Thewlis, David 1963–

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Thewlis, David 1963–

(David Wheeler)


Born March 20, 1963, in Blackpool, Lancashire, England; son of Alec Raymond (a shopkeeper) and Maureen Thewlis (a shopkeeper) Wheeler; married Sara Jocelyn Sugarman (an actress), 1992 (divorced, 1993); partner of Anna Friel (an actress), 2001; children: Gracie. Education: Graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 1984.


Actor and director. Actor in films, including Little Dorrit, 1988, Resurrected, 1989, Afraid of the Dark, 1991, Life Is Sweet, 1991, Damage, 1992, Naked, 1993, The Trial, 1993, Black Beauty, 1994, Restoration, 1994, Total Eclipse, 1995, Dragonheart, 1996, The Island of Dr. Moreau, 1996, American Perfekt, 1997, Seven Years in Tibet, 1997, Besieged, 1999, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?, 1999, Gangster No. 1, 2000, Goodbye Charlie Bright, 2001, Timeline, 2003, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2004, Kingdom of Heaven, 2005, All the Invisible Children, 2005, The New World, 2005, Basic Instinct 2, 2006, The Omen, 2006, The Inner Life of Martin Frost, 2007, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2007, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2008.

Actor in television series, including Valentine Park, 1985, and A Bit of a Do, 1989. Actor in television movies, including The Short and Curlies, 1987, Skul-duggery, 1989, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, 1990, Journey to Knock, 1991, Afraid of the Dark, 1991, Black and Blue, 1992, Prime Suspect 3, 1993, Love Story, 1999, The Miracle Maker, 2000, and Hamilton Mattress, 2001.


Best actor, Cannes Film Festival, 1993, for Naked; New York Film Critics Circle Award, 1993, for Naked; film award, Evening Standard British Film Awards, 1994, for Naked; ALFS Award, London Critics Circle Film Awards, 1994, for Naked; National Society of Film Critics Award, 1994, for Naked.


The Late Hector Kipling (novel), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.

Screenwriter and director of films including Hello, Hello, Hello, 1995, and Cheeky, 2003.


David Thewlis is an English actor and director. The son of shopkeepers, Thewlis graduated from London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1984 and quickly landed roles in television and later film. Thewlis made a significant breakthrough in the industry with his 1993 role in the film Naked, for which he received awards from the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, the Evening Standard British Film Awards, the London Critics Circle Film Awards, the National Society of Film Critics Awards, and the best actor award from the Cannes Film Festival.

Thewlis wrote and directed two films: Hello, Hello, Hello in 1995 and Cheeky in 2003. Some of his film credits include 1988's Little Dorrit, 1989's Resurrected, 1994's Black Beauty, 1995's Total Eclipse, 1996's The Island of Dr. Moreau, 1997's Seven Years in Tibet, 2004's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2006's remake of The Omen, 2007's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and 2008's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Thewlis published his first novel, The Late Hector Kipling, in 2007. London-based artist Hector Kipling is thriving on his popularity and the success of his artwork. Eventually, though, longtime friend and fellow artist Lenny Snook surpasses Kipling's fame in the art world, leaving him feeling as if something is missing in his life. He yearns to sense death as a cure for his emotional state. However, his world starts tumbling down when those around him fall terminally ill and he also starts to break down himself.

Richard Marcus, writing on the Blog Critics Web site remarked that "if you like your comedy black, your satire pointed, and have a keen sense of the absurd then David Thewlis' The Late Hector Kipling will be your cup of tea. Biting, sharp, and wickedly funny, it exposes and explodes the conceits and pretensions of modern art with an intelligence and skill that is a pleasure to read." Colin Greenland, reviewing the book in the Guardian, lamented that "it's hard to keep caring. This barrage of wretched, gruesome developments offers none of the thrill of horror fiction, little of the comedy of slapstick, the existential tumescence of nihilism or the gratification of poetic justice, let alone the catharsis of tragedy. It's more as if Thewlis himself has simply got carried away, far away beyond the reach of sympathy, the long arm of common humanity."

Peter Swanson, reviewing the book on the PopMatters Web site, stated: "I've always thought he was an excellent actor, and it seems he also possesses some writing chops—his style seems akin (or aping, at times) to Martin Amis—and there are some funny bits throughout the book. If he writes another novel, there's a good chance it will be better than his first. If not, he can always fall back on his acting career." Nathan Whitlock, reviewing the novel in the Toronto Star, noted that "the ending doesn't quite work, and the relentless skewering of the faddish and cynical hollowness inevitably feels a little fish-in-a-barrel." However, Whitlock pointed out that "what really lifts the book—probably not a shocker, given Thewlis's primary occupation—are the reams of hilarious dialogue and Kipling's deadpan narration." Natasha Tripney, in an article in the New Statesman, said of the novel: "A subplot-packed satire on the art world, it rockets along at an impressive pace, before losing its way rather spectacularly." A contributor to Publishers Weekly described the novel as a "laugh-out-loud, darkly intelligent debut." The same contributor proposed that "anyone who enjoys a thought-provoking skewering of modern art" would enjoy reading this novel. A critic writing in Kirkus Reviews noted that "though it ultimately doesn't satisfy as either tragedy or farce, this is far more than an actor's vanity project: Thewlis has talent." Simon Vozick-Levinson, reviewing the novel in Entertainment Weekly, found that The Late Hector Kipling "has humor and style to burn."



Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume. 60, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2005.


Entertainment Weekly, November 9, 2007, Simon Vozick-Levinson, review of The Late Hector Kipling, p. 110.

Guardian (London, England), October 6, 2007, Colin Greenland, review of The Late Hector Kipling.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2007, review of The Late Hector Kipling.

New Statesman, September 24, 2007, Natasha Tripney, review of The Late Hector Kipling, p. 78.

Publishers Weekly, September 3, 2007, review of The Late Hector Kipling, p. 38.

Star (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), October 14, 2007, Nathan Whitlock, review of The Late Hector Kipling.

Telegraph (London, England), May 4, 2005, Elizabeth Grice, "Anna Has Changed Me for the Better."


Blog Critics, (October 2, 2007), Richard Marcus, review of The Late Hector Kipling.

David Thewlis Home Page, (May 20, 2008), author profile.

Internet Movie Database, (May 20, 2008), author profile., (June 9, 2004), Clint Morris, author interview.

PopMatters, (February 5, 2008), Peter Swanson, review of The Late Hector Kipling.

Vice Magazine, (May 20, 2008), Jesse Pearson, "David Thewlis and His Hopeless, Hilarious Fiction," author interview.

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