Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Like his fellow Irish actor, Colin Farrell, he attended the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin where he made his non-professional stage debut in the school's production of "Tear Up The Black Sail". His professional stage debut was in 1994's True Lines, directed by John Crowley - who recently directed Intermission. True Lines was first performed in Kilkenny however it then moved to the Dublin Theatre Festival and on to Bush Theatre in London.
He got his start in movies with roles in short Irish films such as Godsuit and Summertime but it wasn't until he landed a part in a 1996 UK / Ireland co-production called Trojan Eddie that he got into feature length film. In 1997 he took a lead role in the British film Shooting Fish and it was with this part that his career started to take off.
After his appearance as the outrageous seductor in the title role of About Adam he started to be noticed in the US by critics and the public alike. However, in the summer of 2000 he briefly returned to the London stage in Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending, starring himself as Val Xavier and Helen Mirren as Lady Torrance.
In recent years he has appeared in a number of big budget films such as Queen of the Damned, opposite Aaliyah, as the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as Dorian Gray.
He left the Peter Jackson production of the Lord of the Rings after just four days of filming, he maintains that he was mis-cast and was too young for the role of Aragorn. He was replaced by Viggo Mortensen.
His father, Peter Townsend, was a professional golfer.
Due to his mother Lorna's profession - she was a top Irish model - there is quite a large gap between himself and his other siblings. His brother, Dylan, is 13 years younger than him and his sister, Chloe, is 15 years younger.
He has a half brother named Hugo, his father remarried in 1997 after Stuart's mother died in 1994.
- The Best Man (2006) (in post production) ... as Olly Pickering
- Head in the Clouds (2004) ... as Guy
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) ... as Dorian Gray
- Shade (2003) ... as Vernon
- Trapped (2002) ... as William Jennings
- Queen of the Damned (2002) ... as Lestat de Lioncourt
- About Adam (2000) ... as Adam
- Mauvaise passe (1999) ... as Tom
- The Venice Project (1999) ... as Lark/Gippo the Fool
- Wonderland (1999) ... as Tim
- Simon Magus (1999) ... as Dovid Bendel
- Resurrection Man (1998) ... as Victor Kelly
- Under the Skin (1997) ... as Tom
- Shooting Fish (1997) ... as Jez
- Trojan Eddie (1996) ... Dermot
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