Thewlis at the 2008 San Sebastian Film Festival
20 March 1963
Blackpool, Lancashire, England
|Occupation||Actor, author, film director, screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Sara Sugarman (m. 1992; div. 1993)|
|Partner(s)||Anna Friel (2001–2010)|
David Thewlis (né Wheeler; born 20 March 1963) is an English actor. His most commercially successful role to date has been that of Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter film series. Other notable performances include the films Naked (for which he won the Best Actor award at Cannes Film Festival), Dragonheart, Kingdom of Heaven, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, The Theory of Everything and Macbeth, in which he played King Duncan. He has also done voice work in the films James and the Giant Peach (1996) and The Miracle Maker (2000).
Thewlis, the second of three children, was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, the son of Maureen (née Thewlis) and Alec Raymond Wheeler. Both parents worked at his father's shop. As a teenager, he played in a rock band called QED, and played lead guitar with a punk rock band called Door 69. He was educated at Highfield High School, a state secondary school in Marton, Blackpool. Later, he enrolled in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating in 1984.
Thewlis had a minor role in an episode of the 1980s sitcom Up the Elephant and Round the Castle. He also appeared in an episode of popular sitcom Only Fools and Horses (1985) as a friend of Rodney. His first professional role was in the play Buddy Holly at the Regal in Greenwich.
Thewlis' breakout role was in Naked (1993; dir. Mike Leigh), as the main character, Johnny, a highly intelligent, embittered, rambling street philosopher, for which Thewlis 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. That same year, he appeared on television as a sexual predator named James Jackson in Prime Suspect 3, opposite Helen Mirren and Ciarán Hinds. Before that, his first television appearance was alongside Ken Jones in Valentine Park.
During 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. 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.
He auditioned for the role of 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, he was cast in 2004 as Professor 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. Thewlis reprised the role in four other films in the series.
He appeared as an SS Commandant of a Nazi death camp and father of the main character in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which was well received. Other credits include Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Terrence Malick's The New World (2005) and The Omen (2006).
Thewlis played the late Dr. Michael Aris, husband of Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, with Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh as Suu Kyi, in the biopic The Lady directed by Luc Besson. In 2012, he received an International Festival of Independent Cinema Off Plus Camera Award.
In June 2015, Thewlis was reported to be filming scenes for a Donald Crowhurst biopic on the beach at Teignmouth, Devon, playing Donald Crowhurts's press agent, Rodney Hallworth, while Colin Firth is playing Donald Crowhurst. He also stars in Regression, a thriller originally due for release in August 2015, in which he reunites with Harry Potter co-star Emma Watson, and appears alongside Ethan Hawke, but it has not yet been released. In September 2015, he starred as Inspector Goole in Helen Edmundson's BBC TV adaptation of J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls, alongside Ken Stott and Miranda Richardson. In October 2015, he played King Duncan in the film Macbeth, with Michael Fassbender starring as Macbeth.
Directing and other ventures
Thewlis directed Hello, Hello, Hello in 1995, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Short Film. He also wrote, directed and starred in the feature Cheeky (2003).
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.
Thewlis owns a converted Victorian ballroom in Clerkenwell. He 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." Friel has been in a relationship with Ifans since 2011.
|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||SS-Obersturmbannführer 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|
|The Zero Theorem||Joby|
|2014||The Theory of Everything||Dennis Sciama|
|Stonehearst Asylum||Mickey Finn|
|Queen and Country||Bradley|
|2015||Regression||Professor Kenneth Raines|
|Anomalisa||Michael Stone (voice)|
|2016||Untitled Donald Crowhurst film||Filming|
|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
|2015||An Inspector Calls||Inspector Goole||TV film|
|2004||World of Warcraft||Lord Darius Crowley|
|2010||World of Warcraft: Cataclysm|
- The Late Hector Kipling (2007)
Awards and Nominations
- "Behind The Voice Actors - David Thewlis". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
- "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.
- "Up the Elephant and Round the Castle(1983–1985) - Full Cast & Crew". IMDb.com. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- Morris, Clint (9 June 2004). "Interview: David Thewlis". Movie Hole. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
- ISBN 9781416541219
- MacDonald, Marianne (26 September 2005). "Post-natal confession". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "Friel, David split after nine years". Digital Spy. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
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