Chris O'Dowd

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Chris O'Dowd
Chris O'Dowd at British Comedy Awards.jpg
O'Dowd at the British Comedy Awards, December 2013
BornChristopher O'Dowd
(1979-10-09) 9 October 1979 (age 35)
Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland
OccupationActor, comedian, film director
Years active2003–present
Spouse(s)Dawn O'Porter (m. 2012)
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Chris O'Dowd
Chris O'Dowd at British Comedy Awards.jpg
O'Dowd at the British Comedy Awards, December 2013
BornChristopher O'Dowd
(1979-10-09) 9 October 1979 (age 35)
Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland
OccupationActor, comedian, film director
Years active2003–present
Spouse(s)Dawn O'Porter (m. 2012)

Christopher "Chris" O'Dowd (born 9 October 1979)[1][2] is an Irish actor and comedian best known for his role as Roy Trenneman in the Channel 4 comedy The IT Crowd. He has appeared in several films, including Gulliver's Travels, Bridesmaids and This Is 40. O'Dowd created and is currently starring in the Sky One television series Moone Boy. He had a recurring role on the drama series Girls and starred in the television series Family Tree.

Early life[edit]

O'Dowd was born and raised in Boyle, County Roscommon. His father, Seán, is a graphic designer, and his mother, Denise, is a counsellor and psychotherapist.[3][4][5]

He represented Roscommon in Gaelic football at under-16, minor and under-21 level, the highlight being his performance as a goalkeeper in the 1997 Connacht Minor final against Mayo. This was highlighted by his guest appearance on the Sunday Game. [6]

He studied politics and sociology at University College, Dublin, and subsequently attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. O'Dowd did not obtain a degree from UCD, telling the UCD student newspaper the College Tribune: "I didn't finish my degree. The politics part of it was fine, but I was doing sociology as well and I could never bring myself to find an interest in it."[7] He contributed to The University Observer and was active in UCD Dramsoc and the Literary and Historical Society.[7]


O'Dowd at Lingerie London in 2012

O'Dowd has starred in the United Kingdom in Channel 4's comedy The IT Crowd, BBC 2's Roman's Empire, Red Cap and the award-winning documentary-drama The Year London Blew Up. He has also appeared on Irish television, having starred in the RTÉ One drama The Clinic and the drama Showbands alongside Kerry Katona. O'Dowd has appeared in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People in a minor role. O'Dowd has also had roles in a number of films, including the 2005 film Festival where he played stand-up comedian Tommy O'Dwyer, a role for which he won a Scottish BAFTA award, and a small role in Vera Drake. O'Dowd appears in Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, a comedy sci-fiction film with Marc Wootton, Dean Lennox Kelly and Anna Faris. He played Liam in the 2007 German film Hotel Very Welcome. He never starred alongside a donkey in the 2006 film "Ass".

He starred in the 2009 film The Boat That Rocked, released in Canada and the U.S. as Pirate Radio. The film was inspired by the story of offshore pirate broadcasters Radio Caroline. O'Dowd plays Simon, the station's breakfast DJ."The breakfast jock on Radio Caroline at the time was Tony Blackburn, so there's definitely an element of him in it,"[8] says O'Dowd of his character. "And then I called in different Irish DJs that would have been contemporaries of Tony Blackburn at the time, a guy called Larry Gogan and a couple of other people."[8]

O'Dowd starred opposite Sienna Miller in the film Hippie Hippie Shake, which is about the groundbreaking '60s magazine, Oz. The publication was the precursor to a whole generation of lad mags. O'Dowd plays Felix Dennis, who would later become the publisher of Maxim. The story centres on the landmark indecency trial. In preparation for the role, O'Dowd met with Dennis, stating "He was an incredibly charismatic man."[8]

In April 2009 it was announced that O'Dowd had been cast in a remake of Gulliver's Travels as General Edward. "It's shooting in Pinewood from the end of April", he said, shortly after his participation was announced. "I'm just going back to England to learn how to ride a horse... I'm a general in the army, so there's going to be a little bit of horse riding. I think it's going to be really fun though, we're all kind of learning together."[8]

O'Dowd appeared in the 2010 film Dinner for Schmucks, an American version of the French farce, Le Dîner de Cons.[9] He also appeared on panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks (Season 21, episode 11), and starred in an ITV2 comedy series entitled FM. In 2010, he took part in Little Crackers, writing and directing a short film loosely based on his own childhood and Christmas in his family home from 1984 to 1988. In April 2011, he starred in the BBC adaptation of The Crimson Petal and the White as William Rackham and appeared in the May 2011 release Bridesmaids as Officer Nathan Rhodes.

O'Dowd had a supporting role in This Is 40,[10][11][12] basing his character on people in Hoxton who "wear skinny jeans and hate the world, which comes from an inability to deal with women."[13] He described "fighting over Megan Fox in a pool" during filming as "one of the most fun things I've ever done".[14]

O'Dowd played Dave in Wayne Blair's 2012 debut feature Australian musical The Sapphires.[15] Based on a popular stage show, it was shot across Australia and Vietnam and produced by Goalpost Australia.[16][17] He is to write and executive produce a new American comedy series called Big Men,[18] after NBC won the bidding war for it.[19]

He co-wrote a series based on his childhood called Moone Boy for Sky One.[20] Segments of the series, currently airing on Sky 1, were filmed in his hometown, Boyle.

