Geoffrey Rush: biography
Practically every movie fan knows Geoffrey Rush because the actor’s filmography includes more than fifty roles. The Australian starred in Pirates of the Caribbean, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, The Book Thief, The King's Speech, Gods of Egypt and other famous movies. Geoffrey’s credentials include honorary film awards such as the Golden Globe, Oscar, Tony, Emmy, BAFTA Awards, etc.
Childhood and youth
The actor was born on June 6, 1951, in sunny Australia in the picturesque town of Toowoomba, Queensland. This land is famous for its landscaped area and nature reserves.
Geoffrey grew up in an average family. Although since childhood Rush was fond of acting, his parents were not creative people and their jobs were connected with the world of art. The boy's father, Roy, worked as an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force, and mother Merle was a department store sales assistant. It is noteworthy that the actor is of mixed descent. He has German, English, Irish and Scottish ancestry.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, the family fell apart, and the parents of the future actor decided to divorce. The five-year-old boy stayed with his mother. Soon Merle and Geoffrey moved to Brisbane, the administrative center of Queensland. There, the future actor lived in the house of grandparents. When the boy was 16 years old, the mother married again.
It is not surprising that young Rush was a member of a drama club. Moreover, the boys were happy to stage at school black comedies, which humor had a mixture of cynicism and sarcasm. For example, one of their productions was Arsenic and Old Lace based on the play by Joseph Kesselring (1939). It seemed that the story told about the ordinary life of Mortimer Brewster, a critic who repeatedly denounced marriage.
Nevertheless, he decided to marry a beautiful woman, Elaine. But that wasn't going to happen, because strange things occurred in the house of his aunts. For example, Mortimer finds a corpse of a gentleman hidden in a chest. Later, Geoffrey admitted in an interview that he was madly in love with the plays with a hidden agenda.
After graduation from high school Rush did not doubt that his life would be connected with acting. Therefore, the young man entered the oldest University of Queensland, where he learned the basics of performing arts. Upon graduation, the 19-year-old man was admitted to the Queensland Theatre Company. Young Rush had to rent an apartment and shared it with Mel Gibson (later, the friends co-starred in the stage production of Waiting for Godot).
In 1975 Geoffrey decided to improve his acting skills and went to France, where for two years, he studied mime, a performance art which involves acting out emotions through body motions, without the use of speech. His teacher was the legendary mime, Jacques Lecoq.
In 1977 Geoffrey returned home and continued his theater career. It is noteworthy that during his creative development Rush showed that he could play brilliantly in comic operas and psychological dramas. On the theater stage, he participated in the plays of Shakespeare (King Lear), Chekhov (Uncle Vanya), Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest), etc.
Geoffrey Rush won numerous awards for a leading role in the play based on Nikolai Gogol's short story The Diary of a Madman. The artist toured across Russia with this performance in 1989. In Moscow, Australian guests got the big applause at Taganka Theatre. According to Geoffrey, they presented Gogol's plays with elements of burlesque, which was a novelty for the Russian audience, accustomed to undemonstrative stage productions.
Geoffrey once said that he worked in the theater more for his own pleasure, and it is quite logical. Voltaire stated that "Theater teaches us better than a thick book." So future film actors often began their career on the stage, performing in front of the audience.
Geoffrey Rush made his movie debut in Claude Whatham’s crime film Hoodwink (1981). He played in the next project in 1982 when Rush participated in the musical Starstruck, directed by Gillian Armstrong.
Bit parts did not make the actor famous. Moreover, the films were not well-known to avid film fans. Therefore, after the debut, Geoffrey continued to work on the stage.
In 1996, Rush got the title role in the biographical film Shine, directed by Scott Hicks. The film tells about the famous pianist, David Helfgott, whose path to success was thorny. Geoffrey showed a wide range of emotions of the musician, who was on the verge of a nervous breakdown but worked long and hard to get recognition. For this role, the Austrian won two major film prizes such as the Oscar and Golden Globes Awards. Thanks to the film Shine Geoffrey paved the way for cinematography.
If you want to list Rush’s all works that are worthy of attention, then a book is not enough. This man showed himself as an actor, who could cope with any role. For example, Geoffrey appeared as a ladies' man and a libertine, Donatien François, Marquis de Sade, in the drama Quills (2000). In the film Frida (2002) the actor portrayed a revolutionary leader, Leon Trotsky.
Rush starred in the blood-chilling horror film House on Haunted Hill (1999), and the superhero movie Green Lantern (2011), which kept with the best traditions of the DC Comics.
In 2013, Rush starred in Giuseppe Tornatore's melodrama The Best Offer, where he played the leading role of an elderly collector of paintings, Virgil Oldman.
The actor was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for the film The King's Speech (2010), directed by Tom Hooper. The plot is simple and non-trivial. The future King of Great Britain (Colin Firth) is suffering from a nervous stutter. The duke cannot even communicate with ordinary people, so there was no question of the public speaking. But a speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), helps the heir to the throne to cope not only with speech defects but also with inner emotion.
It is interesting that the creators of the movie could not get in contact with Geoffrey Rush’s agents for a long time. Therefore, desperate producers sent the actor an invitation letter without any protocol. Rush found a brown envelope under the rug early in the morning.
The fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise directed by Gore Verbinski also know Geoffrey. The 183-centimeter-tall actor played the significant role of a pirate, Hector Barbossa, there.
At the beginning of the adventure film, Barbarossa appeared as an antagonist. Hector staged a mutiny against Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to get treasures. But over time, as is often the case, in other films of the franchise, the negative character became positive and helped Sparrow in the fight against Blackbeard (Ian McShane), Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and other enemies that embarked on a path of the charismatic pirate.
In the fourth part, Barbarossa appeared with one leg because he had to get rid of it to save his life.
Geoffrey has also tried his hand at screenwriting, producing and dubbing. Moreover, Rush played himself in some biographical videos.
Geoffrey Rush is a one-woman man. The Austrian met his future wife (actress Jane Menelaus) on the theater stage. The young people married in 1988. Geoffrey and Jane appeared together in the film Quills.
The actors bring up two children: son James and daughter Angelica. Due to the busy schedule and filming in the UK or the USA, Rush is short of time to be with the family. Geoffrey wants to break away from work and spend a weekend with friends and relatives.
The man confessed in an interview that he was proud of his independence from the social networks. He does not post photos on Instagram, and there is no his account on Facebook. The man prefers real-life communication to a virtual environment. The actor has said that he is not a fan of technology, and choosing between a tablet computer or a paper book, he would prefer the latter.
Geoffrey Rush now
In 2017 Geoffrey Rush has continued to delight moviegoers with his acting. The Australian portrayed Einstein, one of the most controversial people in the world of natural science, in the series Genius.
The TV series shows a lot of interesting facts about Albert and tells about the life of the inventor of the theory of relativity.
In 2017 the fans of sea adventures have also watched the new part of Pirates of the Caribbean, where the actor played Barbossa again. Geoffrey has participated in the film Final Portrait, which will premiere soon.
- Menotti (1980)
- Hoodwink (1981)
- Starstruck (1982)
- Twelfth Night (1987)
- Twisted Tales (1996)
- Les Misérables (1998)
- Elizabeth (1998)
- Shakespeare in Love (1998)
- House on Haunted Hill (1999)
- Quills (2000)
- The Magic Pudding (2000)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
- The Book Thief (2013)
- Gods of Egypt (2016)
- Genius (2017)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)