Multi Academy Award-Winner
THE INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF GOLD MEDAL CHAMPION JESSE OWENS
IN THEATERS FEBRUARY 19
Recently named a Rising Star at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, Stephan James has had the honor of portraying several real-life figures in African-American history.
Prior to starring as Olympics hero Jesse Owens in Race, he was part of the cast of Ava DuVernay’s Selma, one of the most acclaimed films of recent years. In the drama illuminating the progress of Martin Luther King Jr.’s protest marches in Selma, Alabama, Mr. James was cast as John Lewis, the son of sharecroppers and a student activist with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee; Mr. Lewis later became a U.S. Congressman. Mr. James received a Black Reel Award nomination for Breakthrough Performance, and shared with his fellow actors the Black Film Critics Circle Award for Best Ensemble.
He had previously played T.K. Kelly, the #1 high school running back in the U.S., in the inspirational fact-based sports tale When the Game Stands Tall. Directed by Thomas Carter, the film told the story of the De La Salle High School Spartans football team and their record-shattering journey from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak.
In The Book of Negroes, adapted from Lawrence Hill’s best-selling novel, Mr. James played Cummings Shakspear. Clement Virgo directed the miniseries account of Aminata Diallo’s journey through the slave trade and the American Revolution, and ultimately to her freedom in England.
The native Canadian was recently seen starring in Undone, directed by Director X. Based upon historical events, the feature film explores the deep-rooted racial tensions within Nova Scotia communities.
Mr. James’ other independent films include Stanley Brooks’ Perfect Sisters, alongside Georgie Henley and Abigail Breslin; and David Sutherland’s Home Again, in which he played a lead role alongside Tatyana Ali and Lyriq Bent, for which he earned a Canadian Screen Award nomination (Canada’s Oscars equivalent)
He also performs his own rap music. His sports activities include basketball, football, soccer, kickboxing, and track and field.
Jason Sudeikis has starred in both major studio features and independent films. Among the former have been the blockbuster comedies We’re the Millers, directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, and Horrible Bosses, directed by Seth Gordon. Among the latter have been Leslye Headland’s Sleeping with Other People, opposite Alison Brie; David Wain’s The Ten; Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies; and Garry Marshall’s upcoming Mother’s Day.
His voiceover work in movies includes Chris Wedge’s Epic and, in the lead role as Red, Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly’s The Angry Birds Movie, which will open nationwide in May 2016. Also in voiceover, Mr. Sudeikis starred for several years on the hit series The Cleveland Show.
He will soon be heard and seen in two notable independent feature dramas: Sean Mewshaw’s Tumbledown, with Rebecca Hall, and Bill Purple’s The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, with Jessica Biel and Maisie Williams. He is currently filming Nacho Vigalondo’s sci-fi tale Colossal, with Anne Hathaway.
Mr. Sudeikis’ other movies have included Tom Vaughan’s What Happens in Vegas; Andy Tennant’s The Bounty Hunter; Nanette Burstein’s Going the Distance; Jay Roach’s The Campaign; the Farrelly Brothers’ Hall Pass; and Jared Hess’ soon-to-be-released Masterminds.
He was born in Fairfax, Virginia but grew up in Overland Park, Kansas. After high school, he received a basketball scholarship to a local junior college. As a class clown and a self-admitted “procrastinator,” he frequently dribbled himself in and out of trouble while in college. He began his path in show business by driving 40 miles every weekend to take classes at the ComedySportz Theater (now Comedy City) in Kansas City. He then left basketball and college and made his way to Chicago.
There, he performed with The Second City National Touring Company, Improv Olympic, The Annoyance Theater, and Boom Chicago in Amsterdam. He moved to Nevada, where he became a founding member of The Second City Las Vegas.
In 2003, Mr. Sudeikis was encouraged by his uncle, actor George Wendt (of Cheers fame), to send a tape of his work to the producers of NBC’s storied comedy showcase Saturday Night Live. He was hired as a staff writer; after two years and many auditions, he found himself on camera and never looked back. A cast member for eight seasons, he won over audiences with his characterizations of Vice President Joe Biden and presidential candidate Mitt Romney, among many others.
In addition to Saturday Night Live, television viewers know him for his recurring roles on Eastbound & Down and 30 Rock; for hosting the MTV Movie Awards and presenting on the Academy Awards; and for his guest appearances on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Childrens Hospital, and, most recently, The Last Man on Earth. Mr. Sudeikis is executive-producing the new comedy series Detroiters for Comedy Central, on which he will guest star.
Jeremy Irons won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance as Claus von Bulow in Barbet Schroeder’s Reversal of Fortune.
His other film highlights include Karel Reisz’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman; Jerzy Skolimowski’s Moonlighting; David Jones’ Betrayal, written by Harold Pinter; Roland Joffé’s The Mission; David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers and M. Butterfly; Steven Soderbergh’s Kafka; Louis Malle’s Damage; John McTiernan’s Die Hard with a Vengeance; Adrian Lyne’s Lolita; Bernardo Bertolucci’s Stealing Beauty; Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven; David Lynch’s Inland Empire; J.C. Chandor’s Margin Call; and, in voiceover as Scar, Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff’s animated classic The Lion King.
In television, his voiceover work has earned him two Emmy Awards; and he won Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Awards for his performance as the Earl of Leicester in Tom Hooper’s miniseries Elizabeth I. Among his other notable television work, he starred as Pope Alexander in the Showtime series The Borgias; as Alfred Stieglitz in Bob Balaban’s telefilm Georgia O’Keeffe; and as King Henry IV in Richard Eyre’s “The Hollow Crown” telefilms Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2.
