Crook in 2009
|Born||Paul James Crook
29 September 1971
Maidstone, Kent, England
|Occupation||Actor, writer, director, comedian|
|Spouse(s)||Lindsay Crook (m. 2001)|
Paul James "Mackenzie" Crook (born 29 September 1971) is an English actor, writer, director, and stand-up comedian. He is best known for playing Gareth Keenan in The Office, Ragetti in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, and Orell in the HBO series Game of Thrones.
Crook was born in Maidstone, Kent. He grew up in Dartford, Kent. His father, Michael Crook, worked for British Airways, and his mother, Sheila, was a hospital manager. He has two sisters. As a child, he was put on a course of hormone therapy for three years due to a growth hormone deficiency. In the summers, he spent time at his uncle's tobacco farm in northern Zimbabwe, where he developed his love for painting. He was educated at the Wilmington Grammar School for Boys, Dartford, where he was the illustrator and cartoonist for the school magazine. He joined the Orchard Youth Theatre in Dartford when he was about 15 years old.
Wanting to be a graphic artist, aged 18 he applied and was turned down three times for courses at the Kent Institute of Art & Design. He spent a while doing part-time jobs in a publisher's, a hospital, Halford's and Pizza Hut.
Persuaded to join a local theatre company by its manager, he was guided to turn to comedic arts, resulting in Crook writing comedy sketches and the theatre manager becoming his agent. He then became a comedian alongside Iain Lee for about eight years, in the guise of Charlie Cheese, "the cheeky chirpy chappy from Chorley". He has also performed, both on stage and in the Channel 4 sketch show Barking, as a grotesque schoolteacher called Mr Bagshaw who is said to be based on a variety of obnoxious, overbearing science teachers he was taught by while in school.
Film and television career
In 1996 Crook appeared in his first short film: The Man who Fell in Love with a Traffic Cone. Having been seen by Bob Mortimer in his one-man show in Edinburgh, alongside others including Sacha Baron Cohen they were offered their first major television roles as comedy sketch contributors on Channel 4's The Eleven O'Clock Show in 1998, from which Crook was quietly dropped. He was later a member of the main cast of the BBC sketch show TV to Go in 2001.
In late 1999 he hosted the short-lived ITV1 show Comedy Café in the guise of his Charlie Cheese character. The show made by Channel X for ITV1 had Charlie Cheese interviewing various celebrities about their latest live tour, book, album or film release. In 2001, he auditioned for the role of Gareth Keenan in Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant popular mockumentary The Office. Written originally for a larger thuggish actor, Crook won the role and by the end of the series in 2003 had earned himself two BAFTA nominations.
Crook was featured in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) and in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007); as Ragetti, a pirate with a comically ill-fitting wooden false eye. Neither Crook nor Lee Arenberg (Pintel) were featured in the 2011 movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. He has appeared in adverts as the character for Visa and M&M's. He has also featured as himself in adverts for MTV, Film Four and as a voiceover artiste for motor insurance company Green Flag in 2007. In 2010 he provided a voice over in an advertisement for the electrical retailer Currys.
Crook also appeared as Launcelot Gobbo in Michael Radford's 2004 film adaptation of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice and had a minor role in the 2004 film Finding Neverland as a theatre usher. Other films he has appeared in include The Gathering (2003) and The Brothers Grimm (2005). Crook has starred in three of Tim Plester and Ben Gregor's short films: as Gary Tibbs in Ant Muzak (2002), as Servalan in Blake's Junction 7 (2004), and as Glorious George in World of Wrestling (2006). All three of these films have been released on DVD. He has also voiced in a television series called Modern Toss and has featured in I Want Candy as Mr Dulberg, a quirky university professor and voiced a character called Rolli Bobbler in the English version of an animated film from Finland called Quest for a Heart (original Finnish name Röllin Sydän). He also performed a duet with Ricky Gervais in the Concert for Diana.
Crook played the leading role of Paul Callow in the British comedy film Three and Out, released on 25 April 2008. On 10 May 2008 he appeared in an episode of the BBC1 comedy/drama "Love Soup" playing the character Marty Cady and appeared in an episode of Andrew Davies' 2008 BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit. He also provided his voice and movements to a character in Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which began filming in January 2009 and was released in 2011.
