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"I didn't want to be seen as just a guy on a list. I'm interested in good scripts, scripts that are about something, scripts that move your acting along."

- Stephen Rea in an interview published in the Toronto Sun, 1999.

As Leopold Bloom in Sean Walsh's 2003 film, Bloom Odyssey Pictures.

ORE often than not, actor Stephen Rea is routinely described in the media as the morose and gloomy Irishman with the sad,
"hangdog" appearance. Yet, sometimes, looks can be deceiving, and in this case, there's much more to this talented actor than just another pretty sullen face...

Saddled over the years with clichéd labels like "lugubrious" and perpetually "saturnine", the media hound dog continues to chase the "hangdog" when it comes to describing actor Stephen Rea. Those handles, however, can only scratch the surface when it comes to this multitalented actor who has numerous credits on stage, screen and television. Stephen Rea has not only been nominated for awards in mulitiple categories including Academy, Tony, Golden Globe, Daytime Emmy, IFTAs and BAFTA but also was a major force in starting an Irish theatre company that influenced the entire Irish nation.

From Neil Jordan's The End of the Affair, 1999
As Colm in Tara Road, 2005, First Look Int'l
If a picture is worth a thousand words then maybe there's so much more to say about this talented actor...
As Bertie the magician in Breakfast on Pluto, 2005, Warner Bros.
As Connie Fitzpatrick
in Guinevere, 1999,
Perhaps it's time a website offered a new appreciation...
As The Groom in Neil Jordan's In The Company of Wolves, 1984,
Hen's Tooth Video
As Fergus in Neil Jordan's The Crying Game, 1992 Miramax
Stephen Rea has a long and distinguished acting career in film, television and theatre and has consistently proven his talent as a multidimensional actor who has gone the distance and always excels far beyond the ordinary and typecast in any role. Well known as one of Ireland's most talented, captivating and versatile actors, he's often noted for his Academy Award nominated role as Fergus in the cult classic, The Crying Game, (1992).
As Milo O'Brannigan in Prêt-à-Porter aka Ready to Wear, 1994,
One of Stephen Rea's earliest film roles as a villager in the horror fllm, Cry of the Banshee, with Vincent Price, 1970,
MGM Home Entertainment

As Leopold Bloom in Bloom, 2003,
Odyssey Pictures.
To date, Stephen Rea has appeared in over 95 film and television productions, has played many different characters in a variety of films and has a solid record of never shying away from challenging roles. In the last ten years alone, Stephen Rea has appeared in over 35 films, playing everything from the factual based character of Danish nuclear physicist Niels Bohr in the BBC/PBS production of Copenhagen (2002), to the classic portrayal of Leopold Bloom, in the film Bloom (2003, based on Joyce's novel Ulysses), to a sympathetic police inspector who begins to doubt the totalitarian government's agenda in the internationally known film, V for Vendetta (2005).
As Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, 2002, Image Entertainment

As Inspector Finch in V for Vendetta, 2005,
Warner Bros.
As Murph in Fluent Dysphasia, 2004

As Bruno Richard Hauptmann in
Crime of the Century,
1996, HBO
Born in Belfast, Ireland, Stephen Rea is steadfast and proud of his Irish heritage and often chooses to play many roles using his own native accent. He also continues to lend his talent in support of the Irish film industry and can be see in many recent Irish films: Bloom, (2003), The Halo Effect (IFTA nomination) (2004), Breakfast on Pluto (IFTA nomination) (2005) and Kisses, (2007). And, while Stephen Rea can easily speak fluent Irish/Gaelic (Fluent Dysphasia, 2004), he also has a masterful command of the English language and its many dialects. As a truly international actor who can portray a wide range of characters with a variety of accents, he has taken on roles like the stoic Russian medical examiner tracking a serial killer in Citizen X (1995), Lindberg kidnapping suspect Bruno Richard Hauptmann in Crime of the Century (1996) (Golden Globe Nomination) and a patient and caring Rabbi in Snow in August (2001) (Daytime Emmy Nomination).
As Hogg in the BBC's Armadillo, 2001

