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About the Cast
RALPH FIENNES (Justin Quayle)
Ralph Fiennes has twice been nominated for an Academy Award, for his performances in Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient and Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, both of which won the Oscar for Best Picture.
Born in Suffolk, Mr. Fiennes grew up in England and Ireland. He attended RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts), after which he began his professional acting career on the stage. He performed at London’s Regents Park, the Theatre Clwyd, and the Oldman Coliseum. Two years after graduating RADA, he joined Michael Rudman’s company at the Royal National Theatre. He later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where for two seasons he appeared in such plays as Henry VI, King Lear, and Love’s Labour’s Lost.
An appearance on the original Prime Suspect miniseries, directed by Christopher Menaul, led to his being cast by the director to portray the legendary T.E. Lawrence in the telefilm A Dangerous Man: Lawrence after Arabia. The starring role in another telefilm, Peter Markham’s The Cormorant, followed. Mr. Fiennes made his feature film debut starring opposite Juliette Binoche, as Heathcliff, in Peter Kosminsky’s Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.
In addition to Academy and Golden Globe Award nominations, his performance as SS Commandant Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List won him the BAFTA, New York Film Critics Circle, National Society of Film Critics, Boston Society of Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics Association, and London Critics Circle [Film] Awards, among other honors.
Mr. Fiennes next starred as Charles Van Doren in Robert Redford’s acclaimed Quiz Show. His subsequent films included Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days; The English Patient (for which, in addition to his second Oscar nod, he also received BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations); Gillian Armstrong’s Oscar and Lucinda; and Martha Fiennes’ Onegin (which he also executive-produced).
He first worked with The Constant Gardener leading lady Rachel Weisz on István Szabó’s epic Sunshine, for which he won the European Film Award for Best Actor, and which was a Golden Globe Award nominee for Best Picture.
Mr. Fiennes’ other films include Neil Jordan’s The End of the Affair and (in a cameo) The Good Thief; Brett Ratner’s Red Dragon; Wayne Wang’s Maid in Manhattan; David Cronenberg’s Spider; and Arie Posin’s The Chumscrubber.
For the past decade, he has consistently alternated stage and film performances. He starred in Jonathan Kent’s Almeida Theatre staging of Hamlet, the subsequent Broadway engagement of which won him a Tony Award. Mr. Fiennes returned to the Almeida for the director’s staging of David Hare’s modern translation of Chekhov’s
Ivanov, the production of which was honored with an invitation to Moscow for a special weeklong run.
In the summer of 2000, he played the title roles of Richard II and Coriolanus in rotating repertory for the Almeida Theatre Company. Both Shakespeare plays were directed by Jonathan Kent and, following acclaim in London, were also performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Under the direction of Howard Davies at London’s National Theatre, Mr. Fiennes starred as Carl Jung in Christopher Hampton’s The Talking Cure. He also starred in Adrian Noble’s Royal Shakespeare Company staging of Ibsen’s Brand in the West End.
Most recently, he was on stage in Deborah Warner’s production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, at the Barbican Centre in London and on tour in Paris, Madrid, and Luxembourg. In early 2006, he will reunite with Jonathan Kent for Brian Friel’s Faith Healer, which will premiere at Dublin’s Gate Theatre before coming to Broadway.
Mr. Fiennes also stars in a host of soon-to-be-released film projects. These include the new Merchant Ivory film The White Countess (with Vanessa Redgrave and Natasha Richardson); Martha Fiennes’ Chromophobia, which world-premiered as the Closing-Night film at the 2005 Cannes International Film Festival; Robert Edwards’ Land of the Blind; Steve Box and Nick Park’s animated Wallace & Gromit – The Curse of the Were-rabbit (in voiceover); and Mike Newell’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (as the dreaded Lord Voldemort).
RACHEL WEISZ (Tessa Quayle)
Rachel Weisz will soon be seen starring in Darren Aronofsky’s much-anticipated third feature, The Fountain, with Hugh Jackman.
An actress who has demonstrated an accomplished range both in her choice of projects and her performances in them, she was most recently seen in Francis Lawrence’s Constantine. Known to audiences worldwide for her lead role opposite Brendan Fraser in Stephen Sommers’ blockbuster movies The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, Ms. Weisz’ other films include Gary Fleder’s Runaway Jury; James Foley’s Confidence; Chris and Paul Weitz’ About a Boy; Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Enemy at the Gates; Michael Winterbottom’s I Want You; David Leland’s The Land Girls; Beeban Kidron’s Swept from the Sea; and Bernardo Bertolucci’s Stealing Beauty.
