Jude Law Biography
Although he first appeared as just one of the latest crop of golden-skinned English imports to caress the hormones of American filmgoers, Jude Law is steadily proving that his talents lie beyond his ability to smolder seductively in front of the camera. Since 1995, when Law made the transition from British soap opera to Broadway via Sean Mathias’ Indiscretions (in which he co-starred with Kathleen Turner), his work has increasingly garnered favorable notice from critics and moviegoers alike.
Born in London on December 29, 1972, Law started acting as a teenager. Before Indiscretions, his most notable role was in Shopping (1994), a British production that gave him both initial recognition and an introduction to his future wife, actress Sadie Frost (the couple has two children).
After the critical and commercial success of Indiscretions, Law began finding more work in film, starring as Claire Danes’ boyfriend in I Love You, I Love You Not (1997) and as the genetically privileged man who sells his identity to Ethan Hawke in Gattaca (1997). Also in 1997, Law took on the plum role of Alfred Lord Douglas (or Bosie), Oscar Wilde’s volatile lover in Wilde. Although none of these films received unanimously positive critical (or box-office) attention, they did help to further establish Law as an actor to be taken seriously.
Law followed them with a small part in Bent (1997) and the more pivotal role of Billy, Jim Williams’ hotheaded and ill-fated lover in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997). Following that film, Law went on to make a few smaller films, including Music From Another Room (also starring a still unknown Gretchen Mol) and The Final Cut, in which he played a sinister, deceased version of himself.
In 1999, Law appeared in David Cronenberg’s cyberific eXistenZ and completed filming Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett. The film earned widespread acclaim upon its release, much of which was lavished on Law’s portrayal of the serially charming and devastatingly superficial Dickie Greenleaf. Law garnered both a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance, further cementing his reputation as one of the more promising up-and-coming actors on either side of the ocean.
After a turn as a Russian marksman facing off against a Nazi sniper in Enemy at the Gates (2001), Law returned to sci-fi with his role as love machine Gigolo Joe in Steven Spielberg’s eagerly anticipated A.I.
In addition to his acting commitments, Law kept busy with Natural Nylon, the production company he founded with Sadie Frost, Sean Pertwee, Ewan McGregor, and Jonny Lee Miller. In 2002, Law starred alongside film veterans Tom Hanks and Paul Newman in the multiple Oscar-winning Road to Perdition and was on the path to an Oscar once again for his performance in Cold Mountain (2003) with Nicole Kidman and Renיe Zellweger, who took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
After appearing in only two films in as many years, Law was virtually unavoidable in the last third of 2004, with substantial roles in a grand total of six films. First up, he played the title role in the blue-screened sci-fi action flick Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, starring alongside the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and a “resurrected” Laurence Olivier. A month later, he could be found starring in the remake of Alfie as well as in the ensemble cast of David O. Russell’s comedy I Heart Huckabees. And before the close of the year, audiences could catch him in Mike Nichols’ romantic drama Closer, as Errol Flynn in Martin Scorsese’s Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator, and providing the voice of the title character in the big-screen adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events.
He portrayed the title character in Alfie, the remake of Bill Naughton’s 1966 film, playing the role originated by Michael Caine. 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 is one of three actors who took over the role of actor Heath Ledger in Terry Gilliam’s film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Along with Law, actors Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell portray “three separate dimensions in the film.” He appeared opposite Forest Whitaker in the dark sci-fi comedy Repo Men and as Dr. Watson in Guy Ritchie’s adaption of Sherlock Holmes, alongside Robert Downey, Jr. and Rachel McAdams. Law stars as a celebrity supermodel in the film Rage.
In May 2009, Law returned to the London stage to portray the title role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Donmar Warehouse West End season at Wyndham’s Theatre. The BBC reported “a fine and solid performance” but included other reviews of Law’s interpretation that were mixed. There was a further run of the production at Elsinore Castle in Denmark from 25–30 August 2009.
In September 2009 the production transferred to the Broadhurst Theatre in New York. Again, the critics failed to agree on the merit of Law’s interpretation: London’s Daily Mail found only positive reviews, but The Washington Post felt that the much-anticipated performance was “highly disappointing”. Nonetheless, he was nominated for the 2010 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play.
In January 2010 at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards ceremony he was presented with the John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance for his 2009 Hamlet.Related Information: