Mark Rylance is having a remarkable acting career, and so far his performances have earned him an Academy Award, three Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and three BAFTAs. Prior to filming The Trial of the Chicago 7, he appeared in Terence Malik’s The Last Planet, which has yet to be released. Last seen on the big screen was in Spielberg’s sci-fi thriller Ready Player One in 2018, the box office and Oscar winning success Dunkirk directed by Christopher Nolan in 2017 and he played the lead role as The Big Friendly Giant in Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, in 2016. (Continue Reading)
Rylance was born in England in 1960 and emigrated with his family to America in 1962. He lived in Connecticut until 1969 and then moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he lived until returning to London in 1978. Mark trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (1978-1980) under Hugh Cruttwell, and The Glasgow Citizens Theatre gave him his first job in 1980, a year in repertoire, a trip to the carnival in Venice with Goldoni, and an Equity card.
Having focused mainly on theatre work, Rylance only recently shot to fame with his foray into major films and TV, most notably his Oscar and BAFTA-winning performance as Rudolf Abel in Bridge of Spies and the critically-acclaimed Wolf Hall, directed by Peter Kosminsky. His portrayal of Thomas Cromwell garnered a BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor, Limited Series or Movie and an Emmy nomination.
Rylance was the artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London for 10 years (1996-2006) and played a major part in creating its ongoing success. In 2015, he returned to the Globe Theatre and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as King Philippe V in Farinelli and the King, written by Claire van Kampen. This was followed by a run in London’s West End, garnering six Olivier Award nominations, and the play moved to Broadway in November 2017.
His latest role brought him back to the West End with Nice Fish which he starred in and co-wrote with Louis Jenkins, earning an Olivier nomination, this time directed by van Kampen, having had successful runs in Boston and New York.
In 2007, Rylance wrote his first play, I Am Shakespeare, which premiered at the Chichester Festival Theatre under the direction of Matthew Warchus and was published in 2012 by Nick Hern Books. Additional companies he has worked for include: the RSC; RNT; The Bush; The Tricycle; Shared Experience; TFANA (New York); and for his own companies, The London Theatre of Imagination (LTI) and Phoebus Cart. Throughout his career, he has acted in more than 50 productions by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Additional theater roles include: Countess Olivia in Twelfth Night; Richard III; and Johnny “Rooster” Byron in Jerusalem; Valere in La Bête and Robert in Boeing-Boeing. He won Best Actor Tony Awards for Twelfth Night, and Jerusalem; Best Actor Olivier Awards for Jerusalem and Much Ado About Nothing; and the Best Actor BAFTA Award for the TV movie The Government Inspector.
Other film and television credits include: The Gunman, directed by Pierre Morel; Days and Nights (Palm Springs International Film Festival, 2014), directed by Christian Camargo and produced by Juliet Rylance; Anonymous; The Other Boleyn Girl; The Grass Arena; Love Lies Bleeding; Intimacy; Angels and Insects; Nocturne; and Institute Benjamenta, by the Brothers Quay. He is also the voice of Flop in the BBC’s Bing Bunny animated TV series.
Rylance is an honorary bencher of the Middle Temple Hall in London; trustee of The Shakespearean Authorship Trust; an ambassador of SURVIVAL the movement for tribal peoples; and a patron of PEACE DIRECT, working for non-violent resolution of conflict. In 2017, he was knighted by HRH Prince William for services to Drama.