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David Thewlis

David Thewlis

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Also Known As: David Wheeler Died:
Born: March 20, 1963 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Blackpool, England, GB Profession: actor, screenwriter, poet, guitarist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Actor David Thewlis has pursued his creative passions all his life. As a true artist, Thewlis has delved deeply into forms of expression other than the one that has earned him a living. Born in Blackpool, England, Thewlis spent a happy childhood filling diaries with "words and sentences and p ms"-his first foray into an artistic life. Thewlis then explored music by playing in a punk band called Door 66. When the time came to decide his future, Thewlis chose to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and graduated in 1985. It was while in school that Thewlis turned to acting.A slave to twin passions of music and acting, Thewlis performed Simon & Garfunkel songs in clubs in order to earn his equity card. Meanwhile, Thewlis began appearing in commercials and on stage and snared a few small roles in film and on British television, including the movie-of-the-week "The Singing Detective" (PBS, 1988), "Skulduggery" (1989) and "Life Is Sweet" (1990), directed by Mike Leigh. Though his role "Life Is Sweet" was small, Thewlis impressed Leigh enough to be cast for the lead role in "Naked" (1993). His performance as a Johnny, a down-and-out, yet intelligent drifter in Manchester whose brutal treatment of...

Actor David Thewlis has pursued his creative passions all his life. As a true artist, Thewlis has delved deeply into forms of expression other than the one that has earned him a living. Born in Blackpool, England, Thewlis spent a happy childhood filling diaries with "words and sentences and p ms"-his first foray into an artistic life. Thewlis then explored music by playing in a punk band called Door 66. When the time came to decide his future, Thewlis chose to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and graduated in 1985. It was while in school that Thewlis turned to acting.

A slave to twin passions of music and acting, Thewlis performed Simon & Garfunkel songs in clubs in order to earn his equity card. Meanwhile, Thewlis began appearing in commercials and on stage and snared a few small roles in film and on British television, including the movie-of-the-week "The Singing Detective" (PBS, 1988), "Skulduggery" (1989) and "Life Is Sweet" (1990), directed by Mike Leigh. Though his role "Life Is Sweet" was small, Thewlis impressed Leigh enough to be cast for the lead role in "Naked" (1993). His performance as a Johnny, a down-and-out, yet intelligent drifter in Manchester whose brutal treatment of women defies convention as he lives outside the social norm of late-20th century England, earned Thewlis several awards for best actor, including that of the New York Critics, National Society of Film Critics, and the London Film Critics Circle.

Thewlis went on to amass a resume of divergent roles, ranging from kid's movies to dark independents to big budget Hollywood productions. His next role after "Naked" was opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in "Total Eclipse" (1995), an indie drama about the turbulent relationship between French poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud. His next role became very special to the actor: as the voice of Earthworm in "James and the Giant Peach" (1996), Thewlis was subsequently asked on birthdays and other occasions to reprise his role for the children of friends and relatives. Next for Thewlis came a forgettable performance in an equally forgettable movie, "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (1996), John Frankenheimer's weak attempt to put H.G. Wells' novel on screen. Justifiably, the movie was universally panned.

Thewlis next starred in "Dragonheart" (1996), playing Einon, a medieval king whose despotic reign belies the near-death promise he made when he was a boy. Not particularly thrilled with the script, and without an opinion on the final product, Thewlis nonetheless enjoyed working on the project despite pressure from his agent to do a studio film. In April 1996, Thewlis directed a short film he wrote called "Hello Hello Hello?" (1998) and later received an honorable BAFTA Award nomination for his effort. Thewlis meanwhile continued acting, starting opposite Brad Pitt in "Seven Years in Tibet" (1997), or as the crew liked to call it, "Five Years on This Set". His performance didn't earn Thewlis any award nominations, but he was banned from ever visiting China.

After a small role in the Coen Brother's "The Big Lebowski" (1998), Thewlis starred opposite Thandie Newton in "Besieged" (1999), directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. In this romantic drama, Thewlis played a shy English composer living in a palatial Rome estate with his African housekeeper (Newton), with whom he falls in love. In "Gangster No. 1", Thewlis plays an old associate of Gangster 55 (Malcolm McDowell) who gets released from prison after a 30-year stint. And in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004), Thewlis played Professor Remis Lupin in the third adaptation of the popular novels. To top off a busy career, Thewlis directed his first feature-length film, "Cheeky" (2003), a comedy that was shown at the London Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.

Thewlis returned in front of the camera for "Kingdom of Heaven" (2005), playing a monk watching over the son (Orlando Bloom) of a knight (Liam Neeson) in this epic historical drama taking place in the relative calm between the 2nd and 3rd Crusades of the 12th century. He then had a supporting role in Terrance Malick's "The New World" (2005), a lyrical, but ultimately meandering take on the settlement at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607 and the ensuing love affair between Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell) and a young Native American girl, Pocahontas (Q'Orianka Kilcher). Thewlis then signed on to appear in the inexplicable sequel, "Basic Instinct 2" (2006), starring Sharon Stone as the vampy novelist Catherine Tramell, who once again lures an unsuspecting man (David Morrissey) into a murderous trap.

