Karl Urban – MovieActors.com

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Urban in Almost Human.

About Karl Urban (1972 – ____)

Karl-Heinz Urban was born in Wellington, New Zealand. His father, a German immigrant, owned a leather goods store, and his mother once worked for Film Facilities in Wellington. Through his mother, the young Urban was exposed to classic New Zealand cinema, and developed an interest in the film industry. Urban attended St Mark's Church School, where he showed an early love for public performance. His first acting role came at age eight, when he had a single line in one episode of the New Zealand television series Pioneer Woman. Though continuing to take part in school stage productions, he did not act professionally again until after high school.

He attended Wellington College in 1986–1990. He then enrolled at Victoria University of Wellington in the Bachelor of Arts program but left after one year to pursue a career in acting. Over the next few years, he appeared in several local TV commercials in addition to theater roles in the Wellington area. Eventually he moved to Auckland, where he was offered many guest roles in TV shows (one of which was playing a heroin addict in the police drama Shark in the Park). Urban then moved briefly to Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia in 1995, before returning to New Zealand the following year.

Urban was seen on the internationally syndicated American/New Zealand TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and on its spin-off Xena: Warrior Princess, in which he played the recurring roles of both Cupid and Julius Caesar from 1996 to 2001. He also made an appearance as Mael in the episode "Altared States", from the first season of Xena. Both programs were filmed in New Zealand. In 2001, he appeared in the offbeat rural romance The Price of Milk, for which he received his first nomination at the New Zealand Qantas Film and Television Awards. Urban later won acclaim for his portrayal of policeman Nick Harvey in Out of the Blue, a dramatization of New Zealand's Aramoana massacre, for which he won the Qantas Film and Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2008.

Urban's first Hollywood role was in the 2002 horror film Ghost Ship. Since then, he has worked on many high-profile movies, including the second and third installments of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Two Towers and The Return of the King), The Bourne Supremacy (as Russian Federal Security Service agent Kirill), The Chronicles of Riddick, Star Trek and Doom. The Hollywood Reporter speculated that Urban was one of several actors being considered for the part of British secret service agent 007 in Casino Royale, directed by fellow New Zealander Martin Campbell. However he was unable to make the audition because of filming commitments. The role eventually went to Daniel Craig.

Urban played John "Reaper" Grimm in Universal Pictures' Doom (based on the first-person shooter video game Doom), which was released on 21 October 2005. In 2007, he starred in the Viking adventure Pathfinder. A longtime fan of Westerns, Urban appeared as Woodrow Call in Comanche Moon, the CBS miniseries prequel to Lonesome Dove, in January 2008.

In 2009, he played Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, a role famously originated by DeForest Kelley, in the eleventh Star Trek film. A fan of the Star Trek franchise since childhood, Urban actively pursued a role in the film. His performance was widely embraced by the Star Trek fan community for its faithfulness to the spirit of Kelley's McCoy. In 2009, he also appeared as himself in the documentary film Reclaiming the Blade, discussing his sword-wielding experience in films such as The Lord of the Rings.

Urban next appeared as CIA agent William Cooper in Red, adapted from the DC Comics graphic novel of the same name and co-starring Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren. He portrayed Black Hat, a villainous priest-turned-vampire, in the film adaption of the Korean manhwa Priest, released in 3-D in 2011.

In 2012, Urban starred as law-enforcing comic book hero Judge Dredd in the film Dredd. In an interview with Shave magazine, Urban described it as a "high-octane, action-fueled film... about the day in the life of Dredd." The film was directed by Pete Travis, with a script by Alex Garland. Though it underperformed at the box office, Dredd was well received by critics. He then reprised his role of "Bones" McCoy in the sequel to Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, which was released on 15 May 2013.

In 2013, Urban starred as Detective John Kennex in Almost Human, a TV series created by J. H. Wyman. The series was set 35 years into the future when cops in the L.A.P.D. are paired up with lifelike androids. Urban played a detective who has a dislike for robots but ends up being teamed up with one with emotional feelings. Urban next appeared in the ensemble thriller The Loft, a remake of the Belgian film of the same name. It was filmed in New Orleans and Belgium by the director of the 2008 original, Erik Van Looy. In January 2015, Urban replaced Michael C. Hall as the role as the main antagonist in the 2016 remake of Pete's Dragon. In May 2016, he was cast as Skurge in Thor: Ragnarok.

Urban married Natalie Wihongi (who was his makeup artist on The Privateers) in September 2004. Together they have two sons: Hunter, born December 16, 2000, and Indiana ("Indy"), born January 2005 and named for the eponymous hero of the Indiana Jones franchise, the first movie of which he has cited as one of his favorites. They lived in Auckland, New Zealand. The couple announced their separation in June 2014. He has been dating actress Katee Sackhoff since November 2014.

Urban serves as a celebrity ambassador for KidsCan, a charity which currently supports over 16,000 disadvantaged children in New Zealand by providing them with essentials such as food, clothing, and shoes.

