Cary Elwes

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Cary Elwes
Cary Elwes by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Elwes in June 2014.
Born Ivan Simon Cary Elwes
(1962-10-26) 26 October 1962 (age 51)
Westminster, London, England, UK
Occupation Actor
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Lisa Marie Kurbikoff (m. 2000); 1 child
Parents Dominick Elwes
Tessa Kennedy
Relatives Cassian Elwes (brother), Damian Elwes (brother)

Ivan Simon Cary Elwes (/ˈɛlwɪs/; born 26 October 1962),[1][2] known professionally as Cary Elwes, is an English actor and voice actor.

He acted in off-Broadway plays during college and moved to the United States in the early 1980s. He is known for his roles as Westley in The Princess Bride, Arthur Holmwood in Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Garrett in Quest for Camelot, and Dr. Lawrence Gordon in Saw and Saw 3D: The Final Chapter.

He appeared in box office hits such as Days of Thunder, Hot Shots!, Twister, Liar, Liar and New Year's Eve.[3] He has had recurring roles in television series such as The X-Files playing Brad Follmer and Psych playing Pierre Despereaux.

Early life and education[edit]

Elwes was born in Westminster, London, England. He is the third and youngest son of portrait-painter Dominick Elwes[4] and interior designer and socialite Tessa Kennedy. His brothers are Damian Elwes, an artist,[5] and Cassian Elwes, a producer and agent. He was the stepson of Elliott Kastner, an American film producer.[4] Elwes' paternal grandfather was painter Simon Elwes,[5] whose father was the diplomat and tenor Gervase Elwes (1866–1921).[6] His other great-grandfathers were diplomat Rennell Rodd, 1st Baron Rennell, Sir John Macfarlane Kennedy, and Croatian industrialist Ivan Rikard Ivanović. Elwes' ancestry is English, Irish, Scottish, Croatian Jewish, and Serbian (the latter two through his maternal grandmother, Daška McLean, born Daška Marija Ivanović-Banac; her brother, Elwes' great-uncle, was diplomat Vane Ivanović). One of Elwes' ancestors is John Elwes, who is alleged in some sources to have been the inspiration for Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (1843)[7] (Elwes played five roles in the 2009 film adaptation of the novel).[7]

He was brought up as a Roman Catholic and was an altar boy at Westminster Cathedral, although he did not attend denominational schools, unlike most of the men on his father's side of the family, including his own father.[8] Elwes attended Harrow School in London[5] and then the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.[9] He discussed some of this background in an interview while he was filming the 2005 CBS television film, Pope John Paul II, in which Elwes played the young priest Karol Wojtyła, many years before he was elected pontiff in 1978.

His parents divorced when he was four years old, and in 1975 when Elwes was thirteen his father committed suicide.[10] In 1981, he returned to the United States to study acting at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.[11] While living in New York, Elwes studied acting at both the Actors Studio[11] and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.[9]

Elwes worked as a production assistant on the films Octopussy and Superman, where he worked for a week assigned to Marlon Brando. When Elwes introduced himself, Brando told him he was lying and that his (Elwes') name was actually Rocky.[12]

Career[edit]

Film[edit]

Elwes made his acting debut in 1984 with Marek Kanievska's film Another Country. He played James Harcourt, a young and sentimental homosexual student from an English boarding school.[5] He went on to play Guilford Dudley in the British film Lady Jane, co-starring Helena Bonham Carter. He was cast as a stable boy turned swashbuckler Westley in Rob Reiner's fantasy-comedy The Princess Bride, based on the novel of the same name by William Goldman. It was a modest box office success,[13] but received critical acclaim, earning a score of 96% on the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.[14] Since being released on home video and television it has become a cult classic.[13] In an interview around the film's DVD release in 2001, Elwes said, "The studio didn't know how to sell it – as an adventure, fantasy, comedy or love story, it had to rely on word of mouth". He also acknowledged the film's cult following saying, "Many people tell me they have it in their video collection, it's a family film but also a cult film in a way, being passed down to other generations".[15]

Elwes on the Hollywood Walk of Fame attending the unveiling of Mel Brooks' star in April 2010

He continued working steadily, varying between dramatic roles, as in The Bride (1985) with Sting and Jennifer Beals, to the Academy Award-winning Glory (1989), and comedic roles, as in Hot Shots! (1991). In 1993, he starred as Robin Hood in Mel Brooks's comedy, Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Elwes also appeared in such films as Francis Coppola's adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Crush, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, Twister, Liar Liar, Cradle Will Rock, The Cat's Meow and Kiss the Girls.

