Alfred Molina

Alfred Molina

Letter to Brezhnev' (1985)
Background:"At the risk of sounding smug, I love my life." Alfred MolinaBritish actor Alfred Molina first received attention while costarring as crafty guide Satipo in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, starring Harrison Ford) and got his breakout role in Letter to Brezhnev (1985, as Sergei). The 6' 2" English actor later gained more recognition for acting in such films as Prick Up Your Ears (1987), The Accountant (1989), Enchanted April (1992), Boogie Nights (1997), Dudley Do-Right (1999, as the villain Snidely Whiplash), Magnolia (2000), Chocolat (2001) and Frida (2002, as Mexican muralist Diego Rivera). Recently, he played roles in 2003's Identity, Luther, Coffee and Cigarettes (segment "Cousins?") and the 2004 Spider-Man 2 (as the villain Doctor Octopus/Doc Ock) and Steamboy (voice). He will soon complete his upcoming films: The Moon and the Stars and As You Like It, and is currently filming The Hoax and The Da Vinci Code.On stage, Molina received two Tony Award nominations for his performance in "Art" and in a revival of "Fiddler on the Roof" (portrayed Tevye). He also gained critical praise for performing in David Mamet's "Speed the Plow" and in the Off Broadway production of "Molly Sweeney." As for his television work, Molina starred in the series "El C.I.D." (as Bernard Blake,1989-1991) and "Ladies Man" (as Jimmy Stiles, 1999-2001).London BornChildhood and Family:"My father thought acting was a stupid idea, but my mum was very supportive. My dad was a waiter and I left the job he had found me, to act for half the money, so he had a point." Alfred MolinaSon of a Spanish father (waiter) and an Italian mother (housekeeper), Alfred Molina was born on May 24, 1953, in London, England. He attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England.As for his own family, Alfred is the husband of English actress Jill Gascoine (born on April 11, 1937).Fiddler on the RoofCareer:"When I was younger I was always big. I was a fat boy at school. I had an early growth spurt and when I went to secondary school I was tall enough to be a policeman. I was always a bit weird-looking and I carried myself in a weird way, so when I was at drama school I was never considered for the romantic parts." Alfred MolinaAfter watching "Spartacus" when he was nine years old, Alfred Molina decided to pursue an acting career and spent three years with the London-based National Youth Theater Company (from 1969 to 1971). Four years later, he joined "A Midsummer Night's Dream" tour with a children's theater company and worked with provincial repertory companies in Newcastle, Liverpool, Hornchurch and Leiscester. In 1977, he became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and gained attention as The Maniac in "Accidental Death of an Anarchist" (1979).Molina landed on the small screen in 1978, costarring as the late English actor Leonard Rossiter in the comedy series "The Losers" and had an unaccredited appearance in the 1979 movie A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square. He eventually won his big screen acting debut in Steven Spielberg's runaway success Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, starring Harrison Ford), playing the supporting role of a sneaky South American guide.In the following years, Molina appeared primarily on television and was seen in "Joni Jones" (1982, miniseries), Anyone for Denis? (1982, TV), "Reilly: The Ace of Spies" (1983, miniseries) and Meantime (1984, TV). He returned to the silver screen in 1985, in Dick Clement's adventure comedy Water and received notice while playing avuncular, bushy-headed Soviet sailor Sergei in Chris Bernard's romantic comedy Letter to Brezhnev (costarring Peter Firth). In that same year, Molina costarred in Richard Donner's Oscar nominated Ladyhawke (with Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer) and in Peter Yates' screen version of Nicholas Gage's book, Eleni (starring Kate Nelligan). He also returned to the Royal Shakespeare Company by brilliantly portrayed Petruchio in "The Taming of the Shrew."1987 remembered Molina as Kenneth Halliwell, the envious lover and murderer of British playwright Joe Orton (played by Gary Oldman) in Stephen Frears' screen version of John Lahr's book, the biopic Prick Up Your Ears. He followed it up with starring roles in Dusan Makavejev's comedy film, adopted from a bawdy story by Emile Zola, A Night of Love (1988, a.k.a. Manifesto) and in Les Blair's The Accountant (1989, as Lionel Ellerman), the latter of which gave him a Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor.During the late 1980s through early 1990s, Molina played roles in the television movies Virtuoso, Revolutionary Witness (segment "The Butcher"), Drowning in the Shallow End, Hancock, Ashenden (miniseries), The Trials of Oz, Trust Me, When the Lies Run Out, Typhon's People, The Marshal, A Year in Provence (miniseries) and Requiem Apache. He also starred in the TV series Nativity Blues (1989) and El C.I.D. (as Bernard Blake, 1989-1991).Back to the wide screen, Molina costarred as Sally Field's Iranian-born husband in Brian Gilbert's adaptation of Betty Mahmoody and William Hoffer's book, the true-story based Not Without My Daughter (1991). He also joined Michael Palin and Connie Booth in Tristram Powell's American Friends (1991) and teamed with Miranda Richardson, Joan Plowright, Polly Walker and Josie Lawrence in Mike Newell's drama, adopted from a novel by Elizabeth von Arnim, the Oscar nominated Enchanted April.After a bit part in David Hugh Jones' The Trial (1993, starring Anthony Hopkins and Kyle MacLachlan), Molina starred in Sara Driver's comedy When Pigs Fly (1993) and in John Hay's thriller comedy The Steal (1994). Director Ken Olin then cast him in his family adventure movie White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf (1994) and Richard Donner gave Molina a bit part in his film version of the classic Western TV series, Maverick (also in 1994, starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster).Molina added to his acting resume such films as Nervous Energy, Hideaway, Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, Species (all four in 1995), Mojave