Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Jude Law (born December 29, 1972) is an English actor. He began acting with the National Youth Music Theatre in 1987, and had his first TV role in 1989. In 1997, his role in the Oscar Wilde biopic Wilde garnered him the Evening Standard British Film Award as "Most Promising Newcomer".
After starring in films directed by Andrew Niccol, Clint Eastwood and David Cronenberg, he was nominated for an Academy Award twice: for his role in The Talented Mr. Ripley in 2000, and for Cold Mountain in 2003, both directed by Anthony Minghella. He also won a BAFTA Award for his role in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
He is on the Top Ten List from the 2006 A-list of the most bankable movie stars in Hollywood. On March 1, 2007, he was honoured with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres conferred by the French government; he was named a "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres". In 2009, he will return to the theatre stage to perform the title role in Shakespeare's play Hamlet.
Law was born in Lewisham, South London, to teachers Maggie and Peter Law, who named him after both The Beatles song Hey Jude and Thomas Hardy's central character in his novel Jude the Obscure. His parents now run their own drama school in France. Natasha, his sister, is a well-regarded illustrator and artist, living in London. He grew up in Blackheath, a village in the Borough of Lewisham, and he was educated at "John Ball" Primary School in Blackheath and Kidbrooke School in Kidbrooke, before attending the Alleyn's School in Dulwich.
In 1987 Law began acting with the National Youth Music Theatre. the United Kingdom's leading organisation for young people in the field of musical theatre. He played various roles in the Edinburgh Fringe awarded The Ragged Child, and one of his first major stage roles was as Foxtrot Darling in Philip Ridley's multi-award-winning The Fastest Clock In The Universe. Law went on to appear as Michael in the West End production of Jean Cocteau's tragicomedy Les parents terribles directed by Sean Mathias. He was nominated for an Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Newcomer, and he received the Ian Charleson Award for Outstanding Newcomer.
Following a title change to Indiscretions, the play was reworked and transferred to Broadway in 1995, where Law acted opposite Kathleen Turner, Roger Rees and Cynthia Nixon. This role earned him a Tony Award nomination and the Theatre World Award. In 1989, Law got his first TV role in a movie based on the Beatrix Potter children's book, The Tailor of Gloucester. After minor roles in British television, including a two-year stint in the Granada TV soap opera Families and the leading role in the BFI /Channel 4 short The Crane, Law had his breakthrough with the British crime drama Shopping, which also featured his future wife Sadie Frost.
He became more widely known with his performance in the biopic Wilde. Law won the "Most Promising Newcomer" award from the Evening Standard British Film Awards, for his role as Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas, the glamorous lover of Stephen Fry's Oscar Wilde. In Andrew Niccol's science fiction film Gattaca, he played the role of a disabled former swimming star living in a eugenics-obsessed dystopia. In Clint Eastwood's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, he played the role of the ill-fated hustler murdered by an art dealer (played by Kevin Spacey). He also played a mob hitman in Sam Mendes's 1930s period drama Road to Perdition.
He has been nominated for an Academy Award twice; once as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Talented Mr. Ripley in 1999, and then again as Best Actor in a Leading Role for Cold Mountain in 2003, both directed by Anthony Minghella. For the former film, he learned to play saxophone and earned a MTV Movie Award nomination together with Matt Damon and Fiorello for performing the song Tu Vuo' Fa L'Americano by Renato Carosone and Nicola Salerno. He learned ballet dancing for the film Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001).
He portrayed the title character in Alfie, the remake of Bill Naughton's 1966 film, playing the role originated by Sir Michael Caine. In 2004, Law was named the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine. He took on another of Caine's earlier roles in the 2007 film Sleuth adapted by Nobel Laureate in Literature Harold Pinter, while Caine played the role originated by Sir Laurence Olivier. Law, an admirer of Olivier, used the famous actor's image in the 2004 film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Using computer graphics, footage of the young Olivier was merged into the film, playing Dr.Totenkopf, a mysterious scientific genius and supervillain.
