|Alma mater||Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama|
Robert Carlyle  (born 14 April 1961) is a Scottish character actor. His film work includes Trainspotting (1996), The Full Monty (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Angela's Ashes (1999), The Beach (2000), 28 Weeks Later (2007), and Yesterday (2019). He has been in the television shows Hamish Macbeth, Stargate Universe, Once Upon a Time and COBRA. He won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Full Monty and a Gemini Award for Stargate Universe, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work in Human Trafficking (2005).
Early life and education
Robert was born on 14 April 1961 in Maryhill, Glasgow, the son of Elizabeth, a bus company employee, and Joseph Carlyle, a painter and decorator. He was raised by his father after his mother left when Carlyle was four years old.
Carlyle left North Kelvinside Secondary School at the age of 16 without any qualifications and worked for his father as a painter and decorator. He later attended night classes at Cardonald College in Glasgow. He first became involved in drama at the Glasgow Arts Centre at the age of 21 (having been inspired by reading Arthur Miller's The Crucible), and subsequently graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD).
In 1991, Carlyle and four friends founded a theatre company, Raindog (which was involved in television and film work). The same year he guest starred in The Bill and also starred in his first movie, Riff-Raff, directed by Ken Loach.
In 1994, he played the gay lover of Father Greg in the film Priest. Carlyle's first high-profile role came as serial killer Albie Kinsella in an October 1994 episode of Cracker opposite Robbie Coltrane and Christopher Eccleston (notoriously killing off Eccleston's character, DCI David Bilborough). Carlyle claimed that his main inspiration for the role was Robert De Niro's Academy Award-nominated performance as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. This highly acclaimed role showcased Carlyle's "pure intensity". Shortly after his appearance in Cracker, he landed the role of Highland policeman Hamish Macbeth in the BBC comedy-drama Hamish Macbeth. The series ran for three seasons from 1995 to 1997.
In 1996 and 1997, he appeared in the two highest-profile roles of his career to date: as the psychopathic Francis Begbie in Trainspotting and Gaz, the leader of a group of amateur male strippers, in The Full Monty. The latter earned Carlyle a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He also starred with Ray Winstone in the 1997 film Face. Carlyle played the senior Malachy McCourt (father of author Frank McCourt) in the 1999 film adaptation of McCourt's first memoir, Angela's Ashes; the arch villain Renard in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough; and a cannibalistic soldier in the 1999 Ravenous.
Carlyle appeared in the 2002 Oasis music video for "Little By Little". He played Adolf Hitler in the 2003 miniseries Hitler: The Rise of Evil. In 2006 he played the villain Durza in Eragon. In 2007 Carlyle played one of the main characters in the film 28 Weeks Later. He also played the lead role as a marine engineer attempting to save London from total devastation in the disaster film Flood. That year he also portrayed Father Joseph Macavoy in the film The Tournament.
In 2008 Carlyle narrated a BBC audiobook version of The Cutting Room. In 2008, he was cast as Dr. Nicholas Rush in the television series Stargate Universe. His role in the series has been described thus: "As [the team fights] to survive, Dr. Rush (Carlyle) works to unlock the mysteries of the ship and return the group home, but evidence of his ulterior motives soon arises." His was touted by the studio as the "leading role" in Universe.
In 2009, Carlyle appeared in "The Man Who Walked Around The World," a long-form commercial for Johnnie Walker whisky. Carlyle was shown walking down a path and talking for six minutes in a single long take. The ad took two days to film. The director, Jamie Rafn, afterwards referred to Carlyle as an "utter genius".
From 2011 to 2018, Carlyle portrayed Rumplestiltskin / Mr. Gold in the fantasy-drama television series Once Upon a Time. The character is a wizard, deal-maker, and master manipulator. In an interview, Carlyle explained that his son inspired him to create Rumplestiltskin's voice.
In 2019, he portrayed Ogilvy in a three-part television adaptation of The War of the Worlds for the BBC, and made an uncredited appearance as John Lennon in the film Yesterday. In 2020, he portrayed Robert Sutherland, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party in Cobra.
Known for his commitment to authenticity in roles, Carlyle has often altered his lifestyle and physical appearance to gain a better understanding of a character; much akin to method acting. Before playing a homeless character in Antonia Bird's Safe, for example, he went to live in the Waterloo area of London where the film was set. For his role as a bus driver in Ken Loach's Carla's Song, he passed the test for a PSV licence (a licence to drive a bus with passengers) in a Glasgow Leyland Atlantean bus. Carlyle also had dentistry as part of his preparations for reprising his role as Begbie in T2 Trainspotting, choosing to have a dental implant and an adjacent tooth that became damaged during the implant's removal, extracted. Writing of Carlyle's performance in The Full Monty, Andrew Johnston stated: "Carlyle was brilliant as the savage psycho Begbie in Trainspotting; here, he proves he can be almost as good when kept on a short leash. We don't know much about Gaz, but he's the most interesting character in the movie, largely because of Carlyle's down-to-earth warmth."
