Martin Freeman

Martin John Christopher Freeman (born 8 September 1971) is an English actor, best known for portraying Tim Canterbury in the original UK version of sitcom mockumentary The Office, Dr. John Watson in the British crime drama Sherlock, Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy, and Lester Nygaard in the dark comedy-crime drama TV series Fargo.

His other notable film roles include the romantic comedy Love Actually (2003), the comic science fiction film The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), the semi-improvised comedy Nativity! (2009), and the comedic Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, most prominently in the sci-fi comedy The World's End (2013). Among other accolades, he has won an Emmy Award, BAFTA Award and an Empire Award, with other nominations including two other Emmy Awards, two other BAFTA Awards, a Saturn Award, and a Golden Globe Award.

    Early life

    Freeman was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, the youngest of five children. His parents, Philomena (née Norris) and Geoffrey Freeman, a naval officer, separated when Freeman was a child. When Freeman was 10 years old, his father died of a heart attack. Freeman attended the Salesian School, Chertsey before attending Brooklands College for media studies. His older brother Tim became a musician with the group Frazier Chorus.

    Freeman was raised as a Roman Catholic. Although his family was not strict in their religious practices, his religion had a profound influence on him. As a child, he was asthmatic, and had to undergo a hip operation for what he has described as a "dodgy leg".

    Career

    Freeman joined a youth theatre group at 15, but it was not until he was 17 that his confidence in his acting led to the decision to pursue it as a career. He went on to attend the Central School of Speech and Drama. Freeman has appeared in at least 18 TV shows, 14 theatre productions, and several radio productions. He is notable for his role as Tim Canterbury in The Office, a role which, he said in 2004, "cast a very long shadow" for him as an actor. He appeared in the sitcom Hardware. He also appeared in several films, including Ali G Indahouse (2002) and Love Actually (2003).

    He began to move into more serious dramatic roles on television with his appearance as Lord Shaftesbury in the 2003 BBC historical drama Charles II: The Power and The Passion. He can also be seen making a brief appearance in the first episode of the second series of This Life. Freeman also starred in the BBC television series The Robinsons and had a cameo in episode 1 of Black Books. In 2007, he appeared in The All Together written and directed by Gavin Claxton, as well as the Bill Kenwright theatre production of The Last Laugh. He is featured in the video for Faith No More's cover of "I Started a Joke".[] In May 2009 he starred in Boy Meets Girl, a four-part drama that charts the progress of characters Veronica and Danny after an accident which causes them to swap bodies.

    He currently plays Dr. John Watson in Sherlock, the BBC contemporary adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories. He stars alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, who also went on to perform in The Hobbit films with Freeman. The first episode of Sherlock, "A Study in Pink", was broadcast on 25 July 2010 to critical acclaim. For his performance in the role he won the BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor, 2011 and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.

    He played Bilbo Baggins, the main character, in the three-part Peter Jackson film series The Hobbit. Accolades that his performance in the first part, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, garnered him include Best Hero at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards and Best Actor at the 18th Empire Awards.

    Freeman appeared in all three of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's comedic Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, commencing with a brief non-speaking role in Shaun of the Dead as Yvonne's boyfriend, Declan, followed by a brief cameo in Hot Fuzz as a police officer. He was a main cast member in the 2013 finale to the trilogy, The World's End. On 5 October 2013, he was presented with a fellowship bearing his name by the members of University College Dublin's Literary & Historical Society. In April 2014, Freeman began playing insurance salesman Lester Nygaard in the dark comedy-crime drama series Fargo. He opened in the title role in Shakespeare’s play Richard III in July 2014 at Trafalgar Studios.

    In 2015 Freeman starred as producer Milton Fruchtman in the television film The Eichmann Show, based on the filming, by blacklisted TV director Leo Hurwitz, of the 1961 trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. The film intercut dramatic scenes with historical footage from the trial. The Daily Telegraph described the film as "absolutely enthralling".

    Personal life

    Freeman lives in Hertfordshire with his partner, actress Amanda Abbington, whom he met on the set of Channel 4's Men Only in 2000. The couple have two children together: Joe (born 2006) and Grace (born 2008). They have appeared in other productions together, including Sherlock, Swinging with the Finkels, The Debt, The Robinsons, and The All Together.

    In an edition of Who Do You Think You Are? aired on 19 August 2009, Freeman discovered that his grandfather, Leonard Freeman, was a medic who was killed a couple of days before the Dunkirk evacuation at the beginning of World War II. Leonard's father, Richard, was born blind and had been a piano tuner and organist at St Andrew's Church, West Tarring and later a music teacher in Kingston upon Hull.

    Freeman is a vegetarian. He has struggled with religion, stating that "my relationship with my belief has never been easy." Despite these struggles, he has said his Catholic faith remains intact. In 2011, Freeman took part in a charity cricket match to raise money for victims of the Christchurch earthquake. In 2015 Freeman appeared in a party election broadcast for the Labour Party, endorsing the party ahead of the UK general election in May.

