David Mark Rylance Waters
18 January 1960
Ashford, Kent, England
|Education||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Relatives|| Susannah Waters (sister)|
Juliet Rylance (stepdaughter)
Sir David Mark Rylance Waters (born 18 January 1960) is an English actor, theatre director, and playwright. He was the first artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe in London, between 1995 and 2005. After training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Rylance made his professional debut at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow in 1980. He appeared in the West End productions of Much Ado About Nothing in 1994 and Jerusalem in 2010, winning the Olivier Award for Best Actor for both. He has also appeared on Broadway, winning three Tony Awards: two for Best Actor for Boeing Boeing in 2008 and Jerusalem in 2011, and one for Best Featured Actor for Twelfth Night in 2014. He received Best Actor nominations for Richard III in 2014 and Farinelli and the King in 2017. He is one of only eight actors to have won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play twice while his nominations for Richard III and Twelfth Night in 2014 make him one of only six performers to be nominated in two acting categories in the same year.
Rylance's film appearances include Prospero's Books (1991), Angels and Insects (1995), Institute Benjamenta (1996), Intimacy (2001), and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008). Rylance attracted attention for his portrayal of Rudolf Abel in Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies (2015). He won the Academy Award and British Academy Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance and subsequently collaborated with Spielberg, playing the title role in The BFG (2016), a live-action film adaptation of the children's book by Roald Dahl, and James Halliday in Ready Player One (2018), based on the novel of the same name. Since then he has appeared in Christopher Nolan's World War II drama Dunkirk (2017) and Aaron Sorkin's Vietnam War court drama The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020).
On television, Rylance won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor for his role as David Kelly in the 2005 Channel 4 drama The Government Inspector and for playing Thomas Cromwell in the 2015 BBC Two mini-series Wolf Hall . For Wolf Hall, he also received Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations. Rylance is a patron of the London International Festival of Theatre. He is also a patron of the London-based charity Peace Direct, which supports peace-builders in areas of conflict, and of the British Stop the War Coalition. In 2016, he was named in the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.
Rylance was born in Ashford, Kent, England, to Anne (née Skinner) and David Waters, both teachers of English. Rylance has a sister named Susannah, an opera singer and author, and a brother, Jonathan, who works as a sommelier.
His parents moved to the US in 1962, first to Connecticut and then Wisconsin in 1969, where his father taught English at the University School of Milwaukee, which Rylance attended.
Rylance took the stage name of Mark Rylance because his given name, Mark Waters, was already taken by someone else registered with Equity. He returned to England in 1978. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London from 1978–80 under Hugh Cruttwell; and with Barbara and Peter Bridgmont at the Chrysalis Theatre School in Balham, London. In 1980, he gained his first professional work at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre. In 1982 and 1983, he performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-upon-Avon and London.
In 1988, Rylance played Hamlet with the RSC in Ron Daniels' production that toured Ireland and Britain for a year. The play then ran in Stratford-upon-Avon. Hamlet toured the US for two years. In 1990, Rylance and Claire van Kampen (later his wife) founded "Phoebus' Cart", their own theatre company. The following year, the company staged The Tempest on the road.
In 1995, Rylance became the first artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, a post he held until 2005. Rylance directed and acted in every season, in works by Shakespeare and others, including an all-male production of Twelfth Night , in which he played Olivia, and Richard III in the title role. Under his directorate, new plays were also performed at the Globe, the first being Augustine's Oak (referring to Augustine of Canterbury and Christianisation of Anglo-Saxon England) by Peter Oswald, the writer-in-residence, which was performed in 1999. A second play by Oswald followed in 2002: The Golden Ass or the Curious Man.
Rylance played the lead in Gillies MacKinnon's film The Grass Arena (1991), and won the Radio Times Award for Best Newcomer. In 1993, he starred in Matthew Warchus' production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Queen's Theatre, produced by Thelma Holt. His Benedick won him an Olivier Award for Best Actor.
For his role as Jay in Intimacy (2001), directed by Patrice Chéreau, he received real, rather than simulated, fellatio.He took the leading role as British weapons expert David Kelly in Peter Kosminsky's The Government Inspector (2005), an award-winning Channel 4 production for which he won the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor in 2005.
