Made his big-screen debut in 1989, playing a doctor in the Jeff Goldblum romantic comedy The Tall Guy.
Became known to British audiences with villainous turns in Inspector Morse: Cherubim & Seraphim and Taggart: Double Exposure (both 1992).
Collaborated on several films with actor Sean Pertwee, director Paul W.S. Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt (all of whom he met at the Central School of Speech and Drama), including Shopping (1994), Event Horizon (1997) and Soldier (1998).
Breakout role came with the part of Col. William Tavington in Mel Gibson's historical drama The Patriot (2000).