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Peter Mullan (born 2 November 1959) is a Scottishmarker actor and film-maker who has been appearing in films since 1990.

Early life

Mullan, the sixth of eight children, was born in Peterheadmarker in the northeast of Scotland, the son of Patricia, a nurse, and Charles Mullan, a lab technician who worked at Glasgow Universitymarker. His family was Roman Catholic and moved to Mossparkmarker, a working-class suburb on the south side of Glasgowmarker.

An alcoholic and latterly a sufferer from lung cancer, Mullan's father became increasingly tyrannical and abusive. For a brief period, Mullan was a member of a street gang while at high school, and worked as a bouncer in a number of south-side pubs. His father died on the day Mullan began studying economic history and drama at the University of Glasgowmarker.


At University, Mullan began acting, and continued stage acting after graduation. He had roles in several Scottish films, including Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, Braveheart, and a supporting role in Ken Loach's Riff-Raff. He also began to work as a writer and director, producing the short films Close, Good Day for the Bad Guys, and Fridge. His first full-length film Orphans won an award at the Venice Film Festival.

Mullan's appearance in Loach's film My Name Is Joe, portraying a recovering alcoholic wrestling with his demons, won him the Best Actor Award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. He appeared in the lead role in Brad Anderson's 2001 psychological/supernatural thriller Session 9. In 2002 he returned to directing and screenwriting with the controversial film The Magdalene Sisters, based on life in an Irish Magdalene Asylum. For that movie Mullan won a Golden Lion award from the Venice Film Festival.

In 2004, he starred in On a Clear Day and Criminal. In 2006 he had a small but critical role in Children of Men, a thriller directed by Alfonso Cuarón. In 2007, he played a prominent role in the Channel 4 adaptation of Boy A, and will star as James Connolly in the upcoming movie Connolly.

He currently co-stars in the Red Riding Trilogy and the second series of ITV crime drama The Fixer.

Personal life

A Marxist, Mullan was a leading figure in the left-wing theatre movement which blossomed in Scotland during the Conservative Thatcher government, including stints in the 7:84 and Wildcat theatre companies. A strident critic of Tony Blair's New Labour government, he told The Guardian "the TUC and the Labour Party sold us [the working class] out big style, unashamedly so".

Mullan took part in a 2005 occupation of the Glasgow offices of the UK Immigration Service, protesting the UKIS's "dawn raid" tactics when deporting failed asylum seekers.

In January 2009 he joined other actors in protesting the BBC's refusal to screen a Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for Gaza. They told BBC director general Mark Thompson in an email: "Like millions of others, we are absolutely appalled at the decision to refuse to broadcast the appeal. We will never work for the BBC again unless this disgraceful decision is reversed. We will urge others from our profession and beyond to do likewise."

Mullan is also a life long follower of Celtic Football Club.



Year Title Role Notes
1990 The Big Man Vince
1991 Riff Raff Jake European Film Award for Best European Film 1991
1992 Sealladh Sim Short Drama
1993 Close Vincent Short Thriller
1994 Shallow Grave Andy
1995 Good Day for the Bad Guys John Short Horror
Braveheart Veteran
1996 Trainspotting Swanney
1997 Poor Angels Gordon Short Drama/Thriller
Fairy Tale: A True Story Sergeant Farmer
1998 Duck Mick
My Name Is Joe Joe Kavanagh
1999 Miss Julie Jean
Mauvaise passe Patricia's Husband
2000 Ordinary Decent Criminal Stevie
The Claim Daniel Dillon
2001 Session 9 Gordon Fleming
2002 The Magdalene Sisters Mr O'Connor Golden Lion winner 2002
2003 Young Adam Les Gault
Kiss of Life John
2004 Out of This World Jim
Criminal William Hannigan
Blinded Francis Black
Waves Himself
2005 On a Clear Day Frank Redmond
2006 Cargo Brookes
Children of Men Syd
True North Riley
2007 The Last Legion Odoacer
Dog Altogether Joseph
Boy A Tery
2008 Stone of Destiny Ian's dad
2009 Red Riding: 1974 Martin Laws
Red Riding: 1980 Martin Laws
Red Riding: 1983 Martin Laws
Connoly James Connolly


Year Title Role Notes
1988 The Steamie Andy
1990 Opium Eaters Willy
Your Cheatin' Heart Tonto Season 1, Episodes 3-5
Taggart Peter Latimer Season 5, Episode 2
Season 6, Episode 3
1991 Jute City Mallet
1992 Rab C. Nesbitt Peter the Warlock Season 2, Episode 6
1994 The Priest and the Pirate Billy Hill
1995 Ruffian Hearts Chez
1996 Nightlife Billy
1997 The Longest Memory Sanders sr Whitbread First Novel Award for First Novel 1994
Bogwoman Barry
2003 This Little Life Consultant
2004 Shoebox Zoo Michael Scot unknown episodes
2007 British Film Forever Himself Season 1, Episode 3
The Trial of Tony Blair Gordon Brown
2008 The Fixer Lenny Douglas Season 1, Episodes 1-6
2009 The Fixer Lenny Douglas Season 2, Episodes 1-6
Scotland on Screen Himself Documentary (released on 17 September 2009)
Guest Appearances
Year Title Role Notes
1995 Harry Jimmy Season 2, Episode 6
2003 Richard & Judy Himself Episode dated 13 February 2003
2005 Sunday Morning Shootout Himself Season 2, Episode 15
Continuará... Himself Episode dated 14 May 2005
2006 Continuará... Himself Episode dated 12 March 2006

References and notes

  1. Sources differ as to Mullen's exact birthdate; the Internet Movie Database states 2 November 1959.
  2. "Peter Mullan Biography (1960–)" (Retrieved: 15 August 2009)
  3. "Biography: Peter Mullan", (Retrieved: 15 August 2009)
  4. Malcolm, Derek; "Sins of the sisters", 16 September 2002 (Retrieved: 15 August 2009)
  5. Matheou, Demetrios; "Local Hero", 7 January 2001 (Retrieved: 15 August 2009)
  6. "Peter Mullan & Anne-Marie Duff", 9 July 2003 (Retrieved: 15 August 2009)
  7. "The Players: Peter Mullen" (Retrieved: 15 August 2009)
  8. "Protesters in 'asylum raid' demo", 2 November 2005 (Retrieved: 15 August 2009)
  9. English, Paul; "Peter Mullan and other stars to boycott BBC over Gaza charity snub", 27 January 2009 (Retrieved: 15 August 2009)

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