Stephen Dillane

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Stephen Dillane
Stephendillane at hatfieldhouse 1.jpg
Born (1956-11-30) 30 November 1956 (age 58)
Kensington, London, England, UK
Occupation Actor
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Naomi Wirthner
Children Frank Dillane
Seamus Dillane

Stephen J. Dillane[1] (born 30 November 1956)[disputed ] is an English actor. He is best known for his roles as Leonard Woolf in the 2002 film The Hours, Stannis Baratheon in Game of Thrones, and American politician Thomas Jefferson in the 2008 HBO miniseries John Adams, a part which earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination. An accomplished stage actor who has been called an "actor's actor",[2][3] he holds a Tony Award for his lead performance in Tom Stoppard's play The Real Thing (2000) and is also known for critically acclaimed performances in Angels in America (1993), Hamlet (1994), and a one-man Macbeth (2005). His television work has additionally garnered him BAFTA and International Emmy awards for best actor.

Early life[edit]

Dillane was born in Kensington to an English mother, Bridget (née Curwen), and an Australian surgeon father, Dr John Dillane.[4][5][6] The eldest of his siblings (his younger brother Richard is also an actor), he grew up in Beckenham, Kent.[7]

At school Dillane began performing in end-of-term plays and had "a certain facility" for funny accents.[7] He often found himself in women's roles, which he says "wasn’t good for my confused adolescent psyche",[8] but also recalls a part in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead as being particularly memorable, noting that shouting "Fire!" as Rosencrantz while pointing at the audience was "a very thrilling thing to be able to do."[9]

He studied history and politics at the University of Exeter, concentrating on the Russian Revolution,[10] and afterward became a journalist for the Croydon Advertiser. Unhappy in his career, he read one day how actor Trevor Eve gave up architecture for acting; this, along with reading Hamlet and Peter Brook's The Empty Space back-to-back, made him "light up inside somewhere"[11] and spurred him to enter the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School at 25.[5][12] During his early acting career, he was known as Stephen Dillon but reverted to his birth name in the 1990s.[11][13]

Career[edit]

Dillane is a distinguished theatre actor; his notable roles include Archer in The Beaux' Stratagem (Royal National Theatre, 1989), Prior Walter in Angels in America (1993), Hamlet (1994), Clov in Samuel Beckett's Endgame (1996), Uncle Vanya (1998), Henry in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing (for which he won a Tony Award in 2000), The Coast of Utopia (2002), and a one-man version of Macbeth (2005). He has also performed T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets in London and New York City, and was seen in the 2010 Bridge Project's productions of The Tempest and As You Like It.

Dillane also portrayed Horatio in the 1990 film adaptation of Hamlet. He played Michael Henderson in Welcome to Sarajevo (1997), a character based on British journalist Michael Nicholson, and the impatient and easily agitated Harker in Spy Game (2001).

Dillane is also known for his portrayal of Leonard Woolf in The Hours (2002), legendary English professional golfer Harry Vardon in The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005) and Glen Foy in the Goal! trilogy. He also starred in John Adams as Thomas Jefferson.

In recent years Dillane has worked mainly in television, professing himself to be "a little lost on stage at the moment."[14] He joined the cast of Game of Thrones in 2011 as Stannis Baratheon, a major contender for the throne of the fictional realm of Westeros.[15] While admitting he had not read the books on which the popular series is based,[14] he commented that the show's appeal was due to "the storytelling, the extraordinary world that’s created and the way it reflects our actual world – a naked, ruthless pursuit of power in all its forms."[16] In 2012 he also played Rupert Keel, head of the private security agency Byzantium, in the BBC drama series Hunted.[17] The following year he went on to take the male lead, opposite Clémence Poésy, in the crime drama series The Tunnel, an Anglo-French remake of the Scandinavian The Bridge.[18] Dillane, who had not seen the original series, plays Karl Roebuck, the laid-back, experienced British detective to Poésy's humourless French counterpart.[14] His performance won him an International Emmy Award for Best Actor.[19] A second series of the drama began production in March, and is planned for broadcast in early 2016.[20][21]

Besides television, Dillane recently starred in the 2012 British independent film Papadopoulos & Sons as successful entrepreneur Harry Papadopoulos, who rediscovers his life after being forced to start again from nothing in the wake of a banking crisis. His son, Frank Dillane, plays his son in the film.[22] That same year he also had roles in the films Zero Dark Thirty and Twenty8k.

