David Thewlis

David Thewlis

David Thewlis is an English actor best known for his performance of Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter films, as well as other performances in Timeline, Kingdom of Heaven, The Omen, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and London Boulevard. He was first famous for portraying Johnny in Naked, for which he won many awards, and for portraying Prince Einon in Dragonheart.

Early Life

Thewlis was born David Wheeler on March 20, 1963 to Maureen Wheeler and Alec Wheeler. Both parents worked in the father’s shop, selling toys in the summer and wallpaper in the winter. Thewlis played in QED, a rock band, with Cliff Ashcroft, Mark Fawl, and Chris Swift. Later, Thewlis played lead guitar in Door 66. He went to Highfield High School and went to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to follow his friends. He graduated in 1984 and tried to register for an actor’s union, but “David Wheeler” was already taken, so he used his mother’s maiden name.


Thewlis’s first acting job was in the play, Buddy Holly at the Regal, but his first major film role was as street philosopher Johnny in Naked. The same year, Thewlis portrayed sexual predator James Jackson in Prime Suspect 3. Throughout the 90s, Thewlis appeared in mostly fantasy and period films, including Restoration, Black Beauty, Total Eclipse, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Dragonheart, and Seven Years in Tibet, in which he got banned from China. He was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Divorcing Jack, played Clov in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, and appeared in Bernardo Berolucci’s Besieged, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and Paul McGugan’s Gangster No. 1.

Thewlis auditioned for Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but he was cast as Remus Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004, and he reprised that role in the next four Harry Potter films.

More recent films that Thewlis was in include Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, Terrence Malick’s The New World, and The Omen. He was nominated for a BAFTA for his direction of Hello, Hello, Hello, and he also directed Cheeky. In the upcoming film, The Lady, by Luc Besson, Thewlis will play Dr. Michael Aris.

Personal Life

In 1992, Thewlis married Sara Sugarman and divorced in 1994, when he dated Kate Hardie. In 2001, he dated Anna Friel, and they had a daughter, Gracie, in 2005, but they divorced in 2010. 

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