Wednesday, March 24, 2010
He is best known for portraying the character James Bond in cinema, starring in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983. In 1988, Connery won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Untouchables. His film career also includes such films as Marnie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, Dragonheart, and The Rock.
Connery has been polled as the "greatest living Scot" and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in July 2000. In 1989, he was proclaimed the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine, and in 1999, at the age of 69, he was voted the Sexiest Man of the Century.
Thomas Sean Connery was born in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh to Euphemia "Effie" (born Maclean), a cleaning woman, and Joseph Connery, a factory worker and lorry driver. His father was a Roman Catholic of Irish descent with roots in County Wexford, while his mother was a Protestant. He has a brother, Neil. Connery claims he was called Sean, his middle name, long before becoming an actor, explaining that when he was young he had an Irish friend named Séamus and that those who knew them both had decided to call Connery by his middle name whenever both were present.
His first job was as a milkman in Edinburgh with St. Cuthbert's Co-operative Society. He then joined the Royal Navy during which time he opted for two tattoos that are described on his official website as:
'unlike many tattoos, his were not frivolous - his tattoos reflect two of his lifelong commitments: his family and Scotland. After six decades, his tattoos still reflect those two ideas: One tattoo is a tribute to his parents and reads "Mum and Dad," and the other is self explanatory, "Scotland Forever."
Connery was later discharged from the navy on medical grounds because of a duodenal ulcer. Afterwards, he returned to the co-op, then worked as, among other things, a lorry driver, a labourer, an artist's model for the Edinburgh College of Art, and a coffin polisher.
After nearly two years of speculation, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Monday that Chris Evans will be playing Marvel Comics' iconic hero Captain America in the big-screen adaptation.
The movie, titled "The First Avenger: Captain America," was announced in 2008 after Marvel Studio's first production, "Iron Man," became a box-office hit. The names of many actors -- from established stars to mostly unknowns -- have been rumored to be up for the role for months. Action movie veterans Channing Tatum ("G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra") and Garrett Hedlund (the upcoming "Tron Legacy") were reportedly considered, as were TV regulars Chace Crawford ("Gossip Girl") and Scott Porter ("Friday Night Lights"). Even wild-cards like "The Office" funnyman John Krasinski tested for the part.
Chris Evans was a late addition to the roster of potential leads, but he had already established himself as a comic-book hero by playing the Human Torch in the two "Fantastic Four" movies. This goes against director Joe Johnston's stated intention to use an unknown actor for the role. But Evans is an American, which was Johnston's other requirement (and left out foreigners like Australian "Avatar" star Sam Worthington).
Finding the right actor to play Captain America has been pivotal for Marvel Studios because they have grander plans for the character beyond the one film. According to Johnston, "The First Avenger" is an origin story set predominantly during the 1940s, when the red-white-and-blue suited hero first appeared in comics. But the movie will also set up "The Avengers" -- based on Marvel's long-running team series -- where Captain America will lead a group of superheroes that will include Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man.
While fans of the comics have expressed their doubts at some of the candidates for the role, response to Evans has been uniformly positive. His performance as Johnny Storm in "Fantastic Four" and "Rise of the Silver Surfer" were widely considered to be the best parts of those movies. It's been said that Evans will sign a nine-picture contract that could see him appear as Captain America in multiple films, both on his own and with the Avengers.
Production on "The First Avenger" will begin in the U.K. in June. Hugo Weaving ("The Matrix") is in talks to play Captain America's nemesis, the Red Skull. It is the third movie in Marvel Studio's pipeline, following "Iron Man 2," which is coming to theaters on May 7th of this year, and "Thor," currently filming for a May 2011 release. "Captain America" is scheduled to open on July 22, 2011.
In the meantime, Chris Evans has two films set to open this year, both of which also happen to be based on comic books. Next month, he'll play a Special Forces operative in the adaptation of Vertigo Comics' "The Losers." Then in August he will appear in "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," based on the graphic novel series.
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