- Was a drama teacher before becoming an actor.
- Studied at the Bristol Old Vic Drama School in Bristol, England.
- Appeared in plays with the Royal Shakespeare Company in England.
- Breakthrough film performance came playing the role of a violent father in Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988).
- His role in In the Name of the Father (1993) won him widespread acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
- First portrayed a romantic lead in 1997's Among Giants.