Best Of Nudity
Carice van Houten
Date of Birth 5 September 1976, Leiderdorp, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Birth Name Carice Anouk van Houten
Height 5′ 6½” (1.69 m)
Carice Anouk van Houten was born in Leiderdorp (near Leiden) on 5 September 1976. Her parents are Margje Stasse, who is on the board of Dutch educational TV, and writer and broadcaster Theodore van Houten. She is the elder sister of actress and designer Jelka van Houten. Her paternal grandmother was Scottish. When she was five, her father took her to a screening of Abel Gance’s epic Napoleon (1927), which fascinated her. She has demonstrated great interest in cinema since. Carice convincingly demonstrated her acting talents at the Bonifatius Lyceum high school, “Utrecht”, in the early 90s. One of her first parts was the title role in Hugo Claus’ play, “Tijl Uilenspiegehel”. She also developed a skill in clarinet playing. In 1995, she was rather uniquely accepted by both the Maastricht and Amsterdam drama academies, and started her TV career (Labyrint, VPRO TV 1997) as a student of the Kleinkunst Academie Amsterdam. There, she was awarded the 1999 Pisuisse Prize, and the 2000 Top Naeff Prize for her theatre work. A day before the Top Naeff Prize, she was awarded the ‘Gouden Kalf’ as best TV actress in Martin Koolhoven’s Suzy Q (1999). In 2001, she starred in AmnesiA (2001), by the same director. In September 2000, she joined the Noord-Nederlands Toneel, starring as a both singing and acting “Polly” in a contemporary staging of the Threepenny Opera to fabulously stunning reviews. Her great talent for dark comedy was demonstrated in a parody on City Lights (1931)’ blind girl in the Amsterdam Kleine Komedie. Carice is a great admirer of American silent comedies – particularly Charles Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy – although she can display an equally dramatic talent. In 2001, she made Miss Minoes (2001), in the title role of the cat-woman after Annie M.G. Schmidt. In the 2001-02 season, she won the main role in a theatre production of Schmidt’s musical, “Foxtrot”.
Van Houten’s role in Black Book (2006) launched her international career. She went on to play in films such as Valkyrie (2008), alongside Tom Cruise, who asked for her to specifically play his wife after seeing her performance in “Zwartboek”. However, after this, her international career was unsuccessful, until she was offered the role of “Melisandre” in the HBO series, Game of Thrones (2011), in 2011.
Often plays in films of director Martin Koolhoven, for whom she played the part that made her famous (Suzy Q (1999) ).
Is fluent in Dutch, English, German and French.
Older sister of actress, singer and stage-designer Jelka van Houten.
Met former boyfriend Sebastian Koch on the set of Black Book (2006).
Singin’ in the Rain (1952) is her personal favorite movie of all time.
Went to St. Bonifatiuscollege in Utrecht.
Born to Margje Stasse, who is on board of the Dutch educational TV, and Theodore van Houten, a writer and broadcaster.
Played the character of Gretchen Ferris in Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies (2008), but all her scenes were deleted in the final cut.
Is a WWF ambassador since 2009.
Scored a #1 hit in The Netherlands with Dutch rock band, Kane, in 2010.
She is named after the daughter of the English composer, Sir Edward Elgar, due to the fact that Carice’s father was investigating the secret of “Elgars Enigma Variations”.
She was approached to play the role of “Cersei Lannister” in Game of Thrones (2011), but refused, due to schedule conflicts with Intruders (2011), and the role went to Lena Headey. In season 2, she was cast as “Melisandre”.
Has starred in three movies that have the word “black” in the title: Black Book (2006), aka “Black Book”, Black Death (2010) and Black Butterflies (2011).
Her paternal grandmother, Sarah Currie Lockhart, was Scottish.
Personal Quotes (12)
I don’t do method acting. If I play a farmer I’m not gonna spend 3 weeks on a chicken farm. That’s a bit too much for me. For Minoes (in which she played a cat in a woman’s body) I didn’t spend 3 weeks in a cat pound.
In The Netherlands you know who the good and the bad are if I have to say it so black and white. You can orientate yourself better in your own country. Here everything is overwhelming. It is very difficult to know who to trust here.
To me, that’s not the most difficult thing. To transform. I don’t really see it happen. I don’t have the feeling I am transforming, really. I don’t believe you can get into somebody’s character but more that somebody comes in you. You just use yourself. In everything I play, I feel like it is me. I just say different things on different times and look different.
If you are not in America fast enough, it must have failed. When there is another thing like, maybe I don’t want to go to America. I mean, it’s not SO great there anyway…
On what foreign press wants to know: I think they’re all waiting for a crazy story about Paul (Verhoeven), that he exploded once or something, but I keep telling them he’s a sweet man so I keep letting them down. And what it’s like to be naked on a set. They all think that’s very exciting. I just answer that in Holland, it’s weird not to be naked on a set so we’re all used to it.
[About her scenes being cut from Body of Lies (2008)] It sounds much more pitiful than it is. To be honest, I was wondering several times on set what my character was actually adding to the story.
There is a saying that doesn’t translate well, but it goes something like ‘act normal because you are crazy enough’.
I do this acing thing mostly for myself. I like to make a connection and communicate with the audience to make myself feel less lonely.
[on the ‘Game of Thrones’ genre] It has made me more open to fantasy. It’s so much richer than I thought it would be. You can easily write it off as Disney for grownups, but it’s great that this comes from someone’s brain, and tickles your imagination. I can see now why the geeks have been geeky about it.
[on her career, 2014] I’m not as keen on playing in the American big leagues. There’s so much more to my life than being in a big American movie. I’m a singer and working on my second album. I write and produce. There is so much more that satisfies me. I will never become an American movie star. I’m a European actress that is lucky to be in a show like [‘Game of Thrones’].
[on the chance that her character in ‘Game of Thrones’ might die] It’s sad if you get killed off, but it’s also the fun part. It’s like roulette. It’s easier for me to say this because I have magical powers, which make it harder for the writers to kill me off. But I have a feeling that I won’t get away with anything.
[on portraying Melisandre in ‘Game of Thrones’] Playing evil is just not interesting. I don’t think anyone who does evil stuff thinks they’re doing evil stuff. That’s the scary part. The people who do things we despise or don’t understand – they think they’re doing a good thing, which is so scary. I think that is the only way for me to play her, because otherwise I’m fighting with her.