Christopher Eccleston Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (38)  | Personal Quotes (65)

Overview (3)

Born in Salford, Lancashire, England, UK
Nickname Chris
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Christopher Eccleston trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and first came to public attention as Derek Bentley in Let Him Have It (1991). However, it was a regular role in the television series Cracker (1993) that made him a recognizable figure in the United Kingdom. He appeared in the low-budget thriller Shallow Grave (1994), and in the same year, won the part of Nicky Hutchinson in the epic BBC drama serial Our Friends in the North (1996). It was the transmission of the latter series on BBC Two that really made him into a household name in the United Kingdom. In his film career, he has starred as a leading man alongside a number of major actresses, such as Renée Zellweger in A Price Above Rubies (1998), Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth (1998), and Cameron Diaz and Jordana Brewster in The Invisible Circus (2001), and Nicole Kidman in The Others (2001).

In addition to his successful film career, he has continued to work in television, appearing in some of the most challenging and thought-provoking British dramas. These have included Clocking Off (2000) and Flesh and Blood (2002) for the BBC and Hillsborough (1996), the Iago character in a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's "Othello", and the religious epic The Second Coming (2003), playing Steve Baxter, the son of God. His stage career, while not as extensive as his screen credits, has nevertheless shown him to be a formidable actor. He has given intense, focused performances in such plays as "Hamlet", "Electricity" and "Miss Julie", for which he received excellent reviews.

A very highly regarded actor, Eccleston has twice been nominated in the Best Actor category at the BAFTA Television Awards, the British premiere television awards ceremony. His first nomination came in 1997 for Our Friends in the North (1996). Although he didn't win those awards, however, he did triumph in the Best Actor categories at the 1997 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and the Royal Television Society Awards, winning for Our Friends in the North (1996). He won the RTS Best Actor award for a second time in 2003, this time for his performance in "Flesh and Blood". In 2005, he received the Most Popular Actor award in the National Television Awards for starring in Russell T. Davies's re-imagining of Doctor Who (2005).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: northern7

Spouse (1)

Mischka (November 2011 - 15 December 2015) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (3)

His strong voice
His distinctive Lancashire accent
He often plays intense, edgy and dangerous characters

Trivia (38)