    Filmography

    Film

    Year Title Role Notes
    1998 I Just Want to Kiss You Frank Short film
    2000 The Low Down Solomon
    2001 Round About Five The Man
    2001 Fancy Dress Pirate
    2002 Ali G Indahouse Ricky C
    2003 Love Actually John
    2004 Blake's Junction 7 Vila Short film
    2004 Call Register Kevin
    2004 Shaun of the Dead Declan Cameo
    2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Arthur Dent
    2006 Confetti Matt
    2006 Breaking and Entering Sandy
    2007 Dedication Jeremy
    2007 The Good Night Gary Shaller
    2007 Hot Fuzz Met. Sergeant
    2007 Lonely Hearts The Pig Short film
    2007 The All Together Chris Ashworth
    2007 Rubbish Kevin Short film
    2007 Nightwatching Rembrandt
    2008 Rembrandt's J'Accuse Rembrandt Documentary
    2009 Nativity! Paul Maddens
    2009 Swinging with the Finkels Alvin Finkel
    2010 Wild Target Dixon
    2010 The Girl is Mime Clive Buckle Short film
    2011 What's Your Number? Simon
    2012 The Pirates! Band of Misfits The Pirate with a Scarf Voice
    2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Bilbo Baggins
    2013 The World's End Oliver Chamberlain
    2013 Svengali Don
    2013 Saving Santa Bernard Voice
    2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Bilbo Baggins
    2013 The Voorman Problem Dr. Williams Short film
    2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Bilbo Baggins
    2016 Captain America: Civil War TBA Post-production
    2016 Fun House TBA Post-production

    Television

    Year Title Role Notes
    1997 The Bill Craig Parnell Episode: "Mantrap"
    1997 This Life Stuart Episode: "Last Tango in Southwark"
    1998 Casualty Ricky Beck Episode: "She Loved the Rain"
    1998 Picking up the Pieces Brendan Episode: "1.7"
    1999 Exhaust The Car Owner
    2000 Bruiser Various Characters 6 episodes
    2000 Lock, Stock... Jaap 2 episodes
    2000 Black Books Doctor Episode: "Cooking the Books"
    2001 World of Pub Various Characters 5 episodes
    2001 Men Only Jamie Television film
    2001–2003 The Office Tim Canterbury 14 episodes
    2002 Helen West DC Stone 3 episodes
    2002 Linda Green Matt Episode: "Easy Come, Easy Go"
    2003 Charles II: The Power and The Passion Lord Shaftesbury Miniseries
    2003 The Debt Terry Ross Television film
    2003 Margery and Gladys D.S. Stringer Television film
    2003–2004 Hardware Mike 12 episodes
    2004 Pride Fleck Television film
    2005 The Robinsons Ed Robinson 6 episodes
    2007 Comedy Showcase Greg Wilson Episode: "Other People"
    2007 The Old Curiosity Shop Mr. Codlin Television film
    2008 When Were We Funniest? Himself 4 episodes
    2009 Boy Meets Girl Danny Reed Miniseries
    2009 Micro Men Chris Curry Television film
    2010–present Sherlock Dr. John Watson 9 episodes
    2014 Fargo Lester Nygaard 10 episodes
    2014 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Martin Freeman/Charli XCX"
    2015 The Eichmann Show Milton Fruchtman Television film

    Awards and nominations

    Year Work Award Category Result
    2002 The Office British Comedy Awards Best Comedy Actor Nominated
    2004 The Office (for "The Office Christmas Specials") BAFTAs Best Comedy Performance Nominated
    British Comedy Awards Best TV Comedy Actor Nominated
    Love Actually Phoenix Film Critics Society Best Cast Nominated
    Love Actually Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award Best Ensemble Cast Won
    Love Actually Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Acting Ensemble Nominated
    Hardware Rose d'Or Best Male Comedy Performance Won
    2011 Sherlock BAFTAs Best Supporting Actor Won
    2012 Nominated
    Sherlock (for "A Scandal in Belgravia") Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
    Gold Derby TV Awards TV Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actor Won
    Sherlock Crime Thriller Awards Best Supporting Actor Won
    Online Film Critics' Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Nominated
    PAAFTJ Awards Best Cast in a Miniseries or TV Movie Won
    PAAFTJ Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie Nominated
    Tumblr TV Awards Hottest Male Character in a TV Show Nominated
    Tumblr TV Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Won
    Tumblr TV Awards Best Male Character in a TV Series Nominated
    Tumblr TV Awards Best Cast in a TV Show Won
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Total Film Hotlist Awards Hottest Actor Nominated
    2013 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Empire Awards Best Actor Won
    Saturn Award Best Actor Nominated
    MTV Movie Awards Best Scared-as-S**t Performance Nominated
    MTV Movie Awards Best Hero Won
    SFX Awards Best Actor Nominated
    Shorts Awards Visionary Actor Won
    New Zealand Movie Awards Hero of the Year Nominated
    Constellation Awards Best Male Performance In A 2012 Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, Or Mini-Series Nominated
    Tumblr Movie Awards Best Leading Actor Nominated
    Tumblr Movie Awards Best Ship Nominated
    Online Film Critics' Awards Most Cinematic Moment Nominated
    Stella Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role Won
    The World's End Alternative End of Year Film Awards Best Ensemble Cast Won
    2014 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Empire Awards Best Actor Nominated
    MTV Movie Awards Best Hero Nominated
    Constellation Awards Best Male Performance In A 2013 Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, Or Mini-Series 2nd Place
    YouReviewers Awards Best Hero Nominated
    Stella Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role Won
    Online Film Critics' Awards Most Cinematic Moment Nominated
    CinEuphoria Awards Best Ensemble Nominated
    Fargo Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series Nominated
    Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
    Online Film Critics' Awards Best Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Nominated
    Online Film Critics' Awards Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Nominated
    Golden Globe Award Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
    Crime Thriller Awards Best Actor
    Nominated
    Sherlock
    Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series Nominated
    Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Won
    Online Film Critics' Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Nominated
    Online Film Critics' Awards Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Nominated
    2015 The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies MTV Movie Awards Best Hero Nominated
    Favorite British Artists of the Year Favourite Actor in a Motion Picture Nominated
    Fargo Favorite British Artists of the Year Favourite Actor in a Television Series Nominated
    Richard III The Mousetrap Awards Best Male Performancer Won

    References

    External links

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