Offscreen, Dillane in 2014 collaborated with visual artist Tacita Dean for the Sydney Biennale and Carriageworks in a project called Event for a Stage. The work, performed live and later adapted for radio broadcast[23] and film,[24] explored the process of filmmaking and the "concept of artifice on the stage" through a single actor, Dillane.[25] The performance encompassed readings from texts as well as his personal reflections on acting, theatre, and his family.[26] 2015 has seen the actor making other, brief returns to stage including a reprise of his reading of Four Quartets in London[27] and a one-off appearance in Tim Crouch's An Oak Tree at the National Theatre.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Dillane has two sons with actor-director Naomi Wirthner: Seamus Dillane and actor Frank Dillane, who is best known for playing the teenage Voldemort in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.[4]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1987 The Secret Garden Captain Lennox Television film
1988 Business as Usual Mr. Dunlop
1988 The Face of Trespass Gray Harston Alternate title: An Affair in Mind
Television film
1989 The Yellow Wallpaper John Television film
1990 Hamlet Horatio
1991 Heading Home Leonard Meopham Television film
1992 Frankie's House Antony Strickland Television film
1992 Hostages Chris Pearson Television film
1996 Two If by Sea Evan Marsh Alternate title: Stolen Hearts
1997 Welcome to Sarajevo Michael Henderson
1997 Firelight Charles Godwin
1997 Déjà Vu Sean
1998 Kings in Grass Castles Patsy Television film
1998 Love and Rage Dr. Croly
1999 The Darkest Light Tom
2000 Ordinary Decent Criminal Noel Quigley
2001 Spy Game Charles Harker
2001 The Parole Officer Inspector Burton
2002 The Truth About Charlie Charlie
2002 The Hours Leonard Woolf
2003 The Gathering Simon Kirkman
2004 King Arthur Merlin
2004 Haven Mr. Allen
2005 The Greatest Game Ever Played Harry Vardon
2005 Goal! Glen Foy
2005 Nine Lives Martin
2006 Klimt Secretary
2007 Goal! 2: Living the Dream... Glen Foy
2007 Fugitive Pieces Jakob Beer
2007 Savage Grace Brooks Baekeland
2008 Freakdog Doctor Harris Original title: Red Mist
2008 The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall Anthony Hurndall Television film
2008 God on Trial Schmidt Television film
2009 44 Inch Chest Mal
2009 Storm Keith Haywood
2011 Perfect Sense Stephen Montgomery
2012 Murder: Joint Enterprise Arlo Raglin Television single drama
2012 Papadopoulos & Sons Harry Papadopoulos
2012 Twenty8k DCI Edward Stone
2012 Zero Dark Thirty National Security Adviser

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Remington Steele Bradford Galt Episode: "Steel Searching: Part 1"
1988 The One Game Nicholas Thorne
1988 Christabel Peter Bielenberg
1991 Boon Paul Lyle Episode: "Help Me Make It Through the Night"
1991 Ruth Rendell Mysteries Philip Blackstock Episode: "Achilles Heel"
1993 Soldier Soldier Captain Mike Davidson Episode: "Hard Knocks"
1994 The Rector's Wife Jonathan Byrne 3 episodes
1995 The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd Mr. Blackmore Play for television
2000 Anna Karenina Karenin
2001 The Cazalets Edward Cazalet
2008 John Adams Thomas Jefferson 6 episodes
2010 Agatha Christie's Marple Inspector Finch Episode: "The Secret of Chimneys"
2012 Eternal Law Carl 2 episodes
2012 Hunted Rupert Keel
2012 Secret State Paul J. Clark
2012–2015 Game of Thrones Stannis Baratheon 24 episodes
2013 A Touch of Cloth Macratty 2 episodes
2013–present The Tunnel Karl Roebuck

