MASTER AND COMMANDER
PAUL BETTANY (Dr. Stephen Maturin)
portrayed Charles Herman, mathematician John Nash, Jr.'s imaginary roommate in
Ron Howard's Academy Award-winning Best Picture A Beautiful Mind, starring
opposite Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris. He was nominated for
the London Film Critics' Award for Best Supporting Actor.
The British-born Bettany is a recognized star
overseas with well-received performances in film, on the London stage and on
British television. American audiences first discovered him in A Knight's
Tale, in which he played the comical role of Chaucer opposite Heath Ledger.
Bettany earned the Best Supporting Actor award from the London Film Critics for
his performance in the film, and led to his being named one of Daily Variety's
"Ten to Watch" for 2001.
Classically trained at the Drama Centre in
London, he made his stage debut in a West End production of An Inspector
Calls under the direction of Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot). He then
spent a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in productions of Richard
III, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar before landing his
first feature film role in Bent.
Bettany returned to the stage to appear in Love
and Understanding at London's Bush Theatre. He later reprised that role at
the Longwharf Theatre in Connecticut. The play led to more British television
work, including Lynda La Plante's Killer Net and Coming Home, in
which he starred with Peter O'Toole.
His appearance in the Royal Court Theatre
productions of One More Wasted Year and Stranger's House
preceded his second feature film role in David Leland's Land Girls with
Catherine McCormack and Rachel Weisz. He next appeared in the film After the
Bettany portrayed Steerforth in the TNT
production of David Copperfield, directed by Peter Medak, opposite Sally
Field and Michael Richards. More feature film roles followed, including The
Suicide Club with Jonathan Pryce and David Morrissey. He was nominated for a
British Independent Film award and a London Film Critics' award for Best
Newcomer in the just-released Gangster No.1, directed by Paul McGuigan,
and starring Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis, and Saffron Burrows.
He stars in the period mystery-thriller The
Reckoning opposite Willem Dafoe, which re-teamed Bettany with director Paul
McGuigan. Next, Bettany starred in the independent U.K. feature Heart of Me,
starring opposite Helena Bonham-Carter and Oliver Williams for director Thaddeus
O'Sullivan. He recently starred in director Lars von Trier's (Dancing in
the Dark, Breaking the Waves) dramatic thriller Dogville, also
starring Nicole Kidman and Stellan Skaarsgard. Bettany's most recent project
is Wimbledon, also starring Kirsten Dunst, directed by Richard Loncraine,
and centering on the tennis world.
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