Recognized for his appearances in several period dramas, Irish actor of stage, film and television Ciaran Hinds was propelled to the front ranks of costume epics with his title role in the Royal Shakespeare Company 1993 production of “Richard III.” Making his stage debut with the Glasgow Citizens Theatre in 1976, the handsome, talented thespian gained even more recognition as Larry in the Tony Award nominated “Closer” (1999), from which he picked up a Theatre World Award and an Outer Critic Circle Award. On television, Hinds collected two Irish Film and Television Awards for his work in the drama film “The Mayor of Casterbridge” (A&E, 2003) and the series “Rome” (BBC/HBO, 2005). Other TV credits include “Hostages” (HBO, 1993), “Prime Suspect 3” (PBS, 1994), “Jane Eyre” (A&E, 1997), Jason and the Argonauts” (NBC, 2000) and “Above Suspicion” (ITV, 2009).
As a film actor, Hinds, who kicked off his career with John Boorman's “Excalibur” (1981), is noted for portraying roles in movies like “Persuasion” (1995), “The Lost Son” (1999), “The Weight of Water” (2000), “The Sum of All Fears” (2002), “Road to Perdition” (2002), “Veronica Guerin” (2003), “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” (2003), “Calendar Girls” (2003), “Munich” (2005), “Miami Vice” (2006), “Amazing Grace” (2006) and “The Nativity Story” (2006). The charismatic actor jointly nabbed a Gotham nomination for “Margot at the Wedding” (2007). His more recent and upcoming film projects include “Stop-Loss” (2008), “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day” (2008), “Race to Witch Mountain” (2009), “The Eclipse” (2009), “Forgiveness” (2009) and “The Debt” (2010).
Childhood and Family:
Ciaran Hinds was born on February 9, 1953, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was raised in a Catholic household. The youngest of five children, young Ciaran danced with the Patricia Mulholland Irish Ballet.
Ciaran was educated at the Holy Family Primary School and St. Malachy's College before starting his law studies at Queen's University in Belfast. He quit to study acting at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
In 1991, Ciaran and his wife Helene Patarot, a French-Vietnamese actress, welcomed a daughter named Aoife Hinds into the world. The couple first met in 1987 in Paris when Ciaran joined Peter Brook's international company based in the city.
“Having Aoife put manners on me, gave me a sense of discipline and responsibility. Along with Helene, she's a real plus to living. Some friends, remembering my irresponsible history of late nights and heavy drinking, were quite shocked when they heard I was going to be a father. But my roistering stopped as soon as my daughter came along. I rarely go to the pub now. Since I have become a family man, the devil-may-care attitude has gone. I worry just like the next man about having to support Helene and Aoife.” Ciaran Hinds
In 1976, Ciaran joined the Glasgow Citizens Theatre and made his professional stage debut in the role of the rear end of a horse in the company's production of “Cinderella.” He went on to perform with the Citizens Theatre during the late 1970s and through the mid 1980s in productions like “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “Faust.” Hinds also found work in Ireland with the Field Day Theatre Company, the Abbey Theatre, the Lyric Players' Theatre, the Druid Theatre, and at the Project Arts Centre. He made his big screen debut in the John Boorman directed drama “Excalibur” (1981). Among his costars in the movie were Helen Mirren, Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson and Patrick Stewart.
In 1987, Hinds enjoyed a big break when he was selected by reputable director Peter Brook to become a member of his Paris-based theatrical company. Subsequently, the actor performed all over the world in a staging of “The Mahabharata.” The play was adapted into a six-episode TV series in 1989, with Hinds reprising his stage role of Ashwattaman. Also in 1989, Hinds returned to the big screen in the Peter Greenaway directed and written “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover,” which cast him in the supporting role of Cory. The Toronto Film Festival-premiered comedy gave him an opportunity to act alongside Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon and Tim Roth and reunited him with “Excalibur” costar Helen Mirren.
In 1990, Hinds began his association with the Royal Shakespeare Company when he landed a role in “The Last Days of Don Juan,” which was directed by Danny Boyle. His breakout stage role arrived three years later in the title role of Shakespeare's “Richard III,” which was helmed by Sam Mendes. Hinds was brought to the show as a last minute replacement for a wounded Simon Russell Beale. In between, he costarred opposite Donal McCann and Saskia Reeves in the based-on-novel film “December Bride” (1991), portrayed Samuel Byck in the London premiere of the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical “Assassins” (1992) and gained praise for his portrayal of Brian Keenan in the HBO TV film “Hostages” (1993), which also starred Colin Firth, Stephen Dillane and Kathy Bates. He then portrayed a somewhat menacing character in the made-for-TV “Prime Suspect 3” (PBS, 1994), which again reunited him with Helen Mirren.
By the mid-1990s, Hinds' popularity had spread outside the United Kingdom thanks to performances in such movies as the hit drama “Circle of Friends” (1995) and Roger Michell's applauded adaptation of Jane Austen's “Persuasion” (1995). The actor then appeared as Danny Boyle, opposite Mirren as Kathleen Quigley, in Terry George's “Some Mother's Son” (1996), which was based on the true story of the 1981 Irish hunger strike, and a clergyman named Dennis Hasset in Gillian Armstrong's “Oscar and Lucinda” (1997), starring Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett. Also in 1997, he starred as Edward Rochester in the TV version of Charlotte Brontë's “Jane Eyre,” and teamed up with Ewen Bremner and Jason Flemyng in the independent film “The Life of Stuff.” Hinds then played the husband of Julie Walters in Roger Michell's “Titanic Town” (1998), appeared as Carlos in Chris Menges' “The Lost Son” (1999), opposite Daniel Auteuil, Nastassja Kinski and Bruce Greenwood, starred in the Italian made “Il Tempo Dell’amore/A Time to Love” (1999) and portrayed a father dealing with the tragic death of his young son in “L', Amante perduto/Lost Lover” (1999).
