MICHAEL Sheen has played Tony Blair, David Frost and Brian Clough, not to mention vampires and robots.
So it’s fair to say he’s a pretty versatile actor, and a popular one too – but what do we know about him? Here’s the lowdown on his Hollywood career and his relationships…
Who is Michael Sheen, how old is he and what is his background?
Michael Sheen was born on February 5, 1969 and is a Welsh actor who’s also known for his political activism.
He was born in Newport but spent most of his youth in Port Talbot, where his interest in football got him scouted by Arsenal when he was 12.
However, his family did not want to relocate to London and Sheen instead started to pursue a career in the arts.
His father was a professional Jack Nicholson lookalike and many of his family performed in amateur theatre and musical productions.
After training at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 1988, Michael worked mainly in theatre throughout the 1990s.
The 49-year-old has become better known as a screen actor since the 2000s, in particular through his roles in various biopics.
What are Michael Sheen’s most famous films?
Michael starred in a trilogy of films as British politician Tony Blair: the television film The Deal (2003), followed by The Queen (2006) and The Special Relationship (2010).
For playing Blair, he was nominated for both a Bafta Award and an Emmy.
He was also nominated for a Bafta as the troubled comic actor Kenneth Williams in BBC Four’s 2006 Fantabulosa!, and was nominated for a fourth Olivier Award in 2006 for portraying the broadcaster David Frost in Frost/Nixon, a role he revisited in the 2008 film adaptation of the play.
He then starred as the outspoken football manager Brian Clough in The Damned United (2009).
Since 2009 and into the 2010s, Sheen has become known for a wider variety of roles, most notably when he took on the role of the evil Aro in the Twilight Saga.
He also won a Golden Globe nomination for his role in US TV drama Masters Of Sex.
Then in 2016 he played a robotic barman in Jennifer Lawrence’s sci-fi movie Passengers.
When did he say he was giving up acting to become a political activist?
It was reported on 17 December 2016 that Sheen had announced he would be taking a break from acting in order to fight the rise of “demagogic, fascistic” politics after being left “sad and frustrated” by Brexit.
Sheen told The Times Magazine: “In the same way as the Nazis had to be stopped in Germany in the Thirties, this thing that is on the rise has to be stopped.”
The actor claimed he could bring people together “who wouldn’t normally sit there…even if they just want me to sign their Twilight books for their kids”.
He said he was expecting a backlash against the decision, saying: “It will be a big change for how people relate to me. Once I’m in, I’m fully in, and this is big.
“As soon as you start to be effective, then people try to crush you, because it’s dangerous.”
In 2015 he gave a speech in Wales in defence of free healthcare, telling the crowd: “There is never an excuse to not speak up for what you think is right.”
Sheen has made trips around Wales, the Midlands and the Basque country in Spain to find examples of community projects that could be adopted in Port Talbot.
In 2011 he also played Jesus in a Passion Play in the town with the whole community taking part.
In March 2018 Michael launched the High Cost Credit Alliance – a campaign to help get a fairer deal for the millions of families struggling with debt.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Michael joined a stellar cast for a dramatic interpretation of a poem taking the viewer on a journey from the NHS’s birth to the present day.
Who has Michael Sheen dated?
Sheen was in a relationship with English actress Kate Beckinsale from 1995 until 2003.
They met when cast in a touring production of The Seagull in early 1995 and began living together shortly afterwards.
Their daughter, Lily Mo Beckinsale-Sheen, was born in 1999 in London, and in June 2017 she graduated from high school in the States, with both parents attending the ceremony.
In the part, Kate said she was “embarrassed” that Sheen never proposed but admitted it always felt as if they were married.
Their relationship ended in January 2003, soon after the couple moved to Los Angeles from London.
Sheen has said of Beckinsale: “She will always be one of the most important people in my life. I have real love for her.”
Sheen had a long-distance relationship with English ballet dancer Lorraine Stewart from late 2004 until mid-2010.
Then he dated Canadian actress Rachel McAdams from mid 2010 to early 2013.
In early 2014, he began dating American comedian Sarah Silverman and in the spring of 2017 she visited his native Wales for the first time.
The relationship wasn’t to be though and the couple split up in February 2018 after nearly four years of dating.
Is Michael Sheen dating Aisling Bea?
In April 2018, The Sun’s Bizarre column revealed that the actor was dating Irish comedian and actress Aisling Bea.
The pair attended the Olivier Awards in London, arriving separately but meeting up at the after-party at the Natural History Museum.
A source said: “They met through mutual friends and Michael is pretty smitten, telling people he is off the market.”
The pair met while filming Showtime’s Master Of Sex together in 2014.