Caravaggio Press Kit - Cast Biographies

Last Update: 19 August 2002
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Nigel Terry (Caravaggio)

This actor of stage and screen has devoted himself largely to period roles. He has appeared in his native England with the Royal Shakespearean Company, the Round House Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre. He made his film debut as Prince John in THE LION IN WINTER (1968) but did not appear onscreen again for thirteen years. His comeback was as King Arthur in John Boorman's EXCALIBUR (1981). Terry teamed up with Derek Jarman for the first time in CARAVAGGIO, and subsequently in THE LAST OF ENGLAND, WAR REQUIEM, EDWARD II and BLUE. Terry is a familiar face on British TV and is best-known in the U. S. for starring in the Thames Television series COVINGTON CROSS, which was shown on ABC in 1992. Terry played Sir Thomas Gray, a widowed knight in medieval England.

Sean Bean (Ranuccio)

Bean's professional acting debut was as Tybalt in ROMEO AND JULIET in 1983. He subsequently appeared on stage in London's West End in a number of productions, including THE FAIR MAID OF THE WEST, ROMEO AND JULIET and A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHT'S DREAM for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Although best known for his bad guy roles in PATRIOT GAMES (1992) and GOLDENEYE (1995), Bean has been a romantic lead in Ken Russell's BBC adaptation of LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER (1992). His most recent films are RONIN (1998), DON'T SAY A WORD (2001), and THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001). In November 2002 Bean will be appearing onstage in the UK as Macbeth.

Tilda Swinton (Lena)

One of Britain's most remarkable contemporary actresses, Tilda Swinton had a long and close collaboration with Derek Jarman in the last eight years of his life. Not long after graduating from Cambridge in 1983 Tilda Swinton joined the Royal Shakespeare Company to play Juliet in Adrian Noble's MEASURE FOR MEASURE (1984). In 1985 she appeared in ZASTROZZI, a Channel Four series and was then cast as Lena in CARAVAGGIO. This began her regular collaboration with Derek Jarman, during which she appeared in all his subsequent films, ARIA, THE LAST OF ENGLAND, WAR REQUIEM, THE GARDEN, EDWARD II, WITTGENSTEIN and BLUE. In the early '90s Swinton was widely acclaimed for two breakout starring roles: as the title character in Sally Potter's adaptation of Virginia Woolf's ORLANDO (1992), and for her one woman on-stage tour-de-force in Manfred Karge's MAN TO MAN, a role which was repeated for the 1992 film version directed by John Maybury.

After Derek Jarman's death Swinton appeared in Susan Streitfeld's FEMALE PERVERSIONS (1996), John Maybury's LOVE IS THE DEVIL (1998) and Lynn Hershman's CONCEIVING ADA (1997). After a break due to her pregnancy and the birth of twins she returned to the screen, working with Tim Roth in his directorial debut THE WAR ZONE (1999) and appeared in Danny Boyle's THE BEACH (2000) with Leonardo DiCaprio. She received major attention in the USA for her starring role in the thriller THE DEEP END (2001). She also had a cameo appearance in VANILLA SKY (2001). Up coming films include Lynn Hershman'sTEKNOLUST, Spike Jonze's ADAPTATION and Mike Mills' THUMBSUCKER.

Dexter Fletcher (Young Caravaggio)

As a child performer with both stage and screen credits, Fletcher made a notable impression as Babyface in Alan Parker's BUGSY MALONE (1976). The dark-haired, quirky-looking actor graduated to adult parts as the young incarnation of the title role in Derek Jarman's CARAVAGGIO (1986). Fletcher landed his first real lead as a youth determined to lose his virginity in THE RACHEL PAPERS (1989). In the 90s he emerged as a colorful character player, playing a priest in JUDE (1996) and a chef who becomes embroiled in a crime spree in Guy Ritchie's LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS (1998).

Michael Gough (Cardinal Del Monte)

Born to British parents in Malaya, Michael Gough received classical training at the Old Vic Theatre, where he made his stage debut in 1936. He acted on Broadway the following year, inaugurating a distinguished career on both sides of the Atlantic. Gough did not enter films until after World War II and for the next decade his appearances were intermittent and primarily in historical drama, ranging from ANNA KARENINA (1948) to Laurence Olivier's adaptation of RICHARD III (1956). His many Hammer film roles began in 1958 when he supported Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in THE HORROR OF DRACULA. Gough has frequently played villains in melodrama, or austerely British aristocrats or bureaucrats in contemporary dramas or farces. His most famous roles include those in THE GO-BETWEEN (1971), THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL (1978), CARAVAGGIO (1986) and WITTGENSTEIN (1993). Contemporary filmgoers are likely to best know the venerable Gough for his role as Alfred the butler in the BATMAN series (1989-97).

Nigel Davenport (Giustiniani)

Veteran British character actor who, by his own estimate, has played "two kings, two dukes, a lot of lords and the odd private soldier." Best known as the Duke of Norfolk opposite Paul Scofield's Sir Thomas More in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (1966) and the explorer Hernando De Soto in THE ROYAL HUNT OF THE SUN (1969). Davenport began his film career in the 1950s in LOOK BACK IN ANGER (1959) and continued to work through the 1980s in such films as CHARIOTS OF FIRE (1981) and CARAVAGGIO (1986).

Robbie Coltrane (Scipione Borghese)

Robbie Coltrane is one of the U.K.s most prolific and respected film and television actors with a multi-award winning career spanning 20 years. His illustrious film career to date boasts 26 films including the James Bond films THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999) and GOLDENEYE (1995). Coltrane won numerous awards for his portrayal of the tough, wise-cracking police psychologist Fitz on the U.K.s hugely popular television series CRACKER. He won the BAFTA Award for Best Television Actor for three years in a row and a Cable Ace Award for Best Actor in a Movie or Mini Series.


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