1951, Manchester, Cheshire, United Kingdom
|Behind the scenes|
David Schofield (born 1951) is an English actor. Over the course of his life, Schofield had enjoyed success on stage, films, and television. David Schofield portrayed Mercer in the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, and voicing the character in the At World's End video game.
Early life and career
Born in Manchester, England, David Schofield was one of 10 children in a working-class family. He caught the acting bug at the age of 12 while attending at Manchester boy's school. He left a rough inner-city boy's school three years later and took various odd jobs before writing a letter to a local repertory theatre. Finally granted an audition two years later, in 1967, Schofield was accepted on the lowest rung of the ladder as student assistant stage manager and was paid all of 10 dollars a week. There, he worked in every department as a propmaker, soundman, writer, stage sweeper and teamaker, putting in 14-hour days six days a week. After two seasons, at the age of 19, Schofield applied to acting colleges and became a student of the London academy of Music and Dramatic art. Following three years at the Academy, Schofield acquired an agent and left school early to pursue his path as a working actor (30 years later, Schofield maintains the same agent).
Schofield's distinguished stage career has seen the actor performing some of the great classical roles, including Angelo in Measure for Measure and Mark Antony in Julius Caesar for the Royal Shakespeare Company and a long association with the Royal National Theatre appearing in numerous productions, including The American Clock, Antony and Cleopatra, The Elephant Man (for which he created the title role), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, As You Like It and Plenty. He had also acted on the West End stage in both musicals and straight plays.
Film and Television
Making his feature-film debut in The Dogs of War, Schofield has appeared in a wide range of roles in such films as An American Werewolf in London, The Last of the Mohicans, Anna Karenina, The Musketeer, Superstition, Unstoppable and Valkyrie. He is better known as Falco in Ridley Scott's Academy Award-winning Gladiator, McQueen in From Hell, and as Mercer in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Schofield made a successful career in television, earning numerous credits in TV series such as Footballers' Wives and Holby City among many other TV productions. He also appeared in Channel 4's Goldplated as well as guest starring as King Alined in the episode "Sweet Dreams" in BBC's Merlin.
Pirates of the Caribbean
During the back-to-back productions of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, the noted British character actor David Schofield portrayed Mercer, Lord Cutler Beckett's ruthless enforcer. Schofield was delighted at the prospect of working with Keira Knightley, who portrayed Elizabeth Swann in the film. The last time he had seen her in person was when she was three years old, and Schofield was performing on stage at the Chichester (England) Festival with her father, actor Will Knightley. Schofield was also amazed at how many of his countrymen (and -women) were to be performing in the second Pirates film. "It's like there are all these English theater actors being floated on a very luxurious Walt Disney mattress to exotic places. And they can chat away happily about their English lives and their English feelings about things. But they're supported by this American structure. It's a bit like an English glove with an American hand in it."
Months after completing his role as Mercer for At World's End, in which he had already voiced the character for the film's video game adaption, David Schofield attended the film's world premiere at Disneyland on May 19, 2007.
- For unknown reasons, it was believed that David Schofield appeared as Mercer in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. However, it is false as the character never appeared in the film and Schofield himself confirmed it in the Disneyland premiere of At World's End.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - Mercer
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - Mercer
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (video game) - Mercer (voice)