Karel Roden

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Karel Roden
Karel Roden.jpg
Roden at the 43rd KVIFF in July 2008
Born (1962-05-18) 18 May 1962 (age 57)
Years active1982–present

Karel Roden (born 18 May 1962) is a Czech actor, popularly known for his roles in Hellboy and The Bourne Supremacy, and his voice work in Grand Theft Auto IV.

Life and career[edit]

Roden followed his father and grandfather into acting. Roden first graduated from the Comprehensive Art Secondary School for Ceramics before being admitted to the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

Roden's feature film career began almost simultaneous with his theatre work in 1984 as Honza, a medical student in the 2nd part of a trilogy entitled "How the poets are losing their illusions" (Jak básníci přicházejí o iluze), a lighthearted, comic look at life through the lives of young university students. Roden's Honza also appeared in the final installation of the trilogy, "How poets are enjoying their lives" (Jak básníkům chutná život).

Other comic turns include Roden's Captain Tuma in "What Kind of Soldier" (Copak je to za vojáka), a humoristic look at life as a soldier in the socialist Czech army, the character Dragan in the action-thriller Dead Fish with Gary Oldman and Terence Stamp. In the comedy crime-thriller Shut Up and Shoot Me, Roden plays the hen-pecked husband hired to assassinate a grieving widow.[1]

During the 1990s, he spent some time in London, which improved his English and gave him necessary exposure and access to the international scene. Hence, since being outside of Czechoslovakia he has become known mostly for his character actor roles which began in 2001 when Roden secured his first major role in the American psychological thriller, 15 Minutes, where he played the criminal Emil Slovak partnered with Oleg Taktarov opposite NYPD cop Flemming played by Robert De Niro. This was followed by a similar role, as the lawyer Carter Kounen, in the service of a vampire clan, in the movie Blade II in 2002.[citation needed]

This was followed by what became a series of type-cast roles including the action movie Bulletproof Monk, where he plays the Nazi megalomaniac Strucker. This was no doubt due to his heavy accent and distinct features, which bring him close to the stereo-typed Hollywood villain, although his voice was dubbed over by another actor in Blade II. This greatly understates, however, the plethora of characters he has portrayed throughout his career, particularly in Czechoslovakia.[citation needed]

His movie roles to date include 15 Minutes (2001), Blade II (2002), Bulletproof Monk (2003), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), as Grigori Rasputin in Hellboy (2004), Running Scared (2006), Largo Winch (2008), RocknRolla (2008), and Orphan (2009). He also played the Russian movie critic Emil Dachevsky in the film Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007). He played Noble Thurzo in Bathory (2008), co-production movie filmed by Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko, A Lonely Place to Die (2011) and a role as the Czech mobster Karel Benes in the TV series McMafia (2019).

For his main character in Guard No. 47, Karel Roden received the Czech Lion Award for Best Actor in Leading Role.[2] 8 years later, he received the same award for the portrayal of Jan Masaryk in A Prominent Patient. He also received Alfréd Radok Award in 1998 for performing Bruno in Le Cocu Magnifique by Fernand Crommelynck. Other notable role was Don Juan in Grabbe's Don Juan and Faust (Divadlo v Dlouhé). He also appeared in two plays with his brother Marian. He was also a member of the prestigious Prague National Theatre. At the moment he can be found at Theatre Studio DVA in several performances[3].

Roden has also voiced Mikhail Faustin and Wade "The Fix" Johnson in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV.



Year Film Country Role
1987 Who's That Soldier? Czechoslovakia Captain Tůma
1990 Masseba Czechoslovakia Tall Youth
2000 Wild Flowers Czech Republic Dead Man - Soldier
2001 15 Minutes United States, Germany Emil Slovák
2002 Blade II United States Kounen
2003 Bulletproof Monk United States Strucker
2004 The Bourne Supremacy United States Yuri Gretkov
2004 Hellboy United States Rasputin
2005 Dead Fish United States Dragan
2005 Shut Up and Shoot Me Czech Republic Pavel Zeman
2006 Running Scared United States, Germany Anzor Yugorsky
2006 The Abandoned (2006 film) Bulgaria, Spain, United Kingdom Nikolai
2007 Mr. Bean's Holiday France, United Kingdom, Germany, United States Emil Dachevsky
2008 Bathory Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, United Kingdom György Thurzó
2008 Guard No. 47 Czech Republic Frantisek Dousa
2008 Largo Winch France Michail Korsky
2008 RocknRolla United Kingdom Uri Omovich
2009 Orphan United States, Canada, Germany, France Dr. Värava
2010 Habermann Czech Republic, Germany, Austria Karel Březina
2011 Lidice Czech Republic Šíma
2011 A Lonely Place to Die United Kingdom Darko
2011 Alois Nebel Czech Republic the mute
2013 The Wrong Mans United Kingdom Marat Malankovic
2013 Frankenstein's Army United States, Czech Republic, Netherlands Viktor Frankenstein
2015 Sword of Vengeance United Kingdom Durant
2016 Murder in Polná Czech Republic Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk
2015 Photographer Czech Republic Jan Saudek
2016 A Prominent Patient Czech Republic Jan Masaryk
2016 We Are Never Alone Czech Republic Father
2017 Little Crusader Czech Republic Bořek
TBA Medieval Czech Republic Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia


Year Title Country Role
2003 Spooks United Kingdom Miroslav Gradic
2011 Terapie Czech Republic Dr. Marek Pošta
2012 Missing United States Viktor Azimoff
2018 McMafia United Kingdom Karel Benes


Year Title Role
2008 Grand Theft Auto IV Mikhail Faustin, Wade "The Fix" Johnson


  1. ^ "Karel Roden – Juraj Thurzo — Actors — Bathory — Czech Television — Czech Television". Ceskatelevize.cz. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  2. ^ Spáčilová, Tereza; Efler, Vojtěch; Záhorková, Jana (7 March 2009). "Filmem roku se stali Karamazovi, pro Českého lva si došel i Havel". idnes.cz (in Czech). Mladá fronta DNES. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Roden Karel « Studio DVA divadlo". www.studiodva.cz. Retrieved 4 March 2019.

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