Alfred Molina is one of Britain’s most renowned and diverse characters actors of the stage, small screen and cinema. Molina’s starred in everything from big blockbusters like “Spider-Man 2” to the biopic “Frida.”Also, he has done voiceover work for 23 characters in film, television and video games.
Before he got the acting bug he was the son of immigrant working class parents from Italy and Spain. To support his pursuit of acting he lived off of welfare checks, had odd jobs and busked as a stand-up comedian until he was accepted into the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1977.
Molina’s fluency of English, Spanish and Italian and his southern European heritage has allowed him to play a wide range of characters of over a dozen ethnicities. He’s played an uptight French mayor in “Chocolat” and a traitorous Peruvian tour guide in his film debut, “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
“My parents were immigrants to England, and I grew up in a working-class neighborhood in London that was full of other immigrant families from all over Europe, the West Indies, [and] Africa. When I went to school, all the kids were first-generation born in England,” said Molina.
Although he has played a villain in many roles, outside his costume Molina is a staunch advocate of immigration rights, AIDS research and Alzheimer’s care. His wife of almost 30 years suffers from Alzheimer. He currently has a film in post-production (Remember Isobel) that will benefit Alzheimer research.
“She doesn’t always recognize me. She did when I visited yesterday. You see flashes of the old person. That’s the heartbreaking part. You see those moments. You long for them. But they come less and less,” said Molina.
Molina will be in the television mini-series “Show Me A Hero,” which premieres in August 16 on HBO. In 2016 he will be in three films and another mini-series “Close to the Enemy.”
- He is good friends with John Lithgow who plays his husband in the film “Love is Strange”
- He is a big jazz enthusiast
- His wife is 26 years his senior
- He became a U. S. citizen in 2004 after “Spider-Man 2” was released and believes his examiner went easy on him.
- He is a patron of the performing arts group Theatretrain
- He is the only actor to have three Lego figures designed after him