Mark Rylance - Rotten Tomatoes

Mark Rylance

Highest Rated:   100% The Institute Benjamenta (1996)
Lowest Rated:   0% Days and Nights (2014)
Birthplace:   Ashford, Kent, England, UK
Better known for his work on the English stage than for his onscreen roles, Mark Rylance made a name for himself on the American art house circuit in 2001 with his performance in Patrice Chéreau's controversial melodrama Intimacy. For his portrayal of Jay, a self-destructive bartender engaged in a torrid affair with a married woman, Rylance was required to strip off both his clothes and his emotional inhibitions. He earned raves for his efforts, as well as ribbing from the press in London, where he was the artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.Born in Ashford, Kent, on January 18, 1960, Rylance grew up in Milwaukee, where both of his parents were English teachers. Although he was raised in the U.S., the actor felt a strong sense of British identity and returned to his home country at 18 to study theater in London. Accepted into the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Rylance was soon making a name for himself in productions of Hamlet, Henry V, and Much Ado About Nothing. Rylance first made a notable impression on audiences on both sides of the Atlantic in 1995 -- the same year he became the Globe's director -- when he portrayed an explorer/scientist who marries into an insidiously dysfunctional family in Philip Haas' Angels and Insects. The film, adapted from a novel by A.S. Byatt, earned critical kudos but limited recognition, and Rylance didn't appear onscreen again until he starred in Intimacy. Picked for his starring role opposite Kerry Fox after Chéreau saw his performance as an alcoholic boxer in the 1991 BBC drama The Grass Arena, Rylance turned in a strong portrayal that tended to be overshadowed by the film's graphic content. Its frank sex scenes, which included full frontal nudity and unsimulated oral sex, caused a sensation among the British press who criticized Rylance, a public figure in the theater world, for his willingness to let it all hang out for the public to see. However, Intimacy went on to win critical raves at film festivals across the globe, and in the process allowed Rylance to be recognized as an actor who added up to more than the mere sum of his parts.Rylance continued to take on-screen roles in between theatre jobs, such as playing Thomas Boleyn, the father of Anne Boleyn, in The Other Boleyn Girl, and in the British drama The Government Inspector. In 2015, he was thrown into the American awards circuit for his work in two projects. First, he played Thomas Cromwell (opposite Damian Lewis' King Henry VIII) in the BBC/PBS miniseries Wolf Hall, earning Rylance an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination. Then, he played captive KGB spy Rudolf Abel in Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies, which nabbed Rylance his first Oscar nomination and win, for Best Supporting Actor (Rylance became only the second actor, after Daniel Day-Lewis, to win an acting Oscar for a Spielberg film). He continued his association with Spielberg for his next big-screen role, playing the title character in The BFG.


Highest Rated Movies



89% The Trial of the Chicago 7
  • Actor
54% Waiting for the Barbarians
  • The Magistrate
72% Ready Player One
  • Actor
92% Dunkirk
  • Mr. Dawson
$188.1M 2017
No Score Yet The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara
  • Actor
74% The BFG
  • The Big Friendly Giant
$55.5M 2016
90% Bridge of Spies
  • Rudolf Abel
16% The Gunman
  • Cox
$8M 2015
0% Days and Nights
  • Stephen
$6.5k 2014
No Score Yet Shakespeare's Globe Theatre: Twelfth Night
  • Actor
No Score Yet Shakespeare's Globe Theatre: Twelfth Night Encore
  • Actor
45% Anonymous
  • Condell
$4.5M 2011
48% Blitz
  • Roberts
$0.3M 2011
43% The Other Boleyn Girl
  • Sir Thomas Boleyn
$26.9M 2008
No Score Yet The Government Inspector
  • Actor
66% Intimacy
  • Jay
100% The Institute Benjamenta
  • Jakob von Gunten
71% Angels and Insects
  • William Adamson
No Score Yet Love Lies Bleeding
  • Actor
67% Prospero's Books
  • Ferdinand
No Score Yet The Grass Arena
  • John Healy
40% Hearts of Fire
  • Fizz
No Score Yet McGuffin
  • Gavin


100% My Grandparents' War
  • Actor
  • 2019
No Score Yet CBS This Morning
  • Guest
  • 2017
No Score Yet Today
  • Guest
  • Actor
  • 2017
98% Wolf Hall
  • Thomas Cromwell
  • 2016
  • 2015
No Score Yet Wolf Hall on Masterpiece
  • Thomas Cromwell
  • 2015

Quotes from Mark Rylance's Characters