In 2005, Oswald's third play written for the Globe was first performed: The Storm, an adaptation of Plautus 's comedy Rudens (The Rope) – "argu[ably]" one of the sources of Shakespeare's The Tempest . Other historical first nights were organised by Rylance while director of the Globe including Twelfth Night performed in 2002 at Middle Temple, to commemorate its first performance there exactly 400 years before, and Measure for Measure at Hampton Court in summer 2004. In 2007, he received a Sam Wanamaker Award together with his wife Claire van Kampen, Director of Music, and Jenny Tiramani, Director of Costume Design, for the founding work during the opening ten years at Shakespeare's Globe.
On 8 September 2007 Derek Jacobi and Rylance unveiled a Declaration of Reasonable Doubt on the authorship of William Shakespeare's work, after the final matinée of The Big Secret Live "I am Shakespeare" Webcam Daytime Chat-Room Show, a play in Chichester. The actual author of Shakespeare's plays is variously proposed to be Christopher Marlowe; Francis Bacon; Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford; or Mary Sidney (Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke). The declaration named 20 prominent doubters of the past, including Mark Twain, John Gielgud, Charlie Chaplin and actor Leslie Howard (later withdrawn from the list), and was made by the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition duly signed online by 300 people to begin new research. Jacobi and Rylance presented a copy of the document to William Leahy, head of English at Brunel University London. In 2016, writer Ben Elton delivered a riposte to this "batty" premise in the episode "If You Prick Us, Do We Not Bleed" of his television comedy Upstart Crow .The great but "self-regarding and pretentious" actor Wolf Hall (played by Ben Miller) joins Burbage's acting company to play Shylock. The character Wolf Hall confronts Shakespeare (played by David Mitchell) with the suggestion that he didn't write his own plays; it is a satirical portrait of Rylance and his opinion.
Rylance wrote (co-conceived by John Dove) and starred in The BIG Secret Live 'I am Shakespeare' Webcam Daytime Chatroom Show (A comedy of Shakespearean identity crisis) which toured England in 2007.
In 2007, Rylance performed in Boeing-Boeing in London. In 2008, he reprised the role on Broadway and won Drama Desk and Tony Awards for his performance. In 2009, Rylance won the Critics' Circle Theatre Award Best Actor, 2009 for his role of Johnny Byron in Jerusalem written by Jez Butterworth at the Royal Court Theatre in London.
In 2010, Rylance starred in a revival of David Hirson's verse play La Bête . The play ran first at London's Comedy Theatre before transferring to the Music Box Theatre on Broadway, on 23 September 2010. Also in 2010, he won another Olivier award for best actor in the role of Johnny Byron in Jerusalem at the Apollo Theatre in London. In 2011, he won his second Tony Award for playing the same role in the Broadway production.
In 2013, Shakespeare's Globe brought two all-male productions to Broadway, starring Rylance as Olivia in Twelfth Night and in the title role in Richard III , for a limited run in repertory. He won his third Tony Award for his performance as Olivia and was nominated for his performance as Richard III.
He played Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall (2015), BBC Two's adaptation of Hilary Mantel's historical novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies .For his performance, he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. Rylance was featured as the castaway on the BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs on 15 February 2015.
Rylance co-starred in the biographical drama Bridge of Spies , released in October 2015, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda. The film is about the 1960 U-2 Incident and the arrest and conviction of Soviet spy Rudolf Abel and the exchange of Abel for U-2 pilot Gary Powers. Rylance plays Abel and has received unanimous universal acclaim for his performance with many critics claiming it as the best performance of 2015. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch quoted, "As the deeply principled Donovan, Hanks deftly balances earnestness and humor. And Rylance’s spirited performance is almost certain to yield an Oscar nomination."David Edelstein from New York cited 'It's Rylance who keeps Bridge of Spies standing. He gives a teeny, witty, fabulously non-emotive performance, every line musical and slightly ironic – the irony being his forthright refusal to deceive in a world founded on lies." Rylance won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and New York Film Critics Circle Award in the Best Supporting Actor categories, as well as receiving Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, among other wins and nominations.
