In Spotlight: Michael Sheen’s best film and TV roles - from Quiz and Frost/Nixon to The Queen and Prodigal Son

Welsh actor and political activist Michael Sheen is back on our screens in Prodigal Son on Sky One, after appearing in films and TV shows including Twilight, Frost/Nixon, and Quiz...

By Sophia Moir Published: 16 July 2020 - 5.45pm
Warner Bros. Entertainment

Prodigal Son starts Tuesday, July 28 at 9pm on Sky One with NOW TV.

After working mainly in theatre throughout the 1990s, Michael Sheen is now better known as a screen actor - and in particular, for playing real life individuals.

The Welsh actor and political activist, 51, has appeared in major films including Twilight, The Queen and Frost/Nixon, as well as TV shows including Good Omens and Quiz.

He’s back on our screens in Prodigal Son on Sky Atlantic.

We round up some of Michael Sheen’s best TV shows and film roles below, and where you might recognise him from...

 

Prodigal Son - Dr. Martin Whitly

Sheen currently stars as Dr. Martin Whitly, a murderous doctor who's incarcerated in an asylum after committing 23 murders as "The Surgeon", in Prodigal Son.

In the series, Whitly, an intelligent and charismatic man, admits to attempting to kill his son Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne), who's now a criminal psychologist.

Sheen is thought to be returning to the role for season 2, after it was renewed by American network Fox for a second series.

Prodigal Son starts Tuesday, July 28 at 9pm on Sky One with NOW TV.

Quiz - Chris Tarrant

Sheen completely transforms into Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? host Chris Tarrant for three-part ITV drama, Quiz.

The actor avoided prosthetics for his transformation into the famous TV host, instead wearing a strawberry blonde wig - and watching as many episodes of WWTBAM as he could to get into character. 

The series - which is the biggest TV drama of 2020 so far - followed Major Charles Ingram (Matthew Macfadyen) who was convicted of cheating his way to the £1 million jackpot.

Quiz is available to watch now on the ITV Hub.

It’s also available to watch on BritBox.

Good Omens - Aziraphale

In 2019, Sheen took on the role of Aziraphale in Amazon Prime Video's TV adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s much-loved novel, Good Omens.

Aziraphale is an angel who has lived on Earth since the dawn of creation, with Sheen starring alongside David Tennant as the devilish Crowley.

The six-part fantasy drama series also featured an ensemble cast including Adria Arjona, Miranda Richardson, Michael McKean, Jack Whitehall, Jon Hamm, and Frances McDormand.

Good Omens is available to watch now on Amazon Prime Video. Prime membership required.

Masters of Sex - Dr. William Masters

Between 2013 and 2016, Sheen played Dr. William Masters in American period drama series, Masters of Sex.

Starring alongside Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson, the series was set in the 1950s-1960s and followed the two characters 'Masters and Johnson' and their pioneering research into human sexuality.

Sheen was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama at the Golden Globes for his portrayal of the real-life sex doctor.

Seasons 1-2 of Masters of Sex are available to buy on Amazon Prime Video.

The Twilight Saga - Aro

Between 2009 and 2012, Sheen played the recurring role of Aro in The Twilight Saga film franchise - making his introduction in New Moon, before his final appearance in Breaking Dawn - Part 2

Aro was one of the three leaders of the Volturi - the dominant coven of the vampire world, who Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattison) were up against. 

Like with his role of Quiz, Sheen completely transformed for the role, wearing a long black wig, white make-up and red contact lenses, which he described as "torture".

All of the Twilight films are available to watch on Sky Cinema with NOW TV.

The Damned United - Brian Clough

In 2009, Sheen played Leeds United manager Brian Clough in the sports drama film The Damned United, adapted by Peter Morgan from David Peace's bestselling 2006 novel.

The film told the story of the controversial football manager's ill-fated 44 days as boss of the football club in 1974.

Sheen was the first actor the team had in mind for the role, and when it was suggested he played the part, Sheen "rolled his eyes and burst into a wonderful impersonation" of Clough.

The Damned United is available to buy on Amazon Prime Video.

Frost/Nixon - David Frost

Starring alongside Matthew Macfadyen again, Sheen portrayed British TV journalist David Frost in the 2008 feature film, Frost/Nixon.

Written by Peter Morgan (The Crown), Frost/Nixon was a dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate TV interviews between Frost and disgraced former American president, Richard Nixon (Frank Langella).

The film was nominated for five Oscars for its depiction of those interviews and the tension between the former president and the TV host.

Frost/Nixon is available to watch on Sky Cinema with NOW TV.

The Queen - Tony Blair

Following his role as Tony Blair in The Deal, Michael Sheen once again portrayed the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 2006 feature film The Queen.

The film followed Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) after the death of Princess Diana, with Blair's views about how the country should grieve publicly for Diana contrasting to those of the Queen, who felt it was a private matter.

Sheen was nominated for a Bafta award for Best Supporting Actor, with Mirren scooping the Oscar for Best Leading Actress.

The Queen is available to buy on Amazon Prime Video.