Award winning Spanish actor Eduardo Noriega garnered rave reviews for his performances in the Spanish films "Tesis" (1996; aka "Thesis"), "Abre los ojos" (1997; aka "Open Your Eyes"), "Cha-cha-chá" (1998), "Plata quemada" (2000; aka "Burning Money"), "El Espinazo del diablo" (2001; aka "The Devil's Backbone"), "El Lobo" (2004; aka "Wolf"), and the most expensive Spanish-language film ever made in Spain, "Alatriste" (2006). Outside his country he could be seen in the films "Transsiberian" (2008) and "Vantage Point" (2008). He will soon star in the upcoming films "Petit indi" and "El Mal ajeno."
This 5' 10¾" handsome actor was named one of European films “Shooting Stars” by European Film Promotion in 1999. He has been romantically linked to Ana Alvarez (had a two year relationship; no longer together), Elsa Pataky (no longer together), and his “Burning Money” (2000) costar Leticia Bredice (no longer together).
Childhood and Family:
The youngest of seven brothers, Eduardo Noriega Gómez was born on August 1, 1973, in Santander, Cantabria, Spain. When he was 18, Eduardo lived for a while on a ranch in Puebla, Mexico, where his father was born. He subsequently returned to Spain to study music at Santander University. After he became interested in acting, Eduardo studied at Madrid's School of Dramatic Art.
"I'm so lucky because I've been in Africa, in Madagascar. I've been in Europe, in France, Spain. I've been in Switzerland. I've been in the United States shooting a movie in California. I've been in Mexico City shooting ‘Vantage Point.’ I've been in Argentina, Chile. I want to travel all around the world and visit different cultures. Hopefully, I can do different stories of different cultures. That's going to be rewarding for me personally, as a person, as a man, not only as an actor." Eduardo Noriega
Eduardo is an avid photographer. He also loves reading, watching movies, and playing soccer in his free time.
Open Your Eyes
Studying piano and devoting himself to music as a child, Eduardo Noriega later decided to move to Madrid in order to become an actor. He started his career acting in short films directed by Carlos Montero, Alejandro Amenabar, and Mateo Gil, including the thriller "Luna" (1995), which won him a 'Caja de Madrid' Award for Best Actor at the Alcalá de Henares Short Film Festival. Noriega also appeared in Montxo Armendáriz's film adaptation of José Ángel Mañas' novel, "Historias del Kronen" (1995), Luis López Varona's 14-minute comedy "Cita" (1996), Rafael Moleón's thriller "Cuestión de suerte" (1996; aka "Question of Luck"), and Pedro Olea's film version of Antonio Gala's novel, "Más allá del jardín" (1996). Additionally, TV viewers could catch him in an episode of the Spanish comedy series "Colegio mayor."
In 1996, Noriega scored his breakthrough screen role in Amenabar's award winning feature “Tesis” (aka “Thesis”). The thriller film that also starred Ana Torrent and Fele Martínez won seven 1997 Goya Awards, including the award for Best Film.
Following his breakout film role, Noriega costarred with Ana Álvarez, María Adánez, and Jorge Sanz in Antonio del Real's romantic comedy movie "Cha-cha-chá" (1998), which earned him a Fotogramas de Plata nomination for Best Movie Actor. That same year, he was also reunited with Amenabar and Gil to star in the sci-fi drama “Abre los Ojos” (1998; aka “Open Your Eyes”). The film, which also starred Penélope Cruz, was ranked #84 in the “Top 100 Sci-Fi List” by the Online Film Critics Society. Noriege was also nominated for a Goya Award for Best Actor and named one of European films “Shooting Stars” by European Film Promotion in 1999. “Abre los Ojos” was later remade by director Cameron Crowe as "Vanilla Sky" (2001), with Tom Cruise in the lead role. When asked how he felt about watching Tom Cruise playing his role, Noriega admitted, “I felt really proud. If Tom Cruise thinks about a film I did it is a compliment. It's weird but it's okay. I have no problem if Tom Cruise wants to remake every movie I do.”
Entering the new millennium, Noriega starred in Marcelo Piñeyro's thriller based on Ricardo Piglia's 1997 prize-winning novel, ”Plata Quemada” (2000; aka “Burning Money”). The film won the Goya Award for Best Spanish Language Foreign Film in 2001. Noriega's performance also received a Fotogramas de Plata nomination for Best Movie Actor.
Noriega followed it up with a lead role as the antagonist Jacinto, the aggressive and greedy orphanage's caretaker, in the Guillermo del Toro-directed gothic horror film set in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, “El Espinazo del Diablo” (2001; aka “The Devil's Backbone”), which was independently produced by Pedro Almodóvar. The film received generally positive reviews and was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film. Noriega's performance in the film also received a Fotogramas de Plata nomination for Best Movie Actor.
The following year, Noriega starred as a man with severe amnesia in “Novo” (2002). The French romantic comedy film, which was directed by Jean-Pierre Limosin, also featured Paz Vega, Anna Mouglalis, Nathalie Richard, and Eric Caravaca.
2004 saw Noriega as Txema, a down-on-his-luck construction worker, in Miguel Courtois' true story-based thriller, "El lobo" (aka "The Wolf"). His performance in the film garnered rave reviews and earned him Best Actor nominations at the Barcelona Film Awards, Fotogramas de Plata, and Goya Awards. About his role in "El lobo," Noriega explained, “I didn't want to play the hero. I wanted to play a simple guy who is manipulated, who didn't know how far he was going to go; a guy who is trapped as an animal between two dangerous worlds much bigger than him. His story's really tragic. He spent two years inside ETA feeling fear. He had to act all the time, control his behavior the whole time. And it's based on a subject really important to us in Spain.”
Noriega subsequently portrayed another real life character, this time the Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara (2005), in Josh Evans' film of the same name. On playing Che Guevara, Noriega said, “If I felt responsibility doing Lobo, imagine what I felt doing Che Guevara. The problem with Che is that now he's everywhere in the world. He's a symbol, a myth. He's a symbol of so many things but not necessarily true things. Everybody thinks that they know Che Guevara but not so many people really know the story. I didn't want to play the poster. I wanted to play the man.”
Noriega went on to portray the Count of Guadalmedina, opposite Viggo Mortensen and Elena Anaya, in the most expensive Spanish-language film ever made in Spain, "Alatriste" (2006), which was directed by Agustín Díaz Yanes and was based on the main character of a series of novels written by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Also that year, Noriega appeared in a TV commercial for Spain's Tónica Schweppes.
In 2007, Noriega starred in the thriller based on the play “El método Grönholm” by Jordi Galcerán, “El Método” (aka “The Method”). The film was nominated for five Goya Awards and won two of them. It also won a Flanders International Film Festival award and was nominated for Best Film in the Mar del Plata Film Festival.
Moviegoers subsequently caught Noriega with Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, Kate Mara, Thomas Kretschmann, and Ben Kingsley in Brad Anderson's thriller that premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, "Transsiberian," which earned him a Spanish Actors Union nomination for Film: Supporting Performance, Male. He also supported Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, and Forest Whitaker in Pete Travis' political thriller film "Vantage Point" (2008), portraying a Spanish police officer assigned to protect the mayor of Salamanca.
Noriega has completed filming Marc Recha's new drama film, "Petit indi," and will soon wrap up Óskar Santos Gómez's dramatic film, "El Mal ajeno."
Málaga Spanish Film Festival: Special Mention - Short Films, "Allanamiento de morada," 1999
Alcalá de Henares Short Film Festival: 'Caja de Madrid' Award - Best Actor, "Luna," 1995