20 March 1963
Blackpool, Lancashire, England, UK
|Education||Highfield High School|
|Alma mater||Guildhall School of Music and Drama|
|Occupation||Actor, author, film director, screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Sara Sugarman (1992–93)|
|Partner(s)||Anna Friel (2001–2010; 1 child)|
|Parents||Alec Raymond Wheeler
David Thewlis (né David Wheeler; born 20 March 1963) is an English actor of stage and screen. His most commercially successful role to date has been that of Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter film series. Other notable performances include his work in the films Naked (1993), Timeline (2003), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), The Omen (2006), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008), London Boulevard (2010) and War Horse (2011). He made his name known in 1993 with his performance of Johnny in Naked and with his performance of main antagonist King Einon in the 1996 film Dragonheart. He has also done voice work in the films James and the Giant Peach (1996) and The Miracle Maker (2000).
Thewlis, second of three children, was born David Wheeler in Blackpool, Lancashire, the son of Maureen (née Thewlis) and Alec Raymond Wheeler. Both parents worked at his father's shop, which sold toys in the summer and wallpaper and paint in the winter.
As a teenager, he played in a rock band called QED, in which he, Cliff Ashcroft, Mark Fawl and Chris Swift wrote much of their own music and lyrics. QED played at some of the Blackpool hotels to earn money for equipment and their first recording session at Storm Studios in Blackpool. Later, Thewlis played lead guitar with a punk rock band called Door 66. As a musician he was "doing nicely, doing good" and did not want to be an actor. Thewlis was educated at Highfield High School, a state secondary school in Marton, Blackpool. He later enrolled in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating in 1984. When he went to register with the actors' union, he intended to use Wheeler as his stage name, but a "David Wheeler" already existed. His mother's maiden name was the first that came to mind.
His first professional role was in the play Buddy Holly at the Regal in Greenwich. Thewlis' first major film role was as the rambling street philosopher Johnny in Naked (1993; dir. Mike Leigh), for which he was named best actor by the National Society of Film Critics (United States), the London Film Critics Circle, the Evening Standard, the New York Film Critics' Circle and the Cannes Film Festival. The same year he appeared on television as a sexual predator named James Jackson in Prime Suspect 3, opposite Helen Mirren and Ciarán Hinds. Prior to this Thewlis's first television appearance was alongside Ken Jones in Valentine Park. Through the 1990s, Thewlis appeared in a variety of films, mostly fantasy and period, including Restoration (1995), Black Beauty (1994), Total Eclipse (1995) with Leonardo DiCaprio, The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Dragonheart (1996) and Seven Years in Tibet (1997) opposite Brad Pitt (because of this film, Thewlis is barred from entering China). He was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Divorcing Jack (1998), and played Clov in a (2000) television film of Samuel Beckett's Endgame. Notable appearances also include Bernardo Bertolucci's Besieged (1998) and Paul McGuigan's Gangster No. 1 (2000), opposite Paul Bettany and Malcolm McDowell.
Thewlis auditioned for the role of Professor Quirrell in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, but the part went to Ian Hart. Despite missing out on the first film, In 2004, Thewlis was cast as Remus Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He did not have to audition as he was director Alfonso Cuarón's first choice for the role. He reprised the role in four other films in the series.
Thewlis also appears as an SS Commandant of a Nazi death camp, father of the main character in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Recent credits include Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Terrence Malick's The New World (2005) and The Omen (2006). As a director, he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Short Film for Hello, Hello, Hello (1995); he has also written, directed and starred in the feature Cheeky (2003). When researching for his role in Kingdom of Heaven, Thewlis went to the Hospitaller museum near his home, and the first thing he saw was a mannequin wearing the same costume that he wore in the film.
Thewlis received a International Festival of Independent Cinema Off Plus Camera Award in 2012.
In 1992, Thewlis married director Sara Sugarman; they divorced in 1994. He then had a brief relationship with Bill Oddie's daughter Kate Hardie. In 2001, he began a relationship with actress Anna Friel, whom he met on a flight to Cannes. They have one child together. Friel and Thewlis ended their relationship in late 2010, after almost a decade.