He is the youngest of three sons of Ronnie and Elsie Eccleston.
He was the first actor to play the title character in a Doctor Who (2005) story to be born after the show first commenced in November 1963.
He follows in a long line of well-known actors to have portrayed the character of the Doctor from Doctor Who on screen: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy all played the role in the original television series, while Paul McGann played the role in the 1996 television movie and Peter Cushing played it in two films made in the 1960s.
He has retained his Lancashire accent.
Although he admitted in interviews that he was never a "fan" or even a keen viewer of Doctor Who (1963), he did see some episodes and his earliest memory of seeing it was Second Doctor Patrick Troughton in the black-and-white episodes of the late 1960s.
He was cast in Terry Gilliam's The Man who Killed Don Quixote, but did not film any scenes before production closed down. In the documentary Lost in La Mancha (2002), his photograph appears on a pin-board featuring photos of the cast.
He emailed his old friend, the writer and producer Russell T. Davies, and asked to be put on the list of possibles for the title role in the revival of Doctor Who (2005) series. He has claimed in interviews that he was not a fan of the original Doctor Who (1963) and was really attracted to take the part because of his admiration for Davies as a writer.
The BBC admitted that they announced his departure from Doctor Who (2005) too early. It was agreed in the January that he would only do one series and a Christmas special. The announcement of his departure should have be made about halfway through the new series run.
He turned down a role in Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan (1998).
He is one of three "Doctor Who" actors who portrayed The Doctor on television to appear in an episode of Casualty (1986). The others are Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy.
Of the twelve actors to play the Doctor in Doctor Who (1963), Doctor Who (1996) and Doctor Who (2005), he, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi are the only ones who never worked with the late Nicholas Courtney, who played Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart in the former from 1968 to 1989 as well as in numerous Big Finish audio dramas.
He is the younger brother of twins Alan Eccleston and Keith Eccleston.
He is the uncle of Peter Eccleston and Rebecca Eccleston, who acted with him in Let Him Have It (1991).
He often collaborates with Phyllida Lloyd on stage.
One of his co-stars in Let Him Have It (1991) was Mark McGann, who is the younger brother of Paul McGann, his immediate predecessor as the Doctor.
According to an interview with Eccleston in the August 2010 issue of Mojo magazine, his favorite album is "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye.
Eccleston married in 2010, and became a father to his first child, Albert, in February 2012. His wife's name has never been made public, but Eccleston spoke movingly about her and his son at a talk at the National Theatre in July 2012, comparing her to his own beloved mother.
He is a supporter of Manchester United Football Club.
He is a supporter of the British Red Cross Society.
He has two children, a son Albert born 2012, and a daughter Esme born 2014.
Eccleston is an avid charity worker, becoming a Mencap charity ambassador on 28 April 2005, and is also a supporter of the British Red Cross. He also supports research for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia; his father, Ronnie, suffered from vascular dementia in his later years, until his death in 2012.
Prior to being cast as The Ninth Doctor in Doctor Who (2005), he was offered the role of The Eighth Doctor in Doctor Who (1996).
As an actor, he was influenced in his early years by Kes (1969) and Albert Finney's performance in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960).
The reasons as to why he left Doctor Who (2005) after one season are vague. He implied that he didn't enjoy the environment that the cast and crew had to work in and didn't get along with some of the higher-ups. He also objected to the mistreatment of some of the non-actor personnel by one of the directors. Russell T. Davies stated that Eccleston was only given a one-series contract, because the BBC had no idea if the new series would be successful.
He auditioned for the role of Stuart in Queer as Folk (1999). He would later collaborate with creator Russell T. Davies in The Second Coming (2003) and Doctor Who (2005).
In 2015, he reprised his role as The Ninth Doctor to record special message for a 14 year old fan in hospital and another for a newly engaged couple.
He didn't take his driving test until January 2004. He said on Top Gear (2002) that his licence restricts him to vehicles with automatic transmission.
He was considered for the role of Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow in Batman Begins (2005).
He was considered for the role of Silas in The Da Vinci Code (2006).
In July 2004, a poll of industry experts, conducted by Radio Times magazine, voted Eccleston the "19th Most Powerful Person in Television Drama.".
He was inspired to enter the acting profession at age 19 by such television dramas as Boys from the Blackstuff (1982).
In September 2007, as part of a £9.5m building scheme, Salford's Pendleton College named its new 260-seat auditorium the Eccleston Theatre.
During phases of unemployment as an actor for some years after graduating from drama school, Eccleston took a variety of odd jobs at a supermarket, on building sites and as an artist's model.
Eccleston made his professional stage debut at age 25 in the Bristol Old Vic's production of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951).
He was going to reprise his role as The Ninth Doctor in the 50th Anniversary Special Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (2013). After meeting with Steven Moffat, he politely declined the opportunity. Reasons vary from him being unavailable, to him not being interested, to his request that Joe Ahearne direct be declined. His role was given to John Hurt's War Doctor and, along with the previous eight Doctors, he appears via stock footage and body doubles.
He was the second actor to play the Doctor who had studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. The first had been Peter Davison.
Many years before playing the Ninth Doctor, one of his earliest television roles was in Friday on My Mind (1992), which was produced by Philip Hinchcliffe, who had coincidentally been the producer of Doctor Who (1963) in its most popular period from 1975 to 1977.
He was considered for Matthew Modine's role in If... Dog... Rabbit (1999).

Personal Quotes (65)

