ ISBN 9781416541219
  11. ^ MacDonald, Marianne (26 September 2005). "Post-natal confession". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  12. ^ "Friel, David split after nine years". Digital Spy. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2010.

External links

An Inspector Calls (2015 TV film)

An Inspector Calls is a 2015 British thriller television film written by Helen Edmundson, based on the J. B. Priestley play of the same name. It is directed by Aisling Walsh, produced by Howard Ella and stars David Thewlis as the titular character. The story is centred on a mysterious inspector, who investigates the socially ambitious Birling family and a dinner guest following the suicide of a young woman. The film was first broadcast on 13 September 2015 on BBC One.

Black Beauty (1994 film)

Black Beauty is a 1994 American film adaptation of Anna Sewell's novel by the same name directed by Caroline Thompson in her directorial debut. The film stars Andrew Knott, Sean Bean and David Thewlis. The film is also treated as an autobiography of the horse Black Beauty as in the original novel, and is narrated by Alan Cumming as the voice of the 'Black Beauty'. This is the fifth feature film adaptation of the 1877 classic novel by Anna Sewell.

Eternal Beauty

Eternal Beauty is an upcoming American-British drama romance film, written and directed by Craig Roberts. It stars Sally Hawkins, David Thewlis, Billie Piper, Penelope Wilton, Alice Lowe

and Robert Aramayo.

Fargo (TV series)

Fargo is an American black comedy–crime drama anthology television series created and primarily written by Noah Hawley. The show is inspired by the eponymous 1996 film written and directed by the Coen brothers, who serve as executive producers on the series alongside Hawley. The series premiered on April 15, 2014, on FX, and follows an anthology format, with each season set in a different era, and with a different story and mostly new characters and cast, although there is minor overlap. Each season shares a common chronology with the original film.

The first season, set in 2006 and starring Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, and Martin Freeman, received positive reviews from critics. It won the Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Miniseries, Outstanding Directing, and Outstanding Casting, and received 15 additional nominations including Outstanding Writing, another Outstanding Directing nomination, and acting nominations for all four leads. It also won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Miniseries or Television Film and Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film for Thornton.

The second season, set in 1979 and starring Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Jesse Plemons, Jean Smart, and Ted Danson, also received positive reviews from critics. It received three Golden Globe nominations, along with several Emmy nominations including Outstanding Miniseries, and acting nominations for Dunst, Plemons, Smart, and Bokeem Woodbine.

The third season, set in 2010 and starring Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Goran Bogdan, and David Thewlis, premiered on April 19, 2017. It was met with positive reviews from critics, and received Emmy nominations including Outstanding Miniseries, and acting nominations for McGregor, Coon, and Thewlis. It received three Golden Globe nominations, for Outstanding Limited Series, and McGregor and Thewlis for acting, with McGregor winning in his category.

A fourth season is currently in development, to start filming in fall 2019 with Chris Rock to star. It will be set in 1950 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Fargo (season 3)

The third season of Fargo, an American anthology black comedy–crime drama television series created by Noah Hawley, premiered on April 19, 2017, on the basic cable network FX. The season had ten episodes, and its initial airing concluded on June 21, 2017. As an anthology, each Fargo season possesses its own self-contained narrative, following a disparate set of characters in various settings, albeit in a connected shared universe.The third season is set primarily between December 2010 and March 2011, in three Minnesota towns: St. Cloud, Eden Valley, and Eden Prairie, and is the only season to not feature the titular Fargo, North Dakota. It follows the lives of a couple, Ray Stussy (Ewan McGregor) and Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who, after unsuccessfully trying to rob Ray's brother Emmit (also played by McGregor), become involved in a double murder case. One of the victims is an old man with a mysterious past whose stepdaughter, Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon), is a policewoman. Meanwhile, Emmit tries to cut his ties with a shady organization he borrowed money from a year before, but the company, represented by V. M. Varga (David Thewlis) has other plans.Michael Stuhlbarg, Hamish Linklater, Olivia Sandoval, Shea Whigham, Mark Forward, Mary McDonnell, and Scoot McNairy make recurring appearances. Sylvester Groth, Ray Wise, Fred Melamed, Frances Fisher, DJ Qualls and Rob McElhenney guest star.

Season 3 began filming in early 2017 in Calgary, Alberta.

Gangster No. 1

Gangster No. 1 is a 2000 British crime drama film directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Paul Bettany in the title role. It is based on the play Gangster No.1 by Louis Mellis and David Scinto, and features Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis and Saffron Burrows.

James and the Giant Peach (film)

James and the Giant Peach is a 1996 British-American musical fantasy film directed by Henry Selick, based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. It was produced by Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi, and starred Paul Terry as James. The film is a combination of live action and stop-motion animation. Co-stars Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes played James's aunts in the live-action segments, and Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, Jane Leeves, David Thewlis, and Margolyes voiced his insect friends in the animation sequences.

