Angus Macfadyen

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Angus Macfadyen
Macfadyen in the film Timeless
Born (1963-09-21) 21 September 1963 (age 60)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
Central School of Speech and Drama
Years active1991–present

Angus Macfadyen (born 21 September 1963)[1] is a Scottish actor. His roles include Robert the Bruce, both in Braveheart and Robert the Bruce, Komodo in Warriors of Virtue, Vice-Counsel Dupont in Equilibrium, Jeff Denlon in the Saw franchise, Robert Rogers in the AMC historical drama Turn: Washington's Spies, McCreedy in Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo, and biologist James Murray in The Lost City of Z. He has made appearances on several television series such as Californication, Criminal Minds, Chuck and Superman & Lois.

Early life[edit]

Macfadyen was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and was brought up in the Philippines, Africa, Singapore and France. His father was a doctor in the World Health Organization.[2] Macfadyen attended the University of Edinburgh and the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.



Macfadyen's first role was Philip in the film made for television The Lost Language of Cranes (1991). He portrayed a young man who must tell his parents that he is gay. Playing the role of his father was fellow Scottish actor Brian Cox. Macfadyen then acted in five episodes of Soldier Soldier before appearing in the television film 15: The Life and Death of Philip Knight (1993) and also on the television series Takin' Over the Asylum (1994) about a salesman who runs a radio station in a mental institution. That role led to his role as Robert the Bruce in Mel Gibson's film Braveheart (1995).[3] In 1995 he also portrayed Richard Burton in the TV miniseries Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story.

After Braveheart won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Macfadyen acted in the independent film Nevada (1997), before giving the most over-the-top[citation needed] performance of his career in the action/fantasy Warriors of Virtue (1997). He also co-starred alongside Don Cheadle and Ray Liotta when he played Peter Lawford in the HBO film The Rat Pack (1998).[3]

Macfadyen played Orson Welles in Tim Robbins's third directorial film Cradle Will Rock (1999). Although the film received a nomination for the Palme d'Or at Cannes, it was a financial flop. Macfadyen next made the Shakespearan film Titus (1999), alongside Anthony Hopkins, where he played Lucius, eldest son of Titus Andronicus. Directed by Julie Taymor, the film was a critical triumph but with mediocre box office results.


After the noir film Second Skin (2000), Macfadyen acted in a number of poorly received films. One such film was the action film Styx (2001) which starred Peter Weller. A year later, he acted in the comedy film Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) alongside a number of famous names: Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Maggie Smith and Ashley Judd. That same year, Macfadyen took the role of Vice-Counsel Dupont in Equilibrium (also 2002). The film, also starring Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Taye Diggs and Emily Watson, is set in the future, where a fascist regime forbids all emotions.[3]

Macfadyen acted as Marcus Crassus in a TV mini-series of Spartacus (2004), and the character of Bill in The Pleasure Drivers (2005).

In 2006, he was the lead in the dramatic film The Virgin of Juarez (2006).[3] He then starred in Kevin Connor's mini-series Blackbeard, it co-stars Richard Chamberlain, Jessica Chastain, Mark Umbers, Stacy Keach, David Winters, and Rachel Ward. It's about pirate Blackbeard (Macfadyen), who wreaks havoc on the high-seas looking for Captain Kidd's treasure.[4] His dark presence causes controversy in the local port town of New Providence, especially among Gov. Charles Eden (Chamberlain) and his adopted daughter Charlotte (Chastain), who is being wooed by Lt. Robert Maynard (Umbers).[5]

His next big role was that of Jeff Denlon in Saw III (also 2006). Jeff is a man obsessed with revenge, and he is led into a series of traps that test his ability to forgive. The film was a smash hit for its $10 million budget, earning almost $200 million worldwide. Macfadyen then co-starred in the box office bomb Redline and Saw IV (both 2007), which was also a box office success.

Macfadyen continued making films, starring as the outlaw Will Tunney in his western film Shadowheart (2009). He has appeared on television on the series Killer Wave (2007) and Californication (2008) He has also acted in the mystery film San Saba (2008) and the thriller film Clean Break (aka, Unnatural Causes, 2008).


Macfadyen has appeared in two thrillers: Pound of Flesh (2010) alongside Malcolm McDowell, which revolves around a corrupt college professor, and the crime thriller Shadows of the White Nights (aka, Assassins Run, 2013) alongside Christian Slater. He starred as Lucas Blackstone in the Christian film Taken by Grace (also 2013). Additionally, Macfadyen was part of the cast of the USA Network's television series Psych, the Cameron Crowe feature film We Bought a Zoo (2011) starring Matt Damon, and the final season of Chuck as villain Nicholas Quinn.