Mr. Irons received a Tony Award for his performance in Mike Nichols’ original Broadway staging of Tom Stoppard’s play The Real Thing. More recently, he appeared on the London stage in the National Theatre production of Never So Good and in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Gods Weep.
He was featured in, and executive-produced, Trashed, Candida Brady’s award-winning documentary on our environment.
In addition to Race, Mr. Irons will be on movie screens in 2016 with Giuseppe Tornatore’s The Correspondence; Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise; Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed, with Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender; Matt Brown’s The Man Who Knew Infinity; and the globally awaited Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In the latter, directed by Zack Snyder, he plays Alfred Pennyworth.
For his unforgettable portrayal of Luis Molina in Hector Babenco’s Kiss of the Spider Woman, William Hurt won the Academy Award, the BAFTA Award, and the Cannes International Film Festival award for Best Actor, among other honors. Mr. Hurt has been nominated for an Academy Award three times since, for his performances in Randa Haines’ Children of a Lesser God; James L. Brooks’ Broadcast News; and David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence.
He memorably starred for writer/director Lawrence Kasdan in The Accidental Tourist, Body Heat, I Love You to Death, and The Big Chill. His other notable films include Ken Russell’s Altered States, for which he received the first of his six Golden Globe Award nominations; Peter Yates’ Eyewitness; Randa Haines’ The Doctor; Wim Wenders’ Until the End of the World; Chris Menges’ Second Best; Stephen Hopkins’ Lost in Space; Alex Proyas’ Dark City; Carl Franklin’s One True Thing; István Szabó’s Sunshine; Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Roger Michell’s Changing Lanes; Stephen Gaghan’s Syriana; Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd; Sean Penn’s Into the Wild; Udayan Prasad’s The Yellow Handkerchief; Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood; Sandrine Bonnaire’s J’enrage de son absence; and, in the Marvel Universe, Louis Leterrier’s The Incredible Hulk and Anthony and Joe Russo’s eagerly awaited Captain America: Civil War.
Mr. Hurt’s acclaimed television work includes a season of the legal thriller Damages and Curtis Hanson’s telefilm Too Big to Fail, both of which earned him Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations; and the AMC drama Humans, which was one of the most talked-about new series of 2015 and which will return for a second season in 2016. He will also soon be seen starring in the adventure tale Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands, with its 13 episodes to air in the U.K. on ITV and in the U.S. on Esquire Network; and in David E. Kelley’s Amazon series Trial, with Billy Bob Thornton.
His acting career began in the theater. He won an Obie Award for his debut performance in Corinne Jacker’s play My Life. Mr. Hurt went on to portray Hamlet; appeared in Fifth of July, Ulysses in Traction, and Lulu; and was a member of the Circle Repertory Company in New York City. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in Mike Nichols’ original Broadway staging of David Rabe’s hurlyburly.
Mr. Hurt, who studied his craft at The Juilliard School, is also a private pilot.
Carice van Houten
A native of the Netherlands whose first love was music, Carice van Houten began concentrating on acting as her career while in high school. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam, where she was awarded the Pisuisse Prize for Most Promising Student.
She has gone on to star in over two dozen films made around the world, winning many awards, including Best Actress at both the Tribeca and Netherlands Film Festivals, for Paula van der Oest’s Black Butterflies. A favorite of Dutch filmgoers, she has won five (Dutch) Golden Calf Awards as Best Actress, including for Antoinette Beumer’s The Happy Housewife. Ms. van Houten’s starring role in Paul Verhoeven’s WWII epic Black Book marked the beginning of her international breakthrough.
Her subsequent films have included Bryan Singer’s Valkyrie, opposite Tom Cruise; Miguel Sapochnik’s Repo Men; Christopher Smith’s Black Death; Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Intruders, with Clive Owen; Antoinette Beumer’s Jackie, alongside her sister Jelka van Houten; Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate; Brad Peyton’s Incarnate; and, upcoming, Martin Koolhoven’s Brimstone, with Guy Pearce and Kit Harington. She is reuniting with director Paula van der Oest for the suspenseful drama The Parts You Lose, starring with Aaron Paul.
Ms. van Houten joined the cast of the television phenomenon Game of Thrones, as the Red priestess Melisandre, in the show’s second season; she continues in the role for the sixth season in 2016
In October 2012, she released her first solo album, See You on the Ice, for which she was a writer on most of the songs. The album includes her duet with Antony Hegarty (of Anthony & The Johnsons) on “Particle of Light,” as well as contributions from musicians Steve Shelley, Ken Stringfellow, Howe Gelb, and Marc Ribot.
She is the Dutch ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund.
A native of Canada, Shanice Banton has had dance training in both musical theater and hip-hop, and singing training in both R&B and pop.
Theatre school-trained, her stage experience spans lead roles in dramas such as Ordinary People (adapted from the film), Antigone, and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf; and in musicals such as Rent and The Music Man.
Ms. Banton is best known for her series regular role as Marisol Lewis on the Emmy Award-nominated high school-set drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. Her other television work includes Clement Virgo’s miniseries The Book of Negroes; a recurring role on the series Lost Girl; and Stephen Tolkin’s telefilm A Day Late and a Dollar Short.
Race marks Ms. Banton’s feature film debut. She enjoys being physically fit, focusing on running both sprint and the distance.