Sebastian Roché

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Sebastian Roché
Sebastian Roché.jpg
Roché speaking at an event in 2013
Born 1964/1965 (age 50–51)
Paris, France
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater CNSAD and ENSATT
  • Actor
  • writer
Years active 1986–present

Sebastian Roché (born 1964)[1] is a French actor and writer known for his roles as Kurt Mendel on Odyssey 5 (2002–03), Jerry Jacks on the soap opera General Hospital (2007–13), Thomas Jerome Newton on Fringe (2009–10), Balthazar on Supernatural (2010–11), and Mikael on The Vampire Diaries and The Originals (2011–15).

On film, he has appeared in The Last of the Mohicans (1992), The Peacemaker (1997), 15 Minutes (2001), Sorry, Haters (2005), The Namesake (2006), New York City Serenade (2007), Beowulf (2007), Happy Tears (2009), Safe House (2012), Wer (2013), and A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014). In addition to his film and television work, Roché has starred in the Broadway stage productions of Salome (1992) and The Green Bird (2000).

Early life[edit]

Roché was born in 1964 or 1965 in Paris, France.[1] As a teenager, he lived for six years on a sailing boat with his family, travelling from France to the Mediterranean, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean.[2] He is a graduate of the prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique (CNSAD) of Paris. Roché also studied at the Cours Florent and the Conservatoire de la Rue Blanche (ENSATT).[3] Upon his graduation from the CNSAD in 1989, Roché started working in French theatre, films and television with actors such as Michel Serrault, Isabelle Huppert, and Béatrice Dalle.


1986–2001: Career beginnings[edit]

Roché began his acting career in the made-for-television film The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1986), appearing opposite Ian McShane and Val Kilmer. Throughout the late 1980s, he had roles in French television and cinema, including the films Adieu je t'aime (1988), La Queue de la comète (1988), La Révolution française (1989), and La vengeance d'une femme (1989), and the television series Bonjour maître (1987) and The Hitchhiker (1989–91). Roché also has an extensive classical theatre background, notably starring in Salome (1992) with Al Pacino at the Circle in the Square Theatre; Titus Andronicus (1994) with the Theatre for a New Audience, Off-Broadway, directed by Julie Taymor;[4] Macbeth (1994) at the Classic Stage Company, directed by Jack Stehlin;[5] and Arms and the Man (1995) in Hartford, Connecticut, directed by Mark Lamos.[6] In 1992, he appeared in a supporting role in the Daniel Day-Lewis-starring historical epic The Last of the Mohicans.

On American television, he appeared in Loving (1992), South Beach (1993), New York Undercover (1996), Swift Justice (1996), and Liberty! (1997). In 1997, Roché was part of the main cast on the FOX fantasy adventure television series Roar. He played the role of Longinus, opposite Heath Ledger and Vera Farmiga.[7] The series was cancelled due to low ratings later that same year. Roché's many 1990s television credits include recurring and guest starring stints on series such as Feds (1997), Dellaventura (1997), Sex and the City (1998), Merlin (1998), Law & Order (1999), and Big Apple (2001). In 1998, he returned to the stage and starred in the Off-Broadway production of Trainspotting at the Players Theater.[8] In 2000, he portrayed the character Renzo in the Broadway production of The Green Bird at the Cort Theatre. The play marked his second collaboration with director Julie Taymor.[9] That same year, he appeared in the television film The Crossing (2000), opposite Jeff Daniels. In 2001, he had a minor role in the Robert De Niro-starring thriller film 15 Minutes.

