Troy: About the cast

BRAD PITT (Achilles) is one of the most prominent actors of his generation, having given diverse performances in films such as Fight Club, Legends of the Fall, Seven and Twelve Monkeys.

Currently, Pitt is shooting Mr. & Mrs. Smith starring alongside Angelina Jolie for director Doug Liman. Immediately following, he will re-join the all-star ensemble for Warner Bros. Pictures’ Oceans 12, the sequel to Soderbergh’s box office hit.

Pitt’s role as the seductive hitchhiker in Ridley Scott’s controversial Thelma & Louise first brought him national attention. He then went on to star as the psychopathic serial killer in Kalifornia, the charismatic-but-doomed Paul Maclean in Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through It, and the bloodsucking Louis in Neil Jordan’s Interview With The Vampire.

Pitt has been nominated twice for a Golden Globe Award for his work as Tristan, the passionate, untamable brother in Legends of the Fall and for his co-starring role in Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys. Pitt won the award for his performance in the latter.

Pitt’s recent starring roles include Warner Bros. Pictures’ Oceans 11, with an ensemble cast that included George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon and directed by Steven Soderbergh and Spy Game, in which he starred opposite Robert Redford and directed by Tony Scott. He also co-starred in The Mexican with Julia Roberts and James Gandolfini for director Gore Verbinski and Guy Ritchie’s Snatch. He also appeared in cameo roles in Soderbergh’s Full Frontal and Clooney’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

Pitt also lent his voice as Sinbad in the animated motion picture Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.

Born in Shawnee, Oklahoma and growing up in Springfield, Missouri, Pitt attended the University of Missouri at Columbia where he majored in Journalism with a focus on advertising. Right before graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to study advertising and graphic design, but instead began to pursue an acting career, studying with Roy London. Soon thereafter, he began securing roles in various television projects, including the Fox series Glory Days, HBO’s The Image and the critically acclaimed movie of the week, Too Young To Die.

On film, Pitt has also starred in Johnny Suede, which won the 1992 Golden Leopard Award for Best Picture at the Locarno Film Festival, Ralph Bakshi’s Cool World, Tony Scott’s True Romance, Sleepers, The Devil’s Own, Jean Jacques Annaud’s Seven Years In Tibet, Marty Brest’s Meet Joe Black, and Fight Club, reuniting him with director David Fincher.

ERIC BANA (Hector) was born in Melbourne Australia, where he currently resides, and was first introduced to international audiences in the title role of Mark ‘Chopper’ Read in the Australian feature film Chopper, which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was then released to critical acclaim in the US after its Australian success.

Bana most recently starred in the title role of The Hulk for director Ang Lee. He was seen co-starring in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down as one of a group of elite US soldiers opposite Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor and Tom Sizemore.

Bana lives in Melbourne with his wife, Rebecca, and two children.

ORLANDO BLOOM (Paris), who made his feature film debut starring as ‘Legolas’ in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, has captivated audiences and filmmakers alike. He continues to do so in the second and third installments of the Lord of the Rings trilogy ‘ The Two Towers and Return of the King. Last summer he starred opposite Johnny Depp in Jerry Bruckheimer’s hugely successful blockbuster, Pirates of the Caribbean, directed by Gore Verbinski.

Bloom will next be seen in Gregor Jordan’s Ned Kelly with Heath Ledger and in The Calcium Kid. He recently wrapped Frank E. Flower’s independent Haven; and is currently in production on Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. Notably, he appeared in Ridley Scott’s award-winning film Black Hawk Down a few years earlier.

Bloom was born in Canterbury, England and at age 16 moved to London where he joined the National Youth Theatre for two seasons and then gained a scholarship to train with the British American Drama Academy. On completion of his scholarship, Bloom played the lead in A Walk in the Vienna Woods and made his screen debut in the feature film Wilde, based on the life of Oscar Wilde.

He was then accepted to Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and chose to put his screen career on hold for the opportunity to further his education. During his time at Guildhall, Bloom performed in several productions including Little Me, A Month in the City, Peer Gynt, Mephisto and Twelfth Night. After graduating from Guildhall, Bloom appeared in the BBC television series Midsomer Murders.

