×

David Wenham

Hometown: Sydney

Where you might have seen him: As a pyromaniac in Miramax’s “Cosi”

Upcoming roles: “The Lord of the Rings,” “Moulin Rouge”

What others say about him: “He’s made an interesting choice as an actor by being strategic about the roles he wants to play,” says producer-director Robert Connolly (“The Boys”). “He’s offered a lot of work and only does a fraction of it.”

SYDNEY – His strikingly individual looks may not have yet sent Middle America swooning, but 35-year-old theater actor David Wenham is on his way, having become a household name Down Under as Diver Dan, the absentminded love interest of Sigrid Thornton in pubcaster ABC’s hit Granada drama “SeaChange.”

Audiences Stateside will likely first see Wenham in his Australian Film Institute Award-nominated role in Jonathan Teplitzky’s adult comedy “Better Than Sex,” which became one of the increasingly rare breed of Aussie films to score a substantial U.S. sale after it was picked up at the Cannes Intl. Film Festival by Goldwyn.

After that will come the release of Baz Luhrmann’s much anticipated Fox period piece “Moulin Rouge” and then New Line’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which is filming in New Zealand with Wenham in the major role of human lord Faramir. Also on Wenham’s international slate is Milcho Nanchesvsky’s “Dust,” which filmed in New York and Macedonia.

After being encouraged by teachers to act as a constructive outlet for disruptive youthful energies, Wenham earned a theater degree before working his way onto soaps and, eventually, getting work with some of Australia’s leading theatrical companies.

These troupes included Neil Armfield’s Belvoir Street Theater, whose alumni include Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett. Indeed, working on Belvoir’s production of “Cosi” in 1992 led to a role in Miramax’s 1995 production of the play with helmer Mark Joffe, while Wenham also had a leading role in Peter Duncan’s 1997 Columbia TriStar film “A Little Bit of Soul,” opposite Rush and Frances O’Connor.

“The stage is important to me,” Wenham says, having last year returned to Sydney boards for Matthew Warchaus’ production of “Art.” “It helps an actor’s work on film as well. Like anything, it’s good to have a balanced diet.”

His critical bigscreen breakthrough also had its origins on the stage with Rowan Woods’ unrelentingly gritty 1997 film “The Boys,” in which Wenham played a psychotically violent jailbird, reprising a role he first played in the Griffin Theater Co.’s 1991 production.

More Film

  • The Lion King

    'The Lion King' Tops $130 Million Overseas

    Disney’s “The Lion King” has roared past $130 million in international ticket sales ahead of its domestic debut, led by $76.6 million in its first week in China. Other markets began launching Wednesday, led by France with $8.3 million in its first two days with the second-biggest opening day for a Disney movie after “Avengers: [...]

  • The Lion King The Gift

    Album Review: Beyoncé’s 'The Lion King: The Gift'

    Before touching down on what Beyoncé has called her “love letter to Africa,” it’s important to see what may have brought her to the mother of mankind, with its wide vistas and sonic planes, for “The Gift” in the first place — beyond, of course, voicing Nala in the film and whatever international marketing tie-ins [...]

  • The Lion King

    'The Lion King' Roars to $23 Million Opening on Thursday Night

    Disney’s “The Lion King” has pounced on a mighty $23 million in North American locations in Thursday night preview showings. It’s the biggest preview number since Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” set the record on April 27 with $60 million. “The Lion King” is expected to debut with $150 million this weekend. Some forecasts estimate the tentpole [...]

  • Major Expansion Planned at Belfast Harbour

    Major Expansion Planned at Belfast Harbour Studios, Home of ‘Krypton’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Belfast Harbour Studios in Northern Ireland, where the Syfy series “Krypton” is shot, is set for a major expansion. The Warner Horizon-produced series has occupied the full site, which currently has two stages, since it opened in 2017. The landowners had signaled that they wanted to expand, and Variety has learned that plans for the [...]

  • Disney Movies

    Why Audiences Are Only Going to Disney Movies

    Julie Bikhman of Manhattan might buy the tickets, but when it comes to deciding what movie to see, her three young children are the ones calling the shots. “We pick them,” her 11-year-old daughter Annie declares before heading into a screening of Disney’s live-action “The Lion King.” “If it’s a Marvel movie, we know it’s [...]

  • Rob Schneider'The Week Of' film premiere,

    Rob Schneider Running for SAG-AFTRA Board, Supporting Matthew Modine

    Rob Schneider is running for a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate and as a representative of the union’s San Francisco branch. Schneider is a former cast member on “Saturday Night Live” with movie credits on “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” “The Hot Chick,” “The Benchwarmers,” [...]

  • The Lion King

    'Lion King' VFX Supervisor Rob Legato to Keynote at the 2019 View Conference

    Rob Legato, visual effects supervisor of “The Lion King,” “The Addams Family” co-director Conrad Vernon and Baobab Studios’ co-founder and chief creative officer Eric Darnell, director of the VR studio’s Emmy- and Annie-winning VR short “Crow: The Legend,” are rounding out the keynote speakers at this fall’s 20th edition of the View Conference in Turin, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content