Law is one of three actors taking the place of the actor Heath Ledger in Terry Gilliam's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Along with Law, actors Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell will portray the "three separate dimensions in the film." He will appear opposite Forest Whitaker in the dark sci-fi comedy Repossession Mambo. In 2009, Law will return to the London stage to portray Prince Hamlet in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, under the direction of Kenneth Branagh, at the Donmar Warehouse.
Law is on the Top Ten List from the 2006 A-list of the most bankable movie stars in Hollywood, following the criteria of James Ulmer in the Ulmer Scale. On March 1, 2007, he was honoured with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres conferred by the French government, in recognition of his contribution to World Cinema Arts. He was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
Law is the face of the new male perfume of Dior. Since 2005, he has represented British-based men's luxury goods maker Dunhill as an "apparel ambassador" in Asia. In 2008, he became the international face and appears in the worldwide spring/summer advertising campaign, apart from TV commercials in North America.
In 2002, he directed a Respect for Animals anti-fur cinema commercial. The commercial used music composed by Gary Kemp, and included appearances by pop singer Mel C, Helena Christensen, Sadie Frost, Supergrass's Danny Goffey, Chrissie Hynde, Rhys Ifans, Jude Law, Sir Paul McCartney, Stella McCartney, George Michael and Moby. In 2007, he encouraged the Friends of the Earth /The Big Ask campaign, asking British Government to take action against Climate change
In 2004, Law launched a campaign to raise £2.5 million towards the Young Vic Theatre's £12.5 million redevelopment project. He is currently Chair of the Young Vic committee and has said that he is proud to help make the Young Vic "a nurturing bed" for young directors. He is an enthusiastic football fan and a supporter of the English football club Tottenham Hotspur. In 2006, he joined Robbie Williams in the "Soccer Aid" celebrity football match to benefit UNICEF.
Law also does charity work for organizations such as Make Poverty History, the Rhys Daniels Trust, and the WAVE Trauma Centre. He supports the charity Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Pride of Britain Awards. He is the chair of the Music For Tomorrow Foundation, to help rebuild Katrina-devastated New Orleans.
In 2006, he starred in an anthology of Samuel Beckett readings and performances directed by Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella. With the Beckett Gala Evening at the Reading Town Hall more than £22,000 was donated for the Macmillan Cancer Support. Also in 2006, Frost and Law directed a Shakespeare play in a South African orphanage. He travelled to Durban, South Africa, with Frost and their children in order to help children who have lost their parents to AIDS. In July 2007, as patron of the charity, he helped kick off the month-long tour of the AIDS-themed musical Thula Sizwe, by The Young Zulu Warriors.
Jude Law is an ambassador of HRH The Prince of Wales' Children & the Arts Foundation.
In July 2007, Law and Jeremy Gilley were in Afghanistan over a period of 10 days to document peace commitments and activities there for an upcoming film and for marking the UN International Day of Peace. Accompanied by UNICEF Representative Catherine Mbengue, they travelled and filmed in treacherous areas of eastern Afghanistan with a film crew, interviewing children, government ministers, community leaders and UN officials. They also filmed at schools and visited various UNICEF-supported programmes inside and outside the capital. These efforts of Peace One Day are coordinated in celebration of the annual International Day of Peace, on September 21. The film named The Day After Peace premièred at the Cannes Film Festival. On September 21, 2008, the film will be shown at a Gala screening at the Royal Albert Hall. A New York POD event will be held at the Nokia Theatre on the 9th of September.
Marriage to Sadie Frost
Law met actress Sadie Frost during the work on the film Shopping. They married on September 2, 1997. He is the father of four children: Finlay Munro (stepson of Law, born September 20, 1990), son Rafferty (born October 6, 1996), daughter Iris (born October 25, 2000) and son Rudy (born September 10, 2002). They divorced on October 29, 2003.
Relationship with Sienna Miller
At Christmas 2004 he became engaged to Sienna Miller, his co-star in Alfie. On November 12, 2006 Law and Miller announced their breakup.