Michael McElhatton

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Michael McElhatton
Born (1963-09-12) 12 September 1963 (age 56)
Dublin, Ireland[1]
Alma mater
OccupationActor, writer
Years active1987–present

Michael McElhatton (born 12 September 1963) is an Irish actor and writer best known for playing the role of Roose Bolton in the HBO series Game of Thrones.[2] He joined the series as a guest star in the second season, and continued to play this role until season 6, promoted to a regular cast member from the fifth season onwards.[3]

Life and career[edit]

McElhatton was born in 1963 in Terenure,[1] a suburb in the south of Dublin,[1] He began studying acting at Terenure College, a school known for its drama tradition,[1] and afterward spent eight years in London where he graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1987. McElhatton returned to Ireland in the early nineties, where he began his acting career mainly in theatre and television.[1] He appeared in a short film titled The Loser in 1990. In 1996, he was directed by John Carney in the film November Afternoon, in which he plays the main character. In the late nineties and early 2000s, McElhatton appeared in numerous series and TV films in Ireland, working with various film directors, including Paddy Breathnach and Conor McPherson for roles in I Went Down (1997), Saltwater (2000), Blow Dry (2001), and The Actors (2003). Between 2000 and 2002, McElhatton gained fame from appearing in the situation comedies Paths to Freedom and Fergus's Wedding.[1] In addition to acting, he also took on the role of screenwriter, writing the screenplay for all of the episodes.[1] The character of Rats in Paths to Freedom, which he wrote and starred in, became popular with the public and allowed it to be adapted into an entire feature film in 2003 (Spin the Bottle). As his career went on, McElhatton continued playing minor characters in films by directors such as Lenny Abrahamson, John Boorman and Kari Skogland. McElhatton also appeared in Perrier's Bounty (2009) and Death of a Superhero (2011).

He returned to his role as writer in 2010, writing six episodes of the sitcom Your Bad Self . Over the next decade, McElhatton began appearing in much larger roles. In 2011, he had a role in the film Albert Nobbs directed by Rodrigo García, and the following year the short Pentecost , which received a nomination for Best Short Film at the 2012 Academy Awards. That same year he took part in the film Shadow Dancer directed by James Marsh, while also on television in the cast of the miniseries Titanic: Blood and Steel.

In 2012, McElhatton joined the cast of the popular HBO television series Game of Thrones, beginning in the second season, playing the character of Roose Bolton. From the fifth season on he was promoted to series regular. In 2015, he played one of the protagonists in the horror film The Hallow, which was presented at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

He appeared in the screen adaptation of the true story of World War II drama 'The Zookeeper's Wife' in 2017.



Title Year Role Director Notes Ref(s)
The Loser 1990 Eddie Keith Boak Short film
November Afternoon 1996 John John Carney, Tom Hall
I Went Down 1997 Johnner Doyle Paddy Breathnach
All Souls' Day 1997 Alan Gilsenan
To the Mountain 1998 Jean Pasley Short film
Crush Proof 1998 Detective Sergeant Hogan Paul Tickell
Between Dreams 1999 Mr. Fitzsimons Ian Fitzgibbon Short film
Underworld 1999 Jimmy Ronan Gallagher Short film
Saltwater 2000 John Traynor Conor McPherson
Blow Dry 2001 Robert Paddy Breathnach
Zulu 9 2001 Garda Dispatcher Alan Gilsenan Short film
Ape 2002 Dandy Dance Rory Bresnihan Short film, voice only
The Actors 2003 Jock Conor McPherson
Intermission 2003 Sam John Crowley
Spin the Bottle 2003 Rats Ian Fitzgibbon [1]
Waterloo Dentures 2004 Captain Rachael Moriarty, Peter Murphy Short film
Mickybo and Me 2004 Mechanic Terry Loane
Adam & Paul 2004 Martin Lenny Abrahamson Voice only
God's Early Work 2004 God Rory Bresnihan Short film, voice only
George 2005 Rory Bresnihan, John Butler Short film
English 2005 Rory Bresnihan Short film
The Tiger's Tail 2006 Dr. Alex Loden John Boorman
The Martyr's Crown 2007 Officer Rory Bresnihan Short film
Spacemen Three 2008 Dr. Yuri Semyonov Hugh O'Conor Short film
Fifty Dead Men Walking 2008 Robbie Kari Skogland
The Man Inside 2008 Locksmith Rory Bresnihan Short film
Perrier's Bounty 2009 Ivan Ian Fitzgibbon
Happy Ever Afters 2009 Detective Norman Ginty Stephen Burke
Parked 2010 Frank Darragh Byrne
Pentecost 2011 Pat Lynch Peter McDonald Short film
Albert Nobbs 2011 Mr. Moore Rodrigo García
Death of a Superhero 2011 James Clarke Ian Fitzgibbon
Shadow Dancer 2012 Liam Hughes James Marsh
The Food Guide to Love 2013 Famine narrator Dominic Harari, Teresa Pelegri Voice only
The Legend of Longwood 2014 The Black Knight Lisa Mulcahy Voice only
The Hallow 2015 Colm Donnelly Corin Hardy
Norm of the North 2016 Laurence Trevor Wall Voice only
Mammal 2016 Matt Rebecca Daly
The Autopsy of Jane Doe 2016 Sheriff Sheldon André Øvredal
Handsome Devil 2016 Walter Curly John Butler
The Siege of Jadotville 2016 McEntee Richie Smyth
The Zookeeper's Wife 2017 Jerzyk Niki Caro
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword 2017 Jack's Eye Guy Ritchie
The Foreigner 2017 Jim Kavanagh Martin Campbell
Justice League 2017 Terrorist Leader Zack Snyder