Born in Germany, DIANE KRUGER (Helen) studied with the Royal ballet from an early age before an injury ended her dance career.

She became one of the best known photographic models in Paris where she trained at the Ecole Florent, winning the Classe Libre award for best actor in her year.

Kruger made her film debut starring alongside Dennis Hopper and Christopher Lambert in the independent feature The Piano Player, released last year. She received a Caesar nomination last year for her role in the award-winning French film Mon Idol and starred in another French feature, Michel Vaillant, released last fall.

Kruger recently completed her American film debut opposite Josh Hartnett and Rose Byrne in the romantic thriller Wicker Park and National Treasure with Nicolas Cage, both set for a 2004 release.

Kruger was honored at last year’s 2003 Cannes Film Festival with the Chopard Trophy of the Revelation for Best Newcomer.

Considered “the most prolific Scottish actor of his generation,” BRIAN COX (Agamemnon) won the 2001 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for his portrayal of Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering in the TNT original film Nuremberg, for which he also received SAG and Golden Globe Award nominations. His hilarious guest-starring role as Harry Moon on NBC’s hit television series Frasier earned his second Emmy nomination in 2002.

He recently wrapped filming the comedy The Ringer, produced by the Farrelly Brothers.

At the beginning of 2003, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth honored Cox with a CBE (Commander of the British Empire). He also received a 2003 SAG Award nomination (his second) as part of the ensemble cast of Spike Jonze’s Adaptation, in which he has a scene-stealing cameo as Hollywood’s screenwriting guru Robert McKee. He also received rave reviews for his portrayal of non-mutant villain General William Stryker in the summer blockbuster X-Men 2.

In 2002, Cox was featured in seven films, which grossed an impressive $347 million at the box office. His memorable performances include 25th Hour, The Ring, Adaptation, The Bourne Identity and The Rookie.

Cox’s masterful portrayal of “Big John” in the critically lauded independent film L.I.E. (official selection of the 2001 Sundance Film Festival) earned an AFI Award Nomination, an Independent Spirit Award Nomination, a Golden Satellite Award and a Boston Film Critics Award for Best Actor.

An accomplished veteran of the London stage, Cox has two Olivier Awards for Best Actor to his credit for his performances in Titus Andronicus at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre and Rat in the Skull for the Royal Court in London. Recent New York theatre credits include Art on Broadway and St. Nicholas at Off Broadway’s Primary Stages (Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Actor; Drama Desk and Outer Critic’s Circle nominations). Other theatre credits include Conor McPherson’s Dublin Carol at the Royal Court; St. Nicholas at the Bush Theatre in London and the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles; King Lear and Richard III at the National Theatre in London and Skylight at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

Other film work includes The Affair of the Necklace, The Minus Man, For the Love of the Game, Rushmore; The Corrupter; The Boxer; The Long Kiss Goodnight; the Academy Award-winning Braveheart; Academy Award nominee Rob Roy; Hidden Agenda (Special Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival); as well as originating the celluloid Hannibal Lecter in Michael Mann’s cult classic Manhunter, based on Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon.

Cox made his television directorial debut for the hit HBO prison drama Oz. He is the author of two books, Salem to Moscow: An Actor’s Odyssey and The Lear Diaries.

SEAN BEAN (Odysseus) gained international recognition opposite Harrison Ford in Patriot Games. He starred as Boromir in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Other recent projects include Ronin starring opposite Robert De Niro and Jean Reno and Don’t Say A Word with Michael Douglas, Brittany Murphy and director Gary Fleder.

Bean just completed production on National Treasure for director Jon Turteltaub and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The story centers around an expedition to uncover a treasure buried in the 1700’s. Bean plays Ian Howe, the financier of the expedition, alongside Nicolas Cage. The film shoots in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Bean, in the fall of 2002, starred in Macbeth opposite Samantha Bond in London. He has received critical acclaim for his work as Macbeth, making the show the fastest non-musical to sell out in the West End. In 2003, Bean was seen in the indie feature The Big Empty with Jon Favreau, Kelsey Grammer, Daryl Hannah, Rachel Leigh Cook, and Joey Lauren Adams, which premiered at AFI. Bean also shot a cameo role in Henry VIII opposite Ray Winston and Helena Bonham Carter.

