Pace at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere in July 2014
|Born||Lee Grinner Pace
March 25, 1979
Chickasha, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Education||Juilliard School (BFA 2001)|
Lee Grinner Pace (born March 25, 1979) is an American actor. Pace has been featured in film, stage and television. He can currently be seen as protagonist Joe MacMillan on AMC's Halt and Catch Fire. He also played Roy Walker/Red Bandit in the 2006 film The Fall. He has appeared in popular series, such as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 as Garrett and The Hobbit as Thranduil. He played villain Ronan the Accuser in the film Guardians of the Galaxy, and starred as Ned in the ABC series Pushing Daisies for which he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2008.
Early life and education
Pace was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, the son of Charlotte (née Kloeckler), a schoolteacher, and James Roy Pace, an engineer. As a child, Pace spent several years in Saudi Arabia, where his father worked in the oil business; the family later moved to Houston, Texas. Pace attended Klein High School in Spring, Texas, a suburb of Houston, with future fellow actor Matt Bomer. Pace temporarily quit high school to act at Houston's Alley Theatre before returning to graduate. At the Alley, he appeared in productions of The Spider's Web and The Greeks. In 1997, Pace was accepted by the Juilliard School's Drama Division as a member of Group 30 (1997–2001), which also included actors Anthony Mackie and Tracie Thoms. While there, he acted in several plays, including Romeo and Juliet as Romeo, Richard III in the title role, and Julius Caesar as Cassius. He graduated from Juilliard with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
After graduation, Pace starred in several off-Broadway plays, including The Credeaux Canvas and The Fourth Sister. He also starred in a production of Craig Lucas's Small Tragedy, for which he was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award as Outstanding Actor. In 2006, Pace starred in the two-character play Guardians by Peter Morris, which earned Pace his second nomination for a Lortel Award as Outstanding Actor.
April 19, 2011 marked Pace's Broadway debut, when The Normal Heart began its previews; it opened April 27 at the Golden Theatre. The show ran for a total of 96 performances, with its closing night on July 10, 2011. Pace played the character Bruce Niles in the show.
Pace has been cast as composer Vincenzo Bellini in Golden Age, which began previews November 15, 2012. The play, written by Terrence McNally, began its official run at the Manhattan Theatre Club December 4, 2012. The previews were originally scheduled for November 13, 2012 but two shows were cancelled as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Pace first gained recognition for his role in the 2003 film Soldier's Girl, based on fact, in which he played the central role of Calpernia Addams, a transgender woman dating Army soldier Barry Winchell, played by Troy Garity. Winchell was murdered because of his sexuality and relationship with Addams.
Of the role, Pace has said:
- Not even my excellent training at Juilliard prepared me for my first movie role, where I played a transsexual who falls in love with a military guy in Soldier's Girl. Here I was, this 6'3" 190-pound lanky kid from Chickasha, Oklahoma, not knowing how to begin being a woman. So I saw documentaries about transsexuals, I lost twenty-five pounds, and I put on prosthetic boobs and hips to become that character. There were times I'd look in the mirror and wonder, "What am I doing to my life here? My dad is going to kill me!" But the reason I went into acting was to be able to play parts as complicated and important as this one. In playing a transsexual, I got the chance to help change people's perspective about other people, and that is a powerful thing. I'm playing a swashbuckling bandit in my next film, but I'll always be proud of Soldier's Girl.
He starred in the film Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and in Tarsem Singh's The Fall, both released in 2008. The Fall was very well received amongst critics and viewers alike and where Lee starred in one of his most artistic roles. His next film was the movie Possession with Sarah Michelle Gellar.
In 2012, Lee Pace starred as Garrett, the nomadic vampire, in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Pace was admittedly aware of the reputation linked to the Twilight franchise, and revealed that he "went in to this a little like 'you know what you’re getting into, just do what you can.'" However, he enjoyed the experience and only had praise for the director Bill Condon. Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight saga, was very satisfied with Pace's performance as Garrett, since he "stood out as someone who really was just so much fun and really looked the part." The movie was met with a mixed reception by critics, however, some critics, such as Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times, whose only issue was that he was introduced too late in the series: "Why, oh, why didn't they introduce him sooner?." Meanwhile, Sara Stewart of the New York Post simply described him as a "standout." Pace appreciates the support of the fans, and said that he felt their support while he was appearing in Golden Age on Broadway: "a lot of them come to the play, which is nice, really nice. I just appreciate that Twilight really does bring a Community of people together."
On April 30, 2011, it was announced that Pace had been cast as Thranduil in Peter Jackson's film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. The announcement was made by Peter Jackson himself, who revealed on his Facebook page that Pace had been his favorite for the part, ever since he saw his performance in The Fall. The character had previously been mentioned in Jackson's Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and had previously been portrayed in The Hobbit, voiced by the Oscar–nominated Otto Preminger, and in the 1968 BBC radio series, voiced by the British actor Leonard Fenton. Pace spent four months filming in New Zealand, and called it a "fantastic experience." The character appeared in the prologue of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, had a larger role in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and is expected to appear in the last film of the series, due 2014.
On July 28, 2011, it was announced that Pace had been cast in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, as the one-time New York City mayor Fernando Wood, an early Confederate supporter. He filmed all his scenes within a week, before he worked on The Hobbit, which made Spielberg the first Oscar-winning director for Pace to work with on a feature film (Pace had previously worked with Kathryn Bigelow on The Miraculous Year). The events in the movie takes place in 1865, when Fernando Wood served in the House of Representatives. However, at the time, Wood was 53 years old, which is 20 years senior to Pace's age when he portrayed him. In a Q&A, Spielberg revealed that he decided to offer Pace the part, after he saw his performance in Ceremony. Of the experience of the film, Pace said that "it was a real pinnacle of what I've done as an actor." The movie was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and was nominated for Best Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Award. However, Pace was not included among the Lincoln ensemble's nomination, and several bloggers were annoyed by this, including Katey Rich of Cinemablend.com and Nathaniel Rogers of The Film Experience.
Pace played Aaron Tyler in the acclaimed but short-lived 2004 television series Wonderfalls, which was co-created by Bryan Fuller. Later, Fuller cast Pace in the lead role of Ned in the series Pushing Daisies which debuted on ABC in October 2007 and returned for its second and final season on October 1, 2008.
|2002||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Benjamin Tucker||Episode: "Guilt"|
|2004||Wonderfalls||Aaron Tyler||13 episodes|
|2007–2009||Pushing Daisies||Ned||22 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (2008)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy (2008)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy (2007–2008)
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television (2008)
|2014||Halt and Catch Fire||Joe MacMillan||10 episodes|
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- Siegel, Lucas (July 20, 2013). "SDCC '13: Marvel Reveals AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, Guardians Cast, More". Newsarama. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
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