Crook starred in Wyndham Price's drama Abraham's Point as Comet Snape and appeared in City of Ember as Looper, and on TV was featured in the documentary Tattoos: A Scarred History (2009). He also did Big Brother Celebrity Hijack and appeared in an ITV drama Demons (originally titled The Last Van Helsing) as a vampire named Dr. Gladiolus Hadilus Tradius Thrip. In January 2009, Crook featured in the second and third episodes of the third series of the E4 hit teen cult drama Skins. In the show Crook played psychotic Bristol gangster Johnny White. He has appeared in Merlin, for the first episode of the second season, as a man named Cedric, who tries to take Merlin's job as Prince Arthur's manservant. In November 2010 Mackenzie starred in A Reluctant Tragic Hero, a comic play by Anton Chekhov, on the Sky Arts channel. It also starred Johnny Vegas. Mackenzie played Corporal Buckley, a brutal career soldier, in Jimmy McGovern's Accused, broadcast on BBC1 in November 2010. During the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con it was announced that Crook will play the role of Orell in the third season of Game of Thrones.
Mackenzie has also written and directed a British television comedy series called Detectorists which was first broadcast on BBC Four on 2 October 2014. He also stars in the six-part series alongside Toby Jones. In 2015, Crook won a British Academy Television Craft Award for Best Writing in a Comedy Series for the show, whilst the series won the British Academy Television Award for Best Situation Comedy.
Crook played Billy Bibbit in the 2004 London West End production of the stage play of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest opposite Christian Slater, and in 2006 he appeared in The Exonerated at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith.
He starred in director Ian Rickson's production of The Seagull opposite Kristin Scott Thomas, as the troubled writer Konstantin for which he earned a nomination from the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Starting at the Royal Court Theatre in London in February/March 2007, it transferred to Broadway in September 2008. In December 2008 he finished the Broadway run of The Seagull at the Walter Kerr Theatre.
From 15 July through to 15 August 2009 Mackenzie appeared at the Royal Court Theatre in Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem. He and the play received rave reviews and it was transferred to the West End's Apollo Theatre in February 2010. In May 2011 he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play, for his role in the Broadway transfer of the show and also appeared in the 2011 London revival.
Also during 2010, on 18 April, Mackenzie took part in the fund raising event We Are One, a celebration of tribal peoples, in aid of indigenous rights organisation Survival International, at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. The evening was a performance of tribal prose and poetry from some of the UK and Hollywood's leading actors and musicians. The event was created and directed by Mark Rylance. Mackenzie appeared in the play "Aliens" at the Bush Theatre in October 2010 and in early 2012 appeared in The Recruiting Officer at the Donmar Warehouse.
Crook has directed a music video for the London electro band Paw Paw (his sister Zoe is one of the band members). The stop motion animation video accompanies the band's debut single 'Wired OK', released on 16 July 2007 on Albino Recordings. Crook appeared as a postman in the music video for Paul McCartney's single "Dance Tonight" alongside actress Natalie Portman. The video for the song was directed by Michel Gondry and was posted exclusively on YouTube on 22 May 2007.
Crook has a deal with publisher Faber to illustrate and write a children's book. His first one, The Windvale Sprites, was released in November 2011. It was announced on 8 February 2012, that Crook's book was nominated for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, in the 5–12-year-old category. The book contains references to a storm in 1987 which hit Dartford and surrounding areas. Crook teamed up with the writers of Modern Toss and footwear giant Kickers in 2009 to provide voiceovers for a new series of comedy cartoons called Random Bandits, which are featured online at the Kickers MySpace. On 9 April 2010 it was announced that Crook would star in the music video for Slow Club's new single, "Giving Up on Love", after band member Rebecca Taylor wrote to him. Crook regularly works in radio, and is scheduled to appear in the BBC Radio Four show North by Northamptonshire, in 2011. Crook stars alongside Geoffrey Palmer, Sheila Hancock, Lizzie Roper and Jessica Henwick. Crook narrated the audiobook version of the novel 'Charlotte Street' by Danny Wallace.
Crook and his wife Lindsay, a former advertising executive, reside in Muswell Hill, London. They were married in April 2001 and have a son, Jude Michael (born 17 January 2003) and a daughter, Scout Elizabeth (born 24 December 2007).
