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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. 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.
Life and career
McElhatton was born in 1963 in Terenure, a suburb in the south of Dublin, to a modest family. He began studying acting at Terenure College, a school known for its drama tradition, 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. 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. In addition to acting, he also took on the role of screenwriter, writing the screenplay for all of the episodes. 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.
|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|
|Spin the Bottle||2003||Rats||Ian Fitzgibbon|||
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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
|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|
|Game of Thrones||2012–2016||Roose Bolton||HBO||19 episodes|||
|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
|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|
|Chernobyl||2019||Andrei Stepashin||HBO||Episode: "Vichnaya Pamyat"|
|Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag||2013||Vance Travers|
|Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood||2019||Gaius van Baelsar|
Selected stage career
- The Seafarer, as Nicky Giblin National Theatre, London
- Shining City, Royal Court Theatre, London
- The Wexford Trilogy, Tricycle Theatre
- An Ideal Husband, Gate Theatre
- The White Devil, Project at The Mint
- Car Show, Corn Exchange
- Twenty Grand, Abbey Theatre
- Greatest Hits, Project Arts Centre
- The Way of the World, Project Arts Centre
- A Decision Pure and Simple, Riverside Studios
- An Enemy of the People, for Young Vic
- As You Like It, Rose Theatre
- Midnight Court, Project Theatre
- Wind in the Willows, Sheffield Crucible
- Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs, BAC
- Water Music, Cockpit Theatre
Awards and nominations
- 2003 IFTA Award nomination, Best Actor-Film for "Spin the Bottle"
- 2003 IFTA Award nomination, Best Script for "Spin the Bottle" – Ian Fitzgibbon/Michael McElhatton/Grand Pictures
- 2007 IFTA Award nomination, Best Actor-Television for "Hide & Seek"
- 2013 IFTA Award nomination, Best Supporting Actor-Film for "Death of a Superhero"
- 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
- 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.
- 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.
- "Carice van Houten heads back to Westeros, and new photos from Lokrum and Moneyglass". Watchers On The Wall. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- "Game of Thrones: Cast". HBO. Archived from the original on 1 September 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- "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.