In 2004, he starred in the horrorthriller Saw which, at a budget of a little over $1 million, grossed over $100 million worldwide.[16] The same year he appeared in Ella Enchanted, this time as the villain not the hero. He made an uncredited appearance as Sam Green, the man who introduced Andy Warhol to Edie Sedgwick, in the 2006 film Factory Girl. In 2007, he appeared in Garry Marshall's Georgia Rule with Jane Fonda. He starred in the mystery thriller Hellgate.[17]

Elwes portrayed Dr. Clement in the psychological thriller Psych 9 (2010).[18] Elwes returned to the Saw franchise in Saw 3D (2010), the seventh and final film in the series, as Dr. Lawrence Gordon.[19] Elwes was set to portray George Harrison in Zemeckis's 3D performance capture re-telling of Yellow Submarine;[20] however in May 2011, Disney withdrew from the project.[21] He played Bobbly Wobbly in The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure; filming was completed in late 2009 and the film was released on 29 August 2012.[22] Elwes filmed a film adaptation of Camilla Dickinson in late 2010 where he played Rafferty Dickinson. It is awaiting release.[23]

In 2012, Elwes appeared in the independent drama The Citizen.[24] On 13 December 2012, The Hollwood Reporter announced that Elwes will make his directorial debut with an independent film about the life of Kit Lambert, manager of the iconic rock group The Who, working with a script by Pat Gilbert, a former editor of the British music magazine Mojo.[25] The film is based on interviews and recordings with Lambert made by journalist Jon Lindsay, and is being produced by Orian Williams.

Elwes attending the Saw 3D premiere at the Mann's Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood in October 2010

Television[edit]

In 1996, Elwes made his first television appearance as David Lookner on the sitcom Seinfeld. In 1998, he played astronaut Michael Collins in the Golden Globe Award-winning HBO miniseries From the Earth To the Moon. In 1999, he guest starred as Dr. John York in an episode of the television series The Outer Limits. He earned two Golden Satellite Award nominations for his performances in the television films The Pentagon Wars and Uprising. Elwes had a recurring role in the final season (from 2001 to 2002) of The X-Files as FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer. In 2004, he played serial killer Ted Bundy in the A&E Network television film The Riverman, which was based on the book The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer written by Robert D. Keppel. In 2005, Elwes played the young Pope John Paul II in the CBS television film Pope John Paul II.

In 2007, he made a guest appearance on the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Dependent" as a Mafia lawyer. In 2009, he played the role of Pierre Despereaux, an international art thief, in the fourth season premiere of Psych.[26] In 2010, he returned to Psych, reprising his role in the second half of the fifth season, and again in the show's sixth season.[27] In March 2011, Elwes was selected to appear as Henry Detmer in the pilot episode of NBC's Wonder Woman.[28] However, the show was never picked up for a series.[29] Elwes recently completed work on the USA Network pilot, Horizon, produced by Gale Anne Hurd. In 2014, Elwes began playing Hugh Ashmeade, the CIA Director, in the second season of the BYUtv series, Granite Flats.

Voiceovers[edit]

Elwes' voice-over work includes the narrator in James Patterson's audio book The Jester,[30] as well as characters in film and television animations such as Quest for Camelot, Pinky and The Brain, Batman Beyond, and the English versions of the Studio Ghibli films Porco Rosso, Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns. For the 2004 video game The Bard's Tale, he served as scriptwriter, improviser, and voice actor of the main character The Bard. In 2009, he appeared in Robert Zemeckis's motion capture adaption of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. In 2011 he also appeared in Steven Spielberg's motion capture adaptation of Belgian artist Hergé's popular comic strip The Adventures of Tintin. That same year Elwes performed the English voice over for Indian film, Delhi Safari.[31] The following year Elwes portrayed the part of Gremlin Gus in Disney's video game, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.

Theatre[edit]

In 2003, he performed in Bob Balaban-directed Off-Broadway dramatic stage play The Exonerated in New York during its 18–23 March, week run.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Elwes met still photographer Lisa Marie Kurbikoff in 1991 at a Malibu chili cook-off and became engaged in 1997.[33] They married in 2000 and have one child.[34]