Ciaran achieved the zenith of his fame on stage when he won the role of Larry in the London and Broadway production of Patrick Marber's Tony Award nominated play “Closer” (1998-1999). As part of an ensemble cast that included Rupert Graves, Anna Friel, and Natasha Richardson, he received positive reviews for his work. In 1999, Hinds was handed the Theatre World Award for Best Debut in New York City and the Outer Critic Circle for Special Achievement (Best Ensemble Cast Performance).
In the new millennium, Hinds offered strong performances in such projects as Kathryn Bigelow's mystery “The Weight of Water” (2000), with Catherine McCormack, Sean Penn, Josh Lucas, Elizabeth Hurley and Sarah Polley, the NBC miniseries “Jason and the Argonauts” (2000, as King Aeson), the Ben Affleck vehicle “Sum Of All Fears” (2002, as President Alexander Nemerov) and the Sam Mendes directed drama “Road To Perdition” (2002, played a felon named Finn McGovern). In 2003, Hinds was nominated for an IFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor in Film/TV for his role in “Veronica Guerin,” a biopic starring Cate Blanchett and directed by Joel Schumacher. He said, “The response to ‘Veronica Guerin’ outside of Ireland disappointed me as I thought Cate Blanchett's portrayal was extraordinary. She had left hardened Irish critics and journalists stunned by her interpretation of Veronica, many of whom knew Ms. Guerin personally.”
Hinds next portrayed mad scientist Jonathan Reiss in the Angelina Jolie vehicle “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” (2003) for director Jan de Bont, played an infatuated husband in Niger Cole's drama “Calendar Girls” (2003), which reunited him with Mirren, and had a small role in Norman Jewison's political thriller “The Statement” (2003), starring Michael Caine. The same year, Hinds also starred as Michael Henchard in the A&E two-part television movie “The Mayor of Casterbridge,” which was adapted from a novel by Thomas Hardy. For his good performance, he was awarded the 2004 Irish Film and Television Award in the category of Best Actor in a TV Drama.
After a performance in Joel Schumacher's excellent musical “Phantom of the Opera” (2004), opposite Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson and Minnie Driver, Hinds was cast alongside Eric Bana and Daniel Craig in Steven Spielberg's Oscar darling “Munich” (2005), portrayed FBI Agent Fujima in the big screen version of “Miami Vice” (2006), which was helmed by Michael Mann and starred Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx, played Lord Tarleton in Michael Apted's “Amazing Grace” (2060) and was cast as King Herod in Catherine Hardwicke's biblical movie, “The Nativity Story“ (2006). Meanwhile, in 2005, Hinds made a rare appearance on a TV series in the first season of HBO’s original series “Rome,” playing Gaius Julius Caesar. The role brought the actor an Irish Film and Television award in 2007 for Best Actor in a Lead Role in Television.
From 2007 to 2008, Hinds was seen in movies like David Mackenzie's “Hallam Foe,” Noah Baumbach's “Margot at the Wedding,” opposite Nicole Kidman, Jack Black and Jennifer Jason Leigh (received a Gotham nomination for Best Ensemble Cast), Paul Thomas Anderson's “There Will Be Blood,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis, the Frances McDormand-led comedy “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day,” Kimberly Peirce's drama “Stop-Loss,” starring Ryan Phillippe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rob Brown and Channing Tatum, and the French-made “Ca$h,” which was written and directed by Eric Besnard. He was also spotted on stage playing a role in a Broadway production of “The Seafarer,” which ran at the Booth Theater from December 2007 through March 2008.
Recently, Hinds appeared in the short film “Glock” (2009), which was directed by Tom Everett Scott, and supported Dwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig and Carla Gugino in “Race to Witch Mountain” (2009), an adventure movie directed by Andy Fickman. He also starred as DCI Langton on ITV's “Above Suspicion” (2009), which was based on a novel by Lynda La Plante. In February 2009, Hinds began his three-month tenure in the play “Burnt By The Sun,” by Peter Flannery, at the National Theatre in London.
Hinds has completed filming the Conor McPherson-directed/written “The Eclipse” (2009), with Aidan Quinn. He will play the supporting role of Bill in Todd Solondz's “Forgiveness” (2009), alongside Ally Sheedy and Gaby Hoffmann and is also scheduled to rejoin Mirren for John Madden's upcoming thriller “The Debt,” which is due to be released in 2010.
Irish Film and Television (IFTA): Best Actor in a Lead Role in Television, “Rome,” 2007
Irish Film and Television (IFTA): Best Actor in a TV Drama, “The Mayor of Casterbridge,” 2004
Audie Award: Best Audio Drama Performance, “The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare,” 2004
Theatre World Award: Best Debut in NYC, “Closer,” 1999
Outer Critic Circle: Special Achievement, Best Ensemble Cast Performance, “Closer,” 1999