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Work Result
1998 AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama Kings in Grass Castles Won
1999 Evening Standard Award for Best Actor The Real Thing Won
2000 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor The Real Thing Nominated
2000 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play The Real Thing Won
2000 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play The Real Thing Nominated
2000 Theatre World Award The Real Thing Won
2000 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play The Real Thing Won
2002 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture The Hours Nominated
2008 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie John Adams Nominated
2009 British Academy Television Award for Best Actor The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall Won
2014 Royal Television Society Programme Award for Best Male Actor The Tunnel Nominated
2014 International Emmy Award for Best Actor The Tunnel Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ Profile, findmypast.co.uk; accessed 8 June 2015.
  2. ^ Wolf, Matt (18 January 2000). "Where it's playing". The Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 3 January 2002. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  3. ^ McNulty, Burnadette (26 September 2008). "Stephen Dillane". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Stephen Dillane Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2008. 
  5. ^ a b Matt Wolf (16 April 2000). "Getting Out of the Way of 'The Real Thing'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 8 August 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2008. 
  6. ^ "Stephen DILLANE". Bob and Joy Salt Family Tree. Ancestry.com. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Powell, Lucy (12 June 2010). "Stephen Dillane, actor of rare introspection". The Times.  (Subscription required.)
  8. ^ Christiansen, Rupert (4 April 1998). "In retreat from vulgar stardom". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  9. ^ van der Zee, Bibi (12 January 2000). "The unknown heart-throb". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  10. ^ Rorke, Robert (13 April 2008). "'Adams' alter-ego". New York Post. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Wolf, Matt (19 November 1997). "The conscientious objector". The Times. 
  12. ^ de Lisle, Tim (16 November 1997). "The unwilling war hero". The Independent. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Wolf, Matt (2003). Sam Mendes at the Donmar: Stepping into Freedom (1st Limelight ed.). New York: Proscenium Publishers. p. 88. ISBN 0879109823. 
  14. ^ a b c Smedley, Rob (13 January 2014). "Stephen Dillane on The Tunnel and Game Of Thrones". Den of Geek. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  15. ^ Hibberd, James (19 July 2011). "'Game of Thrones' casts sorceress Melisandre and Stannis Baratheon". EW.com. Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  16. ^ Mackenzie, Steven (23 January 2014). "Stephen Dillane interview: "Game of Thrones reflects the naked, ruthless pursuit of power in our actual world"". The Big Issue. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  17. ^ Ryan, Maureen (18 October 2012). "'Hunted' Review: An Entertaining Thriller For Fans Of 'Alias' And 'X-Files'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Munn, Patrick (23 January 2013). "Stephen Dillane & Clémence Poésy Cast As Co-Leads in Sky Atlantic/Canal+ Series 'The Tunnel'". TVWise. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  19. ^ "International Emmys: Dillane and Krijgsman pick up top prizes". The Guardian. Associated Press. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  20. ^ Kilpatrick, Dean (9 February 2015). "IT'S BACK! The Tunnel set for second series". Folkestone Herald. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  21. ^ Plunkett, John (16 February 2015). "Sky Atlantic's The Tunnel to return for second series". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  22. ^ Farber, Stephen (11 January 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons: Palm Springs Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  23. ^ "Tacita Dean's Event for a Stage - Soundproof - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC Radio National. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "Berliner Festspiele - Theatertreffen: Event for a Stage". Berliner Festspiele. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  25. ^ Blake, Elissa (22 April 2014). "Tacita Dean: act for a vanishing medium". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  26. ^ Pigott, Mark (4 May 2014). "EVENT FOR A STAGE". Sydney Arts Guide. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  27. ^ "The Horse Hospital / T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  28. ^ "An Oak Tree". National Theatre. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 

External links[edit]