Karl Urban's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1992Chunuk BairWellington Soldier
1998HeavenSweeper
1998Via SatellitePaul
2000The Irrefutable Truth about DemonsHarry Ballard
2000The Price of MilkRob
2002Ghost ShipMunder
2002The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersÉomer
2003The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingÉomer
2004The Chronicles of RiddickVaako
2004The Bourne SupremacyKirill
2005DoomJohn Grimm
2006Out of the BlueNick Harvey
2007PathfinderGhost
2009Star TrekLeonard McCoy
2009Black Water Transit[29]Earl Pike
2010And Soon the DarknessMichael
2010REDWilliam Cooper
2011PriestBlack Hat
2012DreddJudge Dredd
2013Star Trek Into DarknessLeonard McCoy
2013RiddickVaako
2013Walking with DinosaursZack
2014The LoftVincent Stevens
2016Star Trek BeyondLeonard McCoy
2016Pete's DragonGavin
2017Thor: RagnarokSkurge
2017Hangman
2017BentDanny Gallagher

Karl Urban's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
1990Shark in the ParkRohann Murdoch
1992Homeward BoundTim Johnstone
1993White FangDavid
1993–1994Shortland StreetParamedic Jamie Forrest
1995Riding HighJames Westwood
1996Hercules: The Legendary JourneysCupid
1996Xena: Warrior PrincessMael
1997Amazon HighKor
1997–2001Xena: Warrior PrincessJulius Caesar
1997Xena: Warrior PrincessCupid
1998Hercules: The Legendary JourneysJulius Caesar
2000Xena: Warrior PrincessKor
2000The PrivateersCapt. Aran Dravyk
2008Comanche MoonWoodrow F. Call
2013–2014Almost HumanJohn Kennex
2014Short PoppiesAlex Turnbull

Memorable Quotes by Karl Urban

[on his fondest memory of working with Peter Jackson while shooting the Lord of the Rings trilogy] “ Peter's really open to the humor in the day-to-day. One time, we were referencing a line in the book, "We counted all the slain and despoiled them, then we piled the carcasses and burned them." Of course, we went on all sorts of disgusting tangents about what else these Rohan soldiers did to the poor Orcs. ”

“ Nothing beats a great smile. ”

“ I don't believe I could work as effectively at what I do without the support of my wife. ”

“ Now I'm this far up the ladder and I've got so much farther to go with what I want to achieve with it. ”

“ I don't see a benefit in accepting every single little morsel of work that comes along because I think, in essence, what you're doing is you're raping yourself really. ”

“ That is a big danger, losing your inspiration. When I work in film and television I try to do each take a little differently. I never want to do the same thing twice, because then you're not being spontaneous, you're just recreating something. ”

Things You May Not Know About Karl Urban

His character of Cupid was originally written into the Xena: Warrior Princess (1995) Season 5 finale episode "Motherhood", but Urban was unavailable because he was filming The Lord of the Rings elsewhere in New Zealand. As compensation, Rob Tapert wrote the Season 6 episode "When Fates Collide" specifically for him, this time for his more-popular character of Julius Caesar. Tapert also used this episode as an opportunity to bid farewell to two other fan-favorite recurring characters: Alti and Brutus, portrayed by Claire Stansfield and David Franklin. "When Fates Collide" became one of the most popular episodes of the entire series.

He enjoys video games, which is what influenced him to take a role in the film adaptation Doom (2005).

His accent as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in Star Trek was so reminiscent of DeForest Kelley that it reportedly moved Leonard Nimoy (who starred alongside Kelley in the original series and films) to tears.

He named his son "Indiana" after Harrison Ford's iconic character Indiana Jones, of whom Karl is a huge fan.

Has been a huge fan of the 2000 AD Comics' character Judge Dredd since his teens and got to play the character in the film adaptation Dredd.

On the set of The Chronicles of Riddick, he passed the time by playing Dungeons & Dragons with Vin Diesel, Judi Dench and Thandie Newton.

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Karl Urban in Xena: Warrior Princess (1996, 1997-2001).
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Urban in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).
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Urban in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
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In The Loft (2014)... top picture with Wentworth Miller, Eric Stonestreet, and Erik Van Looy... third picture with Miller, Stonestreet, and James Marsden... bottom picture with Marsden.
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Urban in The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)... bottom picture with Thandie Newton.
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Urban in Riddick (2013).
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In The Bourne Supremacy (2004).
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As Dr. McCoy in Star Trek (2009)... top picture with Chris Pine... middle picture with John Cho, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, and Anton Yelchin... bottom picture with Cho and Pegg.
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With Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).
In Star Trek Beyond (2016)... top picture with Zachary Quinto... middle picture with John Cho, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, Anton Yelchin, and Chris Pine... third picture with Cho, Quinto, and Zoe Saldana.
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Urban in RED (2010)... top picture with Ernest Borgnine... second picture with Bruce Willis.
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As Black Hat in Priest (2011).
In Pete's Dragon (2016)... top picture with Aaron Jackson, and Marcus Henderson... bottom picture with Wes Bentley.
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In Pathfinder (2007).
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As Cupid in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1996).
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In Ghost Ship (2002)... top picture with Gabriel Byrne and Desmond Harrington... bottom picture with Byrne, Harrington, and Julianna Margulies.
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As Judge Dredd in Dredd (2012).
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As John Grimm in Doom (2005)... top and bottom pictures with Dwayne Johnson.
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With Steve Zahn and David Midthunder in Comanche Moon (2008).
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In And Soon the Darkness (2010).
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Karl Urban in Almost Human (2013-2014)... top picture with Michael Ealy... second picture with Ealy and Anthony Konechny... third, sixth, and bottom pictures with Minka Kelly... Ealy in bottom picture.