As Rabbi Judah Hirsch in Snow in August, 2001,

As Danny in Angel, aka Danny Boy, 1982, Columbia Pictures Home Video

In 1983, Stephen Rea first teamed with director Neil Jordan and starred in Angel, aka Danny Boy. The director and star collaboration proved successful and yielded enchanting and inventive results. Rea and Jordan went on to work together on eight more films including, The Company of Wolves (1984), The Crying Game (1992), Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Michael Collins (1996), The Butcher Boy (1997), In Dreams (1999), The End of the Affair (1999) and Breakfast on Pluto (2005). The dynamic Irish duo is currently working together for the 10th time on Jordan's latest film, Ondine, starring Colin Farrell.

As Santiago in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, 1994,
Warner Brothers
As Henry Miles in
The End of the Affair
, 1999,
Columbia Pictures
Whether portraying the dapper, ultra conservative and sensitive Henry Miles, who remains troubled, yet unflinchingly devoted to his unfaithful wife in Neil Jordan's The End of the Affair (1999), or the mop top, aging bohemian member of a rock-n-roll band trying to make a comeback in the cult retro rock film, Still Crazy (1998), Stephen Rea's performance in any movie role is often subtle and diverse, yet always memorable and unique.
As Tony Costello in
Still Crazy, 1998,
Columbia Pictures
Rehearsal photo from
Samuel Beckett's

Image: John Haynes

As Hobart Struther in Kicking a Dead Horse at NYC's Public Theater, 2008
Image: Joan Marcus
Stephen Rea's film roles are only a part of his prestigious and brilliant acting career. He is also one of the great stage actors who has appeared in many different and distinguished theatre productions, entertaining worldwide audiences in Ireland, London and Broadway. Well known for his electrifying stage performances in many classic world dramas and their various translations, Stephen Rea won a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor as political prisoner Edward in the critically acclaimed production of Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (1992-1993) written by Frank McGuinness.
Someone Who'll
Watch Over Me
Playbill Image:
Tom Lawlor

As Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac at London's National Theatre, 2004
Stephen Rea is also a founding member of Ireland's groundbreaking Field Day Theatre Company. Field Day is known for its efforts to bring theatre back to many areas of Ireland where it was lacking for years. More importantly, the company's performances also provided an intellectual and scholarly discourse for the political, social and economic turmoil which was, and still is, important and intrinsic to Ireland's identity as a nation.
As Mike, with Angela Richards in High Society, Original Cast Album, 1987
EMI Records, Ltd.
Image: John Haynes
In stage comedy, Stephen Rea's performances have been known to span the gamut from sparkling wit to dark sarcasm. Known for his broad range as an actor in many different theatrical plays, Stephen Rea's versatility landed him major part in the British musical theatre production of High Society, (1987), where he sang and, yes, danced to the music of Cole Porter. How equally fine in jazz and rhyme...
As Conn in
The Shaughraun, London's National Theatre, 1988
As if that isn't enough, you still have to ask: What else has Stephen Rea done?, we'll add:
He's known for his acting in theatre, but few know he has also starred in and directed many stage productions.
And, he's not only known as an actor but also as a very talented narrator and speaker. He has appeared in many live readings and has done voice over work for film, radio, animation and recordings. Stephen Rea's memorable narration often brings literature's best Irish writers and poets to life.
On NBC's Saturday Night Live, with guest host Miranda Richardson, March 1993.
Wondering where else you've seen Stephen Rea? He appeared on Saturday Night Live with Miranda Richardson in 1993 and also appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 1999.
For more clips, check out the Multimedia section on this website.
Stephen Rea on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 1999
See Multimedia section for clip
Whether you've followed Stephen Rea's career for years or you're looking for more info, we invite you take a tour of this website. The site contains sections on film and theatre as well as news, articles, multimedia, links and pics.
Stephen Rea is also known for his generous support of charitable and humanitarian organizations in Ireland.
A few links:

"No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything."

- Oscar Wilde from the Preface of
The Picture of Dorian Gray

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