I wasn't always such a great fan of Shakespeare, mind you. I can guess we all at one time had it rammed down our necks at school, which tends to take the edge off it.
A year later, and I'm average again.
Any horror element is as much psychological as special effects.
Culturally, we've always felt it important to express the life of the country, and working class comes into that.
I came out of school in '79 when unemployment was really starting to bite, went back and redid my O-levels, there was a play going on and I was corralled into it.
I care more about telly because it made me an actor and there's a much more immediate response to TV. You can address the political or cultural fabric of your country.
[on his accent in Doctor Who (2005) - although he was wrong because Sylvester McCoy clearly had a Scottish accent] I'm different from the other Doctors in that I'm northern. All the others spoke with this RP accent [received pronunciation] - maybe it was that that put me off. I think that it's good that we teach kids that people who speak like that can be heroic.
My bony face is like a car crash. I haven't got good looks, just weird looks, enough to frighten the fiercest monster.
Theatre is an actor's medium. Film and television is primarily a director's medium. When you act in the theatre you get a four to six week rehearsal period, where you can build a character, and of course each evening when you give a performance, you have the final edit. So theatre acting is my great love. But I've had some very interesting and rewarding experiences in front of the camera.
If I had my choice, I would exclusively do theatre, if I could justify it financially. Theatre in my country is by and large very lowly paid, so actors have to supplement it with television and film work, if they're fortunate enough to be able to do that.
I enjoy American television. I've got three particular favorites: The Larry Sanders Show (1992), Deadwood (2004) and NYPD Blue (1993). I admire them all for very different reasons. One's a very broad, naturalistic satiric comedy. Deadwood's a fantastic take on the Western genre, and NYPD Blue, I thought the writing and the acting was extraordinary.
The best thing about Doctor Who (2005) for me has been the response I've had from children, both in the street and the number of letters and drawings of me and Daleks, which are all over my wall at home. In all the 20 years I've been acting, I've never enjoyed a response so much as the one I've had from children and I'm carrying that in my heart forever.
Did you ever believe that seven o'clock on a Saturday night there'd be a Manc on one side and a Geordie on the other? When I was growing up, everybody sounded like Tom Baker.
[on Doctor Who (2005)] I was open-minded but I decided after my experience on the first series that I didn't want to do any more. I didn't enjoy the environment and the culture that we, the cast and crew, had to work in. I wasn't comfortable. I thought "If I stay in this job, I'm going to have to blind myself to certain things that I thought were wrong." And I think it's more important to be your own man than be successful, so I left. But the most important thing is that I did it, not that I left. I really feel that, because it kind of broke the mold and it helped to reinvent it. I'm very proud of it.
I don't really do heroes. Heroes are dangerous because it's very unrealistic to elevate people to heroic status. Lennon (John Lennon) was somebody I admired but I came to him quite late. And there was no doubt he was somebody who could be quite difficult to love.
[on Accused (2010)] Writing of this quality doesn't come along too often. I have great respect and affection for Jimmy (Jimmy McGovern). We go back 17 years now, and this is the sixth time I've worked for him. He's been the spine of my career.
No matter how big a name you are, how many big series you've been in or how good looking you are, in the end, all actors are secondary to the writer.
I've kept my word with the audience and not fed them rubbish. I've done some rubbish elsewhere, though, and I've let myself down in that way. But I think I can hold my head up - I don't think I've ever done it for the money on British telly. I always choose roles with my heart.
I confess I don't watch much film or television drama but I'm aware of the preponderance of white, male roles. There's not enough writing for women or people of colour. It frustrates me when they insist on doing all-male Shakespearean productions - a wonderful intellectual exercise maybe, but it's outrageous because it's putting a lot of women out of work.
Culturally we've always felt it important to express the life of the country, and working class comes into that.
I love my accent, I thought it was useful in Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) because the standard villain is upper class or Cockney. My Northern accent would be an odd clash opposite Nic Cage.
In all the 20 years I've been acting, I've never enjoyed a response so much as the one I've had from children and I'm carrying that in my heart forever.
I think theatre is by far the most rewarding experience for an actor. You get 4 weeks to rehearse your character and then at 7:30 pm you start acting and nobody stops you, acting with your entire soul.
I think the themes of belonging and parentage and love are obviously universal.
Often as a child you see someone with a learning disability or Down's Syndrome and my mum and dad were always very quick to explain exactly what was going on and to be in their own way inclusive and welcoming.
[a message at a BFI celebration of Doctor Who (1963)'s 50th anniversary] I love the BFI. I love the Doctor and hope you enjoy this presentation. Joe Ahearne directed five of the 13 episodes of the first series. He understood the tone the show needed completely - strong, bold, pacy visuals coupled with wit, warmth and a twinkle in the performances, missus. If Joe agrees to direct the 100th anniversary special, I will bring my sonic and a stair-lift and - providing the Daleks don't bring theirs - I, the ninth Doctor, vow to save the universe and all you apes in it.
[on Our Friends in the North (1996)] I was standing on the set of Shallow Grave (1994) and Danny Boyle said, 'I've read something you'd like.' I got hold of the scripts and read them in one sitting. There's a scene in which Nicky's embittered idealist dad, Felix - played by the wonderful 'Peter Vaughan' - is savaged by a dog on a council estate. He is effectively destroyed by everything he felt he'd failed to create as a socialist. I thought it was an absolutely brilliant piece of writing. I knew it was event television from that single scene.
Many times I've sat with a camera and another actor and seen all their fears and insecurities and struggles. You want to support them and help them as much as you can.