2002–present: Breakthrough on television[edit]

Roché with the cast of The Vampire Diaries, 16 June 2013

In 2002, Roché portrayed Kurt Mendel on the Canadian science fiction series Odyssey 5 for Showtime. He remained in the role until the show's cancellation in 2003. On the pilot episode of Odyssey 5, he spoke in French. He also guest starred in episodes of Touching Evil (2004), Charmed (2005), Alias (2005), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2005), and The Unit (2006). Roché then co-starred in the drama film The Namesake (2006), directed by Mira Nair; the biopic What We Do Is Secret (2007), alongside Shane West; the comedy-drama New York City Serenade (2007), with Freddie Prinze, Jr.; and the motion capture epic fantasy film Beowulf (2007), also starring Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie. He reprised his role as Wulfgar from the latter film in the video game Beowulf: The Game, released in November 2007.[10]

In 2007, Roché began appearing on the ABC soap opera General Hospital as terrorist/criminal Jerry Jacks (although, when the character reappeared, he was going by the pseudonym James Craig). In April 2007, it was announced that Roché had been signed to a contract on General Hospital, keeping his character around for the foreseeable future. His first contractual airdate was 23 April 2007, which was also the date that his character's true identity was revealed. By 2009, Jerry had minimal screen time and was written out. From July to August 2009, Roché returned to the series in a recurring capacity. He returned again to the role in December 2010. From August 2012 to October 2013, Roché again returned as Jerry on a recurring basis.[11] Roché starred in a total of 315 episodes, and has spoken in Russian, Spanish, and French on the series.[12] In 2009, he guest starred on The Mentalist as Shirali Arlov, and as John Quinn in both 24: Redemption (2008), and the 2009 season of 24. He appeared in the 2009 independent comedy-drama Happy Tears with Demi Moore and Parker Posey, and leant his voice to the 2011 animated film The Adventures of Tintin, directed by Steven Spielberg.[13]

Roché at the Supernatural Convention in Virginia, 3 May 2014

In 2010, Roché joined the recurring cast of The CW's drama series Supernatural. He starred in six episodes of the sixth season as Balthazar, a rogue angel and longtime friend of fellow angel Castiel.[14] On the television series Fringe, Roché was cast as the recurring character Thomas Jerome Newton, the leader of an army of shapeshifters from a parallel universe and a main antagonist of the series.[15] His character recurred in seasons two and three; Newton died in the episode "Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?", which was aired on 14 October 2010.[16] In 2011, Roché appeared as the recurring character Mikael Mikaelson, the father of the Original Vampires, on The CW's supernatural drama series The Vampire Diaries.[17] From 2011 to 2012, he starred as the recurring character Clyde Easter on CBS' Criminal Minds.[18] The following year, Roché had a supporting role in the action thriller Safe House, also starring Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington.[19] Also in 2012, he guest starred on NBC's procedural fantasy drama Grimm, in the episode "Cat and Mouse".[20] He then starred in William Brent Bell's horror film Wer (2013).[21]

From 2014 to 2015, Roché reprised his role as Mikael in the spin-off series of The Vampire Diaries, titled The Originals.[22] Roché then starred in the American crime drama-thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014), alongside Liam Neeson.[23] In March 2014, he joined ABC's Scandal in a recurring capacity.[24] On 22 December 2014, it was announced that Roché would guest star in season four of ABC's fairy tale drama series Once Upon a Time as King Stefan. He made his debut as the character in the episode "Enter the Dragon", which was aired on 15 March 2015.[25] Roché starred as Pierre Curie in the episode "Unruly Elements" of documentary miniseries The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements, which was aired on PBS on 19 August 2015.[26] He then guest starred in season seven of CBS' procedural drama series NCIS: Los Angeles. He appeared in the episode "An Unlocked Mind" as Lee Ashman.[27] In 2016, Roché will co-star in the Paolo Sorrentino-directed miniseries The Young Pope, alongside Jude Law, Diane Keaton, and James Cromwell.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Roché moved to the United States in 1992.[2] He met American actress Vera Farmiga while co-starring together on the short-lived television series Roar.[29] They eloped to the Bahamas after the series ended in 1997. The couple resided on a 117-acre estate in Upstate New York.[30] Roché and Farmiga separated in 2004, and were divorced in 2005 following eight years of marriage.[29] Through his marriage to Farmiga, he was the brother-in-law of actress Taissa Farmiga.

