Stephen Rea has appeared in films such as V for Vendetta, The Butcher Boy, This Is My Father, Evelyn, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire, Breakfast on Pluto and Black 47. Rea was nominated for an Academy Award for his lead performance as Fergus in the 1992 film The Crying Game. He has had important roles in the Hugo Blick TV series The Shadow Line and The Honourable Woman, for which he won a BAFTA Award. He directed and starred in an adaptation of Sean O’Casey’s play The Plough and the Stars at the Gaeity Theater in Dublin.
Rea was born in Belfast, to Protestant parents. He studied English at the Queen’s University Belfast, and drama at the Abbey Theatre School in Dublin. In the late 1970s, he acted in the Focus Company in Dublin with Gabriel Byrne and Colm Meaney.
Rea was hired to speak the words of Gerry Adams when Sinn Féin was under a 1988–94 broadcasting ban. He was married to Dolours Price, a former Provisional Irish Republican Army bomber and hunger striker who later became a critic of Sinn Féin. They had been divorced when she died on 23 January 2013. They had two sons: Danny Rea and Oscar Rea.
Rea is an Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland.