Ciarán Hinds

Ciarán Hinds
Ciarán Hinds

Ciarán Hinds, 2008
Born 9 February 1953 (1953-02-09) (age 58)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Occupation Actor
Years active 1976–present
Partner Hélène Patarot (1987–present)

Ciarán Hinds (English pronunciation: /ˈkɪərən ˈhaɪndz/ keer-ən; born 9 February 1953) is an Irish film, television and stage actor. He has built up a reputation as a versatile character actor appearing in such high profile films as Road to Perdition, The Phantom of the Opera, Munich, There Will Be Blood and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. His television roles include Gaius Julius Caesar in Rome and DCI James Langton in Above Suspicion. As a stage actor, Hinds has enjoyed spells with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre in London and six seasons with Glasgow Citizens' Theatre.[1][2]


Early life

Hinds was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Brought up as a Catholic[3] in North Belfast, he was one of five children and the only son of his doctor father and schoolteacher mother. His mother, Moya, was also an amateur actress. He was an Irish dancer in his youth and was educated at Holy Family Primary School and St. Malachy's College. After leaving St. Malachy's, he enrolled as a law student at Queen's University, but was soon persuaded to pursue acting and abandoned his studies at Queen's to enroll at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).[4][5][6][7][8]


Hinds began his professional acting career at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre in a 1976 production of Cinderella. He remained a frequent performer at the Citizens' Theatre during the late 1970s and through the mid-1980s. During this same period, Hinds also performed on stage in Ireland with the Abbey Theatre, the Field Day Theatre Company, the Druid Theatre, the Lyric Players' Theatre and at the Project Arts Centre. In 1987, he was cast by Peter Brook in The Mahabharata, a six hour theatre piece that toured the world, and he also featured in its 1989 film version. In the early 1990s, he was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He appeared in the title role of the RSC's 1993 production of Richard III, directed by Sam Mendes; Mendes turned to Hinds as a last minute replacement for an injured Simon Russell Beale. Hinds gained his most popular recognition as a stage actor for his performance as Larry in the London and Broadway productions of Patrick Marber's Tony Award-nominated play Closer. In 1999, Hinds was awarded both the Theatre World Award for Best Debut in NYC and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Special Achievement (Best Ensemble Cast Performance) for his work in Closer. He was on stage in 2001 in The Yalta Game by Brian Friel at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. He appeared in the Broadway production of The Seafarer by Conor McPherson, which ran at the Booth Theatre from December 2007 through March 2008. In February 2009 Hinds took the leading role of General Sergei Kotov in Burnt by the Sun by Peter Flannery at London's National Theatre.[9] Hinds returned to the stage later in 2009 with a role in Conor McPherson's play The Birds, which opened at Dublin's Gate Theatre in September 2009.

Hinds made his feature film debut in John Boorman's Excalibur (1981). He played Captain Frederick Wentworth in Jane Austen's Persuasion (1995), Jonathan Reiss in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003), John Traynor in Veronica Guerin (2003), and Firmin in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera (2004). Hinds also played Carl, a cover-up professional assisting a group of assassins, in Steven Spielberg's political thriller, Munich (2005). In 2006, he appeared in Michael Mann's film adaptation of the 80's television show, Miami Vice, and as Herod the Great in The Nativity Story.[10] In the 2006 film Amazing Grace, Hinds portrayed Sir Banastre Tarleton, one the chief opponents of abolition of the slave trade in parliament. He starred in Margot at the Wedding, alongside Nicole Kidman, Jack Black and Jennifer Jason Leigh, in a drama-comedy about family secrets and relationships. He also appeared in There Will Be Blood (2007) directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

On television, Hinds portrayed Gaius Julius Caesar in the first season of BBC/HBO's series, Rome (2006). He has also been featured in a number of made-for-television movies, including the role of Michael Henchard in Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge (2004), for which he received the Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series. Additional television performances include Edward Parker-Jones in the crime drama series Prime Suspect 3 (1993), Abel Mason in Dame Catherine Cookson's The Man Who Cried (1993), Jim Browner in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes episode The Cardboard Box (1994), Fyodor Glazunov in the science fiction miniseries Cold Lazarus (1996), Edward Rochester in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre (1997), the Knight Templar Brian de Bois-Guilbert in Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe (1997) and a portrayal of the French existentialist Albert Camus in Broken Morning (2003). Hinds has also featured in two notable television docudramas: Granada Television's 1990 docudrama Who Bombed Birmingham? in which Hinds portrayed Richard McIlkenny, a Belfastman falsely imprisoned for an IRA bombing; and HBO's 1993 docudrama Hostages, where he portrayed Irish writer and former hostage Brian Keenan. Hinds starred opposite Kelly Reilly in Above Suspicion, a TV adaptation of Lynda La Plante's detective story, which aired in the United Kingdom in January 2009; he came back again as DCI Langton for Lynda La Plante's sequels The Red Dahlia in 2010 and Deadly Intent in 2011.

Hinds has performed in audiobook and radio productions as well. He performed as Valmont in the BBC Radio production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and Hinds also narrated the Penguin Audiobook Ivanhoe. He also performed in Antony and Cleopatra and The Winter's Tale as part of The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare, an audio production of Shakespeare's plays which won the 2004 Audie Award for Best Audio Drama. He read the short story "A Painful Case" for the Caedmon audio version of James Joyce's Dubliners.

Hinds played the role of Albus Dumbledore's brother Aberforth (replacing Jim McManus, who played him in a cameo in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the final film in the Harry Potter franchise. He plays Roy Bland in the 2011 adaptation of the John le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Personal life

Hinds lives in Paris with his long-time partner, Hélène Patarot; they met in 1987 while in the cast of Peter Brook's production of The Mahabharata. They have a daughter, Aoife, born in 1991.[11]

Hinds is close friends with fellow Irish actor Liam Neeson and served as a pallbearer at the funeral of Neeson's wife, Natasha Richardson, in upstate New York, on 22 March 2009.[12]


Hinds has become Patron of the charity YouthAction Northern Ireland.[13] YouthAction's Rainbow Factory School of Performing Arts is a youth arts projects with 500 young people taking part in a range of workshops and classes. His mother Moya also one of the charity's Patrons, has been a supporter of the charity's work for many years.




  • Our Boys (1981)
  • The Long March (1984)
  • Tales From The Crypt (Season 7, episode 11, Confession, 1989)
  • The Mahabharata (1989)
  • Who Bombed Birmingham? (1990)
  • Yellobacks (1990)
  • Perfect Scoundrels (TV series), (Season 3, episode 6, The Good-Bye Look, 1992)
  • Between the Lines, (Season 1, episode 1, Private Enterprise, 1992)
  • Hostages (1993)
  • The Man Who Cried (1993)
  • Prime Suspect 3 (1993)
  • Soldier, Soldier (Season 3, episode 7, Trouble and Strife, 1993)
  • The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, (Season 1, episode 6, The Cardboard Box, 1994)
  • A Dark-Adapted Eye (1994)
  • Seaforth (1994 TV series)
  • Rules of Engagement (1995)
  • The Affair (1995)
  • Persuasion (1995)
  • Testament: The Bible in Animation Episode: Creation and the Flood (1996)
  • Cold Lazarus (1996)
  • Jane Eyre (1997)
  • Ivanhoe (1997)
  • Getting Hurt (1998)
  • Jason And The Argonauts (2000)
  • The Sleeper (2000)
  • Thursday the 12th (2000)
  • Broken Morning (2003)
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge (2004)
  • Rome (2005–07)
  • Above Suspicion (2009)
  • The Red Dahlia – Above Suspicion II (2010)
  • Deadly Intent – Above Suspicion III (2011)


Glasgow Citizens Theatre Company

  • Carlo Goldoni The Battlefield Robert David MacDonald Faustino
  • Bertold Brecht The Caucasian Chalk Circle Giles Havergal Shauva, the policeman/Prince Georgi
  • Robert David MacDonald Don Juan Philip Prowse Father Juan
  • Shawn Lawton Desperado Corner Di Trevis Frank
  • Vernon Sylvaine Madame Louise Giles Havergal Bishop of Porchester
1983 (autumn)

Other Theatre

Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts

  • Anton Chekhov The Seagull Peter Watson Konstantin (Kostya)
  • Anonymous Arden of Faversham Geoff Bullen Black Will
  • John Wilson Hamp Euan Smith Prosecutive Officer
  • Caryl Churchill Objections to Sex and Violence unknown Arrogant pseudo-intellectual

