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Born in Chicago in 1968 to an English father and mother of Irish and German ancestry, Gillian spent her early years contemplating marine biology as a career before receiving her showbiz calling.
After spending her early working years trying to make a name for herself as a stage actress, a 1993 guest appearance on the TV collegiate drama Class of ’96 caught the eye of The X Files producer and she was rocketed to international stardom as Special Agent Dana Scully. It was a role that earned her an Emmy, Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards during her nine-season run on the cult show.
In 2009, she returned to her stage roots and gained acclaim for her role as Nora in Ibsen’s classic A Doll’s House at the Donmar Warehouse in London’s West End.
Gillian’s other screen highlights include a BAFTA- and Emmy-nominated performance of Lady Deadlock in the 2006 BBC Adaption of Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, and starring alongside James McAvoy in the 2006 BAFTA-winning film The Last King of Scotland.
Born and raised in Northern Ireland, James studied at the Central School of Drama before starting his career on stage. James’ first feature film was Hear My Song with Adrian Dunbar, before working extensively with director Michael Winterbottom on Go Now, Jude and Welcome To Sarajevo. He gained international recognition in the film Waking Ned Devine, playing lovable pig farmer, Pig Finn.
In 2002, he took the lead role of activist Ivan Cooper in Paul Greengrass’ acclaimed film Bloody Sunday. It won a Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. James’s standout performance also earned him a BAFTA nomination, in addition to the Best Actor award at the British Independent Film Awards and the Stockholm Film Festival. In 2008, he played Pontius Pilate in Frank Deasey’s BBC mini-series The Passion and starred in Midnight Man for ITV1.
In 2009, James starred with Liam Neeson in BBC Films’ Five Minutes of Heaven and the BAFTA-award winning series Occupation for BBC1.
James is currently the Chancellor of the University of Ulster.
Cillian was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1976 to educational parents – his father worked for the Irish Department of Education, and his mother worked as a French teacher.
He originally studied law at University College Cork university, but dropped out. After spending time pursuing a music career, he joined the Corcadorca Theatre Company in Cork and began to find success as an actor.
His big break came when he was cast in Danny Boyle’s 2002 film 28 Days Later, a role which earned him a nod for Breakthrough Male Performance at the 2004 MTV Movie Awards. He has since gone on to appear in such acclaimed films as Cold Mountain, Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Wind That Shakes. In 2005, Cillian won an Irish Film and Television Academy Best Actor Award for his performance in Breakfast on Pluto.
Cillian is fluent in Gaelic and French.
Born in Northern Ireland, Sam is considered to be one the most famous actors to come out of New Zealand. Sam, whose real name is actually Nigel, holds dual British and New Zealand nationality – he was born in Omagh when his New Zealander army officer father was stationed there, and the family returned to New Zealand when he was a young boy.
He had his first exposure to acting whilst at university, where he studied English Literature. After a role in the New Zealand film Sleeping Dogs in 1977, Sam’s breakout role came in 1981 when he played Damien Thorn in Omen III: The Final Conflict. He went on to star in such Hollywood blockbusters as Dead Calm (1989), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Jurassic Park (1993) and The Piano (1997).
In addition to his acting achievements, Sam is a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991. He also owns a winery on New Zealand’s South Island called Two Paddocks.
Peter was born in Glasgow in 1958, to parents of Irish and Italian heritage. Although he showed a talent for acting at school and attended drama classes, in his teens he was accepted into Glasgow School of Art, where he fronted a punk rock band!
His first significant acting role was in the 1983 film Local Hero, and he’s worked steadily in film and on TV since, including portraying Azolan in the 1988 blockbuster movie Dangerous Liaisons. In 1995, Peter scooped the Oscar for Live Action Short Film for Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life, which he directed. A decade later, he brought The Thick of It’s infamous, potty-mouthed spin doctor, Malcolm Tucker, to television screens up until 2012.