Rylance played the title role in Spielberg's The BFG , a film adaptation of the children's book by Roald Dahl. Filming took place in 2015, and the film was released in July 2016.In 2016 Rylance co-wrote and starred in the new comedy play Nice Fish at St. Ann's Warehouse, New York. The production subsequently transferred to the Harold Pinter Theatre in London's West End. Rylance had a major role in Christopher Nolan's 2017 action-thriller Dunkirk , based on the British military evacuation of the French city of Dunkirk in 1940 during World War II. The film co-starred Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and Harry Styles.
Rylance played James Haliday in Ready Player One , which was also directed by Spielberg. He will next film Waiting for the Barbarians, alongside Johnny Depp and Robert Pattinson, in late October 2018.
In 2018, Rylance starred in Farinelli and the King on the Broadway stage earning his fifth Tony Award nomination.
In June 2019, Rylance resigned from the Royal Shakespeare Company due to its sponsorship deal with BP. He last appeared on stage for the RSC in 1989.
In 2020, Rylance appeared in Aaron Sorkin's legal drama The Trial of the Chicago 7 which premiered on Netflix. Rylance portrayed William Kunstler, Defense Counsel, co-founder of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), board member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and active member of the National Lawyers Guild. The film received near universal praise, and featured performances from Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Michael Keaton, and Frank Langella.
On 8 September 2019, Rylance revealed to AlloCiné that he was cast to play Satan in American filmmaker Terrence Malick's upcoming film The Last Planet.
Rylance is married to director, composer and playwright Claire van Kampen, whom he met in 1987 while working on a production of The Wandering Jew at the National Theatre. They were married in Oxfordshire on 21 December 1989.Through this marriage, he became a stepfather to her two daughters from a previous marriage, actress Juliet Rylance and filmmaker Nataasha van Kampen. Nataasha died in July 2012 at the age of 28, following which Rylance withdrew from his planned participation in the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London and was replaced by Kenneth Branagh.
Rylance became a patron of LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) in 2013. He said about the festival: "I feel LIFT has done more to influence the growth and adventure of English theatre than any other organisation we have."
Rylance became patron of the London Bubble Speech Bubbles project in 2015. "I found a voice through making theatre and am proud to be the patron of Speech Bubbles, which helps hundreds of children to do the same."
Rylance has been a supporter of the indigenous rights organisation Survival International for many years.He is the creator and director of "We Are One", a fundraiser that took place at the Apollo Theatre in April 2010. The evening was a performance of tribal prose and poetry from some of the world's leading actors and musicians.
Rylance is a patron of the London-based charity Peace Direct which supports grassroots peacebuilders in areas of conflict, and of the British Stop the War Coalition.He is a member of the Peace Pledge Union, a network of pacifists in the UK. He performed the life and words of Henri, a man living in war-torn eastern Congo, during a presentation in New York City in 2011. He is also patron of The Outside Edge Theatre Company. It works from the perspective of creating theatre and drama with people affected by substance abuse. It provides theatre interventions in drug and alcohol treatment and general community facilities throughout Britain, as well as producing professional public theatre productions that take place in theatres, studio theatres, and art centres.
Rylance has long been an enthusiastic supporter of Conscience: Taxes for Peace not War, which works to change British tax law to allow Conscientious objectors the right to redirect that portion of their taxes which would usually go to the military into non-violent methods of conflict resolution.
In November 2019, along with other public figures, Rylance signed a letter supporting Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn describing him as "a beacon of hope in the struggle against emergent far-right nationalism, xenophobia and racism in much of the democratic world" and endorsed him in the 2019 UK general election.In December 2019, along with 42 other leading cultural figures, he signed a letter endorsing the Labour Party under Corbyn's leadership in the 2019 United Kingdom general election. The letter stated that "Labour's election manifesto under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership offers a transformative plan that prioritises the needs of people and the planet over private profit and the vested interests of a few."
