Copley at the July 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International
27 November 1973 |
Pretoria, South Africa
|Education||St. Andrew's Preparatory School
|Occupation||Actor, producer, director|
|Spouse(s)||Tanit Phoenix (2012-present)|
Sharlto Copley (born 27 November 1973) is a South African actor, producer and director who has produced and co-directed short films that have appeared at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as commercials and music videos. He is perhaps best known for playing the roles of Wikus van der Merwe in the Oscar-nominated science fiction film District 9, Howling Mad Murdock in the 2010 adaptation of The A-Team, Agent C.M. Kruger in the science fiction film Elysium, James Corrigan in the science fiction horror film Europa Report and King Stefan in the dark fantasy adventure film Maleficent. He also played the title character in the science fiction film Chappie and starred in two seasons as Christian Walker of the TV series Powers. Sharlto is married to fellow South African actress and fashion model Tanit Phoenix.
Sharlto Copley was born in Pretoria and educated at St. Andrew's Preparatory School in Grahamstown and Redhill School in Morningside, Johannesburg. His father is Dr. Bruce Copley, a former university professor, currently a holistic educator/entertainer and multi-instrumentalist. His brother, Donovan, is the lead-singer of the Cape Town band Hot Water, whose music has been featured on BBC World and whose song 'Bushfire' was used in advertisements by the Italian shoe manufacturer Primigi.
A year after leaving high school, Copley met director Neill Blomkamp. Blomkamp was 16 and Copley was 22, and Copley provided Blomkamp with use of computers at his production company to assist the company with pitches for various projects and allow Blomkamp to further pursue his passion and talent for 3D animation and design.
Copley starred in Peter Jackson's and Neill Blomkamp's District 9, where he played the lead role of Wikus van der Merwe, an Afrikaner bureaucrat assigned to relocate a race of extraterrestrial creatures unexpectedly stranded on Earth. In the film, the aliens, popularly and derogatorily referred to as "prawns", must be moved from District 9, a military-guarded slum in Johannesburg, South Africa, to an internment camp outside the city. Copley improvised all of his dialogue in the film.
In 2010 Copley produced, wrote and directed an insert for the South African Music Awards called "Wikus and Charlize", featuring fellow South African star Charlize Theron. The clip features Copley as Wikus attempting to track down Charlize Theron in Hollywood to help him present the Award for Best Afrikaans Pop album.
Copley then starred alongside Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in the feature film adaptation of The A-Team, which was produced by Ridley Scott and Tony Scott. Copley used a Southern American dialect for his portrayal of A-Team member H. M. Murdock, and employed other dialects, including Scottish, English, Australian and his native South African, as part of the character's rapid-fire style. Dwight Schultz, who played Murdock in the original TV series, praised Copley's performance and said Copley was the only actor he knew of who was "true to his character."
In 2013, Copley played fictional astronaut James Corrigan in Europa Report, the story of a crew of international astronauts sent on a private mission to Jupiter's fourth moon. The same year, Copley portrayed Agent Kruger, the secondary antagonist in Elysium, a science fiction film written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.
Copley played villain Adrian Pryce in Spike Lee's Oldboy, a remake of the 2003 South Korean film of the same name. He also starred opposite Angelina Jolie in the 2014 Disney film Maleficent and played King Stefan, Princess Aurora's father and provided the voice and motion capture performance for the film Chappie, also directed by Neill Blomkamp. Released on 6 March 2015, Chappie was Copley's first motion capture performance.
