Robert Carlyle

Robert Carlyle

Highest Rated: 96% The Full Monty (1997)

Lowest Rated: 16% Eragon (2006)

Birthday: Apr 14, 1961

Birthplace: Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland

Whether portraying a drunken sociopath, a good-hearted construction worker, a strong-willed multiple sclerosis victim, or a down-on-his-luck steel worker who resorts to shaking his naked groove thing for cash, Scottish actor Robert Carlyle has repeatedly wowed transatlantic audiences with his chameleon-like ability to inhabit a range of roles. Born April 14, 1961, in Glasgow, Carlyle was raised by his father after his mother walked out when the actor was four years old. The elder Carlyle was, according to his son, a disciple of the tune in, turn on, drop out mentality, and the younger Carlyle led an itinerant bohemian existence. Carlyle dropped out of school at 16, and according to his own accounts, had a fairly disastrous stay in England before returning to Glasgow. It was there that he enrolled in acting classes at the Glasgow Arts Centre after finding inspiration in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. This led to a stint at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he studied for a term before becoming disenchanted with the institution. He found work in various television and stage productions, winning a coveted Actor's Equity card with his turn as Oberon in The Royal Scottish Orchestra's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Film audiences first became aware of the actor in Ken Loach's Riff Raff (1991), the story of the trials and tribulations of a group of construction workers. Carlyle won favorable notices, which in turn led to more work, first in the 1993 film Safe and then in 1994's Priest, the critically acclaimed and very controversial story of the moral struggles of a gay priest, in which he played the priest's lover. He went on to a very different role in the next year's Go Now, in which he played a man suffering from multiple sclerosis. The same year, he also found a place in the hearts of many a Scottish TV viewer with his portrayal of the title character on Hamish MacBeth. The show, which cast him as a kindhearted Highlands police constable, made him something of a star in his native country. Ironically, it was his turn as a character of a completely different stripe that won Carlyle international attention. As the drunken, raving psychotic Begbie in Trainspotting (1996), Carlyle was one of the more disturbing aspects of a relentlessly disturbing film, as he invested in Begbie the type of rage that made many filmgoers unable to separate the character from the actor who gave him life. The film was the object of both critical adulation and controversy, and made a star out of at least one of its actors, the charmingly rough-edged Ewan McGregor.Carlyle's follow-up feature was a decidedly smaller affair. Collaborating again with Ken Loach, he starred as a bus driver in Carla's Song (1996), a film that met with an arthouse release but little fanfare. However, it was Carlyle's turn as the down-and-out Gaz in the following year's The Full Monty that brought him fully into the spotlight. Directed by Peter Cattaneo, the film was a sleeper hit, winning both box-office millions and five Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. The success of the film made Carlyle one of the more bankable foreign players in Hollywood, something that was reflected in his casting with fellow up-and-comers David Arquette, Jeremy Davies, and Guy Pearce in the highly entertaining but virtually unmarketable box-office bomb Ravenous (1999). In the same year, Carlyle shared the screen with the likes of Liv Tyler and fellow Trainspotter Jonny Lee Miller in Plunkett & Maclean. An unusual end to a decidedly uneven year, Carlyle rounded out 1999 with two films that couldn't have been more different -- the explosive James Bond actioner The World Is Not Enough, and the bleak literary drama Angela's Ashes. Thankfully for fans, Carlyle was as busy as ever in the first few years of the new millennium, and though his reunion with Trainspotting director Danny Boyle (The Beach) and pairing with certified silver-screen badass Samuel L. Jackson


Highest Rated Movies



81% T2 Trainspotting Begbie $2.4M 2017
62% Barney Thomson (The Legend of Barney Thomson) Director Barney $0.2M 2016
68% California Solo Lachlan Executive Producer $15.8K 2012
No Score Yet The Last Enemy David Russell 2009
64% I Know You Know Charlie 2009
94% The Unloved Father 2009
No Score Yet The Tournament Joseph MacAvoy 2009
No Score Yet The Meat Trade Actor 2009
78% Summer Shaun 2008
80% 24: Redemption Actor 2008
53% Stone of Destiny John MacCormick 2008
No Score Yet Flood Rob 2007
71% 28 Weeks Later... Don $28.6M 2007
16% Eragon Durza $75.1M 2006
No Score Yet Born Equal Actor 2006
22% Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School Frank Keane $0.2M 2006
No Score Yet Monroe: Class of '76 Actor 2005
67% The Mighty Celt O 2005
No Score Yet Human Trafficking Sergei Karpovich 2005
No Score Yet Dead Fish Danny Devine 2004
51% Once Upon a Time in the Midlands Jimmy 2003
No Score Yet Hitler: The Rise of Evil Adolf Hitler 2003
62% To End All Wars Campbell 2002
43% Black and White David O'Sullivan 2002
26% Formula 51 Felix DeSouza $5.2M 2002
20% The Beach Daffy 2000
71% There's Only One Jimmy Grimble Eric Wirral 2000
52% Angela's Ashes Dad 1999
52% The World Is Not Enough Renard 1999
24% Plunkett & Macleane Will Plunkett 1999
47% Ravenous Colqhoun/Ives 1999
86% Carla's Song George 1998
60% Go Now Nick 1998
96% The Full Monty Gaz 1997
38% Face Ray 1997
90% Trainspotting Begbie 1996
70% Priest Graham 1995
90% Riff-Raff Stevie 1991


56% Cobra
PM Robert Sutherland 2020
67% The War of the Worlds (2019)
Ogilvy 2019
80% Once Upon a Time
Appearing Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold Rumplestiltskin 2018
No Score Yet The Graham Norton Show
Guest 2017
70% Stargate Universe
Director Dr. Nicholas Rush Nicholas Rush 2011
86% 24
Carl Benton 2008
No Score Yet Masterpiece
David Russell 2008
No Score Yet Cracker (1993)


Stevie says: Depression's for the middle classes.

Renard says: Welcome to my nuclear family.

Durza says: When a rider dies, the last thing he hears are the agonising screams of his dying dragon!

Father says: OK, I'm going to give you one last chance. Where's the fooking money!

Durza says: I expected more.

Durza says: I expected you to be more... more... well, more.

Durza says: It is said that as a Rider takes his last breath, he can hear the dying screams of his dragon.