Gary Lewis (actor)
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30 November 1958
Gary Lewis (born Gary Stevenson on 30 November 1958) is a Scottish actor. He has had parts in Billy Elliot, Gangs of New York, Eragon and Three and Out, as well as a major role in the television docudrama, Supervolcano.
Born and raised in the tough Easterhouse area of Glasgow, Lewis has described in interviews the dichotomy of his upbringing: his parents stressed the value of education, yet his formal studies were left wanting. When he left school, he lacked a sense of purpose, taking a job as a road-sweeper to earn a living. Later, Lewis found employment in the local library. Encouraged by his brother, an English teacher at a Glasgow secondary school (Stonelaw High School), he read voraciously and thought about pursuing a career as an actor.
Although he had pursued amateur theatrics, Lewis was 32 when he committed to acting, joining Robert Carlyle's newly formed Raindog Theatre. His career received a boost when he was befriended by actor-director Peter Mullan whom he met at a socialist lecture.
Mullan hired Lewis for a role in the short Close which began filming in 1991 but took some three years to complete. By that time, both actors had appeared in Shallow Grave (1994). Lewis went on to act in Mullan's subsequent shorts Good Day for the Bad Guys (1995) and the award-winning Fridge (1996).
Lewis joined director Kenneth Loach's unofficial stock company lending support to his two mentors in separate films: with Carlyle, he co-starred in Carla's Song (1996), while he played a recovering alcoholic alongside Mullan in My Name Is Joe (1998). In between, Mullan cast him as the over-righteous, somewhat dimwitted elder sibling Thomas in Orphans (1998), an examination of a dysfunctional family. He went on to co-star with Max Beesley in The Match (1999; released on video in USA in 2001) before landing his international breakthrough part as the father of a young boy who wants to become a ballet dancer in Billy Elliot (2000). Lewis delivered a multi-layered turn as a man coping with grief over the death of his wife, a violent strike that threatens his livelihood and the struggles of raising two sons. The actor rounded out his banner year teaming with Irish actor Sean McGinley in What Where, a 12-minute short film of Samuel Beckett's play, and supporting Michael Caine as a boxing coach who may or may not have been involved in a murder in Shiner (screened at the San Sebastian Film Festival).
Lewis starred in British comedy Three and Out released on 25 April 2008.
Lewis appeared in Scottish rom-com Not Another Happy Ending as the father of protagonist Jane Lockhart.
In 2010 Lewis appeared as Adam Ingram in the Channel 4 drama Mo a biopic of former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam, a role that saw him nominated for a BAFTA Television Award in the category of Best Supporting Actor.
In 2011 Lewis appeared in episode five of new BBC drama Outcasts playing Patrick Baxter. He also appeared as the enigmatic wizard Alator in episode seven of the fourth season of BBC fantasy drama Merlin.
In December 2011, Lewis appeared in the BBC mini-series Young James Herriot, in the role of Prof. Quinton Gunnel.
In May 2012 Lewis appeared in the Rai 1 TV film L'olimpiade perduta, which tells of the XII and XIII Olympic Games, that took place in the Nazi concentration camps. In this TV film, Lewis has the role of the British general Alex, who organized the Olympic Games.
In January 2014 Lewis appeared as DS MacNeil in the Silent Witness two-parter "In A Lonely Place".
In July 2014, Lewis appeared in The Glasgow Girls as a teacher who supported his pupils during their fight to save their classmate from deportation (this was based on a true story).
What follows is a selected list of motion pictures in which Lewis has appeared:
- Shallow Grave 1994 (visitor)
- Orphans 1998 (Thomas)
- Won Best Actor, Gijón International Film Festival
- My Name Is Joe, 1998 (Shanks)
- One Life Stand, 2000 (Jackie)
- Rob of the Rovers, 2000 (Rob)
- What Where 2000 (Bom/Bim/Bem)
- Billy Elliot, 2000 (Jackie Elliot)
- Won Best Actor, Flaiano Film Festival
- The Escapist, 2002 (Ron)
- Gangs of New York, 2002 (McGloin)
- Pure, 2002 (French)
- Solid Air, 2003 (John Doran)
- Boudica (Magior the Shaman)
- Yes (Billy) 2004
- Ae Fond Kiss..., 2004 (Danny)
- Supervolcano, (TV) 2005 (Jock Galvin)
- Joyeux Noël, 2005 (Palmer)
- Goal!, 2005 (Mal Braithwaite)
- Cargo, 2006 (Herman)
- True North, 2006 (The Skipper)
- Eragon, 2006 (Hrothgar)
- Ecstasy, (2008) (Mr. Cab Driver)
- Three and Out, 2008 (Callaghan)
- Valhalla Rising, 2009 (Kare)
- Neds, 2010 (Teacher)
- Outcasts, 2011 (Pak)
- Merlin, 2011, 2012 (Alator) - 2 episodes altogether.
- Young James Herriot, 2011 (Professor Quinton Gunnel)
- Filth, 2013 (Gus Bain)
- Outlander, 2014 (Colum MacKenzie)
- The Glasgow Girls, 2014 (Euan Girvan)