|1987||Hearts of Fire||Fizz||Richard Marquand|
|1991||The Grass Arena||John Healy||Gillies MacKinnon|
|Prospero's Books||Ferdinand||Peter Greenaway|
|1995|| Institute Benjamenta, |
or This Dream People Call Human Life
|Jakob von Gunten||Brothers Quay|
|Angels & Insects||William Adamson||Philip Haas|
|2008||The Other Boleyn Girl||Thomas Boleyn||Justin Chadwick|
|2011||Anonymous||Henry Condell||Roland Emmerich|
|Blitz||Bruce Roberts||Elliott Lester|
|2013||Days and Nights||Stephen||Christian Camargo|
|2015||The Gunman||Terrance Cox||Pierre Morel|
|Bridge of Spies||Rudolf Abel||Steven Spielberg|
|2016||The BFG||The BFG||Voice and motion capture|
|2017||Dunkirk||Mr Dawson||Christopher Nolan|
|2018||Ready Player One||James Halliday / Anorak||Steven Spielberg|
|2019||Waiting for the Barbarians||Magistrate||Ciro Guerra|
|2020||The Trial of the Chicago 7||William Kunstler||Aaron Sorkin|
|2021||Don't Look Up||Peter Isherwell||Adam McKay||Post-production|
|TBA||The Way of the Wind||Satan||Terrence Malick||Post-production|
|TBA||The Fantastic Flitcrofts||Maurice Flitcroft||Craig Roberts||Post-production|
|TBA||The Outfit||Leonard||Graham Moore||Filming|
|1985||Wallenberg: A Hero's Story||Nikki Fodor|
|1986-96||Screen Two||Various roles||3 episodes|
|1991||Incident in Judaea||Yeshua Ha Nozri||Television film|
|1993||Love Lies Bleeding||Conn|
|1997||Henry V||King Henry V|
|2003||Leonardo||Leonardo da Vinci||3 episodes|
|2003||Richard II||Richard II||Television film|
|2005||The Government Inspector||David Kelly||Television film|
|2014–15||Bing||Flop (voice)||78 episodes|
|2015||Wolf Hall||Thomas Cromwell||6 episodes|
|1981||Desperado Corner||Bazza||Citizens' Theatre|
|1982||The Tempest||Ariel||Royal Shakespeare Company|
|1983–84||Peter Pan||Peter Pan||Royal Shakespeare Company|
|1986||A Midsummer Night's Dream||Puck||Royal Opera House|
|1989||Hamlet||Hamlet||Royal Shakespeare Company|
|Romeo and Juliet||Romeo|
|1991||Hamlet||Hamlet||American Repertory Theater|
|The Seagull||Treplev||Pittsburgh Public Theater|
|1993||Henry V||Henry V||Theatre for a New Audience|
|Much Ado About Nothing||Benedick||Queens Theatre|
|1994||As You Like It||Touchstone||Theatre for a New Audience|
|True West||Lee/Austin||Donmar Warehouse|
|2000||Life x 3||Henry||Royal National Theatre|
|2007||Boeing Boeing||Robert||Comedy Theatre|
|I am Shakespeare||Frank||N/A||UK tour|
|2008||Peer Gynt||Peer Gynt||Guthrie Theater|
|Boeing Boeing||Robert||Longacre Theatre|
|2009||Jerusalem||Johnny Byron||Royal Court Theatre|
|2010||Jerusalem||Johnny Byron||Apollo Theatre|
|La Bete||Valere||Comedy Theatre|
|2010–11||Music Box Theatre|
|2011||Jerusalem||Johnny Byron||Music Box Theatre|
|2012–13||Richard III and Twelfth Night||Richard III / Olivia||Apollo Theatre||Repertory|
|2013||Nice Fish||Ron||Guthrie Theater|
|2013–14||Richard III and Twelfth Night||Richard III / Olivia||Belasco Theatre||Repertory|
|2015||Farinelli and the King||Philip V of Spain||Sam Wanamaker Playhouse|
|Duke of York's Theatre|
|2016||Nice Fish||Ron||St. Ann's Warehouse|
|2016–17||Harold Pinter Theatre|
|2017–18||Farinelli and the King||Philip V of Spain||Belasco Theatre|
Shakespeare's Globe Along with Rylance's stage performances, he has appeared often at the Shakespeare's Globe, London.
|1996||The Two Gentlemen of Verona||Proteus|
|1997||A Chaste Maid in Cheapside||Mr. Allwit|
|Henry V||Henry V|
|1998||The Merchant of Venice||Bassanio|
|The Honest Whore||Hippolito|
|1999||Antony and Cleopatra||Cleopatra|
|2002||The Golden Ass||Lucius|
|2003||Richard II||Richard II|
|2004||Measure for Measure||Duke Vincentio|
|2012||Richard III||Richard III|
Rylance has received numerous nominations and awards for his performances, including wins at the Tony Awards and BAFTA Awards. At the 88th Academy Awards, Rylance won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Rudolf Abel in Bridge of Spies .
