Born in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scottish actor Robert Carlyle has repeatedly amazed audiences with his chameleon-like ability to inhabit a range of characters. Known for his commitment to roles, Carlyle has often altered his lifestyle and physical appearance to better understand a character. Before playing a homeless man, he went to live in the Waterloo area of London where the film was set. For a role as a bus driver, he passed the test for a PCV license in a Glasgow Leyland Atlantean bus.
Carlyle broke into the international eye in Danny Boyle’s 1996 film, Trainspotting. However it was his turn as the down-and-out Gaz in Peter Cattaneo’s The Full Monty that brought him fully into the spotlight. The film was a sleeper hit, winning both box-office millions and Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. Carlyle himself won the BAFTA Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his performance, and the cast won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast. The film was also nominated for Best Dance Sequence at the MTV Movie Awards.
Other notable works include Antonia Bird’s Priest, with Tom Wilkinson, Alan Parker’s adaptation of Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer-winning autobiography, Angela’s Ashes, with Emily Watson, the James Bond film The World is Not Enough, with Pierce Brosnan, 28 Weeks Later, the independent film California Solo, opposite Danny Masterson, and the Emmy-nominated television movie Hitler: The Rise of Evil, in the title role of Hitler. In 2005 Carlyle was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Human Trafficking, and he starred as Dr. Nicholas Rush on the SyFy series SGU Stargate Universe, a performance for which he won the 2010 Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role.