Tommy Flanagan was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. In his twenties, Tommy made his living as a DJ for local dance clubs until a violent attack nearly ended his life. In hospital, his friend Robert Carlyle persuaded Tommy to give acting a try. Mr. Flanagan joined Carlyle’s Raindog Theatre Company where he made his stage debut in such productions as ‘Wasted I and II’, ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, and ‘MacBeth’. Tommy worked in various local and smaller film and television projects until he landed a small role in Mel Gibson’s epic ‘Braveheart’ in 1995. Mr. Gibson was so impressed that he expanded the role of rebel Morrison specifically for Tommy, exposing a worldwide audience to Mr. Flanagan. Following this, Tommy went on to work with an array of top directors in films such as Phillip Noyce’s ‘The Saint’, John Woo’s ‘Face/Off’, and David Fincher’s ‘The Game’. In 1999, he would get the chance to once again work with Robert Carlyle in ‘Plunkett and MacCleane’. That same year, Tommy earned critical praise and numerous ‘Best Actor’ nominations for his role as ‘Da’, the troubled father in Lynne Ramsay’s ‘Ratcatcher’. The film earned ‘Best Director’ awards by many European film festivals including the London Film Critics Circle and the BAFTA 2000 awards. In 2000, Tommy displayed more facets as an actor, starring in Art Linson’s ‘Sunset Strip’ for director Adam Collis, where he played a mysterious 1970’s hearth-throb, rock star. He then played the role of ‘Cicero’, a faithful retainer of Russell Crowe’s character in the Academy Award-winning ‘Gladiator’ for director Ridley Scott. Tommy’s focused and intense portrayal once again earned him praise and recognition. Tommy followed this up with roles in the indie features ‘Dead Dogs Lie’ and ‘Strictly Sinatra’, as well as the USA Network mini-series ‘Attila’ opposite Gerard Butler, New Line’s ‘All About the Benjamins’ opposite Ice Cube, and ‘Trauma’ opposite Colin Firth. In 2004, Tommy starred in 20th Century Fox’s ‘Alien vs. Predator’ for director Paul W.S. Anderson, and followed that up in 2005 with Miramax films ‘Sin City’ for director Robert Rodriguez. And in 2006, Tommy played the pivotal role of the ‘Stranger’ terrorizing Camilla Belle in Simon West’s re-make of ‘When a Stranger Calls’. Tommy then played the enigmatic hit man ‘Lazlo Soot’ in Joe Carnahan’s ‘Smokin’ Aces’. In 2008, Tommy joined Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman and Katey Sagal in FX Network’s drama, ‘Sons of Anarchy’ (SOA), one of the highest rated shows for the network, running for seven seasons. A huge success with a devoted following, SOA was initially based upon Hamlet by creator / show-runner Kurt Sutter. Often criticized for graphic violence, SOA was snubbed by award panels despite praise by critics and viewers. Mr. Flanagan portrayed Filip ‘Chibs’ Telford, a stalwart member of the, “Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original” (SAMCRO). Scottish by birth and raised in Belfast, Ireland, Chibs joined the IRA and the Belfast Chapter of Sons of Anarchy before events necessitated his transition to SAMCRO. The name Chibs refers to Scottish slang for a knife/ “street knife” (per Mr. Flanagan), a choice by Kurt Sutter referencing the real facial scarring Mr. Flanagan received in a near-fatal attack in his native Glasgow. Known as a “Glasgow smile” or “Glasgow grin” it is a highly distinctive regional form of violence and Sutter utilized it within the show. Mr. Flanagan himself is often questioned about his scarring and was quoted in Vulture 11/12/2014, “I don’t see the scars anymore. They’re just ancient history now. It was a horrible thing that happened 20 years ago. I don’t give it a second thought. It’s just like a big wrinkle on my face.” Tommy continues to create great roles in other hit series and films, gaining greater visibility and wider dramatic roles, including critically acclaimed UK drama ‘ Winter’ by Heidi Greensmith, in which he plays an emotionally tortured painter trying to keep his family together after the sudden loss of his wife. Among other notable roles, Mr. Flanagan stars in ‘The Jesuit’ opposite Tim Roth and fellow Braveheart alum Brian Cox. In 2016 he adds ‘Sand Castle, set during the Iraq War and ‘Running Wild’ with Sharon Stone.
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