On television, Bean has starred in numerous productions, including Carlton Production’s The Sharp Series. His other television movies include Bravo Two Zero, Lady Chatterley, Clarissa, Prince, Tell Me You Love Me, and many more.

Bean has appeared in numerous stage productions for The Royal Court Theatre, Glasgow Citizen Theatre, and The Royal Shakespeare Company, including Romeo and Juliet Fair Maid of the West, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Bean’s additional screen credits include Tom and Thomas, Essex Boys, Anna Karennina, Goldeneye, When Saturday Comes, Black Beauty, Caravaggio, Lorna Doone, The Field, Stormy Monday and Windprints, among others.

Dublin born actor BRENDAN GLEESON (Menelaus) had a desire to act from early childhood and began his career by appearing in local plays and concerts.

At the age of 18, he auditioned for the famed Abbey Theatre. It was a disastrous audition that led him to abandon acting for a career as a high school teacher. After ten years in the classroom, Gleeson decided to return to his dream and pursue acting fulltime.

Following small parts in films such as The Field, Far and Away, Michael Collins and The Butcher Boy, Gleeson came to the public’s attention as Hamish, the hulking ally of William Wallace (Mel Gibson) in Braveheart.

Gleeson most recently co-starred in Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later and Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. The talented actor’s numerous other film credits include Ron Shelton’s Dark Blue, John Boorman’s Tailor of Panama, Artificial Intelligence: A.I., directed by Steven Spielberg, John Woo’s Mission: Impossible II and I Went Down, directed by Paddy Breachnach. On television, Gleeson appeared in The Treaty, The Snapper and Kidnapped.

In 1998 he starred in The General for John Boorman, winning international acclaim for his performance as the Irish mafia figure Martin Cahill. This performance earned him Best Actor awards from the Boston Society of Film Critics, the London Film Critics, and the Irish Film and Television Association.

Gleeson will soon be seen in M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller The Village, followed by Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, as well as his third film with John Boorman, Country of My Skulls.

One of the most honored actors of his generation, PETER O’TOOLE (Priam) was recently given an Honorary Oscar for a movie career that spans four-and-a-half decades and has included seven Academy Award nominations.

Born in Ireland and raised in Yorkshire, England, O’Toole began his professional life as a journalist but soon discovered a love for the theatre, which led to his stage debut at age 17. Following a two-year stint as a radioman in the Royal Navy, he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, where among his fellow classmates were future acting stars Albert Finney, Alan Bates, and Tom Courtenay.

O’Toole spent two years onstage at the Bristol Old Vic. Following, he made his London West End stage debut in The Long and The Short and The Tall for which he won the Evening Standard Best Actor Award. Peter then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company where he made his acclaimed performance as “Shylock” in The Merchant of Venice.

O’Toole made his film debut in Nicholas Ray’s The Savage Innocents, released in 1959. In 1962, O’Toole was chosen to play T.E. Lawrence in the David Lean epic Lawrence of Arabia. The part made O’Toole an international superstar. He followed this triumph with Beckett (1964) and Lord Jim (1965). O’Toole received Oscar nominations for his work in Lawrence and Beckett. He was also nominated for The Lion in Winter, Goodbye Mr. Chips, The Ruling Class, The Stunt Man and My Favorite Year. Other career highlights include Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, Murphy’s War, Man of La Mancha and the mini-series Masada, which earned him his first Emmy nomination. He won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in the made for TV movie Joan of Arc.

The actor recently appeared in Stephen Fry’s Bright Young Things and received an Emmy nomination for his role as Hindenberg in the Emmy-winning mini-series Hitler: The Rise of Evil.

O’Toole’s next project will be Romeo and Me co-starring Janet McTeer, which he will begin shooting in early July.

ROSE BYRNE (Briseis), a Sydney native, has the chameleon-like ability to take on drastically different characters from film to film. With her ethereal beauty, screen presence, and natural talent, she is well on her way to a long and prosperous Hollywood career. Paul McGuigan, who directs Byrne in Wicker Park, describes her as “incredible” and “the best actress [he’s] worked with.”

