Monday, 8 August 2016
Alec Newman was born in Glasgow on the 27th of November 1974. Raised both in Scotland and England he joined the National Youth theater at 17 after injury ruled out a career in soccer. There he played various roles most notably Iago in Shakespeare's Othello, opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor. Upon finishing his training both at the NYT and then at LAMDA, Newman went straight to work both on television and in the theater, appearing in the obligatory Scots cop show "Taggart" and playing leading roles at Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum. Playing guest leads in several of Britain's leading network shows led Newman to his debut feature G:MT Greenwich Mean Time (1999), where he won critical acclaim for his performance. He landed the role of Paul Atreides in the SciFI channel mini series "Frank Herberts Dune"(2000) which exposed him to the US audience for the first time. Appearances on US shows such as "Angel"(2004), "Tru Calling"(2004) and "Star Trek:Enterprise"(2004) would follow.
However, he consistently returned to the British theatre, working with Cate Blanchettin the West end production of "Plenty", and leading a revival of Max Frisch's "Andorra" at London's Young Vic. A return to film came with the Working Title horror film "Long Time Dead" (2002).Further screen appearances included a reprisal of the role of Paul Atreides in Children of Dune (2003) and the title role in Frankenstein (2004) alongside Luke Goss, Donald Sutherland, and Julie Delpy. The hard hitting independent, The Principles of Lust (2003), hit screens in early 2004, further assurance of Newman's presence in British film after an appearance in Stephen Fry's debut Bright Young Things(2003).Both films were selected to play in competition at the 2004 Sundance Film festival.
2004 was also the year Newman played the lead in a John Wells pilot for a remake of the cult 60's show "Dark Shadows".His first foray into series television,Wells himself had fought with the network for his choice and won.Alec beat off the competition for that years most coveted role in television.The pilot was not selected for the 2004 season however despite being heavily tipped.
Despite the series not continuing,the actor reacted assertively and quickly, firing into more film work including Constellation(2005) directed by award winning Jordan Walker Pearlmain,and "Moonlight Serenade"(2006),opposite Academy Award nominee Amy Adams.His role in "The Fifth Patient"(2007)marked somewhat of a departure for Alec-he plays a British doctor,(having consistently realized American roles in most of his prior US work.)The film also stars Nick Chinlund and Peter Bogdanovich.
Alec next appeared in Lions Gate distributed "The Gene Generation" (2007) opposite Bai Ling and Faye Dunaway.
Returning to the UK he filmed "The Reichenbach Falls"(2007) for BBC 4- a John Mckay directed film based on an Ian Rankin short story "The Acid Test". It aired to unanimous critical acclaim.Continued work with the BBC featured a regular role on the series "Hope Springs"(2009) for Shed Productions, "Silent Witness"(2010) and medical long runner "Casualty".(2010)
In 2010 Alec shot the Julian Gilbey thriller "A Lonely Place To Die"(2011) in his native Scotland. He featured (opposite Sean Harris and Melissa George), as Rob, the leader of a climbing expedition in the wilds of the Highlands.The film opened to favorable reviews both sides of the Atlantic.
A return to stage work then beckoned, first in the National Theatre production of "Dantons Death" in which Alec appeared as the sadistic "Saint Just". The production was directed by Michael Grandage and Alec appeared next in his Donmar Warehouse production Of "King Lear"(2011) with Sir Derek Jacobi in the title role. Newman's performance as Edmund was noted in the UK and at BAM, where the production ended it's extensive tour.It also played worldwide in an NT Live broadcast to over 30 countries.