Legend (2015 film)

Legend is a 2015 biographical crime thriller film written and directed by American film director Brian Helgeland. It is adapted from John Pearson's book The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins, which deals with the rise and fall of the Kray twins; the relationship that bound them together, and charts their gruesome career to their downfall and imprisonment for life in 1969.This is Helgeland's fifth feature film. Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, David Thewlis and Christopher Eccleston star with Chazz Palminteri, Paul Bettany, Tara Fitzgerald and Taron Egerton as well as singer Duffy featured in supporting roles.

Naked (1993 film)

Naked is a 1993 British black tragicomedy written and directed by Mike Leigh and starring David Thewlis as Johnny, a loquacious intellectual and conspiracy theorist. The film won several awards, including best director and best actor at Cannes. Naked marked a new career high for Leigh as a director and made the then-unknown Thewlis an internationally recognised star.

Resurrected (film)

Resurrected is a 1989 drama film directed by Paul Greengrass in his directorial debut, written by Martin Allen, and starring David Thewlis. It is based on the story of the British soldier Philip Williams, who is presumed dead and left behind in the Falklands but is accused of desertion when he reappears seven weeks after the Falklands War ends.

Resurrected premiered at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival in February 1989.

Stonehearst Asylum

Stonehearst Asylum, previously known as Eliza Graves, is an American Gothic film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Joseph Gangemi. It is loosely based on the short story "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" by Edgar Allan Poe. The film, starring Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, and David Thewlis, was released on October 24, 2014.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (film)

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (released as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas in the United States) is a 2008 British American historical drama film set in World War II, based on John Boyne’s 2006 novel of the same name. Written and Directed by Mark Herman, produced by BBC Films and Heyday Films, and distributed by Miramax, the film stars Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis, Asa Butterfield, and Jack Scanlon. It was released on 12 September 2008 in the United Kingdom.

The Holocaust drama relates the horror of a Nazi extermination camp through the eyes of two 8-year-old boys; Bruno (Asa Butterfield), the son of the camp's Nazi commandant, and Shmuel (Jack Scanlon), a Jewish inmate.

The film has drawn criticism from some Holocaust educators due to its lack of historical accuracy.

The Feed (U.S. TV series)

The Feed is an upcoming American psychological thriller drama web television series based on the novel of the same name by Nick Clark Windo. It is set to premiere in 2019 on Amazon Video.

The Lady (2011 film)

The Lady is a 2011 French-British biographical film directed by Luc Besson, starring Michelle Yeoh as Aung San Suu Kyi and David Thewlis as her late husband Michael Aris. Yeoh called the film "a labour of love" but also confessed it had felt intimidating for her to play the Nobel laureate.

The Mercy

The Mercy is a 2017 British biographical drama film, directed by James Marsh and written by Scott Z. Burns. It is based on the true story of the disastrous attempt by the amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst to complete the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968 and his subsequent attempts to cover up his failure. The film stars Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz, David Thewlis and Ken Stott. It is one of the last films scored by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson.

The film was released in the United Kingdom on 9 February 2018 by StudioCanal.

The Short and Curlies

The Short and Curlies is a 1987 short film written and directed by Mike Leigh. It stars Alison Steadman, Wendy Nottingham, Sylvestra Le Touzel and David Thewlis. The hairdressing salon, "Cynthia's", was in Willesden and exterior locations were in nearby Harlesden. Channel Four put up money for the film and, pending the success of this project, agreed to co-produce with Portman Productions Leigh's first feature film since Bleak Moments – what became 1988's feature movie High Hopes (with music by Rachel Portman).

The short, 18-minute film, made after three weeks of rehearsal, concerns a chatty hairdresser, Betty (Alison Steadman), her shy daughter, Charlene (Wendy Nottingham), and one of her customers, Joy (Sylvestra Le Touzel). Joy works in a chemist's shop and is chatted up by Clive (David Thewlis, in the first of his three Leigh roles) over the Durex counter. "On the one hand there is ritual, physical indignity, rubber, prevention; on the other, new life, love, marriage. Charlene slips sadly and silently between two stools..."

The Trial (1993 film)

The Trial is a 1993 film made by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) based on Harold Pinter's screenplay adaptation of Franz Kafka's 1925 novel The Trial.

Directed by David Jones and produced by Jan Balzer and Louis Marks, the film stars Kyle MacLachlan and has cameo appearances by several prominent British actors including Anthony Hopkins, Juliet Stevenson, Alfred Molina, David Thewlis, and Michael Kitchen.

The film was shot in Prague and Kutná Hora.

Total Eclipse (film)

Total Eclipse is a 1995 film directed by Agnieszka Holland, based on a 1967 play by Christopher Hampton, who also wrote the screenplay. Based on letters and poems, it presents a historically accurate account of the passionate and violent relationship between the two 19th-century French poets Paul Verlaine (David Thewlis) and Arthur Rimbaud (Leonardo DiCaprio), at a time of soaring creativity for both men.

V. M. Varga

V. M. Varga is a fictional character in the FX television series Fargo. He is the main antagonist of the third season and is portrayed by David Thewlis.

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