Lyric Theatre, Belfast

  • Brian Clark Whose Life is it Anyway? Tony Dinner Philip Hill (the solicitor)
  • Mary O'Malley Once a Catholic Michael Poynor Derek (a Teddy Boy)
  • Jennifer Johnston Indian Summer Robert Cooper Cathal Dillon

Project Arts Centre, Dublin


Greenwich Theatre, London

  • John Webster The White Devil Philip Prowse Lodovico
  • William Congreve Way of the World Giles Havergal Fainall
  • Anton Chekhov The Seagull Philip Prowse Trigorin
  • Thomas Otway The Orphan Philip Prowse Castalio

Royal Shakespeare Company

  • Tirso de Molina/Nick Dear The Last Days of Don Juan Danny Boyle Don Pedro Tenorio
  • Christopher Marlowe Edward II Gerard Murphy Roger Mortimer
  • Richard Nelson Two Shakespearean Actors Roger Michell Dion Boucicault
  • William Shakespeare Troilus and Cressida Sam Mendes Achilles

Abbey/Peacock Theatres, Dublin

  • J. Graham Reid The Death of Humpty Dumpty Patrick Mason Doctor
  • Peter Sheridan Dialann Ocrais/Diary Of A Hunger Strike Peter Sheridan O'Connor
  • William Butler Yeats Cuchulain Cycle James W. Flannery Cuchulain

Royal National Theatre, London

  • Sophie Treadwell Machinal Stephen Daldry The Young Man


  • Anton Chekhov/Thomas Kilroy The Seagull Patrick Mason Konstantin Grand Opera House, Belfast
  • James Ellis/W.B. Yeats On Baile's Strand Christopher Fitz-Simon Cuchulain Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick
  • Samuel Beckett Waiting for Godot Ben Barnes Estragon Belltable Arts Centre
  • Liz Lochhead Blood and Ice Kenny Ireland Byron/the Monster Traverse Theatre Company, Edinburgh
  • Tom Paulin The Riot Act (Antigone) Stephen Rea Chorus Leader Field Day Touring Company, Derry
  • Derek Mahon High Time (School for Husbands) Wolk and Long High Tech Field Day Touring Company
  • John Ford 'Tis Pity She's a Whore Garry Hynes Giovanni Druid Theatre Company, Galway
  • Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest Garry Hynes John Worthing Druid Theatre Company
  • Shane Connaughton I Do Like To Be Jeff Teare David The Irish Company
  • Frank McGuinness Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme Michael Attenborough George Anderson Hampstead Theatre, London
  • Adapted by Jean-Claude Carrière Mahabharata Peter Brook Ashwattaman/Nakula World Tour
  • Stephen Sondheim/John Weidman Assassins Sam Mendes Samuel Byck Donmar Warehouse, London
  • Sam Sheppard Simpatico James MacDonald Vinnie Royal Court Theatre, London
  • Patrick Marber Closer (Broadway production) Patrick Marber Larry Music Box Theatre, New York
  • Chekhov/Brian Friel The Yalta Game Karel Reisz Gurov Gate Theatre, Dublin
  • Conor McPherson The Seafarer Conor McPherson Mr Lockhart Booth Theatre, New York
  • Conor McPherson The Birds Conor McPherson Nat Gate Theatre, Dublin

Further reading

Ciarán Hinds, entretien réalisé par Andréa Grunert,le 16 décembre 2008' (March 2009) p. 1–10. [Interview/French]


  1. ^ "',Jane Eyre', Interview, A&E". Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "',Festive T.V. Back from the Dead', Manchester Online". 22 December 2003. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Barlow, Helen (25 April 2010). "His mild Irish heart". The Age (Australia). Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "Ciaran Hinds Biography (1953–)". Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "',A Familiar Face',, The Irish News". 28 January 2006. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Star Ciarán's early career was a drag". Belfast Telegraph. 3 February 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "From Belfast to Broadway". The Herald Magazine. 23 February 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Coveney, Michael (5 March 2009). "Burnt By The Sun, National Theatre, London". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 21 May 2009. 
  10. ^ Strain, Arthur (6 December 2006). "Star shines in Herod nativity role". BBC News. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "Ciarán Hinds – Biography". Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  12. ^ "". 12 April 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Northern Ireland". YouthAction. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 

External links

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