The Focus Features release The Shape of Things marked her first venture into producing motion pictures. She had previously starred in writer/director Neil LaBute’s stagings of his original play of the same name, in both London and New York City.
Ms. Weisz’ performance in Sean Mathias’ U.K. staging of Noel Coward’s Design for Living garnered her the London Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Newcomer. She also starred in the West End production of Suddenly Last Summer, again directed by Sean Mathias. Her significant theatrical background extends back to
her time as a student at Cambridge University. With two colleagues, she formed the Talking Tongues Theatre Group, which performed numerous experimental pieces and won the prestigious Guardian Award at the Edinburgh Festival.
DANNY HUSTON (Sandy Woodrow)
Already a director with several film and television projects to his credit, Danny Huston began to take small roles as an actor with a view towards enhancing his filmmaking skills. Acting soon became his metier, as he found his breakthrough role, starring in Bernard Rose’s ivansxtc as Hollywood agent Ivan Beckman. The film was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards, including his nod for Best Male Lead.
Mr. Huston’s other film credits as actor include Mike Figgis’ Leaving Las Vegas, Timecode, and Hotel; Jonathan Glazer’s Birth (starring opposite Nicole Kidman); Bernard Rose’s Anna Karenina; John Sayles’ Silver City; Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning The Aviator; and, also for Focus Features, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s award-winning 21 Grams.
He next stars in John Hillcoat’s The Proposition (opposite Guy Pearce); Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (as Joseph II, opposite Kirsten Dunst); and Oliver Parker’s Fade to Black (as Orson Welles, opposite Paz Vega).
Born in Rome, Mr. Huston was raised in Ireland and London, with stays in Mexico and the United States. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
BILL NIGHY (Sir Bernard Pellegrin)
For his performance as pop star Billy Mack in Richard Curtis’ Love Actually, Bill Nighy earned the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor, a London Film Critics Circle Award, and the Evening Standard’s British Film Awards’ Peter Sellers Award for Comedy.
He also was named Best Supporting Actor by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, for his body of work in Love Actually, Tim Fywell’s I Capture the Castle, Duncan Roy’s AKA, and Tom Hunsinger and Neil Hunter’s Lawless Heart, all of which were released in the U.S. in 2003.
Mr. Nighy’s film work also includes Garth Jennings’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Roger Michell’s Enduring Love; Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, from Rogue Pictures; Len Wiseman’s Underworld, as well as the soon-to-be-released Underworld: Evolution; Adrian Edmondson’s Guest House Paradiso; and Brian Gibson’s Still Crazy (for which he also won the Evening Standard’s British Film Awards’ Peter Sellers Award for Comedy). He is currently at work on Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.
His television work includes the acclaimed miniseries State of Play, directed by David Yates, which earned him BAFTA and the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards for Best Actor. Mr. Nighy recently reteamed with the latter director on the Richard Curtis-scripted The Girl in the Café, in which he starred opposite Kelly Macdonald. He is soon to be starring in Stephen Poliakoff’s new project, Gideon’s Daughter.
PETE POSTLETHWAITE (Lorbeer)
For his performance as Giuseppe Conlon in Jim Sheridan’s In the Name of the Father, opposite Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite earned an Academy Award nomination.
His other film credits include Ridley Scott’s The Duellists; Malcolm Mowbray’s A Private Function; Terence Davies’ Distant Voices, Still Lives; Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet; David Fincher’s Alien³; Michael Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans (also opposite Daniel Day-Lewis); Bryan Singer’s Academy Award-winning The Usual Suspects; Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet; Henry Selick’s James and the Giant Peach; Steven Spielberg’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Amistad; Sam Miller’s Among Giants; Lasse Hallström’s The Shipping News; Roy Battersby’s Red Mercury; and, most recently, Walter Salles’ Dark Water.
Mr. Postlethwaite’s stage career includes playing the title role of Scaramouche Jones in Dublin and London, before touring in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He starred in Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming at the Royal Exchange, and in Sam Mendes’ production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the Royal National Theatre and in the West End. Also at the National, he starred in Deborah Warner’s production of The Good Person of Sichuan.
Among his many roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company are Bottom in Bill Alexander’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Bobadill in John Caird’s production of Every Man and His Humour; Roughman in Trevor Nunn’s production of The Fair Maid of the West; Macduff and Banquo in Howard Davies’ production of Macbeth; and Lear in Barry Kyle’s Bond’s Lear. His other Shakespeare plays include Troilus and Cressida at the Bristol Old Vic; and Jeffrey Reeves’ production of Coriolanus at the Everyman Liverpool.
Mr. Postlethwaite received an Order of the British Empire in 2004.
The Constant Gardener
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