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In a relatively short amount of time, Scottish-born actor Kevin McKidd rose to international prominence following his professional debut, thanks to a keenly turned supporting performance in Danny Boyle's darkly comic "Trainspotting" (1996). Though not featured on the promotional poster, McKidd was the tragic heart of the otherwise humorous film, which immediately led to bigger and better roles. He spent the next several years building a résumé of widely varied roles that included a sex-obsessed slacker in "Understanding Jane" (1998), a hapless father and husband in "The Acid House" (1999), and the charming Count Vronsky in "Anna Karenina" (PBS, 2000). Following a supporting turn in the speculative drama, "Max" (2002), he led a squad of soldiers in a life-or-death fight against a pack of werewolves in the low-budget horror "Dog Soldiers" (2002). McKidd propelled his career as one of the stars of "Rome" (HBO, 2005-07), an epic retelling of the life and times of Ancient Rome that was hailed by most critics. Though unable to get any traction as the star of his own series, "Journeyman" (NBC, 2007), McKidd breathed new life into "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC, 2005- ) as a regular on that flagging series, which...
In a relatively short amount of time, Scottish-born actor Kevin McKidd rose to international prominence following his professional debut, thanks to a keenly turned supporting performance in Danny Boyle's darkly comic "Trainspotting" (1996). Though not featured on the promotional poster, McKidd was the tragic heart of the otherwise humorous film, which immediately led to bigger and better roles. He spent the next several years building a résumé of widely varied roles that included a sex-obsessed slacker in "Understanding Jane" (1998), a hapless father and husband in "The Acid House" (1999), and the charming Count Vronsky in "Anna Karenina" (PBS, 2000). Following a supporting turn in the speculative drama, "Max" (2002), he led a squad of soldiers in a life-or-death fight against a pack of werewolves in the low-budget horror "Dog Soldiers" (2002). McKidd propelled his career as one of the stars of "Rome" (HBO, 2005-07), an epic retelling of the life and times of Ancient Rome that was hailed by most critics. Though unable to get any traction as the star of his own series, "Journeyman" (NBC, 2007), McKidd breathed new life into "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC, 2005- ) as a regular on that flagging series, which underscored just how wide-ranging his talents were.
Born on Aug. 9, 1973 in Elgin, Moray, Scotland, McKidd was raised by his father, Neil, a plumber, and his mother, Kath, a former secretary at a lemonade factory who became the administrator of a disabled children's theater. After graduating from Elgin Academy, McKidd went on to study engineering at Edinburgh University, only to become involved with the Bedlam Theatre Company. But a year later, McKidd decided to leave Edinburgh University and attend Queen Margaret College, where he shifted focus from engineering to drama. While in his final year of studies, he landed a starring role in "The Silver Darlings" (1995) at Citizen's Theatre in Glasgow, which led to his first professional role playing Father Deegen in the "A Christmassy Ted" episode of "Father Ted" (Channel 4, 1995-98). McKidd was soon spotted by director Gillies MacKinnon, who cast the young actor in his first feature, "Small Faces" (1996), a 1960s-set coming-of-age drama in which he played the hard leader of the Tongs, a housing project gang in the rough part of Glasgow who pull three brothers (Iain Robertson, Joseph McFadden and Steven "JS" Duffy) into their unavoidable sphere.
McKidd took his first steps toward stardom with a co-starring role in Danny Boyle's internationally popular and acclaimed "Trainspotting" (1996), a darkly comic tale adapted from the Irvine Welsh cult novel about a group of heroin-addicted friends constantly looking for their next fix. McKidd played Tommy, one of the five friends who initially steer clear of drugs, only to be sucked in by desperation and curiosity when his girlfriend (Pauline Lynch) breaks up with him after a sex tape they made gets stolen by the film's central character, Renton (Ewan McGregor). While Renton bounces back and forth between sobriety and addiction, Tommy becomes the tragic victim of the film, succumbing to heroin before getting stricken by HIV. Arguably one of the best films to emerge from the U.K. in the 1990s, "Trainspotting" helped launch the careers of McKidd, McGregor and Boyle. McKidd next had a supporting role in John Duigan's light romantic comedy "The Leading Man" (1998) before reuniting with director Gillies MacKinnon and actor Jonny Lee Miller - who played Sick Boy in "Trainspotting" - for a supporting role in the World War I psychodrama, "Regeneration" (1998). He followed with a starring role as a hard-nosed thug opposite veteran criminal Patrick Stewart in the brutal, but energetic crime thriller "Dad Savage" (1998).