Byrne will next star in the intense psychological drama Wicker Park alongside Josh Hartnett, Matthew Lillard, and Diane Kruger. The story centers on a man (Hartnett) caught in an obsessive search for a women he fell in love with (Kruger) while being manipulated by a woman (Byrne) who tries to keep them apart. The film will be released later this year.

Byrne gained international recognition when she was cast as Amidala’s (Natalie Portman) loyal handmaiden, Dormé, in George Lucas’ Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Dormé has gone on to cult status, with a Dormé Forever web forum devoted to her, as well as an online petition to toy makers Hasbro for a Dormé action figure to be released. Byrne followed Star Wars with a starring role in I Capture the Castle, a 1930’s English romance based on the book by Dodie Smith.

Over the next few years, Byrne starred in several Australian television shows while earning her degree from the Australian Theatre for Young People. She has since commenced an Arts degree at Sydney University. In 1999, Byrne rocketed to fame in Australia with her role as Alex in Gregor Jordan’s gritty crime comedy Two Hands, which also starred the then relatively unknown Heath Ledger. The film was a hit and won both public and critical acclaim.

Byrne’s next film was her first lead role in Clara Law’s surreal The Goddess Of 1967, for which she was awarded the Copa Volpi for Best Actress at the 1999 Venice International Film Festival. Next up for Byrne was the critically acclaimed My Mother Frank, which also starred Sinead Cusack, Sam Neill and Matthew Newton.

Byrne travels back and forth between Los Angeles and Sydney. When she has a break from filming, she enjoys spending her time reading, hiking, and relaxing at home.

SAFFRON BURROWS (Andromache) began studying acting as a child in youth theatre, before making her major film debut in Jim Sheridan’s In the Name of the Father, starring Daniel Day-Lewis. She came to the attention of international audiences with her second role, as an Irish girl seduced by a morally suspect Englishman (Colin Firth) in Circle of Friends, starring Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell.

Burrows’ film work ranges from art-house dramas such as Miss Julie and Timecode, to Deep Blue Sea and the mob drama Gangster #1 starring Malcolm McDowell, Paul Bettany and David Thewlis. Most recently, she starred in Michael Apted’s box office hit Enigma, and appeared in the critically praised Frida.

Burrows will start production in New Zealand this spring in Perfect Creature with Dougray Scott.

Academy Award winner JULIE CHRISTIE (Thetis) recently completed roles in J.M. Barrie’s Neverland with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslett, and the third installment of the beloved Harry Potter series in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The daughter of an India-based British tea planter, Christie was born in Chukua, Assam, India and grew up on her father’s tea plantation. Educated in England and on the Continent, Christie studied at the Central School of Music and Drama before getting her big break in the science fiction series A for Andromeda on the BBC, sealing her professional fate for the next four and a half decades.

Christie made her film debut with a small part in Crooks Anonymous. After her performance in The Fast Lady, director John Schlesinger gave her a supporting role in Billy Liar, which won attention from the critics and a subsequent supporting part in his 1965 feature Young Cassidy. Later that same year, Schlesinger made her a star by casting her in the title role of the drama Darling, which earned her an Oscar for Best Actress, a BAFTA Award and a New York Film Critics Circle Award for her performance.

Christie’s star continued to rise when David Lean picked her as Lara in his classic Doctor Zhivago, for which she won the David di Donatello Prize for Best Actress. She followed this with a dual role in Francois Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451, then teamed again with Schlesinger to star in Far From the Madding Crowd and played the title role in Richard Lester’s Petulia.

She reigned as one of the film world’s premiere leading ladies throughout the 1970s in such films as The Go-Between, Nashville and Don’t Look Now. During this period, she also starred with Warren Beatty in three seminal films of the decade: McCabe and Mrs. Miller, which earned her another Academy Award nomination, Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait.

Christie’s subsequent film credits include Dragonheart, Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet and Afterglow, for which she received her third Oscar nomination.

Christie also continued to work in theatre over the years in such productions as Comedy of Errors, Uncle Vanya, Old Times and Susanna Andler.