Family & Companions
Actor David Thewlis pursued his creative passions all his life. As a true artist, Thewlis 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 poems" - 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 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 "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (1996), John Frankenheimer's attempt to put H.G. Wells' novel on screen. 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. 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, starring 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 Brothers' "The Big Lebowski" (1998), Thewlis starred opposite Thandie Newton in "Besieged" (1999), directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. 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 period, 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 Terrence Malick's "The New World" (2005). Thewlis then signed on to appear in the 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 2006 remake of 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 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 Besson'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). Supporting roles in Bill Condon's political thriller "The Fifth Estate" (2013), Terry Gilliam's "The Zero Theorem" (2013) and Stephen Hawking biopic "The Theory of Everything" (2014) followed in quick succession, followed by John Boorman's historical romantic drama "Queen and Country" (2014), psychological thriller "Regression" (2015) and the Tom Hardy-starring film about the notorious London gangsters the Kray twins, "Legend" (2015). After co-starring in Michael Fassbender's "Macbeth" (2015) as King Duncan, Thewlis appeared in comic book blockbuster "Wonder Woman" (2017) as Ares, the title character's adversary. That same year, Thewlis joined the cast of anthology series "Fargo" (FX 2015- ) for its third season.
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
First professional performing job in a Kellogg's Branflakes commercial shot in Miami-also his first trip to the U.S.
Acted in Mike Leigh's comic short film "The Short and Curlies"
Feature acting debut in "Vroom"
Played a bit part as the "second soldier" on the PBS musical mystery miniseries "The Singing Detective"
Had first leading role in "Resurrected"
Made first feature with Leigh, "Life Is Sweet"
First leading TV role which aired on U.S. television, "Filipina Dreamgirls" (BBC/A&E)
Offered a bravura performance in "Naked," directed by Mike Leigh
Cast as French poet Paul Verlaine to Leonardo DiCaprio's Arthur Rimbaud in "Total Eclipse"
Wrote and directed short film "Hello Hello Hello?"
Acted alongside Marlon Brando in the remake of "The Island of Dr. Moreau"
Voiced the Earthworm in the stop-motion animated film "James and the Giant Peach"
Portrayed expedition leader Peter Aufschnaiter in "Seven Years in Tibet"
Starred opposite Thandie Newton as a quirky pianist-composer in the love story "Besieged," a chamber drama directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
Had featured role in the Coen brothers' "The Big Lebowski"
Co-starred in the violent crime thriller "Gangster No. 1"
Provided the voice of Judas Iscariot in the British animated biblical drama "The Miracle Maker" (aired on ABC in the U.S.)
Appeared in TV production of Samuel Beckett's "Endgame"; screened at film festivals before airing on Irish and British TV in 2001
Was featured in the ABC miniseries "Dinotopia"
Starred in the sci-fi adventure "Timeline," based on the novel by Michael Crichton
Helmed the film "Cheeky"
Cast as Professor Lupin in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Starred in Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven," about the 12th-century Crusades
Cast in the Terrence Malick-scripted drama "The New World," about explorer John Smith and the clash between Native Americans and English settlers
Reprised the role originally played by David Warner in the remake of "The Omen"
Reprised the role of Professor Lupin in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," directed by David Yates
Played the SS officer Ralf in "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas"
Reprised the role of Professor Lupin in David Yates directed "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth film in the series
Returned to play Lupin in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," directed by Yates
Co-starred with Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave in the drama "Anonymous"
Final screen turn as Lupin in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"; again directed by Yates
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
Appeared as The Frog in "RED 2"
Cast in political drama "The Fifth Estate"
Appeared in Stephen Hawking biopic "The Theory of Everything"
Co-starred alongside Tom Hardy in "Legend"
Cast in well-received D.C. Comics adaptation "Wonder Woman"
Played V.M. Varga on the third season of FX's "Fargo" series