Stephen John Dillane
27 March 1957
London, England, UK
|Children||2, including Frank Dillane|
Stephen John Dillane (//; born 27 March 1957) is a British actor. He is best known for his roles as Leonard Woolf in the 2002 film The Hours, Stannis Baratheon in Game of Thrones, and Thomas Jefferson in the 2008 HBO miniseries John Adams, a part which earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination. An experienced stage actor who has been called an "actor's actor", Dillane won a Tony Award for his lead performance in Tom Stoppard's play The Real Thing (2000) and gave critically acclaimed performances in Angels in America (1993), Hamlet (1990), and a one-man Macbeth (2005). His television work has additionally garnered him BAFTA and International Emmy Awards for best actor.
Dillane was born in Kensington, London, to an English mother, Bridget (née Curwen), and an Australian surgeon father, John Dillane. The eldest of his siblings (his younger brother Richard is also an actor), he grew up in West Wickham, Kent.
At school, Dillane began performing in end-of-term plays and had "a certain facility" for funny accents. He often found himself in women's roles, which he says "wasn’t good for my confused adolescent psyche", 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."
He studied history and politics at the University of Exeter, concentrating on the Russian Revolution, 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" and spurred him to enter the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School at 25. During his early acting career, he was known as Stephen Dillon but reverted to his birth name in the 1990s.
Dillane is an experienced 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) directed by Travis Preston. 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.
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. While admitting he had not read the books on which the series is based, 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."
In 2012, he also played Rupert Keel, head of the private security agency Byzantium, in the BBC drama series Hunted. 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. Dillane, who had not seen the original series, plays Karl Roebuck, the laid-back, experienced British detective to Poésy's humourless French counterpart. His performance won him an International Emmy Award for Best Actor. In a second series in 2016, titled The Tunnel: Sabotage, he reprised his role alongside Poésy for a new case involving a deadly airliner crash in the English Channel.
Besides television, Dillane also 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. That same year he also had roles in the films Zero Dark Thirty and Twenty8k.
Offscreen, the actor 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 and film, explored the process of filmmaking and the "concept of artifice on the stage" through a single actor, Dillane. The performance encompassed readings from texts as well as his personal reflections on acting, theatre, and family. 2015 saw Dillane making other brief returns to stage including a reprise of his reading of Four Quartets in London and a one-off appearance in Tim Crouch's An Oak Tree at the National Theatre.
In 2016, besides appearing in the second series of The Tunnel, Dillane returned to the Donmar Warehouse for a revival of Brian Friel's Faith Healer. His performance as Frank, an itinerant Irish healer, was described as "poetic and powerful." In addition, he appeared as artist Graham Sutherland in The Crown, Netflix's TV series about British monarch Elizabeth II. In 2017, Dillane appeared in two biopics, playing Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax in Joe Wright's Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, and writer William Godwin, the father of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, in the film Mary Shelley.
|1988||Business as Usual||Mr. Dunlop|
|1996||Two If by Sea||Evan Marsh||Alternate title: Stolen Hearts|
|1997||Welcome to Sarajevo||Michael Henderson||(Lead role)|
|1997||Déjà Vu||Sean||(Lead role)|
|1998||Love and Rage||Dr. Croly|
|1999||The Darkest Light||Tom||(Lead role)|
|2000||Ordinary Decent Criminal||Noel Quigley|
|2001||Spy Game||CIA Agent Chuck Harker|
|2001||The Parole Officer||Inspector Burton|
|2002||The Truth About Charlie||Charlie|
|2002||The Hours||Leonard Woolf|
|2003||The Gathering||Simon Kirkman|
|2005||The Greatest Game Ever Played||Harry Vardon|
|2007||Goal! 2: Living the Dream...||Glen Foy|
|2007||Fugitive Pieces||Jakob Beer||(Lead role)|
|2007||Savage Grace||Brooks Baekeland|
|2008||Freakdog||Dr. Harris||Original title: Red Mist|
|2009||44 Inch Chest||Mal|
|2011||Perfect Sense||Stephen Montgomery|
|2012||Papadopoulos & Sons||Harry Papadopoulos||(Lead role)|
|2012||Twenty8k||DCI Edward Stone|
|2012||Zero Dark Thirty||National Security Adviser|
|2017||Darkest Hour||Lord Halifax|
|2017||Mary Shelley||William Godwin|
|2018||Outlaw King||Edward I of England|
|2019||The Professor and the Madman||Dr. Richard Brayne|
|2020||The Man In The Hat||The Damp Man|
|1985||Remington Steele||Bradford Galt||Episode: "Steel Searching: Part 1"|
|1986||Coronation Street||Mark Siddall||Episode: "#1.2624"|
|1987||The Secret Garden||Captain Lennox||Television film|
|1988||The One Game||Nicholas Thorne|
|1988||The Face of Trespass||Gray Harston||Television film; alternate title: An Affair in Mind|
|1989||The Yellow Wallpaper||John||Television film|
|1991||Boon||Paul Lyle||Episode: "Help Me Make It Through the Night"|
|1991||The Ruth Rendell Mysteries||Philip Blackstock||Episode: "Achilles Heel"|
|1991||Heading Home||Leonard Meopham||Television film|
|1992||Frankie's House||Antony Strickland||Television film|
|1992||Hostages||Chris Pearson||Television film|
|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|
|1998||Kings in Grass Castles||Patsy||Television film|
|2001||The Cazalets||Edward Cazalet|
|2008||John Adams||Thomas Jefferson||6 episodes|
|2008||The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall||Anthony Hurndall||Television film|
|2008||God on Trial||Schmidt||Television film|
|2010||Agatha Christie's Marple||Inspector Finch||Episode: "The Secret of Chimneys"|
|2012||Eternal Law||Carl||2 episodes|
|2012||Secret State||Paul J. Clark|
|2012||Murder: Joint Enterprise||Arlo Raglin||Television single drama|