After a key role in the unnecessary 2006 remake of the horror classic "The Omen," Thewlis starred as the title character in Paul Auster's little-seen drama "The Inner Life of Martin Frost" (2007) and reprised his role as the heroic Lupin in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007). In 2008, he had a supporting part in the lauded Holocaust drama "The Boy with the Striped Pajamas" and subsequently returned to the Potter fold for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (2009), as well as the concluding chapters of the fantasy saga "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" (2010) and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" (2011).

With the Potter films continuing to bring in a sizeable paycheck, Thewlis was able to comfortably pursue smaller projects, including the drug-trade biopic "Mr. Nice" (2010), with Rhys Ifans, and "London Boulevard" (2010), a crime thriller starring Colin Farrell. Appearing in "Anonymous" (2011), another drama featuring Ifans, Thewlis stuck to other period pieces, portraying the husband of a dedicated Burmese politician in Luc Beeson's "The Lady" (2011) and an unpleasant landlord in Steven Spielberg's World War I-era film "War Horse" (2011). Following a little time away from the spotlight, Thewlis revisited blockbuster fare, playing the enigmatic character of The Frog in the action sequel "Red 2" (2013).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Hello Hello Hello? (1998) Director
2.
  Hello, Hello, Hello (1995) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Macbeth (2015)
3.
 Eliza Graves (2014)
4.
5.
6.
 Red 2 (2013)
7.
 War Horse (2011)
9.
 London Boulevard (2011)
10.
 Anonymous (2011)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Blackpool, England
:
Played lead guitar with a punk band based in Manchester
1984:
First professional performing job in a Kellogg's Branflakes commercial shot in Miami (Thewlis's first trip to the U.S.)
1987:
Acted in Mike Leigh's comic short film "The Short and Curlies"
1988:
Played a bit part as the "second soldier" on the PBS musical mystery miniseries "The Singing Detective"
1988:
Feature acting debut in "Vroom"
1989:
Had first leading role in "Resurrected"
1991:
Made first feature with Leigh, "Life Is Sweet"
1991:
First leading TV role which aired on U.S. television, "Filipina Dreamgirls" (BBC/A&E)
1993:
Offered a bravura performance in "Naked," directed by Mike Leigh
1995:
Wrote and directed short film "Hello Hello Hello?"
1995:
Cast as French poet Paul Verlaine to Leonardo DiCaprio's Arthur Rimbaud in "Total Eclipse"
1996:
Voiced the Earthworm in the stop-motion animated film "James and the Giant Peach"
1996:
Acted alongside Marlon Brando in the remake of "The Island of Dr. Moreau"
1997:
Portrayed expedition leader Peter Aufschnaiter in "Seven Years in Tibet"
1998:
Had featured role in the Coen brothers' "The Big Lebowski"
1998:
Starred opposite Thandie Newton as a quirky pianist-composer in the love story "Besieged," a chamber drama directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
2000:
Provided the voice of Judas Iscariot in the British animated biblical drama "The Miracle Maker" (aired on ABC in the U.S.)
2000:
Co-starred in the violent crime thriller "Gangster No. 1"
2000:
Appeared in TV production of Samuel Beckett's "Endgame"; screened at film festivals before airing on Irish and British TV in 2001
2002:
Was featured in the ABC miniseries "Dinotopia"
2003:
Helmed the film "Cheeky"
2003:
Starred in the sci-fi adventure "Timeline," based on the novel by Michael Crichton
2004:
Cast as Professor Lupin in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," directed by Alfonso CuarĂ³n
2005:
Starred in Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven," about the 12th-century Crusades
2005:
Cast in the Terrence Malick-scripted drama "The New World," about explorer John Smith and the clash between Native Americans and English settlers
2006:
Reprised the role originally played by David Warner in the remake of "The Omen"
2007:
Reprised the role of Professor Lupin in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," directed by David Yates
2008:
Played the SS officer Ralf in "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas"
2009:
Reprised the role of Professor Lupin in David Yates directed "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth film in the series
2010:
Returned to play Lupin in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," directed by Yates
2011:
Final screen turn as Lupin in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"; again directed by Yates
2011:
Co-starred with Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave in the drama "Anonymous"
2011:
Cast in the WWI-set drama "War Horse," directed by Steven Spielberg; film was based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and the 2007 stage adaptation of the same name
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Guildhall School of Music and Drama: London , England - 1985

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Sara Sugarman. Actor, director. Married in April 1992; separated in 1995; divorced.
companion:
Fairuza Balk. Actor. Met during filming of "Island of Dr. Moreau"; no longer together.
companion:
Cozi. Singer. Japanese; dating in 1997.
companion:
Kate Hardie. Actor. No longer together.
companion:
Anna Friel. Actor. Living together as of 2001.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Alec Wheeler. Shopkeeper.
mother:
Maureen Wheeler. Shopkeeper.

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