Michael McElhatton

Michael McElhatton
Born (1963-09-12) 12 September 1963
Terenure, Dublin[1]
Occupation Actor and writer

Michael McElhatton (born 12 September 1963) is an Irish actor and writer best known for playing the role of Roose Bolton in the HBO series Game of Thrones.[2] He joined the series as a guest star in the second season, and continued to play this role until Season 6, promoted to a regular cast member.[3]


McElhatton was born in 1963 in Terenure,[1] a suburb on the outskirts of Dublin, from a modest family.[1] He began studying acting at Terenure College, a school known for its drama tradition,[1] and afterward spent eight years in London where he graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1987. McElhatton returned to Ireland in the early nineties, where he began his acting career mainly in theatre and television.[1] He appeared in a short film titled The Loser in 1990. In 1996 he was directed by John Carney in the film November Afternoon, in which he plays the main character. In the late nineties and early 2000s, McElhatton appeared in numerous series and TV movies in Ireland, working with various film directors, including Paddy Breathnach and Conor McPherson for roles in I Went Down (1997), Saltwater (2000), Blow Dry (2001), and The Actors (2003). Between 2000 and 2002, McElhatton gained fame from appearing in the situation comedies Paths to Freedom and Fergus's Wedding.[1] In addition to acting, he also took on the role of screenwriter, writing the screenplay for all of the episodes.[1] The character of Rats in Paths to Freedom, which he wrote and starred in, became popular with the public and allowed it to be adapted into an entire feature film in 2003 (Spin the Bottle). As his career went on, McElhatton continued playing minor characters in films by directors such as Lenny Abrahamson, John Boorman and Kari Skogland. McElhatton also appeared in Perrier's Bounty (2009) and Death of a Superhero (2011).

He returned to his role as writer in 2010 writing six episodes of the sitcom Your Bad Self . Over the next decade McElhatton began appearing in much larger roles. In 2011 he had a role in the film Albert Nobbs directed by Rodrigo García, and the following year the short Pentecost , which received a nomination for Best Short Film at the 2012 Academy Awards. That same year he took part in the film Shadow Dancer directed by James Marsh, while also on television in the cast of the miniseries Titanic: Blood and Steel.

In 2012, McElhatton joined the cast of the popular television series HBO Game of Thrones, beginning in the second season, playing the character of Roose Bolton. From the fifth season on he was promoted to main cast member. In 2015 he played one of the protagonists in the horror film The Hallow, which was presented at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.



Year Title Role Director Notes
1990 The Loser Eddie Keith Boak Short film
1996 November Afternoon John John Carney, Tom Hall
1997 I Went Down Johnner Doyle Paddy Breathnach
1997 Ballyseedy Comdt. Ed. Breslin Frank Hand TV film
1997 All Souls' Day Alan Gilsenan
1998 To the Mountain Jean Pasley Short film
1998 Crush Proof Detective Sergeant Hogan Paul Tickell
1999 Between Dreams Mr. Fitzsimons Ian Fitzgibbon Short film
1999 Underworld Jimmy Ronan Gallagher Short film
1999 Vicious Circle Garrett David Blair TV film
2000 Saltwater John Traynor Conor McPherson
2001 Blow Dry Robert Paddy Breathnach
2001 Zulu 9 Garda Dispatcher Alan Gilsenan Short film
2002 Ape Dandy Dance Rory Bresnihan Short film, voice only
2003 The Actors Jock Conor McPherson
2003 Intermission Sam John Crowley
2003 Spin the Bottle Rats Ian Fitzgibbon [1]
2004 Waterloo Dentures Captain Rachael Moriarty, Peter Murphy Short film
2004 Mickybo and Me Mechanic Terry Loane
2004 Adam & Paul Martin Lenny Abrahamson Voice only
2004 God's Early Work God Rory Bresnihan Short film, voice only
2005 George Rory Bresnihan, John Butler Short film
2005 English Rory Bresnihan Short film
2006 The Tiger's Tail Dr. Alex Loden John Boorman
2007 The Martyr's Crown Officer Rory Bresnihan Short film
2007 My Boy Jack Leo Amery MP Brian Kirk TV film
2008 Spacemen Three Dr. Yuri Semyonov Hugh O'Conor Short film
2008 Fifty Dead Men Walking Robbie Kari Skogland
2008 The Man Inside Locksmith Rory Bresnihan Short film
2009 Perrier's Bounty Ivan Ian Fitzgibbon
2009 Happy Ever Afters Detective Norman Ginty Stephen Burke
2010 Parked Frank Darragh Byrne
2010 The Santa Incident Ross Yelena Lanskaya TV film
2011 Pentecost Pat Lynch Peter McDonald Short film
2011 Albert Nobbs Mr. Moore Rodrigo García
2011 Death of a Superhero James Clarke Ian Fitzgibbon
2012 Shadow Dancer Liam Hughes James Marsh
2013 The Food Guide to Love Famine narrator Dominic Harari, Teresa Pelegri Voice only
2014 The Legend of Longwood The Black Knight Lisa Mulcahy Voice only
2015 The Hallow Colm Donnelly Corin Hardy
2016 Norm of the North Laurence Trevor Wall Voice only
2016 Mammal Matt Rebecca Daly
2016 The Autopsy of Jane Doe Sheriff Sheldon André Øvredal
2016 Handsome Devil Walter Curly John Butler
2016 The Siege of Jadotville McEntee Richie Smyth
2017 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Jack's Eye Guy Ritchie Post-production
2017 The Zookeeper's Wife Jerzyk Niki Caro Post-production

TV series

Writing credits

Selected stage career

Awards and Nominations


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Ciara Dwyer (30 November 2003). "Rat's tale is a glass act, low on spin and high on bottle". The Independent. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  2. Schwartz, Terri. "'Game of Thrones': Michael McElhatton says Robb Stark's 'huge mistake' caused Roose Bolton's Red Wedding betrayal". Zap2it. Tribune Media Services, LLC. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  3. "Carice van Houten heads back to Westeros, and new photos from Lokrum and Moneyglass". Watchers On The Wall. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  4. 1 2 http://www.ifta.ie/awards/iftawinners2003.html
  5. http://www.ifta.ie/awards/iftawinners2007.html
  6. http://www.ifta.ie/awards/iftawinners2013.html
  7. http://www.sagawards.org/awards/nominees-and-recipients/20th-annual-screen-actors-guild-awards#nominee-2473
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