From April to July, 2014, O'Dowd starred in the Broadway revival of Of Mice and Men, directed by Anna D. Shapiro and co-starring James Franco and Leighton Meester.[21] For this, he was nominated for a Drama Desk and Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. He starred as a Catholic school teacher in the 2014 film St. Vincent with Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy.

Personal life[edit]

O'Dowd married Dawn Porter in 2012. After their marriage, Dawn changed her surname to O'Porter. An atheist, he has turned anti-religious as he aged.[22]

In April 2014, O'Dowd presented at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Easter Bonnet Competition with Leighton Meester and James Franco, after raising donations at his Broadway show Of Mice and Men.[23]


2003Conspiracy of SilenceJames
2004Vera DrakeSid's customer
2005FestivalTommy O'DwyerBAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor in a Scottish Film
2007Hotel Very WelcomeLiam
2008How to Lose Friends & Alienate PeoplePost Modern Review staff
2009The Boat That Rocked"Simple" Simon Swafford
2009Frequently Asked Questions About Time TravelRay
2010Hippie Hippie ShakeFelix Dennis
2010Dinner for SchmucksMarco
2010Gulliver's TravelsGeneral Edward
2011BridesmaidsOfficer Nathan RhodesIFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Nominated—Phoenix Award for Best Ensemble Acting
2011Friends with KidsAlex
20123,2,1... Frankie Go BoomBruce
2012The SapphiresDaveAACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
2012This Is 40Ronnie
2013EpicGrub (voice)
2013The DoubleNurse
2013Thor: The Dark WorldRichard
2014CalvaryJack Brennan
2014Cuban FuryDrew
2014St. VincentBrother Geraghty
2015IconDavid WalshPost-production


2003Red CapBernie MaddoxEpisode: "Crush"
2003–2005The ClinicBrendan Davenport18 episodes
Nominated—IFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor in Television (2005)
2005The Year London Blew Up: 1974DowdTV Movie
2006Showbands IIMervin MooneyTV Movie
Nominated—IFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor in Television (2007)
2006The Amazing Mrs PritchardHeadmaster2 episodes
2006Doc MartinJonathan CrozierEpisode: "On the Edge"
2006–2010, 2013The IT CrowdRoy Trenneman25 episodes
2007Roman's EmpireJase5 episodes
2009FMLindsay6 episodes
2010Little CrackersHimself / Santa ClausEpisode: "Chris O'Dowd's Little Cracker: Capturing Santa"
2011The Crimson Petal and the WhiteWilliam RackhamTV Miniseries
Nominated—IFTA Award for Best Actor in Television (2012)
2011–2012Family GuyButler / Contestant / Guard (voices)2 episodes
2012–2013GirlsThomas John5 episodes
2012–presentMoone BoySean MurphyCreator, writer and executive producer
International Emmy Award for Best Comedy Series (2013)
IFTA Award for Best Entertainment Programme (2013–2014)
Nominated—Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Multichannel Programme (2013)
Nominated—IFTA Award for Best Script Drama
Nominated—IFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor in Television (2013)
Nominated—IFTA Award for Best Actor in Television (2014)
2013–2014Monsters vs. AliensDr. Cockroach (voice)26 episodes
2013Family TreeTom Chadwick8 episodes


2014Of Mice and MenLennie SmallLongacre Theatre
Nominated—Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play
Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play


  1. ^ "Chris O'Dowd". Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Chris O'Dowd biography and filmography". Tribute. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ Laura Barton (16 June 2011). "Chris O'Dowd: From cult IT geek to Hollywood antihero". Evening Standard. 
  4. ^ Stuart Husband (20 June 2011). "Chris O'Dowd Interview". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Boyle: Boyle actor in television debut". The Sligo Champion. 8 January 2003. 
  6. ^ "Farm - Farming - Roscommon’s IT guy". Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  7. ^ a b editor (4 April 2012). "Standing out from the Crowd". College Tribune. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d Nicole Powers (9 May 2009). "Chris O'Dowd: The IT Man From The IT Crowd". Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Chris O'Dowd Interview". Sky TV. 
  10. ^ "Chris O'Dowd for Knocked Up sequel". RTÉ Ten. 8 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "'IT Crowd' star to join 'Knocked Up' spin-off". NME. 8 June 2011. 
  12. ^ "O'Dowd joins Knocked Up spin-off". The Belfast Telegraph. 8 June 2011. 
  13. ^ Gordon Smart (19 October 2011). "Chris O’Dowd is a little too honest". The Sun. 
  14. ^ Gordon Smart (22 September 2011). "Chris O'Dowd’s pool frolics with Megan Fox: IT Crowd geek's scene with sexy star". The Sun. 
  15. ^ "Chris O'Dowd Joins Aussie Musical 'The Sapphires'". IFTN. 16 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "On location and finally acting the part". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "O'Dowd heads to Vietnam for new movie". RTÉ Ten. 16 August 2011. 
  18. ^ "O'Dowd set for US comedy series". RTÉ Ten. 27 October 2011. 
  19. ^ Daniel Frankel (26 October 2011). "NBC Wins Bidding War for Chris O'Dowd Comedy 'Big Men'". Reuters. 
  20. ^ Caroline Crawford (26 November 2011). "O'Dowd hunts twins for his new TV series". Evening Herald. 
  21. ^ Of Mice and Men,; accessed 25 April 2014.
  22. ^
  23. ^

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