In August 2005, Elwes filed a lawsuit against Evolution Entertainment, his management firm and producer of Saw. He said he was promised a minimum of one percent of the producers' net profits of the film and did not receive the full amount.[35] The case eventually was settled out of court. In 2010, he went on to reprise his role in Saw 3D.[36]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1979 Yesterday's Hero Disco Dancer
1984 Another Country James Harcourt
Oxford Blues Lionel
1985 Bride, TheThe Bride Captain Josef Schoden
1986 Lady Jane Guilford Dudley
1987 Maschenka Ganin
Princess Bride, TheThe Princess Bride Westley/The Dread Pirate Roberts
1988 Never on Tuesday Tow Truck Driver Uncredited
1989 Glory Major Cabot Forbes
1990 Days of Thunder Russ Wheeler
1991 Hot Shots! Lieutenant Kent Gregory
1992 Bram Stoker's Dracula Lord Arthur Holmwood
Kurenai no buta Curtis aka Porco Rosso
Voice English version
Leather Jackets Dobbs
1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights Robin Hood
Crush, TheThe Crush Nick Eliot
1994 Jungle Book, TheThe Jungle Book Captain William Boone
Chase, TheThe Chase Steve Horsegroovy
1995 Whisper of the Heart Baron Humbert von Jikkingen Voice English version
1996 Twister Dr. Jonas Miller
1997 Kiss the Girls Detective Nick Ruskin/Casanova Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Best Supporting Actor
Informant, TheThe Informant Lieutenant David Ferris
Liar Liar Jerry
1998 Quest for Camelot Garrett Voice
1999 Cradle Will Rock John Houseman
2000 Shadow of the Vampire Fritz Arno "Firtzy" Wagner
2001 Cat's Meow, TheThe Cat's Meow Thomas H. Ince
2002 Wish You Were Dead Mac "Macbeth" Wilson
The Cat Returns Baron Humbert von Gikkingen Voice English version
Comic Book Villains Carter Direct-to-video
2004 Saw Dr. Lawrence Gordon Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Frightened Performance
Ella Enchanted Sir Edgar
The River Man Ted Bundy
American Crime Albert Bodine Direct-to-video
2005 Edison Reigert aka Edison Force
Neo Ned Dr. Magnuson
National Lampoon's Pucked Norman aka National Lampoon's The Trouble with Frank
2006 Factory Girl Sam Green Uncredited
2007 Walk the Talk Erik
Georgia Rule Arnold
2008 Alphabet Killer, TheThe Alphabet Killer Capt. Kenneth Shine
2009 A Christmas Carol Portly Gentleman #1/Dick Wilkins/Mad Fiddler/Guest #2/Business Man #1
2010 Psych 9 Dr. Clement
Flying Lessons Steven Jennings
As Good as Dead Ethan Belfrage
Little Murder Barry Fitzgerald
Saw 3D Dr. Lawrence Gordon
2011 No Strings Attached Dr. Metzner
Delhi Safari English voiceover
The Adventures of Tintin Pilot
New Year's Eve Stan's doctor Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Ensemble
The Story of Luke Uncle Paul Released
Camilla Dickinson Rafferty Dickinson
Hellgate Jeff Mathews
2012 The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure Bobby Wobbly
The Citizen Miller
2013 Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Orin/Athur Curry/Aquaman Voice
2014 Reach Me Kersey
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Seinfeld David Lookner Episode: "The Wait Out"
1998 Pentagon Wars, TheThe Pentagon Wars Lt. Col. James Burton HBO television film
From the Earth to the Moon Michael Collins Episodes: "Can We Do This"
"1968"
"Mare Tranquilitatis"
Pinky and the Brain Director / Hamlet Voice
Episodes:
"Brainie the Poo/Melancholy Brain"
"Whatever Happened to Baby Brain/Just Say Narf"
Hercules Paris of Troy Voice
Episode: "Hercules and the Trojan War"
1999 Outer Limits, TheThe Outer Limits Dr. John York Episode: "Ripper"
Batman Beyond Paxton Powers Episode: "Ascension"
2000 Race Against Time Burke Television film
2001 Night Visions Gerald Episode: "Quiet Please"
Uprising Dr. Fritz Hippler Television film
2001–2002 X-Files, TheThe X-Files FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer Episodes:
"Nothing Important Happened Today"
"Nothing Important Happened Today II"
"4-D"
"Provenance"
"Providence"
"Release"
2004 Riverman, TheThe Riverman Ted Bundy Television film
2005 Pope John Paul II Young Karol Wojtyla TV mini-series
2006 Haskett's Chance Television film
2007 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sidney Truex Episode: "Dependent"
2009–2014 Psych Pierre Despereaux Episodes:
"Extradition: British Columbia"
"Extradition II: The Actual Extradition Part"
"Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger"
"Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster's Goblet of Fire"
2011 Wonder Woman Henry Detmer Pilot episode (Unsold pilot)
2012 Leverage Scott Roemer Episode: "The (Very) Big Bird Job"
2012 Perception French Intelligence Officer Episode: "Cipher"
2013 The Anna Nicole Story E. Pierce Marshall Television film
2014 Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Edmond Halley, Robert Hooke Voice
Episode "When Knowledge Conquered Fear"
2014 Granite Flats Hugh Ashmead Episodes:
"Put Away Childish Things"
"The Stories We Tell......"
"Cor Unum, Corambis"
"Project Madman"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Almanac". UPI. 26 October 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "World Almanac". Kent County Daily Times. 26 October 2010. "Today's Birthdays: Cary Elwes" 
