Name:
Stuart Townsend
Birth Date:
December 15, 1972
Birth Place:
Howth, County Dublin, Ireland
Height:
5' 11
Nationality:
Irish
Famous for:
His role in 'Shooting Fish' (1997)
Profession:
actor
Education:
Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin, Ireland
BIOGRAPHY
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Queen of the Damned

Background:

“I can tell you that Stuart Townsend is very highly praised for a stage production that he did in London. He got wonderful praise from the New Yorker Magazine. Also, one person I know, who saw the production, said he was fabulous.” Anne Rice on Stuart Townsend

Irish actor Stuart Townsend became famous after playing sexy vampire Lestat in the box office bonanza Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned (2002), opposite the late R&B star Aliyah. His role in the Shooting Fish (1997) helped set Townsend’s career on the rise, and he won a Fanta Festival Award for brilliantly starring as psychotic murderer Victor Kelly in Marc Evans’ Resurrection Man (1998). The attractive performer also gathered a number of critical praise and acclaim for his performances in the movie About Adam (2000), and in the Tennessee Williams play “Orpheus Descending” (2000).

“We only had two scenes together, but we got to spend three months together making the movie. So our’s wasn’t a case of us falling in love on screen and transferring that to real life. This way, we know it’s for real.” Stuart Townsend on Charlize Theron
Off camera, 5’ 11” tall, brown-eyed Townsend got much publicity for dating the screen beauty Charlize Theron. Townsend met her while on the set of the big budget film Trapped (2002) and quickly became romantically involved. The paired rejoined in the film Head in the Clouds (2004), and Townsend was featured a year later in Theron vehicle Æon Flux. They currently live in Los Angeles. Townsend’s love life has also been linked to Parker Posey (together from1998 until summer 1999).


Tear Up The Black Sail

Childhood and Family:

In Howth, a small town outside of Dublin, Ireland, Stuart Townsend was born on December 15, 1972, to Peter Townsend (professional golfer) and Lorna Townsend (Irish top model). Although his dad is a Protestant, young Stuart was raised Catholic, following in his mom’s religion. He has a brother named Dylan, who is 13 years younger than him, and a sister named Chloe, who is 15 years his junior. These large age gap is caused by his parents’ occupation. In 1997, three years after the death of his mother, Stuart’s father married to a woman named Sofia. From his father’s second marriage, he has two half-siblings: brother Hugo (born in 2000) and sister Ella (born in 2005).

Stuart attended the same school as fellow Irish actor Colin Farrell, Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin. He made his first non-professional stage debut there with the school’s production of “Tear Up The Black Sail.” He completed his drama studies in 1994.


Resurrection Man

Career:

Stuart Townsend became interested in acting after a drama student girlfriend of his invited him to go with her to a workshop at Dublin’s Gaiety School of Acting. He then began training there, and appeared in various art house student films as well as on some school productions. Upon graduation in 1994, Townsend, along with friends, founded a theater company called Ether for Lunch, and got his professional stage debut in John Crowley’s “True Lines,” that same year. He did not kicked off his wide screen career until in 1996, when he landed the supporting role of Richard Harris’ nephew Dermot in Gilles MacKinnon’s Trojan Eddie, a UK / Ireland co-production which was released theatrically in the USA in 1997.

Though small, the role won Townsend attention from a British agent who offered him subsequent film role as a gorgeous shy guy/con man named Jez in the comedy Shooting Fish (1997). Costarring along side Dan Futterman and Kate Beckinsale, the young actor added fascination to the Edinburgh Film Festival-screened film that made it unforgettable. Townsend’s career started to take flight after the performance. The same year, he appeared as Tom, the Irishman who ignites a sexual passion in bothered Iris (played by Samantha Morton), in Carine Adler’s spellbinding Under the Skin.

A year later, Townsend showed off his versatility and remarkable talent as psychotic killer Victor Kelly in the bloodthirsty Resurrection Man, for director Marc Evans. The chilling performance brought the actor praise and a Fanta Festival for Best Actor. A second lead as a young man who introduces Daniel Auteuil’s 45-year-old escapee to the world of gigolo in French film Mauvaise passé/ The Escort (1999) followed.

1999 also found Townsend in such films as the British-German co-production mystery Simon Magus (portrayed the innovative dairy farmer Dovid Bendel), director Michael Winterbottom’s applauded Wonderland (as the ultimately inadequate romantic hope for Gina McKee’s lonesome waitress) and the Robert Dornhelm-helmed comedy/drama The Venice Project (appeared as 17th-century court clown Lark/Gippo the Fool). The latter film was screened at Venice Film Festival and starred Lauren Bacall and Dennis Hopper.

However, it was Townsend’s portrayal of the invigorating titular character in the Sundance-screened About Adam (2000) that won him the attention of both American audiences and critics alike. The dark-haired player received further recognition when he returned to his theatrical roots with the Tennessee Williams play “Orpheus Descending” at the Donmar Warehouse in the summer, that same year. Starring as Val Xavier, opposite the English veteran actress Helen Mirren as Lady Torrance, Townsend’s performance was critically applauded, and he won a number of praise.

Returning to filmmaking, Townsend verified 2002 would be a banner year for him with two high-profile films under his belt. He first portrayed the starring role of the sexy vampire Lestat de Lioncourt in the Anne Rice vampire movie Queen of the Damned, which for a time was the No.1 hit in America. The big-budgeted, which featured him alongside the late R&B singer Aliyah, was originally slated for video but was released following the tragic and early death of Aliyah. Townsend got another big break when he was paired with his current flame, actress Charlize Theron, as a couple whose child is kidnapped in the Luis Mandoki-directed crime/thriller Trapped, which also starred Kevin Bacon and Courtney Love.

Townsend’s next major outing came in the next year when director Stephen Norrington cast him in the supporting role of Dorian Gray in the comic book action adventure The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, opposite Sean Connery. The same year, he also appeared in the little-seen independent gambling drama Shade, along side Sylvester Stallone, Melanie Griffith and Gabriel Byrne. He reunited with Theron for the WWII drama Head in the Clouds (2004), for writer/director John Duigan. After guest starring in series “Will & Grace” and “Robot Chicken” (voiced Lucky Charms Leprechaun), Townsend took on the starring role of Olly Pickering in the comedy movie The Best Man (2005), along side Amy Smart and Seth Green, and made an uncredited cameo as Monican in the Charlize Theron starring vehicle Æon Flux (2005). The Irish thespian also had a starring role opposite Gabrielle Union in the ABC thriller series “Night Stalker” (2005), a remake of the 1974 series “Kolchak: The Night Stalker.” The show found Townsend as the supernatural detective Carl Kolchak, who emerges to investigate the murder of his wife.
Unfortunately, Night Stalker was hastily cancelled after six episodes.

34-year-old Townsend is set to play a role in the directed Marcos Siega forthcoming comedy-romance movie Chaos Theory (2006). Among his costars are Ryan Reynolds, Lisa Calder, Sarah Edmondson, Christopher Jacot and Elisabeth Harnois.


Awards:

  • Fanta Festival: Best Actor, Resurrection Man, 1998
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