Peter's recent roles include the sinister Cardinal Richelieu in the TV series The Musketeers, and landing the coveted role of the twelfth Doctor in the iconic BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who.
Maggie Gyllenhaal is an Oscar and Golden Globe nominated actress who made her feature film debut in 1992. Since then, she’s gained critical acclaim for stand-out performances in films such as Crazy Heart, The Dark Night, Donnie Darko, Adaptation, Mona Lisa Smile, White House Down and, most recently, Frank. The Honourable Woman marks Gyllenhaal’s first move into TV.
Also accomplished on stage, Gyllenhaal has starred as Alice in Patrick Mauber’s award-winning Closer, Shakespearean tragedy Anthony and Cleopatra, Chekov’s Three Sisters and Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul.
Born in London in 1966 to a psychotherapist mother and merchant banker father, Helena remarkably never underwent any formal acting training.
She made her cinematic debut as Lady Jane Grey in Lady Jane (1985), and went onto to give noted film performances in Hamlet (1990), Howard’s End (1992), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) and Twelfth Night (1996).
In 2001, she starred in the prolific film remake of Planet of the Apes, directed by Tim Burton. Helena and Tim became romantically involved during the making of the movie, and have since parented two children together. The couple have also worked together on Burton’s cinematic remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) starring Johnny Depp, Helena lent her voice to the title character of Burton's dark animated tale Corpse Bride (2005), and Helena reunited with Johnny Depp to star in Burton’s acclaimed Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).
Helena is also famed for her portrayal of Bellatrix Lestrange in the blockbusting series of Harry Potter films, and playing Elizabeth Taylor in the TV film Burton and Taylor.
Born in London in 1989, Daniel made his acting debut at the age of ten in the 1999 BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield.
He shot to international stardom a year later, aged 11, when he was cast as the lead in J K Rowling Harry Potter films, a role he maintained for all eight movies filmed over a decade.
Aside from being the face of Hogwarts, Daniel has more than proved that his acting prowess extends beyond his child star status. In 2007, he garnered over £1.7 million advance ticket sales and critical acclaim for his mature stage portrayal of Alan Strang, a stable boy obsessed with horses, in Peter Shaffer’s play Equus. His first post-Harry Potter film project, the 2012 horror Woman in Black, followed suit and continued to win him widespread favour as an acting heavyweight. Daniel recently gained acclaim for his leading role in the black comic drama series A Young Doctor's Notebook.
In 2011, The Trevor Project, a charity committed to promoting awareness of gay teen suicide prevention, honoured Daniel’s tireless efforts of support by presenting him with a Hero Award.
Born in Lancashire in 1965, Steve trained as an actor at Manchester Polytechnic and started his showbiz career as a voice artist on the cult satirical puppet show Spitting Image in the 1980s.
His talent for creating and performing original comic characters was first showcased to a listening public when he introduced his most famous character to date – inappropriate regional media personality Alan Partridge – on the BBC Radio 4 show, On the Hour.
Shortly after, Coogan was introducing Alan Partridge and other comic creations like Paul Calf to TV audiences with appearances on The Day Today and Saturday Zoo. He got his major TV break landing his own Alan Partridge spoof chat shows – Knowing Me, Knowing You and I’m Alan Partridge.
Steve’s other notable TV credits include writing and starring as pest control guru Saxondale in the sitcom of the same name, and co-starring with Rob Brydon as a half-bit food journalist in the sitcom The Trip – a role that earned him a BAFTA. More recently, Steve co-starred with Johnny Vegas and Chris O’Dowd in Moone Boy, a sitcom about a 12-year-old boy and his imaginary friend.
Steve has also made a major footprint on the film landscape, clocking up leading roles in such classics as The Parole Officer and 24 Hour Party People. He also co-wrote and co-starred alongside Dame Judi Dench in the 2013 film Philomena, which earned him Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations, plus two Oscar nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.