Rylance was created a Knight Bachelor in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to theatre.
Sir Kenneth Charles Branagh is a Northern Irish actor and filmmaker. Branagh trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London; in 2015 he succeeded Richard Attenborough as its president. He has been nominated for five Academy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards. He has won three BAFTAs and two Emmy Awards. He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2012 Birthday Honours and knighted on 9 November 2012. He was made a Freeman of his native city of Belfast in January 2018. In 2020, he was listed at number 20 on The Irish Times list of Ireland's greatest film actors.
Sir Derek George Jacobi is an English actor and stage director.
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Samuel Barnett is an English actor. He has performed on stage, film, television and radio, and achieved recognition for his work on the stage and film versions of The History Boys by Alan Bennett. His television performances include roles in the BBC comedy Twenty Twelve and in the Showtime drama Penny Dreadful. He played the lead role of Dirk Gently in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, the 2016 BBC America adaptation of the book series by Douglas Adams.
Jamie Parker is an English actor and singer, best known for his role as Harry Potter in the original cast for the West End play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, for which he received an Olivier Award for Best Actor. He also received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play as a member of the original Broadway version.
La Bête (1991) is a comedy by American playwright, David Hirson. Written in rhymed couplets of iambic pentameter, the Molière-inspired story, set in 17th-century France, pits dignified, stuffy Elomire, the head of the royal court-sponsored theatre troupe, against the foppish, frivolous street entertainer Valere, whom the troupe's patron, Prince Conti, wishes them to bring aboard. Despite Elomire's violent objections, the company is forced to perform one of Valere's own plays, which results in dramatic changes to the future of Elomire, Valere, and the company itself.
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Boeing-Boeing is a farce written by the French playwright Marc Camoletti. The English-language adaptation, translated by Beverley Cross, was first staged in London at the Apollo Theatre in 1962 and transferred to the Duchess Theatre in 1965, running for seven years. In 1991, the play was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most performed French play throughout the world.
Sam Crane is an English actor. He attended Oxford University and LAMDA, where he won the Nicholas Hytner Award for the best actor of his year. He played Farinelli in Claire van Kampen's Farinelli and the King opposite Mark Rylance at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and reprised his role when the production transferred first to the Duke of York's Theatre and then to the Belasco Theatre on Broadway. He is also known for playing Winston Smith in Headlong's production of 1984 in the West End, Fred Walters in the BBC's six-part drama series Desperate Romantics and Frederick Abberline in Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Syndicate. In 2017 he played Patrick Plunket in an episode of the Netflix series The Crown.
John Patrick Vivian Flynn is a British musician, singer, songwriter and actor.
Jerusalem is a play by Jez Butterworth that opened in the Jerwood Theatre of the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2009. The production starred Mark Rylance as Johnny "Rooster" Byron and Mackenzie Crook as Ginger. After receiving rave reviews, its run was extended. In January 2010 it transferred to the Apollo Theatre; it played on Broadway in the summer of 2011.
Matt Charman is a British screenwriter, playwright, and producer from Horsham, West Sussex. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his 2015 film Bridge of Spies, directed by Steven Spielberg and co-written with Joel and Ethan Coen. Charman started out writing for theatre, making his breakthrough as writer-in-residence at London's National Theatre, where then director Nicholas Hytner described Charman as having "a priceless nose for a story.".
Olivia is a fictional character from William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night, believed to have been written around 1600 or 1601. She is at the centre of the various plots, both the comedic and the romantic. She has various suitors.
Juliet Rylance is an English actress and producer, known for her roles in The Knick and McMafia.
André Holland is an American actor, widely known for his 2016 performance as Kevin in the Academy Award-winning film Moonlight.
Claire Louise van Kampen, Lady Rylance is an English director, composer and playwright. She composed the music for Mark Rylance's 1989 performance as Hamlet and shared the 2007 Sam Wanamaker Award with him. Her composing credits include music for productions of the plays Days and Nights and Boeing-Boeing.
Paul Chahidi is a British actor.
I argue that the Rudens, by Plautus,…serves as Shakespeare's principal source.