Carice van Houten

Carice van Houten

Sep. 5th, 1976
Born in
Leiderdorp, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Carice van Houten's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Game of Thrones TV Show
Game of Thrones

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Carice (Anouk) van Houten (born September 5, 1976) in Leiderdorp (near Leiden). Her parents are Margje Stasse (on the board of Dutch educational TV) and writer and broadcaster Theodore van Houten. She is the elder sister of actress and designer Jelka van Houten. When she was five her father took her to a screening of Abel Gance's epic Napoleon which fascinated her. She has demonstrated great interest in cinema since.

Houten convincingly demonstrated her acting talents at the Bonifatius Lyceum high school, Utrecht, in the early 90s. One of her first parts was the title role in Hugo Claus's play Tijl Uilenspiegehel. She also developed a skill in clarinet playing. In 1995 she was rather uniquely accepted by both the Maastricht and Amsterdam drama academies, and started her TV career (Labyrint, VPRO TV 1997) as a student of the Kleinkunst Academie Amsterdam. There she was awarded the 1999 Pisuisse Prize, and the 2000 Top Naeff Prize for her theatre work. A day before the Top Naeff Prize she was awarded the 'Gouden Kalf' as best TV actress in Martin Koolhoven's Suzy Q. In 2001 she starred in Amnesia by the same director.

In September 2000 she joined the Noord-Nederlands Toneel starring as a both singing and acting Polly in a contemporary staging of the Threepenny Opera to fabulously stunning reviews. Her great talent for dark comedy was demonstrated in a parody on City Lights' blind girl in the Amsterdam Kleine Komedie. Carice is a great admirer of American silent comedies - particularly Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy - although she can display an equally dramatic talent. In 2001 she made Minoes, in the title role of the cat-woman after Annie M.G. Schmidt. In the 2001-02 season she won the main role in a theatre production of Schmidt's musical Foxtrot.

Van Houten's role in Black Book (2006) launched her international career. She went on to play in films such as Valkyrie (2008), alongside 'Tom Cruise', who asked for her to specifically play his wife after seeing her performance in "Zwartboek". However, after this, her international career was unsuccessful, until she was offered the role of Melisandre in the HBO series, Game of Thrones (2011), in 2011.

She was approached to play the role of "Cersei Lannister" in Game of Thrones (2011), but refused, due to schedule conflicts with Intruders (2011), and the role went to Lena Headey. In season 2, she was cast as Melisandre.


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