Played by Alfred Molina
Alfred Molina is an accomplished, London-born actor whose diverse and distinguished gallery of performances have led to a lengthy and triumphant career in film, television and the stage.
He starred in Love Is Strange, opposite John Lithgow for director Ira Sachs, and the TNT series Monday Mornings for writer/producer David E. Kelley. He also shot the feature films Swelter for director/writer Keith Parmer; We’ll Never Have Paris for director/writer Simon Helberg, with co-stars Zachary Quinto and Maggie Grace; and Return to Zero, with co-star Minnie Driver, which airs on Lifetime in May.
In January 2014, the feature film The Truth About Emanuel was released by Tribeca Films and Well Go USA Entertainment. Molina co-stars with Jessica Biel for director Francesca Gregorini. The film had its debut at Sundance in January 2013 and Molina was also awarded at the festival by the Creative Coalition with their Spotlight Award for his work in independent films.
In the 2010-2011 television season, he starred in NBC’s Law & Order: Los Angelesfor producer Dick Wolf, and in that year he also opened in the critically acclaimed movie An Education and filmed a TV comedy for the BBC, Rog & Val Have Just Got In, opposite Dawn French. In late fall 2009, Molina opened in the UK in the highly celebrated Donmar Warehouse production of Red, which opened on Broadway in April 2010 and for which Molina received rave reviews and a Tony nomination. And in the summer of 2012 he stared in Red at The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
In summer of 2010, Molina had two movies released, Prince of Persia, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, and Sorcerer’s Apprentice, where he co-starred with Nicolas Cage. In September 2011, Molina was seen in the Lionsgate feature Abduction, co-starring with Taylor Lautner and Sigourney Weaver and directed by John Singleton. In fall of 2011, he appeared in three episodes of NBC’s Harry’s Laws tarring Kathy Bates.
In 2002 Molina won rave reviews and BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild Award, Broadcast Film Critics prize, and Chicago Film Critics Association Award nominations for his turn as the hedonistic Mexican artist Diego Rivera in Frida, the docudrama about the life of Frida Kahlo starring Oscar nominee Salma Hayek. Other screen roles during this period include Pink Panther 2, opposite Steve Martin; The Little Traitor, an adaptation of the Amos Oz novel, Panther in the Basement, directed by Lynn Roth and produced by Marilyn Hall; and The Tempest, for director Julie Taymor in her version of the Shakespearian play in which the gender of Prospero has been switched to Prospera. The latter was released in late 2010.
Following Molina’s education at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, he quickly gained membership in England’s prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company, where he performed both in classics like Troilus and Cressida and new original works like Frozen Assets and Dingo. In 1979, he won acclaim (and a Plays and Players Award as Most Promising New Actor) as The Maniac in Accidental Death of an Anarchist at London’s Half Moon Theatre.
Two years later, Molina found himself on the big screen making his American debut in Raiders of the Lost Ark. And in Stephen Frears’ 1987 drama Prick Up Your Ears, Molina won great notices for his portrait of a vengeful, murderous Kenneth Halliwell, playwright Joe Orton’s gay lover.
Molina’s career continued to soar in the following decade, with roles as an unhappy upper class husband in Mike Newell’s Enchanted April, the joyous painter Titorelli in David Jones’ 1993 adaptation of Kafka’s novel The Trial and the duplicitous Persian spouse in Not Without My Daughter. He re-teamed with director Donner in the comic western Maverick and played the small but pivotal role of a crazed drug dealer in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscar-nominated Boogie Nights (1997). Molina joined Anderson once again for his epic ensemble drama Magnolia (1999), collecting SAG nominations for both as part of the films’ ensemble casts. He also continued to display his ability to embody a variety of nationalities, playing a Cuban immigrant in Mira Nair’s The Perez Family (1995) and a Greek-American lawyer in Barbet Schroeder’s drama Before and After(1996). Other films over this 10-year span include Roger Donaldson’s sci-fi thriller Species, Jon Amiel’s comic thriller The Man Who Knew Too Little, Bernard Rose’s Anna Karenina, Woody Allen’s Celebrity, and Stanley Tucci’s The Impostors.
During the current decade, Molina collected his third SAG Ensemble Cast nomination for Lasse Hallström’s whimsical, Oscar-nominated romantic comedy Chocolat and reunited with Hallström opposite Richard Gere in The Hoax. He also turned heads as the villainous Dr. Otto Octavius, a.k.a. Dr. Octopus, in Sam Raimi’s blockbuster sequel, Spider-Man 2. Molina co-starred in such films as Identity, Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes, Ron Howard’s adaptation of one of the most popular books of all time, The Da Vinci Code, Isabel Coixet’s My Life Without Me, Eric Till’s biographical drama Luther, the bilingual suspense thriller Crónicas, Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespeare adaptation As You Like It, François Girard’s Silk, and John Irvin’s The Moon and the Stars.
Molina has also stared in two comedies for CBS. He played a washed-up writer sought out by his estranged daughter in Bram and Alice (2002), and Jimmy Stiles in Ladies’ Man, on which he also served as one of the producers. His other television work has included the acclaimed 1983 miniseries Reilly: Ace of Spies, Miami Vice, the BBC telefilm Revolutionary Witness, Granada TV’s El C.I.D., the BBC miniseries Ashenden (based on Peter Mayles’ bestseller A Year in Provence), the Hallmark Channel’s Joan of Arc (as narrator). He also appeared in a TNT mini-series The Company, produced by Scott Free Productions, and made guest appearances on Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit and Monk.
Despite his thriving film and television career, Molina has never wandered far from the stage for long. He returned to the RSC to give a much-praised performance as Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew (1985) and earned an Olivier nomination for his work in the British production of David Mamet’s Speed the Plow. In his Broadway debut as the good-natured Yvan in Yasmina Reza’s Art (1998, starring with Alan Alda and Victor Garber), Molina collected the first of his two Tony Award nominations (for Best Actor in a Dramatic Play). He made his Broadway debut as the Irish chatterbox Frank Sweeney in Brian Friel’s play Molly Sweeney (1995-96) and most recently triumphed as Tevye in the 2004 revival of Fiddler on the Roof, for which he earned his second Tony nod (Best Actor in a Musical). He also completed a run at the Mark Taper Forum of ‘The Cherry Orchard’ in 2006 opposite Annette Bening.