Carlyle has been married to make-up artist Anastasia Shirley since 1997. They have three children: a daughter born in 2002, and two sons born in 2004 and 2006. Carlyle is a patron of School for Life in Romania. Carlyle supports Rangers F.C. He was appointed an OBE in 1999.
|1990||Silent Scream||Big Woodsy|
|Being Human||Prehistoric Shaman|
|1995||Go Now||Nick Cameron|
|1996||Trainspotting||Francis "Franco" Begbie|
|Carla's Song||George Lennox|
|1997||The Full Monty||Gary "Gaz" Schofield|
|1999||Plunkett & Macleane||Will Plunkett|
|Ravenous||Colonel Ives / F.W. Colqhoun|
|The World Is Not Enough||Renard|
|Angela's Ashes||Malachy McCourt|
|There's Only One Jimmy Grimble||Eric Wirral|
|2001||To End All Wars||Major Ian Campbell|
|The 51st State||Felix DeSouza|
|2002||Once Upon a Time in the Midlands||Jimmy|
|Black and White||David O'Sullivan|
|2004||Dead Fish||Danny Devine|
|2005||The Mighty Celt||O|
|Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School||Frank Keane|
|Human Trafficking||Sergei Karpovich|
|2007||28 Weeks Later||Don Harris|
|2008||Stone of Destiny||John MacCormick|
|I Know You Know||Charlie|
|2009||The Tournament||Father Joseph MacAvoy|
|The Unloved||Lucy's Father|
|2012||California Solo||Lachlan MacAldonich|
|2015||The Legend of Barney Thomson||Barney Thomson||Also director|
|2016||All That Remains||Violin player|
|2017||T2 Trainspotting||Francis "Franco" Begbie|
|2022||North of Normal||Papa Dick|
|1990||Taggart||Gordon Inglis||Episode: "Hostile Witness"|
|1991||The Bill||Tom Ward||Episode: "The Better Part of Valour"|
|1994||99-1||Detective Constable Trevor Prescott||Episode: "Doing the Business"|
|Cracker||Albie Kinsella||3 episodes|
|1995–1998||Hamish Macbeth||Hamish Macbeth||20 episodes|
|1998||Looking After Jo Jo||John Joe "Jo Jo" McCann|
|2001||Chewin' the Fat||Himself||Hogmanay Special|
|2003||Hitler: The Rise of Evil||Adolf Hitler|
|2004||Gunpowder, Treason & Plot||King James I||Television film|
|2005||Human Trafficking||Sergei Karpovich|
|Class of '76||Detective Inspector Tom Monroe||Television film|
|2006||Born Equal||Robert||Television film|
|2008||The Last Enemy||David Russell||5 episodes|
|24: Redemption||Carl Benton||Television film|
|The Man Who Walked Around the World||Himself||Advert for Johnnie Walker|
|Zig Zag Love||Jacko||Television film|
|2009–2011||Stargate Universe||Doctor Nicholas Rush||40 episodes|
|2011–2018||Once Upon a Time||Rumplestiltskin / Mr. Gold / Weaver||138 episodes|
|2019||The War of the Worlds||Ogilvy||3 episodes|
|2020–present||Cobra||Robert Sutherland||Lead role|
|2023||The Full Monty||Gary "Gaz" Schofield||Lead role|
|TBA||Toxic Town||TBA||4 episodes|
|2010||Castlevania: Lords of Shadow||Gabriel Belmont|
|2013||Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate||Gabriel Belmont / Dracula|
|2014||Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2||Gabriel Belmont / Dracula / Inner Dracula|
|2014||Watch Dogs||Stephen Fedder|
|2008||The Cutting Room||Narrator|
Awards and nominations
- "Robert Carlyle OBE". Once Upon A Fan. Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "Robert Carlyle OBE". Google sites. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "Robert Carlyle Biography". FilmReference.com. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- "Born Equal: Robert Carlyle" (Press release). BBC. 15 November 2006. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- Pendreigh, Brian (29 January 2006). "Father's death causes Carlyle to quit movie". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- Smith, Andrew (28 March 1999). "Method man". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- "CARLYLE, Robert". Who's Who. Vol. 2023 (online ed.). A & C Black. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Armstrong, Stephen (20 May 2007). "On the Move: Robert Carlyle". The Times. London. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
- Sweet, Matthew (2 April 1999). "The Saturday Profile: Robert Carlyle, Actor: A man for all regions". The Independent. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- "To Be A Somebody". crackertv.co.uk. Archived from the original on 23 September 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
- Sumner, Darren (15 December 2008). "Robert Carlyle cast in Stargate Universe". GateWorld. p. 1. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- Sumner, Darren (15 January 2009). "Brian J. Smith cast in Stargate Universe". GateWorld.net. p. 1. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
- Sumner, Darren (15 December 2008). "Robert Carlyle cast in Stargate Universe". GateWorld.net. p. 2. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- "HLA and BBH Go Walking With Robert Carlyle". Shots.net. 6 August 2009. Archived from the original on 8 January 2011.
- "Once Upon A Time – Creating Rumplestiltskin". Archived from the original on 30 October 2021 – via YouTube.
- Jeffery, Morgan (5 April 2018). "Here's your first look at BBC One's War of the Worlds". Digital Spy.
- Orquiola, John (28 June 2019). "Who Plays [SPOILER] In Yesterday?". Screen Rant.
- Armstrong, Stephen (20 May 2007). "On the Move: Robert Carlyle". The Times. London. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- Leigh, Danny (8 January 2017). "Robert Carlyle: 'I took out two teeth and suddenly Begbie came back to life'". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- Time Out New York, 14–21 August 1997.
- "Skibo: The Full Monty". BBC News. 19 December 2000. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "Robert Carlyle welcomes third child". People. 15 April 2006.
- Peplow, Gemma (13 January 2020). "Robert Carlyle: 'Could I be prime minister? I can't think of anything worse'". Sky News. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
Carlyle, who moved to Canada with his family about 10 years ago, says living there he has become more aware of the possibilities of natural disasters. "Because I live in Vancouver now, there's warnings of earthquakes and tsunamis and stuff like that."
- "School For Life Romania". Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- "The Man Who Walked Around the World". Retrieved 11 October 2009.
- "Cobra the new TV Series | Sky.com". Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- "'Toxic Town': Netflix Greenlights Jack Thorne-Penned Corby Poisonings Series Starring Aimee Lou Wood, Jodie Whittaker, Robert Carlyle". www.deadline.com. 10 August 2023. Retrieved 10 August 2023.