Copley has been in a relationship with actress and fashion model Tanit Phoenix since January 2012. On the 26 March 2015, Sharlto proposed to Tanit on the island of Hawaii. They wed in secret on the 15 February 2016, in Cape Town, South Africa, inviting only a small number of guests to the wedding celebrations.  He resides alternately in Cape Town and Los Angeles.
|Alive in Joburg||Sniper||Short film
|2009||District 9||Wikus van der Merwe|
|2010||Wikus and Charlize||Short film
Also producer, director, writer and editor
|The A-Team||Capt. H. M. "Howling Mad" Murdock|
|2013||Europa Report||James Corrigan||In select theaters and video-on-demand|
|Elysium||Agent C.M. Kruger|
|Open Grave||John (AKA Jonah Cooke)||In select theatres and video-on-demand|
|The Snow Queen 2: The Snow King||Orm||Voice: English version|
|2016||The Hollars||Ron Hollar|
|2016||The Daily Show||Himself||August 16, 2016 episode|
|2016||Payday 2||Jimmy||Voice and face, reprising role from Hardcore Henry. Also appeared in live action trailer|
Awards and nominations
|2009||Chicago Film Critics Association Award||Most Promising Performer||District 9||Nominated|
|IGN Movie Awards||Best Performance||Won|
|Favorite Summer Hero||Won|
|Golden Schmoes Awards||Best Actor of the Year||Nominated|
|Breakthrough Performance of the Year||2nd place|
|2010||Empire Award||Best Newcomer||Nominated|
|International Cinephile Society Award||Best Actor||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Award||Best Scared-As-S**t Performance||Nominated|
|Online Film & Television Association||Best Breakthrough Performance - Male||Nominated|
|Online Film Critics Society Award||Best Actor||Nominated|
|Scream Award||Best Science Fiction Actor||Nominated|
|Breakout Performance - Male||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie Actor - Sci-Fi||Nominated|
- "MTV Movie Awards Nominees Announced; New Category for Horror". Dreadcentral.com. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
- "TANIT AND SHARLTO: HAPPILY EVER AFTER - Grazia South Africa".
- Marks, Lisa (26 July 2010). "Interview with A-Team star Sharlto Copley". The Scotsman. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- "Bruce Copley – Holistic Learning Adds Value" SKF Sweden Evolution Business and Technology Magazine article, 7 June 2006
- Hotwater. Overtone.co.za (16 October 2008). Retrieved on 22 September 2013.
- Hotwater Official Site. Hotwater.co.za. Retrieved on 22 September 2013.
-  Archived 10 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- on YouTube
- Full cast and crew for District 9 (2009). IMDb.com
- "District 9 director Neill Blomkamp". A.V. Club. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
- IGN Summer Movie Awards Favorite Hero. Movies.ign.com. Retrieved on 22 September 2013.
- IGN Movies Best Performance of 2009. Bestof.ign.com. Retrieved on 22 September 2013.
- "Wikus From District 9 Hunting Down a Different Beast – Charlize Theron!". DreadCentral.
- The A-Team starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson, Sharlto Copley & Quinton Rampage Jackson. Zimbio.com (3 December 2010)
- Schultz, Dwight (22 June 2010). "Dwight's opinion about the A-team movie". Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- Child, Ben (13 December 2010). "Matt Damon in talks to star in Neill Blomkamp's Elysium". The Guardian. London.
- "'District 9' Director Neill Blomkamp Drops A Few Hints About His Next Project".
- Wales, George. (2 May 2012) Sharlto Copley will play Oldboy villain. Totalfilm.com. Retrieved on 22 September 2013.
- "Sharlto Copley Set As Lead Christian Walker In 'Powers', Michelle Forbes Is Retro Girl". Deadline. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- Tanit, A-Team star set up home in US – Independent on Saturday |News. IOL.co.za (1 July 2013). Retrieved on 22 September 2013.
- McEvoy, Catherine. "Tanit Phoenix".
- "Exciting news for Sharlto Copley and Tanit Phoenix!".
- Edmunds, Gayle (20 August 2010). "A-Team's Sharlto Copley soars". City Press. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- "Sharlto Copley joins Ben Wheatley's Free Fire". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
- Overkill Software (24 March 2016). "PAYDAY 2: Hardcore Henry Packs Trailer" – via YouTube.