Family & Companions
A handsome Canadian supporting player of Greek parentage, Elias Koteas began his career on stage appearing in NYC productions of "Holy Ghosts," "The Changing Room," "Life Class" and "The Lady's Not for Burning" at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and "Terry Neal's Future" and "Rainbow Dancing" at the Actors Studio. Producer Fred Roos spotted the intense young actor at the latter and quickly cast him in the Disney holiday film "One Magic Christmas" (1985). Since then, Koteas has become a recurring face on screen, while still remaining loyal to his theater roots (i.e., performing in the 1988 Yale Repertory Company's dramatic adaptation of "Kiss of the Spider Woman").
Koteas' acting teacher Peter Masterson believed in his pupil, directing him in "Full Moon in Blue Water," in which he was convincing as an emotionally disturbed handyman, and the bomb "Blood Red" (both 1988). For Roos and Francis Ford Coppola, he appeared in "Gardens of Stone" (1987) and "Tucker: A Man and His Dream" (1988), in the latter as an earnest young car designer. His dark Mediterranean good looks helped secure the role of young Ari in the ABC miniseries "The Richest Man in the World: The Aristotle Onassis Story" (1988), and Koteas has performed in two of fellow Canadian Atom Egoyan's films, "The Adjuster" (1992), as the amoral title character, and "Exotica" (1994), as a disc jockey in a strip club romancing one of the dancers.
Koteas portrayed Casey Jones, man among terrapins, in the 1990 surprise blockbuster "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and returned for the aptly named third installment "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III" (1993) prior to the release of David Cronenberg's controversial "Crash" (1996). Koteas' unique and off-beat persona readily lent itself to the pivotal role of Vaughn, whose unhealthy fascination with post-crash wounds had him presiding over a loosely knit group of auto accident fetishists recreating notorious crack-ups. He also acted in two Danny De Vito-produced vehicles, the sci-fi "Gattaca" (1997, Andrew Niccol's directing debut), seen briefly in the opening sequences as the father of Ethan Hawke's character, and "Living Out Loud" (1998), an adaptation from the Chekhov canon, in which he appeared in a particularly vivid scene as a stranger who kisses Holly Hunter.
Terrence Malick offered Koteas one of his finest screen opportunities to date as the conscience-afflicted captain of "The Thin Red Line" (also 1998), adapted by Malick from the Guadalcanal novel by James Jones. Playing a thoughtful lawyer and decent officer of Charlie Company whose desire to protect his men puts him at odds with the superior (Nick Nolte) who sees soldiers simply as cannon fodder on the road to personal glory, Koteas provided one of the few well-rounded characters in the director's much-anticipated return to filmmaking. He also turned up earlier that year as a demonic serial killer in "Fallen" and shared the screen with Ian McKellen as a mysterious bum in Bryan Singer's "Apt Pupil," based on the Stephen King novella. Koteas followed by supporting Winona Ryder and Ben Chaplin in cinematographer Janusz Kaminski's thriller "Lost Souls" (2000).
In 2002, Koteas was cast in the dram-edy feature "Simone," which co-starred Al Pacino and Catherine Keener, and then went on to portray the character Ali in the drama feature "Ararat."
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Moved to NYC
Spotted by producer Fred Roos at the Actors Studio; cast in "One Magic Christmas" (feature debut)
TV-movie debut, "Private Sessions" (NBC)
Reteamed with Roos for Francis Ford Coppola's "Gardens of Stone"
Episodic TV debut, "Crime Story" (NBC)
Acted in "Tucker: A Man and His Dream," directed by Coppola and produced by Roos
Played young Ari in the ABC miniseries "The Richest Man in the World: The Story of Aristotle Onassis"
Starred as Valentin in the original dramatic stage version of "Kiss of the Spider Woman," presented by the Yale Repertory Company
Portrayed Casey Jones, a man among terrapins, in the blockbuster "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
Headlined fellow Canadian Atom Egoyan's examination of voyeurism "The Adjustor"
Reprised Casey Jones for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III"
Performed in Egoyan's "Exotica"
Appeared in the HBO biopic "Sugartime"
Played hotel bellboy who becomes embroiled in a heist in "Hit Me"
Starred as Vaughn, the de facto leader of a group who get sexual thrills reenacting famous accidents in David Cronenberg's "Crash"
First collaboration with producer Danny DeVito, Andrew Niccol's "Gattaca"
Had featured role as the laywer-turned-soldier Captain Staros who refuses to risk the lives of the men under his command in "The Thin Red Line"
Reteamed with producer DeVito (who also co-starred) for "Living Out Loud"
Co-starred in the Broadway play "True West"
Supported Winona Ryder in Janusz Kaminski's "Lost Souls"
Co-starred in the feature "Simone"
Cast in the historical feature "Ararat"
Cast in Bill Paxton's "The Greatest Game Ever Played" as the father of Francis Ouimet, an amateur who defeated reigning champion Harry Vardon in the 1913 U.S. Open
Co-starred in the werewolf tale "Skinwalkers"
Cast in David Fincher's crime drama "Zodiac"
Featured in the thriller "The Haunting in Connecticut"
Appeared in Martin Scorsese mystery thriller "Shutter Island"
Cast in the horror feature "Let Me In"
Appeared in "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas"