Hans Matheson is a Scottish actor, singer and musician who is best known for his television roles, such as Yury Zhivago in ITV's 'Doctor Zhivago', Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in Showtime's 'The Tudors', Alec Stoke-d'Urberville in BBC's the 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles', and Johnny Jackson (John Blackwood) in the ITV series 'Jericho'. His major films include 'Les Misérables', 'Bodywork', 'Canone inverso', 'The Mists of Avalon', 'I Am Dina', 'Sherlock Holmes', 'Clash of the Titans', 'The Christmas Candle' and '300: Rise of an Empire'. He played the Earl of Essex in BBC's 'The Virgin Queen' and played the lead role in the telefilm 'Imperium: Nero'. Matheson is also a talented musician who, through his official website, recently began recording and releasing songs that he wrote in his twenties.
Rise to Stardom
While studying at Italia Conti, Hans Matheson began appearing on various television series such as 'The Bill', 'Bramwell', 'Wycliffe', and 'Family Money'. In 1996, at the suggestion of his teacher and mentor, he auditioned for a Jez Butterworth TV movie called 'Christmas', which led to the role of Johnny Silver in 'Mojo' on stage at the Royal Court Theatre. The next year, he made his feature film debut in the film version of it, which also marked Butterworth's directorial debut. He soon appeared in the role of a young male hooked on drugs in 'Stella Does Tricks'.
In 1998, he landed one of his first major roles, playing Marius in Bille August's film production of the Victor Hugo classic 'Les Misérables'. Also that year, he appeared in the comedy film 'Still Crazy', in which he played guitar for the role of the youthful rocker Luke Shand who helped invigorate an old band. In 1999, he had a starring role in the British hit short film collection 'Tube Tales', which led to his first commercialized film, 'Bodywork', starring Kate Winslet, Charlotte Coleman, and Clive Russell.
In 2000, he starred as Jeno Varga in the Italian drama film 'Canone Inverso - Making Love'; he learnt to play violin for this role. He next appeared as Mordred in the American two-part mini-series 'The Mists of Avalon' and played Thomas in the Danish-Norwegian film 'I Am Dina', which was based on the book 'Dinas Bok'. He then landed arguably his best role so far, that of Yury Zhivago in Giacomo Campiotti's 2002 adaptation of Boris Pasternak's novel, 'Doctor Zhivago', in which he co-starred with Keira Knightley and Sam Neill.
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Throughout the 2000s, Hans Matheson continued to appear in different films, including the 2002 British-German horror film 'Deathwatch', the 2004 docu-film 'Comfortably Numb', the Italian-British-Spanish telefilm 'Nero' from the 'Imperium' series in which he played the lead, the British mystery-horror film 'Half Light' in which he co-starred with Demi Moore, and the historical drama horror film 'Bathory'.
In 2006, he portrayed Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, in the four-part BBC mini-series about Queen Elizabeth I of England called 'The Virgin Queen'. In 2008, he starred as Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in the second season of the Showtime series 'The Tudors' and was cast in the role of Alec Stoke-d'Urberville in the four-part BBC adaptation of 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles'. He subsequently played the Home Secretary Lord Coward in Guy Ritchie's period mystery action film 'Sherlock Holmes' in 2009 and Ixas in the 2010 remake of the action-adventure fantasy film 'Clash of the Titans'.
He starred as Reverend David Richmond in the 2013 film 'The Christmas Candle' and had the supporting role of Aeschylus in '300: Rise of an Empire' in 2014. In 2016, he appeared in the lead role of Johnny Jackson (John Blackwood) in the ITV series 'Jericho'.
Family & Personal Life
Hans Matheson was born in a caravan on August 7, 1975 in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, located in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, United Kingdom. His mother Sheena worked as a therapist, and his father Iain (Ado) was a folk musician and painter. His grandfather was a Gaelic singer and songwriter who performed at concerts and ceilidhs throughout Scotland.
Soon after Hans Matheson’s birth, his family moved to Canterbury, Kent, in England, but he often spent his summer holidays with his grandparents in Stornoway. His parents often took him and his younger brother, William, to folk festivals and Bob Dylan concerts. He grew up in the large town of Bromley, in South East London, England, where he attended school.
Hans Matheson was not very fond of school due because he was shy and introvert as a kid. Later, at the suggestion of his mother, he auditioned for the drama school Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts Ltd, where he fell in love with the craft of acting. His brother, also an actor, passed away in August 2013.