As we draw nearer to the end of our closer look at all twenty of the recently announced (or confirmed) castings from Amazon, staffer greendragon brings us up to speed with the incredibly impressive career of Scottish actor and film maker Peter Mullan.

Black and white headshot of actor Peter Mullan
Peter Mullan

Born in Peterhead, up in the North East of Scotland, Mullan moved with his family to Glasgow; he was later a student at Glasgow University, where he studied economic history and drama. He began his professional career in 1988, and since then, has added well over 70 television and film roles to his resume. He also writes and directs.

One of Mullan’s first roles was in Ken Loach’s film Riff-Raff, in 1991; seven years later, the lead role in Loach’s My Name is Joe won Mullan the Best Actor award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. Another early supporting role was in the movie Shallow Grave; he appeared on screen again with fellow Scot Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting and Young Adam.

Some of the best known movies Mullan has appeared in include Braveheart, War Horse, Children of Men, and the film of the musical based on music by The Proclaimers, Sunshine on Leith. He’s no stranger to work based on best selling fantasy books, having appeared as Corban Yaxley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2.

Peter Mullan as Corban Yaxley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Mullan as Corban Yaxley

As director and writer, in 2002 he won a Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival for The Magdalene Sisters, which was also nominated for BAFTA and European Film awards. This, paired with his Cannes Best Actor award, make him the only person to have won major European film festival awards both for acting and for best film.

Mullan is no stranger to television roles, and most recently he can be seen in Netflix’s Ozark and Cursed, as well as in the role of James Delos in HBO’s Westworld. His television work has also taken him to New Zealand before: in 2013 he starred as Matt Mitcham in Top of the Lake (with David Wenham, whom Tolkien fans know as Peter Jackson’s Faramir).

Peter Mullan as Matt Mitcham in tv series Top of the Lake
Mullan as Matt Mitcham, Top of the Lake

In 2018, Mullan was awarded an honorary Doctor of Drama degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, whose alumni include James McAvoy and, of course, our beloved Pippin himself, Billy Boyd. Such a distinguished actor must surely be cast in a significant part in Amazon’s series? Mullan has the kind of face which sees him cast in roles with great depth of character; people who are careworn, who have perhaps seen difficult days. He looks like an ancestor of Aragorn; could he be Tar-Elendil, the 4th ruler of Numenor? Or, much later in the history of that island, might Mullan play Ar-Pharazon, the unwise leader who brought about the destruction of his home? Whatever role he has signed on for, Mullan undoubtedly brings to Amazon’s series an extraordinary pedigree and talent.

Editor Note: Join as we focus on the recent cast member announcements for Amazon TV’s The Lord of the Rings inspired TV series. Throughout the month, and as part of our Tolkien Advent Calendar celebration, we will be taking a deep-dive into their previous work, relating that to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. Today’s calendar is below!

Day 14 of's Tolkien Advent Calendar
Day 14 of’s Advent Calendar 2020