Title Year Role Network Notes Ref.
Ballyseedy 1997 Comdt. Ed. Breslin Television film
Vicious Circle 1999 Garrett BBC Television film
The Ambassador 1999 Commander 2 Episode: "Vacant Possession"
Vicious Circle 1999 Garrett Television film
Paths to Freedom 2000 Raymond 'Rats' Doyle RTÉ 6 episodes
Rebel Heart 2001 Cathal Brugha BBC Mini-Series
3 episodes
Fergus's Wedding 2002 Fergus Walsh 4 episodes
Hide & Seek 2006 Paul Holden RTÉ 4 episodes
My Boy Jack 2007 Leo Amery MP ITV Television film
Your Bad Self 2010 RTÉ 6 episodes
The Santa Incident 2010 Ross Television film
Zen 2011 Ernesto Heuber BBC Mini-Series
Episode: "Ratking"
Game of Thrones 2012–2016 Roose Bolton HBO 19 episodes [4]
The Fall 2013 Rob Breedlove RTÉ 4 episodes
Ripper Street 2013 Commissioner James Monro BBC 2 episodes
The Ice Cream Girls 2013 Brian ITV Mini-Series
3 episodes
New Worlds 2014 John Hawkins Channel 4 3 episodes
Strike Back: Legacy 2015 Oppenheimer Sky 1 2 episodes
Mammon 2016 Melanie Holly, CIA Agent NRK 2 episodes
Genius 2017-2018 Dr. Philipp Lenard / Jonas Salk National Geographic 4 episodes
Agatha and the Truth of Murder 2018 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Channel 5 Television film
The Rook 2019 Lorik Amazon Prime Television Series
Chernobyl 2019 Andrei Stepashin HBO Episode: "Vichnaya Pamyat"

Video games[edit]

Title Year Voice role Ref.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag 2013 Vance Travers
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood 2019 Gaius van Baelsar
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers

Writing credits[edit]

Selected stage career[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ciara Dwyer (30 November 2003). "Rat's tale is a glass act, low on spin and high on bottle". The Independent. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  2. ^ Schwartz, Terri. "'Game of Thrones': Michael McElhatton says Robb Stark's 'huge mistake' caused Roose Bolton's Red Wedding betrayal". Zap2it. Tribune Media Services, LLC. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Carice van Houten heads back to Westeros, and new photos from Lokrum and Moneyglass". Watchers On The Wall. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Game of Thrones: Cast". HBO. Archived from the original on 1 September 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b http://www.ifta.ie/awards/iftawinners2003.html
  6. ^ http://www.ifta.ie/awards/iftawinners2007.html
  7. ^ http://www.ifta.ie/awards/iftawinners2013.html
  8. ^ "SAG Awards Nominations: '12 Years A Slave' And 'Breaking Bad' Lead Way". Deadline Hollywood. 11 December 2013. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2017.

External links[edit]