Tom Wright (Australian actor)

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Thomas M. Wright
Thomas Michael Wright

(1983-06-22) 22 June 1983 (age 36)
Melbourne, Australia
Other namesThomas M. Wright
OccupationActor, producer, writer, director, theatre designer
Years active1998–present

Thomas Michael Wright (born 22 June 1983), also known as Tom Wright or Thomas M. Wright, is an Australian actor, writer, film director and producer. He is the co-founder (2006) and director of theatre company Black Lung. As an actor he came to attention in Jane Campion's series Top of the Lake , for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the (US-Canadian) Critics' Choice Awards. He directed the feature film Acute Misfortune (2019) and is set to direct a new thriller starring Joel Edgerton titled The Unknown Man in 2020, as soon as COVID-19 restrictions in Australia are lifted enough.


Early life

Wright was born June 22, 1983 in Melbourne, the eldest of three children.[ citation needed ]


Wright created the theatre company Black Lung, also known as The Black Lung Theatre and Whaling Firm, [1] in 2006, with fellow writer and director Thomas Henning. Their first production, Avast, was called "Insanely fast-paced, artfully arrhythmic, meta-theatrical - a breathtaking combination of precision and chaos" by Chris Kohn, writing for Realtime. [2] and hailed as one of the most influential theatre companies of the decade. [3] [4] Under the Black Lung banner, Wright created productions with Adelaide Festival and Darwin Festival, Belvoir, Malthouse Theatre, and Queensland Theatre Co. and Brisbane Festival. [1]

He has played lead roles for the Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company, [5] including the title role Baal in the controversial production commissioned by Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton and directed by Simon Stone in 2011. [6]

Wright was the director, co-writer and production designer of Doku Rai, a production created over four and a half years, with a three-month rehearsal process on the remote island of Atauro Island, East Timor. Doku Rai came about after Wright formed a close relationship with Michael Stone, then Chief Military Advisor to the President of East Timor, José Ramos-Horta. Stone facilitated Wright flying in and out of the country over a number of years. Doku Rai was created with a group of independent Timorese artists, a number of them former resistance fighters. The film sequences in Doku Rai were co-directed by Wright with director Amiel Courtin-Wilson. [7] [8]

Wright came to attention of the world as an actor in the Sundance / BBC TV series Top of the Lake in 2013, for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the US Critics' Choice Awards. [9] [10] Regarding his casting as Johnno Mitcham in the series, director Jane Campion compared him to a young Daniel Day-Lewis. [11]

He appeared as cult-figure Steven Linder in the US adaptation of The Bridge . Executive Producer Elwood Reid said of Wright’s audition for the series ‘it was the best audition I have ever seen. He walked in and the temperature of the room changed.’ [12]

Wright featured in the film The Man With The Iron Heart (2016), an adaptation of Laurent Binet's Prix Goncourt-winning novel, HHhH , with Jack O'Connell, Rosamund Pike, Stephen Graham and Jason Clarke. [13] He also filmed the Sony / WGN America Series Outsiders in the lead role of Sheriff Wade Houghton for producers Peter Tolan and Paul Giamatti. His performance was cited as the standout of the series by Hollywood Reporter [14] and Variety. [15]

In 2015, Wright filmed the Universal / Working Title feature Everest , based on the 1996 "Into Thin Air" tragedy. Years before the film, Wright walked for a month in the Himalayas on his own, without a porter or guide, crossing the highest mountain pass in the world. He walked for 30 days and lost 16 kilograms (35 lb). [16] He also played the murdered journalist Brian Peters in Balibo (2009), and Thomas Bodenham in Van Diemen's Land. [17]

In 2018 he featured in Warwick Thornton's Sweet Country , which received the Venice Film Festival's Special Jury Prize, the AACTA Award for Best Film and the Toronto Film Festival's Platform Prize. [18]

In 2017 Wright was the subject of an Archibald Prize finalist portrait by Marcus Wills, Antagonist / Protagonist (Thomas M. Wright). [19]

He co-wrote, directed and produced the feature film Acute Misfortune , released in 2019, based on Sydney journalist Erik Jensen’s biography of Australian artist Adam Cullen, who died at the age of 46. The film received The Age Critics' Prize at Melbourne International Film Festival, where it premiered. It was named one of the best films of the year in The Monthly Awards [20] and by Screen Daily , [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] and was nominated for the 2019 AACTA Award for Best Independent Film. [26] The Hollywood Reporter called Acute Misfortune "one of the year's most striking and accomplished directorial debuts". [27] It received a five star review in The Guardian , [28] and was later named one of The Guardian's "10 Best Australian Films of the decade 2010-2020" [29] and the best Australian film of 2019 [30] [31] The score, by Evelyn Ida Morris, was nominated for best soundtrack at the 2018 ARIA Music Awards [32]



2000 Stepsister from Planet Weird Cutter Colburne
2001 Zenon: The Zequel Orion
2007 The King Alfie
2009 Van Diemen's Land Thomas Bodenham
2009 Balibo Brian Peters
2010TornTim Strauss
2015 Everest Michael Groom
2016 The Man with the Iron Heart Josef Valcik
2017 Sweet Country Mick Kennedy
2019 Acute Misfortune Director


2013 Top of the Lake Johnno Mitcham
2013–2015 The Bridge Steven Linder
2016–2017 Outsiders Sheriff Wade Houghton


200451 Ashworth St.The BoyCo-writer, co-director, designer
2005 Hamlet LaertesBeggars Theatre
2007The Glass SoldierJonas FinkMelbourne Theatre Company
2007PimmsDying ManWriter, co-director
The Black Lung Theatre
2008Love SongBeaneMelbourne Theatre Company
2008Avast IThe Older BrotherMalthouse Theatre
2008Avast IIJack LemmonCo-director, designer
Malthouse Theatre
2009GlassonGodThe Black Lung Theatre
2010Furious MattressThe ExorcistMalthouse Theatre
2011BaalBaalSydney Theatre Company
2011And They Called Him Mr. GlamourDirector, designer
Belvoir St. Theatre
2011I Feel AwfulWriter, director, designer
Brisbane Festival
2013Doku RaiCo-writer, director, designer
The Black Lung Theatre

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