We all need a firm sense of identity.
I don't see a lot of films. I'm quite choosy, but there's certain films that stick out.
The money is better in films and television. But in terms of acting, theatre is more rewarding.
It can be very difficult to trace your birth parents.
I've never been up with the times, always been slightly out of step.
I had bags of energy as a kid.
Lots of middle class people are running around pretending to be Cockney.
I love Dead Ringers (2002). A democratic set, the work was taken seriously.
I don't like to watch playback. But being on the set, watching the way the camera is being moved and the way the light is being used, you do get an idea of it.
I only ever worked on interiors, and an interior is an interior. I don't know what they did about exteriors.
Television, although It's in steep decline, still occasionally gives voices to people who don't have voices.
I heard the various terms of abuse at school and probably indulged them in the way you do as a kid.
On The Others (2001), very atmospheric and probably mysterious is how I would say it felt to be on the set. It felt just a little uneasy, the atmosphere that we were trying to capture.
I think film and television are really a director's medium, whereas theatre is the actor's medium.
I had to help to coax the performances and I really enjoyed that extra responsibility.
Jacobean plays, before Shakespeare, were particularly visceral.
I got a tiny part in a play, auditioned for another one and got that as well. Not only that, the first finished on the Saturday and the other started on the Monday which is like an actor's dream!
I used my instincts. It's very easy to imagine how you'd feel, actually. I just had to tell the narrative.
I care more about telly because it made me an actor and there's a much more immediate response to TV. You can address the political or cultural fabric of your country.
The person who gives you your first job is so important in any industry.
Twelve years on sets watching directors, I've taken a bit from everybody and rejected a lot.
We like to think that our parents made a decision to bring us into the world.
What goes down on film is different to what you see with the naked eye.
[on Flesh and Blood (2002)] The film is about Joe discovering who his mother and father are and his relationship with them, and the identity crisis he goes through once he finds out who his parents are.
I want to direct but I think I'd be bloody awful and I don't want to produce but I think I'd be a very good producer because if I believed in something I'd be able to protect it.
I went being unemployed for three years to being the lead in a British feature in the days when we only made two a year, 1990. It was ridiculous really.
[on acting] My parents always knew I was hopeless at everything else, I was fortunate in that I was backed all the way. I came to it late and only because I thought there'd be loads of women and drinking!
I know exactly where I've come from, I know exactly who my mum and dad are.
Theatre is expensive to go to. I certainly felt when I was growing up that theatre wasn't for us. Theatre still has that stigma to it. A lot of people feel intimidated and underrepresented in theatre.
Rather than disliking theatre, I've expressed a preference for television because it tends to deal in its small way much more with issues and is able to reach a broader church of people than theatre.
[on Doctor Who (2005)] I don't think it's important that I left - I think it's important that I did it in the first place. I'm still there - I was in David Tennant, I was in Matt Smith, I was in Peter Capaldi. I'm always there in spirit.
[on Hillsborough (1996)] This will show what television is really for.
[why he left Doctor Who (2005)] Myself and three individuals at the very top of the pyramid clashed so off I went. But they're not here to say their side of it so I'm not going into detail.
[on his portrayal of The Doctor] I think I over-pitched the comedy. If I had my time again, I would do the comedy very different - but I think where I did possibly succeed was in the tortured stuff - surprise surprise!
[why he left Doctor Who (2005)] I'd had enough. I wanted to do it my way, they wanted something else. We were never going to compromise so it was best to be straight about it and just go. It's very easy to stay in one job and make that your comfort zone, and I want to resist that temptation.
It's always been a policy of the Conservative government and party to destroy working class identity. If you prevent them from having a cultural voice which is what's happening, they achieve that. They hate us, they want to destroy us, so we're being ruled out of having a voice. You can't get into drama school if you're from a council estate. You can't afford it. It was different for me in the Eighties and look what I've achieved. Look what Sean Bean's achieved. Look what Maxine Peake's achieved. But there's not going to be the numbers in 20 years.
[on "Fresh Air with Terry Gross," when asked by Gross whether he still identifies as an atheist] You know, I'm no longer sure now. I'd certainly made great play a number of years ago about my atheism. And things have changed in my life. And I know - I'm no longer so certain. I - so I guess I would have to say agnostic now....I had children. I have two very beautiful and center-of-my-life children, Albert and Esme. I lost my father. I watched him suffer through his dementia. I had my own crisis earlier in the year. I don't - life has happened to me, I would say - life. And maybe some of the issues in "The Leftovers," my relationship with Damon Lindelof, the showrunner - remember we had a - quite a discussion on faith. He claims that I said that - because Matt Jamison, in the novel on which the series is originally based, only appears for two pages. So Damon was very surprised that I was pursuing that role. But I pointed out to him that, you know, it's a great, dramatic character, an Episcopalian reverend who possibly was not taken in a biblical rapture. It's just there. It's for the taking. But he claims that I said that the man's reaction to that would be to become more religious. I don't remember saying that. But that's what Damon claims. But we had a discussion about faith. And Damon said, look, I - that's a very difficult question to answer because I said, are you a believer? You know, and I find myself there now, really. I just feel that when I was stomping around saying I was an atheist, I was not thinking about it enough. I think I was - I mean, there is certainly a huge part of me that feels intense anger against organized religion. But I do feel, at the moment, a little more spiritually open to what may be religious beliefs.

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