Thewlis owns a converted Victorian ballroom in Clerkenwell. He also is often mistaken for fellow actor Rhys Ifans: "Twice a week, people come up to me and say, 'You were great in Notting Hill'. The public seem to think we are the same person." Ironically, Thewlis' ex-partner Anna Friel has been in a relationship with Rhys Ifans since 2011. Thewlis has also written a novel called The Late Hector Kipling, published by Simon & Schuster in 2007.
|Short & Curlies, TheThe Short & Curlies||Clive||Short film|
|Little Dorrit||George Braddle|
|1991||Life Is Sweet||Nicola's lover|
|Afraid of the Dark||Locksmith
|1992||Swords at Teatime||Michael||Short film|
|1993||Trial, TheThe Trial||Franz|
|1994||Black Beauty||Jerry Barker|
|1995||Total Eclipse||Paul Verlaine|
|Hello, Hello, Hello||N/A||Short film; directed and wrote|
|1996||James and the Giant Peach||Earthworm (voice)|
|Island of Dr. Moreau, TheThe Island of Dr. Moreau||Edward Douglas|
|Seven Years in Tibet||Peter Aufschnaiter||Banned from entering the People's Republic of China.|
|1998||Big Lebowski, TheThe Big Lebowski||Knox Harrington|
|Divorcing Jack||Dan Starkey|
|1999||Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?||Nesbit|
|2000||Miracle Maker, TheThe Miracle Maker||Judas Iscariot (voice)|
|Gangster No. 1||Freddie Mays|
|Beckett on Film – Endgame||Clov|
|2001||Goodbye Charlie Bright||Charlie's dad|
|2003||Cheeky||Harry Sankey||Also directed and wrote|
|2004||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban||Remus Lupin|
|2005||Kingdom of Heaven||Hospitaller|
|All the Invisible Children||Jonathan|
|New World, TheThe New World||Edward Wingfield|
|2006||Basic Instinct 2||Roy Washburn|
|Omen, TheThe Omen||Keith Jennings|
|2007||Inner Life of Martin Frost, TheThe Inner Life of Martin Frost||Martin Frost|
|Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||Remus Lupin|
|2008||Boy in the Striped Pajamas, TheThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas||Ralph|
|2009||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince||Remus Lupin|
|Veronika Decides to Die||Dr. Blake|
|2010||Mr. Nice||Jim McCann|
|Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1||Remus Lupin|
|2011||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2|
|Lady, TheThe Lady||Michael Aris|
|Anonymous||William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley|
|2012||Separate We Come, Separate We Go||Norman||Short film|
|2013||RED 2||The Frog|
|The Fifth Estate||Nick Davies|
|1985||Only Fools and Horses||Stew||Episode: "It's Only Rock and Roll"|
|Radio Pictures||Jim Grams||TV film|
|1986||Singing Detective, TheThe Singing Detective||Second Soldier||Episodes: "Lovely Days"
"Who Done It"
|1989||Bit of a Do, AA Bit of a Do||Paul Simcock||Episodes: "The White Wedding"
"The Dentist's Dinner Dance"
"The Angling Club Christmas Party"
"The Charity Horse-Racing Evening"
"The Crowning of Miss Frozen Chicken"
"The Registry Office Wedding"
|1990||Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit||Doctor||TV mini-series|
|1991||Journey to Knock||Terry||TV film|
|Shrinks||Terry Slater||Episode 1.5|
|Screen One||Tim Shanks||Episode: "Filipina Dreamgirls"|
|1992||Black and Blue||Crematorium attendant||TV film|
|1993||Frank Stubbs Promotes||Mike Bence||Episode: "Striker"|
|Prime Suspect 3||James Jackson||TV film|
|1994||Dandelion Dead||Oswald Martin||TV mini-series|
|1999||Love Story||Dealer||TV film|
|2001||Hamilton Mattress||Hamilton Mattress (voice)|
|2002||Dinotopia||Cyrus Crabb||TV mini-series|
|2007||Street, TheThe Street||Joe
|2010||World of Warcraft: Cataclysm||Lord Darius Crowley|
- The Late Hector Kipling (2007)
Awards and Nominations
- "David Thewlis profile at FilmReference.com". Film Reference.com. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- Grice, Elizabeth (4 May 2005). "'Anna has changed me for the better'". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- Morris, Clint (9 June 2004). "Interview: David Thewlis". Movie Hole. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
- MacDonald, Marianne (26 September 2005). "Post-natal confession". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "Friel, Thewlis split after nine years". Digital Spy. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
- ISBN 9781416541219
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