Stephen Rea (born 31 October 1946) is a Northern Irish film and stage actor. Rea has appeared in high-profile films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto. Rea was nominated for an Academy Award for his lead performance as Fergus in the 1992 film The Crying Game. He has during later years had important roles in the Hugo Blick TV-series The Shadow Line and The Honourable Woman.
After appearing on the stage and in television and film for many years in Ireland and Britain, Rea came to international attention when he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the film The Crying Game. He is a frequent collaborator with Irish film maker Neil Jordan. Rea has long been associated with some of the most important writers in Ireland. His association with playwright Stewart Parker, for example, began when they were students together at the Queen's University of Belfast.
Rea helped establish the Field Day Theatre Company in 1980 with Tom Paulin, Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney and Seamus Deane. In recognition for his contribution to theatre and performing arts, Rea was given honorary degrees from both the Queen's University of Belfast and the University of Ulster in 2004.
Rea's friendship with American playwright and actor Sam Shepard dates back to the early 1970s, and he starred in Shepard's directorial debut of his play Geography of a Horse Dreamer at the Royal Court Theatre in 1974. In 2007, Rea began a successful and acclaimed relationship with both the Abbey Theatre and Sam Shepard, appearing in Kicking a Dead Horse (2007) and Ages of the Moon (2009), both penned by Shepard and also both transferred to New York. Rea returned to the Abbey in 2009 to appear in the world premiere of Sebastian Barry's Tales of Ballycumber...
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