"I don't feel like a movie star, and thank God I'm not allowed to."
Full Name: David Jude Law
Date of Birth: 29th December 1972
Place of Birth: Blackheath, South London, UK
Marital Status: Married to actress Sadie Frost since September 1997
As well known for his 'perfect stomach and gorgeous eyes' (- Lila) as for his acting, Jude Law could easily have made it as a model if he hadn't embarked on his chosen career. Having said that, Jude is now gaining a lot of respect in Hollywood and has played a selection of high profile roles in recent years.
The Early Years
Jude Law was born on the 29th of December 1972 in Blackheath, a fairly poor area of Southeast London. The son of two teachers, Peter and Maggie, he was originally sent to the local school where his, shall we say, effeminate first name (from Hey Jude, by the Beatles), certainly did nothing to help the reception he was given - "I was labeled a poof from Day One", he says. Because of increasing levels of violence, Jude was moved from this school to a private one (Alleyn's school in Dulwich, the same school as our own Great Neb - now that's trivia for you, you don't get this shit at IMDB) but was to drop out at 17 to pursue a full-time acting career.
From the age of 12, Jude had been acting in various productions at the National Youth Music Theatre and left school to take a part in British daytime soap Families. Jude quit this show after just over a year and spent a few years touring Europe on the stage, including a part in a production of Pygmalion. It was in 1994 that Jude's career really had a kick start. A part in the Jean Cocteau play Les Parents Terribles earned Jude a nomination for the "Outstanding Newcomer" Olivier Award. The play was moved to Broadway (renamed Indiscretions) and Jude reprised his role, opposite Kathleen Turner - winning more award nominations, this time in America.
It was also in 1994 that Jude appeared in his first feature film - playing a lead in the much hyped Brit-flick Shopping, about joy riders. The movie was a critical and commercial flop, but did lead to Jude's first meeting with future wife, Sadie Frost, his co-star.
This disappointing start was followed by bit parts in I Love You, I Love You Not, Wilde, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Bent and Gattaca and while none of these movies were exactly box-office smashes, they were all well received by critics and did respectable business. In 1997, Jude took his first lead role since Shopping, in Music from Another Room, a romantic comedy about Danny, who believes he is destined to marry the girl he helped to deliver when he was five. Not exactly a great film, but a lead none-the-less. This was followed by Brit flick Final Cut, one of two films (the other being semi-sequel Love, Honour and Obey, see below) in which all the main actors play characters with the same first names as themselves, so Sadie Frost plays Sadie, Ray Winstone plays Ray, Jude Law plays Jude... well you get the idea. Seems strange when we're so used to characters, but anyway. Really not a very good film at all, but interesting nonetheless.
Road to Stardom
In 1998, Jude appeared in the movie version of cult vampire novel, The Wisdom of Crocodiles. Again playing the lead character, Jude may well be the only good thing in Hong Kong director Po-Chih Leong's first English language film. It's not really what lovers of the book wanted. Then legendary director David Cronenberg chose Jude to join Jennifer Jason Leigh on sci-fi extravaganza eXistenZ. Big things were expected (it was Cronenberg's first since the much criticized Crash), but the results were just a little too confusing and bizarre for the public to fully accept. By no means a bad film, it certainly helped Jude get noticed and lead to his true breakout role.
The Mysterious Yearning Secretive Sad Lonely Troubled Confused Loving Musical Gifted Intelligent Beautiful Tender Sensitive Haunted Passionate Talented Mr. Ripley (short title The Talented Mr. Ripley) was a fairly unexpected box-office success. While Matt Damon plays the titular Mr. Ripley, it was Jude's performance as Dickie Greenleaf, the man who Ripley takes the identity of, that seemed to excite critics the most. He was pretty much labelled as the next big thing, a title which is never easy to live up to. He was also nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the movie.
Rather strangely, this was followed by Love, Honour and Obey the kind-of-sequel to Final Cut. I imagine Jude had agreed to do it a while back, as I've seen it and it's shockingly bad. Trying to be Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but ends up just giving British cinema a bad name.
Next were three big ones, a lead role in second world war film Enemy at the Gates, Gigolo Joe in Spielberg's A.I. and a shady hitman in Sam Mendes's follow-up to the multi-oscar winning American Beauty, gangster flick Road to Perdition. Jude plays fairly major characters in all three Hollywood blockbusters and is certainly not going away with some juicy parts lined up:
Jude was married to actress Sadie Frost in September 1997. They have three children together, Rafferty, Iris and Rudy. Jude has a tattoo on his left inner arm, "You came along to turn on everyone, sexy Sadie" - words from the Beatles song, Sexy Sadie, representing his wife. The two are separated as of July 2002.
The production company Natural Nylon was set up by Jude, wife Sadie and friends Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller and Sean Pertwee, with the intention of helping young British acting talent. They have worked on Nora, about James Joyce, as well as eXistenZ and the upcoming Marlowe, both featuring Jude. As of January 2003, it appears that Jude has pulled out of Natural Nylon completely and its future remains unclear.
Families (TV) (1990)
The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (TV) (1990)
The Marshal (TV) (1993)
I Love You, I Love You Not (1996)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
Music from Another Room (1998)
Final Cut (1998)
The Wisdom of Crocodiles (1998)
The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)
Love, Honour and Obey (2000)
Enemy at the Gates (2001)
Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
Road to Perdition (2002)
Cold Mountain (2003)
The Diary of a Young London Physician (2003)
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