With his star on the rise, McKidd starred in "Understanding Jane" (1998), winner of the Audience Award for the Best British Film at the London Film Festival, in which he played a sex-obsessed slacker who meets his match through the personal ads. The actor proved his range with a subtle and endearing portrayal of a lovelorn, middle-class gay man as the star of Rose Troche's "Bedrooms and Hallways" (1999), before retreading Irvine Welsh ground with a role as the hapless young father and husband whose life is disrupted by an unruly neighbor (Gary McCormack) in "The Soft Touch" portion of director Paul McGuigan's three-part compilation, "The Acid House" (1999). After a near wordless cameo as a fellow hitchhiker to Kate Winslet in Gillies MacKinnon's "Hideous Kinky" (1999), McKidd was featured alongside Dexter Fletcher and Jim Broadbent in "Topsy-Turvy" (1999), a biopic of famed Victorian composers Gilbert and Sullivan, helmed by Mike Leigh. Meanwhile, McKidd made the infrequent television appearance with a performance as the handsome and charming Count Vronsky in Masterpiece Theatre's presentation of Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" (PBS, 2000).
Returning to features, McKidd was seen in the adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Nicholas Nickelby" (2002), starring Charlie Hunnam and Anne Hathaway, which he followed with a role as post-expressionist artist George Grosz in "Max" (2002), a speculative drama about a fictional relationship between Adolf Hitler (Noah Taylor) and an influential Jewish art dealer (John Cusack), who fails to support the artist's work, forcing him to channel his creative energy into hating Jews and Germany's uncertain future. McKidd joined forces with horror director Neil Marshall for the low-budget "Dog Soldiers" (2002), in which he played a take-charge soldier who battles a pack of werewolves with his squad while on a training exercise in a remote Scottish forest. He next starred in the British-made drama, "AfterLife" (2003), as an ambitious journalist forced to care for his sister, who has Down syndrome, after learning his mother (Lindsay Duncan) is dying from cancer. After starring as a troubled young man dealing with alcoholism and life as a violent gang member in Richard Jobson's semi-autobiographical "Sixteen Years of Alcohol" (2003), McKidd was a barman trapped in a small Scottish Highland's town with his two best friends (Jamie Sives and Iain Robertson) in "Once Last Chance" (2004).
McKidd began making himself known in America with an appearance in "De-Lovely" (2004), playing the male lover of famed songwriter Cole Porter (Kevin Kline), who creates a stir with the composer's wife (Ashley Judd) after revealing a compromising photo. A small part in Ridley Scott's rather uninspired Crusade action flick "Kingdom of Heaven" (2005) prepared McKidd for his leading role on the acclaimed historical series, "Rome" (2005-07). Kidd played the honorable, but unforgiving Lucius Vorenus, a severe professional Roman soldier who stays above the fray of rape and pillage by saving his honor and dignity for his wife (Indira Varma) on his return home from the war in Gaul. Both critically acclaimed and highly-rated, "Rome" was also a vastly expensive series to shoot, which necessitated HBO partnering with the BBC to finance it. But in the middle of season two, HBO was forced to cancel the show, leaving showrunner Bruno Heller to rush three seasons-worth of storytelling into the last six episodes. During the show's run, McKidd appeared as the Duke of Norfolk in "The Virgin Queen" (PBS, 2005), Masterpiece Theatre's sprawling biopic on the life of Queen Elizabeth I, while putting his experience to use in another Rome-themed project, "The Last Legion" (2007).
After "Rome" was canceled, McKidd wasted no time returning to the small screen with a starring role on the short-lived drama, "Journeyman" (NBC, 2007), where he played a reporter for a San Francisco newspaper who suddenly and inexplicably finds himself jumping through time with no control over when or where he jumps. Because the series lasted a scant three months due to declining ratings, audience members were never offered an explanation for why McKidd's character jumped around through time. Back on the big screen, he had supporting roles in "Hannibal Rising" (2007) and "Made of Honor" (2008), before landing a recurring role as Dr. Owen Hunt on "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC, 2005- ). As Hunt, McKidd portrayed a U.S. Army trauma surgeon who goes from war-torn Iraq to Seattle Grace, where he struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder while finding happiness with the hard-edged Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh). McKidd's status was bumped from recurring to regular series role after appearing in five episodes during the show's fifth season. Meanwhile, he portrayed the Greek god Poseidon, whose son is blamed by Zeus (Sean Bean) for stealing his lightning bolt, in "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" (2010).
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CAST: (feature film)
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"At the time I was like 'Oh man, you stupid bastard for going on holiday, you've really missed the boat there', but as time went on and it was reaching saturation point, I realised, for the work I want to do in my career, I'm better off. I want to do lots of different stuff. I'm happier just being in the film and just having done my job, rather than being a kind of pop image." --McKidd on missing the photo shoot for "Trainspotting"'s ubiquitous advertising posters, quoted in the London TIMES, December 21, 1998
McKidd on the concept of actors outlining their career and carefully choosing roles to fit a plan: "That's b*****ks. People say 'I chose to do this role. I chose to do that role.' B*****ks. Most people, unless you're doing really well, are offered a role and you say all right, I'll do it. In the end, you don't want to get too obsessed with your career plan. The last thing you can do is say: 'I have done that, I've done this. What I really need to play is a 25-year-old Asian with haemorrhoids." --to the London TIMES, March 27, 1999
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