Crook is an atheist. In a 2006 interview, he stated:
|“||I don't believe in life after death. I'm a staunch atheist and I know when I die that will be it, I'll just blink out of existence. It's not an incredibly comforting thought but I'm completely at peace with that idea and it just makes me appreciate this life all the more. It's almost a panic to get as much done and to have as much experience as possible.||”|
As a teenager, he inherited a rare breeding pair of Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoises, leading to his hobby of breeding chelonians. In January 2010 on The Andrew Marr Show, Crook revealed that he himself provides the tortoises used in his new play Jerusalem, taking them from his own creep. A committed conservationist, Crook purchased eight acres of Essex woodland in 2008, to create his own private nature reserve. In an interview with the BBC he denied claims made on Wikipedia that he was a Green Party of England and Wales activist.
|Year||Film & Television||Role||Notes|
|1996||The Man who Fell in Love with a Traffic Cone||The Man||short film|
|1998||Still Crazy||Dutch Kid|
|The Eleven O'Clock Show||himself||TV series|
|2001–2003||The Office||Gareth Keenan||TV series: 14 episodes|
|2002||Ant Muzak||Gary Tibbs||short film|
|2003||Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl||Ragetti|
|The Gathering||The Gathering|
|2004||The Merchant of Venice||Launcelot Gobbo|
|Sex Lives of the Potato Men||Ferris|
|The Life and Death of Peter Sellers||Car Salesman|
|Churchill: The Hollywood Years||Jimmy Charoo|
|Finding Neverland||Mr. Jaspers|
|Blake's Junction 7||Servalan||short film|
|2005||Spider-Plant Man||Scientist||short film|
|Monkey Trousers||various characters||TV series|
|The Brothers Grimm||Hidlick|
|2006||Land of the Blind||Editor|
|Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest||Ragetti|
|Popetown||various roles||voice only
|Modern Toss||various roles||voice only
|World of Wrestling||Glorious George||short film|
|2007||Quest for a Heart (Original title: Röllin sydän)||Rölli||voice only: English language version of Finnish original|
|I Could Never Be Your Woman||Producer|
|Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End||Ragetti|
|I Want Candy||Dulberg|
|2008||Three and Out||Paul Callow|
|City of Ember||Looper|
|Little Dorrit||Harris||TV series: 1 episode|
|Love Soup||Marty Cady||TV series: 1 episode|
|2009||Merlin||Cedric||TV series: 1 episode|
|Demons||Gladiolus Thrip||TV series: 2 episodes|
|Skins||Johnny White||TV series: 2 episodes|
|Solomon Kane||Father Michael|
|2010||Chekhov Comedy Shorts||TV series: 1 episode|
|Accused||Lance Corporal Alan Buckley||TV series: 1 episode|
|Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll||Russell Hardy|
|The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn||Tom|
|2012||Cheerful Weather for the Wedding||David Dakin||Movie|
|I am Tom Moody||Tom Moody||Short Film: Voice|
|2013||Game of Thrones||Orell||TV series: 6 episodes|
|Almost Human||Rudy Lom||TV series|
|The Cafe||Dave||TV series: 2 episodes|
|2014||Muppets Most Wanted||Silent Guard at Prado Museum|
writer & director
BAFTA Television Craft Award for Best Writing in a Comedy Series
BAFTA Television Award for Best Situation Comedy
|Ordinary Lies||'Paracetamol' Pete||TV series: 6 episodes|
- Maher, Kevin (17 July 2008). "Mackenzie Crook's tour of identities and the poignant Three and Out". The Times (UK). Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- Booth, Jenny (11 January 2009). "My hols: Mackenzie Crook". The Times (UK). Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- Hardy, Frances (28 December 2007). "From Office to Romeo: Why Mackenzie Crook is terrified of love scenes". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- "The amazing Mr Mackenzie Crook: From The Office to Hollywood". Daily Mail (UK). 12 April 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- "Mackenzie Crook". BBC Comedy. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- Mackenzie Crook – Awards
- Pool, Hannah (19 May 2007). "Out of office reply". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- Jay A. Fernandez, Borys Kit (27 January 2009). "Daniel Craig to star in "Tintin"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 January 2009.[dead link]
- BBC Press Office, 10 October 2010, Accused
- "Game of Thrones Season 3: New Cast Members". Youtube.com. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- "Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2007: the longlist| Theatre". This is London. 31 October 2007. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- "Mackenzie Crook talks new play Jerusalem". The London paper. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- "2011 Tony Nominations Announced! THE BOOK OF MORMON Leads With 14!". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- "Mackenzie Crook". Mackenzie Crook. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- "PawPawMusic". Myspace.com. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- "Mackenzie Crook up for book award". BBC News. 8 February 2012.
- Dessau, Bruce (6 July 2009). "Mackenzie Crook: from The Office to Jerusalem". The Times (UK). Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- Crook, Mackenzie (13 March 2011). "A wild shot". Live (Mail on Sunday supplement): 32.
- "Mackenzie Crook: From Jerusalem to Vermont". BBC News. 16 September 2010.
- Mackenzie Crook – official site
- Mackenzie Crook – autobiography
- Mackenzie Crook at the Internet Movie Database