Moon (1996), Scorpion Spring (1997) and A Further Gesture (1997). His notable roles including that of Juan Raul Perez, the head of a Cuban family, in The Perez Family (1995, opposite Marisa Tomei), Greek-American lawyer Panos Demeris in Barbet Schroeder's Before and After (1996, with Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson) and as Levin in Bernard Rose's feature film version of Leo Tolstoy's classic 1876 novel, Anna Karenina (1997, starring Sophie Marceau). On stage, Molina debuted on the New York stage portraying the witty, sweet-tempered husband of a blind woman in Brian Friel's "Molly Sweeney."The portrayal of coked-up drug dealer Rahad Jackson in Paul Thomas Anderson's dark comedy Boogie Nights (1997), earned Molina a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance. He subsequently appeared in The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997) and the 1998 Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two Couples (Showtime, segment "Marie Taquet"), Stanley Tucci's The Impostors, The Treat, and Pete's Meteor. Meanwhile, he established Molina Hyler Scissors Production Company along with Joan Hyler and made his Broadway debut performance opposite Alan Alda and Victor Garber in a production of Yasmina Reza's "Art," for which he received a Tony nomination.After portraying the villain Snidely K. 'Whip' Whiplash in Hugh Wilson's family comedy Dudley Do-Right (1999, starring Brendan Fraser), Molina produced and starred (as high-end custom furniture maker Jimmy Stiles) in the CBS sitcom "Ladies Man" (1999-2001). He also received an Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture nomination at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for his cameo appearance as electronics storeowner Solomon in Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (1999, starring Tom Cruise).Another Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture arrived after Lasse Hallström cast Molina as the narrow-minded mayor of a small French town, Comte De Reynaud, in the romantic comedy film inspired by Joanne Harris' novel, Chocolat (2000, starring Juliette Binoche). In the following year, Molina starred in the CBS' movie, the updated version of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express (as Hercule Poirot) and appeared in Steve Miner's adaptation of George Durham's book, the western drama Texas Rangers (with James Van Der Beek, Dylan McDermott and Ashton Kutcher). On the Los Angeles stage, Molina performed opposite Gary Cole in a production of "True West."In 2002, Molina received applause for playing the husband of Mexican painter and 20th century icon Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) in Julie Taymor's film based on Hayden Herrera's book, Frida. His outstanding performance nabbed BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.Subsequently, he landed roles in Nick Hurran's comedy Plots With a View (as funeral parlor owner Boris Plots, opposite Brenda Blethyn), the CBS television series "Bram and Alice" (costarring Traylor Howard), James Mangold's thriller Identity (with John Cusack and Ray Liotta) and Eric Till's biopic Luther (starring Joseph Fiennes) as well as Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes (segment "Cousins?").Recent years saw Molina in Sebastián Cordero's Crónicas and become multi-tentacle menace Dr. Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus (aka, "Doc Ock"), Spiderman's enemy, in Sam Raimi's film version of the popular comic book, Spider-Man 2 (both in 2004). His voice could also be heard in the animated films Steamboy (2004, as Dr. Eddie Steam) and Sian Ka'an (2005, as Ka'an). On the Broadway stage, he starred and received a Tony nomination as Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof." As for the small screen, Molina played a reoccurring role as Gabriel Duvall in the series "Law & Order" in May 2005.Molina will soon finish his upcoming film projects The Moon and the Stars and As You Like It. He is currently filming The Hoax and The Da Vinci Code and will act in the TV movie Where Is the Mango Princess? "The worst thing an actor can do is enter a project without respect for the material. You can't go in with, 'This is a pile of poop but I have nothing better to do right now.' That's disaster!" Alfred MolinaAwards: Imagen Foundation Awards: Best Actor - Film, Frida, 2003 Royal Television Society, UK: RTS Television Award - Best Actor - Male, The Accountant, 1990
There are only two people, out of all the actors that I've worked with, who I can say I'm really close friends with. I have lots of acquaintances, but only two of them are real friends. You're just part of the group he has to shake hands with. It's part of the myth that we're all phoning each other and sharing deep secrets, private things.More Alfred Molina quotes [04/07/2006 12:04:00]
Every job is different. I don't think that I've ever had that wonderful feeling when you've finished a job or where you feel like you've mastered it or sort of nailed it... You can never be satisfied. If you're satisfied, it's time to retire.More Alfred Molina quotes [04/07/2006 12:04:00]
There's a whole army of people looking after you to make sure that you're not in any kind of danger. I mean, even when you're up swinging off a wire, there's people there checking everything. Everything is double checked and triple checked before you go anywhere near it. I'm not one of those actors who gets any pleasure out of doing their own stunts.More Alfred Molina quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I love theater work because of the immediate effect your performance has on the audience. And I love the repetition; I love getting on the same stage for more than a month and reciting the same lines, trying to make a small or large step towards an improvement in my acting.More Alfred Molina quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I've always been terrified about being bored. I always think being bored is the worst thing. The only strategic decision I ever made as an actor was to try and make each job as different as possible.More Alfred Molina quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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