Thewlis in September 2008
20 March 1963
|Residence||Sunningdale, Berkshire, England|
|Alma mater||Guildhall School of Music and Drama|
(m. 1992; div. 1994)
David Wheeler (born 20 March 1963), known professionally as David Thewlis, is an English actor, director, screenwriter, and author.
Thewlis first rose to prominence for playing Johnny Fletcher in the film Naked (1993), for which he won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor. His most commercially successful roles to date have been Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter film series and Sir Patrick Morgan / Ares in Wonder Woman (2017).
Other notable film appearances include Dragonheart (1996), Seven Years in Tibet (1997), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008), War Horse (2011), The Theory of Everything (2014), and Anomalisa (2015). He also portrayed Cyrus Crabb in the ABC miniseries Dinotopia (2002) and V. M. Varga in the third season of Fargo (2017), with the latter earning him nominations for an Emmy Award, Critics' Choice Television Award, and Golden Globe Award. He currently provides the voice of the Shame Wizard in the Netflix animated sitcom Big Mouth (2017–present).
Thewlis was born David Wheeler in Blackpool on 20 March 1963, the second of three children of Maureen (née Thewlis) and Alec Raymond Wheeler. Both parents worked at his father's shop. As a teenager, Thewlis played in a rock band called QED and played lead guitar with a punk rock band called Door 66. He was educated at Highfield High School in Blackpool's Marton area. He later enrolled in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating in 1984.
Thewlis had a minor role in an episode of the 1980s sitcom Up the Elephant and Round the Castle. He also appeared in an episode of popular sitcom Only Fools and Horses (1985) as a friend of Rodney. His first professional role was in the play Buddy Holly at the Regal in Greenwich.
Thewlis's breakout role was Naked (1993; dir. Mike Leigh), as the main character, Johnny, a highly intelligent, embittered, rambling street philosopher, for which Thewlis was named Best Actor by the National Society of Film Critics (United States), the London Film Critics Circle, the Evening Standard, the New York Film Critics' Circle and the Cannes Film Festival. That same year, he appeared on television as a sexual predator named James Jackson in Prime Suspect 3, opposite Helen Mirren and Ciarán Hinds. Before that, his first television appearance was in Valentine Park.
During the 1990s, Thewlis appeared in a variety of films, mostly fantasy and period, including Restoration (1995), Black Beauty (1994), Total Eclipse (1995) with Leonardo DiCaprio, The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Dragonheart (1996), and Seven Years in Tibet (1997), opposite Brad Pitt. He was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Divorcing Jack (1998), and played Clov in a television film of Samuel Beckett's Endgame (2000). Notable appearances also include Bernardo Bertolucci's Besieged (1998) and Paul McGuigan's Gangster No. 1 (2000), opposite Paul Bettany and Malcolm McDowell.
He auditioned for the role of Quirinus Quirrell in the Chris Columbus directed film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, but the part went to Ian Hart. Despite missing out on the first film, he was cast in 2004 as Professor Remus Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He did not have to audition as he was director Alfonso Cuarón's first choice for the role. Thewlis reprised the role in four other films in the series.
He appeared as an SS Commandant of a Nazi death camp and father of the main character in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which was well received. Other credits include Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Terrence Malick's The New World (2005), and The Omen (2006).
Thewlis played the late Dr. Michael Aris, husband of Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, with Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh as Suu Kyi, in the biopic The Lady directed by Luc Besson. In 2012, he received an International Festival of Independent Cinema Off Plus Camera Award. In the same year, he also played in Separate We Come, Separate We Go, directed by Harry Potter co-star Bonnie Wright.
In June 2015, Thewlis was reported to be filming scenes for a Donald Crowhurst biopic, The Mercy, on the beach at Teignmouth, Devon, playing Donald Crowhurst's press agent, Rodney Hallworth, while Colin Firth is playing Donald Crowhurst. He also starred in Regression, a thriller released in autumn 2015. In September 2015, Thewlis starred as Inspector Goole in Helen Edmundson's BBC TV adaptation of J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls. In October 2015, he played King Duncan in the film Macbeth.
Thewlis portrayed Ares in Wonder Woman (2017), the DC Comics film featuring the character of the same name. He briefly reprised his role as Ares in Justice League (2017). That same year, he appeared as V. M. Varga, the main antagonist of the third season of Fargo. His performance was critically acclaimed[a] and earned him nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries, and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.
Thewlis directed Hello, Hello, Hello in 1995, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Short Film. He also wrote, directed and starred in the feature Cheeky (2003).
Thewlis married Welsh actress Sara Sugarman in 1992, but they divorced in 1994. He then had a brief relationship with English actress Kate Hardie. In 2001, he began a relationship with English actress Anna Friel. Their daughter, Gracie, was born in 2005 and has spent time as an actress. Thewlis and Friel split up in late 2010.
As of 2017, Thewlis lives with his second wife, a French artist whose name has not been publicly revealed, in Sunningdale, Berkshire. He also owns a converted Victorian ballroom in the London district of Clerkenwell.
|The Short and Curlies||Clive||Short film|
|Little Dorrit||George Braddle|
|1991||Life Is Sweet||Nicola's lover|
|Afraid of the Dark||Locksmith
|1992||Swords at Teatime||Michael||Short film|
|1994||Black Beauty||Jerry Barker|
|1995||Total Eclipse||Paul Verlaine|
|Hello, Hello, Hello||N/A||Short film; directed and wrote|
|1996||James and the Giant Peach||Earthworm||Voice|
|The Island of Dr. Moreau||Edward Douglas|
|Seven Years in Tibet||Peter Aufschnaiter|
|1998||The Big Lebowski||Knox Harrington|
|Divorcing Jack||Dan Starkey|
|1999||Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?||Nesbit|
|2000||The Miracle Maker||Judas Iscariot||Voice|
|Gangster No. 1||Freddie Mays|
|Beckett on Film – Endgame||Clov|
|2001||Goodbye Charlie Bright||Charlie's dad|
|2003||Cheeky||Harry Sankey||Also directed and wrote|
|2004||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban||Remus Lupin|
|2005||Kingdom of Heaven||Hospitaller|
|All the Invisible Children||Jonathan||Segment: "Jonathan"|
|The New World||Edward Wingfield|
|2006||Basic Instinct 2||Roy Washburn|
|The Omen||Keith Jennings|
|2007||The Inner Life of Martin Frost||Martin Frost|
|Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||Remus Lupin|
|2008||The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas||SS-Obersturmbannführer Ralph|
|2009||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince||Remus Lupin|
|Veronika Decides to Die||Dr. Blake|
|2010||Mr. Nice||Jim McCann|
|Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1||Remus Lupin|
|2011||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2|
|The Lady||Michael Aris|
|Anonymous||William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley|
|2012||Separate We Come, Separate We Go||Norman||Short film|
|2013||Red 2||The Frog|
|The Fifth Estate||Nick Davies|
|The Zero Theorem||Joby|
|2014||The Theory of Everything||Dennis Sciama|
|Stonehearst Asylum||Mickey Finn|
|Queen and Country||Bradley|
|2015||Regression||Professor Kenneth Raines|
|2017||Wonder Woman||Sir Patrick Morgan / Ares|
|2018||The Mercy||Rodney Hallworth|
|Guest of Honour||Jim|
|TBA||I'm Thinking of Ending Things||Post-production|
|1985||Up the Elephant and Round the Castle||Mugger||Episode: "A Taxing Problem" (Non-speaking role)|
|Only Fools and Horses||Stew||Episode: "It's Only Rock and Roll"|
|Radio Pictures||Jim Grams||Television film|
|1986||The Singing Detective||Second Soldier||2 episodes|
|1987–1988||Valentine Park||Max||12 episodes|
|1989||A Bit of a Do||Paul Simcock||6 episodes|
|1990||Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit||Doctor||3 episodes|
|1991||Journey to Knock||Terry||Television film|
|Shrinks||Terry Slater||Episode 1.5|
|Screen One||Tim Shanks||Episode: "Filipina Dreamgirls"|
|1992||Black and Blue||Crematorium attendant||Television film|
|1993||Frank Stubbs Promotes||Mike Bence||Episode: "Striker"|
|Prime Suspect 3||James Jackson||Television film|
|1994||Dandelion Dead||Oswald Martin||4 episodes|
|1999||Love Story||Dealer||Television film|
|2001||Hamilton Mattress||Hamilton Mattress||Voice|
|2002||Dinotopia||Cyrus Crabb||6 episodes|
|2007||The Street||Joe / Harry Jennerson||Episode: "Twins"|
|2014||Family Guy||British Father||Voice|
Episode: "Chap Stewie"
|2015||An Inspector Calls||Inspector Goole||Television film|
|2017||Fargo||V. M. Varga||10 episodes|
|2018-19||Big Mouth||Shame Wizard||Voice (8 episodes)|
|2010||World of Warcraft: Cataclysm||Lord Darius Crowley|
|1993||Cannes Film Festival||Best Actor||Naked||Won|
|Evening Standard British Film Award||Best Actor||Won|
|London Film Critics' Circle||British Actor of the Year||Won|
|National Society of Film Critics||Best Actor||Won|
|New York Film Critics Circle||Best Actor||Won|
|1995||BAFTA Award||Best Short Film
(shared with Helen Booth and James Roberts)
|Hello, Hello, Hello||Nominated|
|1998||British Independent Film Award||Best Performance by a British Actor in an Independent Film||Divorcing Jack||Nominated|
|2006||Golden Raspberry Award||Worst Supporting Actor||Basic Instinct 2 / The Omen||Nominated|
|2007||Monte-Carlo Television Festival||Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor – Drama Series||The Street||Nominated|
|2008||British Independent Film Award||Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Film||Won|
|2009||Scream Award||Best Ensemble
(shared with the entire cast)
|Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince||Won|
|2010||Evening Standard British Film Award||Peter Sellers Award for Comedy||London Boulevard||Won|
|2011||Scream Award||Best Ensemble
(shared with the entire cast)
|Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2||Nominated|
|2016||Alliance of Women Film Journalists||Best Depiction of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction
(shared with Jennifer Jason Leigh)
|2017||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie||Fargo||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Television Award||Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Nominated|
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