Peter Mullan (//; born 2 November 1959) is a Scottish actor and filmmaker. He is best known for his role in Ken Loach's My Name Is Joe (1998), for which he won Best Actor Award at 1998 Cannes Film Festival and The Claim (2000). He is also winner of the World Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Breakout Performances at 2011 Sundance Film Festival for his work on Paddy Considine's Tyrannosaur (2011). Mullan appeared as supporting or guest actor in numerous cult movies, including Riff-Raff (1991), Braveheart (1995), Trainspotting (1996), Young Adam (2003), Children of Men (2006), War Horse (2011) and the Harry Potter film series (2010–11).
Mullan is an acclaimed art house movie director. He won a Golden Lion at 59th Venice International Film Festival for The Magdalene Sisters, listed by many critics among the best films of 2003 and nominated for BAFTA Award for Best British Film and European Film Award for best film, and a Golden Shell at San Sebastián International Film Festival for Neds. He is the only person to win top prizes both for acting (Cannes best actor award) and for the best film (Golden lion for The Magdalene Sisters) at major European film festivals.
In television, Mullan appeared in Gerard Lee's and Jane Campion's acclaimed miniseries Top of the Lake as one of the main characters, head of the Mitcham family and father of Tui Mitcham, whose disappearance is the main topic of the series. He was nominated for Primetime Emmy Award for his work in the series. In 2017, he appeared in the Netflix series Ozark opposite Jason Bateman and Laura Linney.
Mullan is also politically active, supporting left-wing causes and protests.
Mullan was born in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the son of Patricia (a nurse) and Charles Mullan (a lab technician at Glasgow University). The second-youngest of eight children, Mullan was brought up in a working class Roman Catholic family. They later moved to Mosspark, a district in Glasgow. An alcoholic and sufferer from lung cancer, Mullan's father became increasingly tyrannical and abusive. For a brief period, Mullan was a member of a street gang while at secondary school, and worked as a bouncer in a number of south-side pubs. He was homeless for short periods at the ages of 15 and 18.
Mullan went on to Glasgow University to study economic history and drama. There he began acting and continued stage acting after graduation. He had roles in films such as Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, Braveheart and Riff-Raff. His first full-length film, Orphans, won an award at the Venice Film Festival. In 2002, he returned to directing and screenwriting with the controversial film The Magdalene Sisters, based on life in an Irish Magdalene asylum. Mullan won a Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival.
A self-styled Marxist, Mullan continues to support hard-left causes and was a leading figure in the left-wing theatre movement that blossomed in Scotland during the Conservative Thatcher government. These included stints with the 7:84 and Wildcat Theatre companies. A passionate critic of Tony Blair's New Labour government, he told The Guardian "the TUC and the Labour Party sold us [the working class] out big style, unashamedly so". Mullan took part in a 2005 occupation of the Glasgow offices of the UK Immigration Service, protesting against the UKIS's "dawn raid" tactics when deporting failed asylum seekers.
In January 2009, Mullan joined other actors in protesting against the BBC's refusal to screen a Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for Gaza. They told BBC director general Mark Thompson: "Like millions of others, we are absolutely appalled at the decision to refuse to broadcast the appeal. We will never work for the BBC again unless this disgraceful decision is reversed. We will urge others from our profession and beyond to do likewise." Mullan has agreed to appear in an adaptation of Iain Banks’ Stonemouth after the BBC aired a DEC appeal for Gaza in late 2014.
Mullan was a supporter of the Yes Scotland campaign in the Scottish independence referendum, 2014. In 2015, he criticised the BBC for "horrendous bias" against the Yes campaign and told the Radio Times that "to see the BBC used as a political cudgel against a legitimate democratic movement ... really broke my heart.”
|1990||The Big Man||Vince|
|1991||Riff Raff||Jake||European Film Award for Best European Film|
|Good Day for the Bad Guys||John||Yes||Yes||Short film|
|1996||Trainspotting||Swanney "Mother Superior"|
|1997||Poor Angels||Gordon||Short film|
|Fairy Tale: A True Story||Sergeant Farmer|
|My Name Is Joe||Joe Kavanagh||Cannes Award for Best Actor|
|Mauvaise passe||Patricia's husband|
|2000||Ordinary Decent Criminal||Stevie|
|Claim, TheThe Claim||Daniel Dillon|
|2001||Session 9||Gordon Fleming|
|2002||Magdalene Sisters, TheThe Magdalene Sisters||Mr O'Connor||Yes||Yes||Winner of Golden Lion|
|2003||Young Adam||Les Gault|
|Kiss of Life||John|
|2004||Out of This World||Jim|
|2005||On a Clear Day||Frank Redmond|
|Children of Men||Syd|
|2007||Last Legion, TheThe Last Legion||Odoacer|
|Dog Altogether||Joseph||Short film|
|2008||Stone of Destiny||Ian's dad|
|2009||Red Riding: 1974||Martin Laws|
|Red Riding: 1980||Martin Laws|
|Red Riding: 1983||Martin Laws|
|2010||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1||Yaxley|
|Neds||Mr. McGill||Yes||Yes||Winner of Golden Shell|
|2011||Tyrannosaur||Joseph||World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Dramatic (Male)|
|Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2||Yaxley|
|War Horse||Ted Narracott|
|2013||Sunshine on Leith||Robert Henshaw|
|Welcome to the Punch||Roy Edwards|
|2016||Tommy's Honour||Old Tom Morris|
|1990||Your Cheatin Heart||Tonto||Series 1, Episodes 3–5|
|1990||Taggart||Peter Latimer||Series 5, Episode 2 and Series 6, Episode 3|
|1992||Rab C. Nesbitt||Peter the Warlock||Series 2, Episode 6|
|1993||Seeker Reaper||George Campbell Hay||Bilingual drama about the life of Scottish poet George Campbell Hay (1915-1984).|
|1994||The Priest and the Pirate||Billy Hill|
|1995||Harry||Jimmy||Series 2, Episode 6|
|1997||Longest Memory, TheThe Longest Memory||Sanders Sr.||Whitbread First Novel Award for First Novel|
|2003||This Little Life||Consultant|
|2003||Richard & Judy||Himself|
|2004||Shoebox Zoo||Michael Scot|
|2005||Sunday Morning Shootout||Himself||Series 2, Episode 15|
|2007||British Film Forever||Himself||Series 1, Episode 3|
|2007||Trial of Tony Blair, TheThe Trial of Tony Blair||Gordon Brown|
|2008–2009||The Fixer||Lenny Douglas||Series 1–2|
|2009||Scotland on Screen||Himself|
|2012||The Fear||Richie Beckett|
|2013||Top of the Lake||Matt Mitcham||Equity Ensemble Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Miniseries or Telemovie
Nominated - AACTA Award for Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama
Nominated – Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actor
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
|2014||Olive Kitteridge||Jim O'Casey||HBO miniseries, episodes 1-3|