Jason Clarke is an Australian actor, who rose to prominence for his roles in American movies such as “Planet of The Apes,” “Terminator Genisys,” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

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Early Life and Family

Jason Clarke was born on 17 July 1969, in Winton, Queensland, Australia, where he was raised by his father, a sheep shearer, in their hometown. He practically lived in a caravan and would go from one shearing shed to another. Other than that, little else is known about his family.

Education

He graduated in 1994 from a drama school in Melbourne.

Career

First Step

After graduation, he pursued an acting career in Sydney, and his television debut happened in 1995 with “Blue Heelers,” an Australian police drama series. A string of TV appearances in drama series followed from 1996 to 2003; the most notable were “Wildside,” in 1998 aired on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation with Tony Martin and Rachael Blake; “Stingers,” in which he had a recurring role from 2000-2003; “Home Away From Home,” one of the longest soap operas in Australia, in which he appeared in Season 15 in 2002; and “Farscape,” a science-fiction drama series in 2003.

His movie debut was in “Dilemna” released in 1997, followed by minor roles in several Australian movies including “Our Lips are Sealed”(2000), “Rabbit-Proof Fence” (2002), and “You Can’t Stop the Murders” (2003). It took him a while to get a lead role, and this was in a short movie, “Hole in the Paper Sky,” produced by Jessica Biel and directed by Bill Purple in 2008. The film was submitted to several film festivals in the US.

Hollywood Career

From 2006 to 2008, Jason played a lead role opposite Jason Isaacs in “Brotherhood,” an American crime procedural television drama series about the conflicting lives of two brothers, a politician and a mobster, in Rhode Island.

Jason Clarke

The series lasted for three seasons, and was cancelled after 29 episodes on 21 December 2008.

After the series’ cancellation, his Hollywood movie career took off. Jason was part of many popular movies, including Jada Pinkett Smith’s directorial debut, “The Human Contract,” in 2008 with Paz Vega and Idris Elba; “Public Enemies,” a movie adaptation of the non-fiction novel, “Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933–34,” written by Bryan Burrough, which starred Christian Bale and Johnny Depp in 2009; “Wall Street: Money Never Sleep,” with Michael Douglas and Susan Sarandon in 2010, directed by Oliver Stone, and which was a sequel to the 1987 movie, “Wall Street.”

In 2011, Jason went back to the small screen by taking the role of a legendary tough police detective in “The Chicago Code”, along with Jennifer Beals. The crime drama series aired on Fox for only one season with 13 episodes.

He returned to movies, and started the decade right in such as “Zero Dark Thirty” playing a CIA officer trying to find the infamous al-Queda terrorist leader, Osama Bin Laden, with Jessica Chastain in 2012; and “Texas Killing Fields” with Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, one of the official entries in the Venice International Film Festival in 2011.

Due to his talent of being able to portray good to nefarious characters, he’s been in many popular films including “The Great Gatsby” with Leo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire in 2013, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” with Gary Oldman and Keri Russell in 2014, and “Terminator Genisys” with Arnold Swarzenegger and Emilia Clarke in 2015, which grossed around $450 million.

Before 2010 ended, Jason also accepted controversial roles that challenged him physically and intellectually, with films such as “Everest,” in which he took on one of the lead roles originally made for Christian Bale in 2015, and filmed in freezing temperatures; “The Man with the Iron Heart,” a biopic war drama movie about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, one of the Nazi leaders  and main architects of the Holocaust in 2017; and “Chappaquiddick” in which he played the role of Ted Kennedy, who was involved in an accident that many believed cost him the chance to become the President of the United States.

The movie was one of the official entries in the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017, which gained Jason generally positive reviews for his performance, and the way the story was presented.

In 2019, Jason happily accepted the lead role of Dr. Louis Creed in another movie adaptation of the novel “Pet Sematary,” written by one of his favorite authors, Stephen King. It was a commercial success with total gross earnings of $113 million against a budget of $21 million. A prequel may be in the works, due to its success at the box office.

Jason was lured into going back to television through the historical HBO miniseries, “Catherine the Great,” in 2019. His role was that of a military commander and lover of Empress Catherine, who was played by Dame Helen Mirren.

Currently, he is waiting for the release of two movies that he’s a part of, which are undergoing post-production processing – “The Devil All the Time” and “Silk Road.”

Personal Life

He was married to French-Italian actress and model, Cécile Breccia, whose work in sci-fi military movie, “Starship Troopers 3: Marauder” in 2008 gave her a bit more prominence. They were in a relationship for a long time before deciding to tie the knot. It was only revealed in 2018 during the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) red carpet interview that they were already married. They have two sons, a five year old and a two year old. The family is currently residing in Los Angeles, California.

Interesting Facts and Awards

  • Even if he is mostly doing films and television series in the US, Jason is willing to work back in Australia as long as the project is good.
  • People were fascinated and confused if he and Emilia Clarke, who played his mother in the sci-fi movie, “Terminator Genisys” were related. They only share the same last name but not blood; he is Australian while Emilia is English.
  • He diligently studies accents by continuously listening to his vocal homework. Jason said that non-native American-English speakers, actors, and wannabes must learn how to speak the language, and remove any accent they inherently had if they want a Hollywood career.

"One of the hardest jobs you can ever do, wrestling rams to the ground."–Jason Clarkehttp://esqm.ag/7b34yrr

Posted by Esquire on Sunday, July 20, 2014

Appearance

Jason is 6ft 2ins (1.85m) tall and weighs around 163lbs (74kgs). He is Caucasian with light brown hair and blue eyes.

Net worth

Sources estimated his net worth at around $6 million as of May 2020, accumulated largely from working as an actor since the age of 26.

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