In 2007, Roché purchased a 3-bedroom house in Venice, Los Angeles, for $1.52 million.[30] On 31 May 2014, he married Australian actress Alicia Hannah in a private ceremony at the Chateau Les Bouysses in Mercuès, France.[1]



  1. ^ a b c "Sebastian Roché Marries Alicia Hannah – See the Exclusive Photos". People. 16 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Sebastian Roche: Coming to America". Soap Opera Digest. 20 September 2007. 
  3. ^ "Sebastian Roché: Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals". Armageddon Expo. 
  4. ^ Richards, David (16 March 1994). "Theater in Review: 'Titus Andronicus'". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Brantley, Ben (10 December 1994). "Theater in Review: 'Macbeth'". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Johnson, Malcolm L. (15 May 1995). "A Stylish 'Arms And The Man' At Hartford Stage". Hartford Courant. 
  7. ^ Richmond, Ray (July 20, 1997). "Review: 'Roar'". Variety. 
  8. ^ Brodesser, Claude (October 21, 1998). "'Trainspotting' cast onboard". Variety. 
  9. ^ Isherwood, Charles (19 April 2000). "Review: 'The Green Bird'". Variety. 
  10. ^ "Hopkins heads Beowulf cast". GameSpot. 24 October 2007. 
  11. ^ "General Hospital Shocker: Jerry's Back for More Mayhem, and [Spoiler] Isn't Far Behind!". TVLine. 4 August 2012. 
  12. ^ Smith Sciuto, Melissa J. L. (7 August 2012). "General Hospital Scores Murder Hat Trick With Roché, Howarth, Mattson". TV Overmind. 
  13. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (29 April 2012). "Sebastian Roché Joins 'The Devil Inside' Director William Brent Bell's 'Wer'". Indiewire. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  14. ^ Richenthal, Matt (7 August 2010). "Sebastian Roche to Play Shady Angel on Supernatural". TVFanatic. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (21 October 2009). "Sebastian Roche joins 'Fringe'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  16. ^ O'Connor, Mickey (22 October 2009). "General Hospital Vet Signs On to Fringe". TV Guide. Retrieved 23 October 2009. 
  17. ^ Bierly, Mandi (10 August 2011). "'Vampire Diaries' casts Sebastian Roche as mysterious vampire hunter". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (7 January 2011). "Exclusive: Sebastian Roche To Recur on Criminal Minds, Do More Supernatural". TVLine. 
  19. ^ Bierly, Mandi (18 November 2011). "Sebastian Roche joins cast of Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds thriller 'Safe House'". Entertainment Weekly. 
  20. ^ Eckstein, David (29 February 2012). "'Grimm': Sebastian Roche and Neil Hopkins cast for a game of cat and mouse". Zap2it. 
  21. ^ Franklin, Garth (30 April 2012). "Sebastian Roché Joins "Wer"". Dark Horizons. 
  22. ^ "'The Originals' casts 'Vampire Diaries' patriarch Sebastian Roche and 'Supernatural' shapeshifter Todd Stashwick". Zap2it. 27 August 2013. 
  23. ^ Platten, Dominic (7 March 2013). "Casting Couch: Sebastian Roché Added To 'A Walk Among The Tombstones', Trio Of Actresses Join 'Larry Gaye'". 
  24. ^ Swift, Andy (31 March 2014). "TVLine Items: An Originals Actor Relocates to Scandal, S.H.I.E.L.D. Casts Major Villain and More". TVLine. 
  25. ^ Roots, Kimberly (22 December 2014). "Once Upon a Time Casts Originals Baddie as Aurora's Father". TVLine. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  26. ^ Drahl, Carmen (20 August 2015). "PBS's The Mystery Of Matter And Its Message For Chemistry". Forbes. 
  27. ^ Frith, Vanessa (20 May 2015). "'NCIS: LA' Season 7: Sebastian Roche & Lauren Bowles Set For Chris O'Donnell Directed Episode". Enstarz. 
  28. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (4 August 2015). "Paolo Sorrentino's 'Young Pope' Rounds Out Cast With James Cromwell And Slew Of Top International Talent". Variety. 
  29. ^ a b Brown, Mick (30 August 2008). "Vera Farmiga: rare breed". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 July 2009. 
  30. ^ a b David, Mark (5 October 2007). "Soap Stud Sebastian Roche Buys Venice House". Variety. 

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