Actor Of The Day: KARL URBAN
What he’s in: STAR TREK coming out in May 8, 2009
His Character: Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy
Why we like him: He is an interesting intensity in the way he acts as demonstrated in the Bourne Supremacy when he was playing the Russian assassin Kirill. I am certain that this intensity will translate into a remarkable performance as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the new STAR TREK.
Karl-Heinz Urban (born June 7, 1972) is a New Zealand actor. He is best known for playing Éomer in the second and third installments of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Russian assassin Kirill in The Bourne Supremacy, and for lead roles in Viking adventure Pathfinder, and the movie adaptation of video game Doom. He also won acclaim for his performances in New Zealand films The Price of Milk and Out of the Blue.
Karl Urban was born in Wellington, New Zealand, the son of a leather goods manufacturer. He attended St Mark’s Church School where he showed an early love for public performance. His first acting role was when he was eight he had a line on a television show. However, he did not act again until after high school. He then went on to Wellington College. Upon leaving High School Karl was offered a role in the hit New Zealand TV-series Shortland Street playing homosexual paramedic Jamie Forrest. After appearing on the show for the 1993-1994 season he attended Victoria University of Wellington for one year, then left to pursue his acting career. Over the next few years, he landed several theater roles in the Wellington area. Eventually, he moved to Auckland where he was offered many guest roles in local shows. One of his first roles was that of a heroin addict in police drama Shark In the Park.
As well as appearing in films and television shows, Urban had various roles in theatre productions and TV advertisements. In February/March 1998, he was in a play called The Herbal Bed at the Maidment Theatre in Auckland. In August 1998, he played Mark Antony in Auckland Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The following year he appeared in the Auckland Theatre Company’s production of New Zealand classic Foreskin’s Lament.
Urban was seen on the internationally syndicated American TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and on its spin-off Xena: Warrior Princess, in which he played both Cupid and Julius Caesar from 1996 to 2001. Both shows were filmed in New Zealand. He won the New Zealand Film and TV Awards for his starring role in the offbeat rural romance The Price of Milk. Urban later won acclaim for his portrayal of policeman Nick Harvey in Out of the Blue, a dramatisation of New Zealand’s Aramoana Massacre.
Urban’s Hollywood break came with his role in the 2002 horror film Ghost Ship. Since then, Karl has worked on many blockbusters including The Lord of the Rings trilogy (in which he played Éomer of Rohan), The Bourne Supremacy and The Chronicles of Riddick with Vin Diesel and Judi Dench.
The Hollywood Reporter speculated that Urban was one of several actors being considered for the part of British secret service agent 007 in Casino Royale, directed by fellow New Zealander Martin Campbell. Website filmforce.com expressed mixed feelings over whether he would make the best Bond. “While darkly handsome, he’s a bit elfish-looking for Bond. He’s the right age, is recognizable, but not yet a big name and had proven himself adept at genre fare. But does Urban have the gravitas and flair needed for Bond?” The role finally went to Daniel Craig.
Urban played John “Reaper” Grimm, one of the lead characters in Universal Pictures’ Doom which was released on October 21, 2005. Following his role in Doom, he played the lead in the Viking adventure Pathfinder, which is regarded as a box office disappointment.
A longtime fan of Westerns, Urban recently appeared in Comanche Moon, the mini-series prequel to Lonesome Dove. In October 2007, it was announced that he would take on the role of Leonard McCoy in the eleventh Star Trek film.
Read all our STAR TREK coverage here.