  3. ^ "Cary Elwes Movie Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Cerio, Gregory (6 February 1995). "A Hero to the Hilt". People 43 (5). Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d Kim, Jae-Ha (12 January 1990). "British actor takes turn as American in 'Glory'". Chicago Sun-Times: 25. 
  6. ^ Thompson, Damian (22 June 2004). Loose Canon: A Portrait of Brian Brindley. Continuum. p. 134. ISBN 0-8264-7418-7. 
  7. ^ a b "Disney's A Christmas Carol Production Notes" (152KB .DOC file; HTML version). Cinematic Intelligence Agency. 21 October 2009. p. 6. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. 
  8. ^ Guthrie, Marisa (4 December 2005). "The spirit moved him". Daily News. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2010. "Elwes, who grew up a Catholic..." 
  9. ^ a b "Dr Gordon is back in Saw – Cary Elwes's character from the first Saw film is back by popular demand". The Straits Times. 5 January 2011. 
  10. ^ Roger Wilkes (9 September 2000). "Inside story: Stewart's Grove". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Tam Jr, Henry (13 August 1993). "The 'Robin' Who Has Sherwood Forest Chuckling". San Francisco Chronicle: C6. 
  12. ^ "Mark & Brian w/Cary Elwes on Marlon Brando". YouTube. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Gray Streeter, Leslie (9 December 2007). "'The Princess Bride' Turns 20". The Palm Beach Post: 6J. "[w]as a modest hit. But it became a raging cult classic after being released on video and shown on cable." 
  14. ^ "Prince Bride (1987)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 2011 27. 
  15. ^ Westbrook, Bruce (6 September 2001). "'Bride' basks in glow of video". Houston Chronicle. 
  16. ^ "Saw (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  17. ^ Miska, Brad (29 October 2009). "AFM '09: Carey Elwes in 'Shadows', First Hi-Res Stills". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  18. ^ "Cary Elwes checks into Psych 9". Total Film. 20 December 2006. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  19. ^ "Cary Elwes Confirmed for 'Saw 3D', Full Synopsis and Cast". Bloody Disgusting. 25 April 2010. Archived from the original on 25 April 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  20. ^ Messer, Ron (31 October 2010). "Cary Elwes Exclusive Interview: The Saw 3D Star on Bookending the Franchise, Tintin & Yellow Submarine". Collider.com. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  21. ^ Kit, Borys (14 May 2011). "Disney torpedoes Zemeckis' "Yellow Submarine"". The Hollywood Reporter. Reuters. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  22. ^ Heritage, Stuart (2 May 2012). "The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure: stand by for PR perfection". Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  23. ^ Kit, Borys (9 November 2010). "Exclusive: Four Actors Board Madeleine L'Engle Adaptation". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  24. ^ Sneider, Jeff (13 July 2011). "4 thesps apply for 'The Citizen'". Variety. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  25. ^ Cary Elwes to direct biopic about Kit Lambert, hollywoodreporter.com; accessed 4 March 2014.
  26. ^ "First Two Teaser Clips Psych: 9". DreadCentral. CraveOnline. 2 January 2010. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  27. ^ Slezak, Michael (21 July 2011). "Psych First Look: The Season 6 Scene Everyone Will Be Talking About! Plus, Musical Update!". TVLine. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  28. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (4 March 2011). "Cary Elwes Joins NBC's 'Wonder Woman'". Deadline.com. PMC. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  29. ^ Rice, Lynette (12 May 2011). "NBC rejects 'Wonder Woman'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  30. ^ Paterson, James; Gross, Andrew (1 March 2003). The Jester (Abridged ed.). Hachette Audio. ISBN 1-58621-535-3. 
  31. ^ "Delhi Safari to feature voiceover by Vanessa Williams and Jason Alexander". Bollywood Hungama. 30 May 2011. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  32. ^ Hernandez, Ernio (18 March 2003). "Cary Elwes and Brooke Shields Join Off-Broadway's Exonerated, 18-23 March". Playbill. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  33. ^ "Celebrities – DeGeneres 'Bedding' Talk-Show Guests". Watertown Daily Times: D2. 3 May 2007. "Elwes and Lisa Marie (née Kurbikoff) met in 1991 at a Malibu chili cook-off. They were engaged in 1997 and tied the knot three years later." 
  34. ^ Silverman, Stephen M.; Jordan, Julie (27 April 2007). "Cary Elwes, Wife Welcome a Girl". People. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  35. ^ Mitchell, Peter (20 August 2005). "Not everyone happy with their cut from Saw". The Age. AAP. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  36. ^ Gingold, Michael (25 April 2010). ""Saw VII" Synopsis and Cast Revealed – Including Cary Elwes!". Fangoria. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 

External links[edit]