Michael Sheen is known for his role as Lucian, the leader of the Lycans, in the Underworld saga (2003-2009), David Frost in Frost / Nixon (2008), Tony Blair in The Queen (2006), and Simmons in Blood Diamond (2006). In 2009, he joined the cast of the second part of the Twilight saga, playing the role of Aro, the leader of the Volturi. In 2013, he played Dr. William Masters in the Masters of Sex TV series, which tells the fictionalized story of sexology pioneers Masters and Johnson. In 2016, he also played the role of Arthur, the android bartender in the movie Passengers. In 2019, he played the role of one of the main characters, an angel (Aziraphale), in the miniseries Good Omens. He played Dr. Martin Whitely / The Surgeon in the Prodigal Son series (2019). But what do we know about his personal life, about how he came into the acting world? Is he a philanthropist? Does Michael Sheen have a wife? All of these questions and more are answered in this article!
Michael Sheen: 9 Rare Things About The “Masters Of Sex” Actor You Didn’t Know!
1. Relationship history with Kate Beckinsale:
He had an eight-year relationship with actress Kate Beckinsale between 1995 and 2003. They met at the beginning of The Seagull’s tour in early 1995 and began living together soon after. Together, they had a daughter Lily Mo Sheen, born in 1999.
Actress Kate Beckinsale has said that she was “ashamed” that Sheen had never proposed to her, but felt like she was married: “If you keep a library book long enough, you feel like it’s yours.”
Their relationship ended in early 2003, following the filming of Underworld. Beckinsale had persuaded director Len Wiseman to cast Sheen into the film, but, over the course of filming, she and director Wiseman (who was married) fell in love. Actress Kate Beckinsale then moved to Los Angeles, California and married Wiseman in 2004. Sheen also moved from London to Los Angeles after the separation to be able to live close to her daughter.
Liking Los Angeles and calling it his temporary home, the actor also said: “I wouldn’t choose Los Angeles to live in if it weren’t for my daughter. Once Lily is older and can travel on her own, I’m probably going to go back to the UK.”
2. Other relationships and becoming a father again:
Sheen was in a long-distance relationship with English dancer Lorena Stewart from late 2004 to mid-2010. He had a brief relationship with Canadian actress Rachel McAdams, whom he met on the set of Midnight in Paris in July 2010.
In July 2019, Michael Sheen announced on Twitter that he would be a father for the second time with Swedish actress Anna Lundberg. On September 23, 2019, Lundberg gave birth to a girl named Lyra, Sheen’s second.
3. Religious beliefs:
Sheen does not adhere to any religion, having asked his parents, at the age of seven, if he could stop attending church.
Michael Sheen is the Chairman of TREAT Trust Wales a charity whose aim is to provide a therapy and rehabilitation center on the grounds of Morriston Hospital in Swansea, Wales in 2015 and is the Welsh Ambassador for FILMCLUB, a charity offering, after school, film clubs to public elementary and secondary schools in an effort to improve literacy levels. He is also an ambassador for the environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy.
The actor is also the patron of British charities, including: The Relationships Center, NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) Child’s Voice Appeal, Scene & Heard, Healing The Wounds, and WGCADA. He has also participated in a number of charity football matches, the most notable of which was at Soccer Aid 2010 where he was the captain of the winning team at Wembley Stadium.
5. Growing up in Wales:
The actor was born to his mother Irene (née Thomas), a secretary, and his father Meyrick, a British Steel personnel manager and raised in Newport, Wales.
Michael Sheen along with his younger sister, Joanne moved to Liverpool, England when he was five years old. Growing up, the actor moved again and settled in his parents’ hometown of Baglan in Port Talbot, Wales three years later.
British film and stage director, producer, and screenwriter Sam Mendes has described Sheen as “a stage creature” attributing such characteristics to the actor’s Welsh roots. “I mean it. He’s Welsh in the tradition of Anthony Hopkins and Richard Burton: Fierce, mercurial and unpredictable.”
6. Sheen could have been an amateur footballer:
The future actor was first discovered as a sportsman and was offered a place in the Arsenal FC youth team, at the age of 12, but his family were not willing to move to London, England. He later said he was “grateful” for his parents’ decision not to let him pursue football, as the chances of forging a professional soccer career were “very slim.” He lost interest in playing soccer in his teens.
7. Sheen was raised in a theater family:
Sheen’s parents were fond of local theater – and his father would go on to work as a part-time professional with Jack Nicholson. In his teens, Micheal Sheen was lucky enough to be involved in the West Glamorgan Youth Theater and later the National Youth Theater of Wales. Sheen said: “It was a bright young theater,” and it taught me not only a lot about acting but also about work ethic.
With his new love for discipline, Sheen was influenced by the performances of Laurence Olivier and the writings of Kenneth Tynan, theater critic. He stated: “The combination of the two kinds of things blew my mind.”
8. Education and schooling:
Speaking of his education working with theatres, what about his school and university life?
Micheal Sheen was educated at Blaenbaglan Primary School, Glan Afan Comprehensive School, and finally Neath Port Talbot College where he was A-level in English, Drama, and Sociology.
The actor also studied English at University but decided on his own to attend drama school.
Micheal Sheen shifted from Port Talbot to London in 1988 to train as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), after spending a full year working at a Welsh fast food restaurant called “Burger Master” to earn money. The English actor received the prestigious Laurence Olivier Fellowship by The Society of London Theater in his second year at RADA. All the hard work paid off, he graduated in 1991 with a BA in Acting.
9. Rare honors from his homeland:
Sheen was lucky enough to be honored as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on the 2009 New Year Honors list for his acts of service to drama. He was awarded the Neath-Port Talbot, Wales City Freedom Award in 2008 for his services in the performing arts.
He is an Honorary Member of the University of Wales, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the University of Aberystwyth, and Swansea Metropolitan University; and has been awarded the James Joyce Prize by University College Dublin.