|2012–15||Game of Thrones||Stannis Baratheon||24 episodes|
|2013||A Touch of Cloth||Macratty||2 episodes|
|2013–17||The Tunnel||Karl Roebuck||24 episodes|
|2016||The Crown||Graham Sutherland||Episode: "Assassins"|
|2020–present||Alex Rider||Alan Blunt||Main role|
|2021||Vigil||Rear Admiral Shaw||Miniseries|
|Red Election||MI5 director William Ogilvy|||
Stage (select work)
|1989||The Beaux' Stratagem||Archer||Royal National Theatre|
|1990||Long Day's Journey into Night||Edmund Tyrone|
|1993–94||Angels in America||Prior Walter|
|1994–95||Hamlet||Prince Hamlet||International Tour and Gielgud Theatre|
|1998||Uncle Vanya||Vanya||Young Vic Theatre|
|1999–2000||The Real Thing||Henry||Donmar, West End, Broadway|
|2002||The Coast of Utopia||Alexander Herzen||Royal National Theatre|
|2004–06||Macbeth||Various||Almeida Theatre, Various|
|2010||As You Like It||Jaques||Tour including Old Vic and Brooklyn Academy of Music|
|2010–11||The Master Builder||Halvard Solness||Almeida Theatre|
|2016||Faith Healer||Francis Hardy||Donmar Warehouse|
|2019||When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other||Man||Royal National Theatre|
Awards and nominations
- "NLS Other Writings: Say How, D". National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
- Willis, John, ed. (2003). Theatre World Volume 57: 2000–2001. New York City: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. p. 227. ISBN 9781557835239.
- The Daily Telegraph
- Wolf, Matt (18 January 2000). "Where it's playing". The Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 16 October 2000. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- McNulty, Burnadette (26 September 2008). "Stephen Dillane". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- "Stephen Dillane Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
- 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.
- "Stephen DILLANE". Bob and Joy Salt Family Tree. Ancestry.com. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- Powell, Lucy (12 June 2010). "Stephen Dillane, actor of rare introspection". The Times. (Subscription required.)
- Christiansen, Rupert (4 April 1998). "In retreat from vulgar stardom". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- van der Zee, Bibi (12 January 2000). "The unknown heart-throb". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- Rorke, Robert (13 April 2008). "'Adams' alter-ego". New York Post. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- Wolf, Matt (19 November 1997). "The conscientious objector". The Times.
- de Lisle, Tim (16 November 1997). "The unwilling war hero". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- Wolf, Matt (2003). Sam Mendes at the Donmar: Stepping into Freedom (1st Limelight ed.). New York: Proscenium Publishers. p. 88. ISBN 978-0879109820.
- Hibberd, James (19 July 2011). "'Game of Thrones' casts sorceress Melisandre and Stannis Baratheon". EW.com. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- Smedley, Rob (13 January 2014). "Stephen Dillane on The Tunnel and Game Of Thrones". Den of Geek. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- 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.
- Ryan, Maureen (18 October 2012). "'Hunted' Review: An Entertaining Thriller For Fans Of 'Alias' And 'X-Files'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- 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.
- "International Emmys: Dillane and Krijgsman pick up top prizes". The Guardian. Associated Press. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- Dowell, Ben (11 February 2016). "First look at The Tunnel series two starring Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy". Radio Times. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
- Farber, Stephen (11 January 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons: Palm Springs Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Tacita Dean's Event for a Stage – Soundproof – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC Radio National. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- "Berliner Festspiele – Theatertreffen: Event for a Stage". Berliner Festspiele. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- Blake, Elissa (22 April 2014). "Tacita Dean: act for a vanishing medium". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- Pigott, Mark (4 May 2014). "EVENT FOR A STAGE". Sydney Arts Guide. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- "The Horse Hospital / T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets". Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- "An Oak Tree". National Theatre. Archived from the original on 12 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- Broadway.com (1 December 2015). "Tony Winner Stephen Dillane, Gina McKee, Nick Payne & More Tapped for Donmar Warehouse's 2016 Spring Season". Broadway.com. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- Shenton, Mark (28 June 2016). "Faith Healer review at the Donmar Warehouse, London – 'stunning'". The Stage.
- Lodderhose, Diana (8 November 2016). "Stephen Dillane Joins Working Title's Churchill WWII Epic 'Darkest Hour' As Production Begins In UK". Deadline Hollywood.
- Tartaglione, Nancy (2 March 2016). "Tom Sturridge, Maisie Williams & More Join Haifaa Al-Mansour's 'A Storm In The Stars'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
- "British Films Directory". film-directory.britishcouncil.org. 24 May 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
- "Ciaran Hinds starring in The Thin Man". Screen. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
- Kanter, Jake (12 May 2021). "Stephen Dillane, Lydia Leonard & James D'Arcy Lead Viaplay/A+E Networks Spy Noir 'Red Election'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
- "Evening Standard Theatre Awards 1980-2003". standard.co.uk. 5 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
- "Past nominees and winners | Helpmann Awards". www.helpmannawards.com.au. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
- "2016 Results | Critics' Circle Theatre Awards". Critics' Circle Theatre Awards. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
- "The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards: all this year's nominees". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 March 2019.