Macfadyen also starred as Robert Rogers in AMC's historical drama series Turn: Washington's Spies (2014–17), and Allan Pinkerton on the first-run syndicated series The Pinkertons (2014–15).[3] Macbeth: Unhinged (2016) is a modernised feature-length film adapted from the Shakespearean play in which he stars and directs.[6] He appeared opposite Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson as biologist James Murray in the 2016 biographical drama The Lost City of Z.

In 2021, Macfadyen was cast as Jor-El in Superman & Lois.[7]



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Braveheart Robert the Bruce
1997 Nevada West
Warriors of Virtue Komodo
Snide and Prejudice Adolf Hitler / Michael Davidson
Still Breathing Philip
1998 Joseph's Gift Carl
The Brylcreem Boys Rudolph Von Stegenbek
Lani Loa – The Passage Turner
1999 Façade Frederic Colbert
Titus Lucius
Cradle Will Rock Orson Welles
2002 Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Connor McGill
Equilibrium Vice-Counsel DuPont
2005 Shooting Gallery Tenderloin Tony Direct-to-video
2006 Fatwa Bobby
The Pleasure Drivers Bill
Saw III Jeff Denlon
.45 Al "Big Al"
2007 Redline Michael D'Orazio
Saw IV Jeff Denlon Cameo
2008 Impulse Jonathan Dennison / Simon Philips
Clean Break Matt McKay
2011 We Bought a Zoo Peter MacCready
2013 Copperhead Jee Hagadorn
Sugar Uncle Gene
2016 Timeless Dr. Meier
2017 The Lost City of Z James Murray
2018 Alive Caretaker / The Man
2019 3022 Richard Valin
Robert the Bruce Robert the Bruce Also producer and screenwriter
2020 Steel Rain 2: Summit Willis Chatman Smoot
TBA Horizon: An American Saga Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1991 The Lost Language of Cranes Philip Television film
1992 Soldier Soldier Lieutenant Alex Pereira Recurring role, 5 episodes
1994 Screen One Dexter 1 episode
1994 Takin' Over the Asylum Fergus Miniseries, 4 episodes
1995 Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story Richard Burton Television film
1998 The Rat Pack Peter Lawford Television film
2000 Jason and the Argonauts Zeus Miniseries, 2 episodes
2003 Miracles Alva Keel Main role, 13 episodes
2004 Spartacus Marcus Crassus Television film
2004 Five Days to Midnight Roy Bremmer Miniseries, 5 episodes
2005 Tilt Roy McEntyre 1 episode
2005–2006 Alias Joseph Erhmann 3 episodes
2006 Blackbeard Blackbeard Miniseries, 3 episodes
2007 Killer Wave John McAdams Miniseries, 2 episodes
2008 Eleventh Hour Jason Cooper 1 episode
2008 Californication Julian Recurring role, 6 episodes
2010 Lie to Me Jimmy Doyle Episode "Sweet Sixteen"
2010 Psych Logan Paget 1 episode
2011 Criminal Minds Sean McAllister 2 episodes
2012 Chuck Nicholas Quinn 4 episodes
2013 Republic of Doyle Gerald Bryne 1 episode
2014–2017 Turn: Washington's Spies Robert Rogers Main role, 31 episodes
2014–2015 The Pinkertons Allan Pinkerton Main role, 22 episodes
2019 Strange Angel Aleister Crowley Recurring role, 5 episodes
2021 Superman & Lois Jor-El Recurring role; 5 episodes
2023 Outlander Brigadier General Simon Fraser Recurring role, 3 episodes


  1. ^ Biodata
  2. ^ Angus Articles
  3. ^ a b c d e Written By tknight. "Angus Macfadyen - IMDbPro". Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  4. ^ Marill, Alvin H. (11 October 2010). Movies Made for Television: 2005–2009. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810876590.
  5. ^ Fries, Laura (14 June 2006). "Blackbeard". Variety. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  6. ^ Foster, Richard (9 August 2017). "Crowned By Chance | News and Features | Style Weekly - Richmond, VA local news, arts, and events". Style Weekly. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  7. ^ Burlingame, Russ. "Superman & Lois Casts Angus Macfadyen as Jor-El (Exclusive)".

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