Lee Grinner Pace is an American actor. He is known for starring as Thranduil the Elvenking in The Hobbit trilogy and as Joe MacMillan in the AMC period drama television series Halt and Catch Fire. Pace has also appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Ronan the Accuser, a role he first portrayed in Guardians of the Galaxy and reprised in Captain Marvel. He has also received an Emmy Award nomination for his portrayal of Ned in the ABC comedy-drama Pushing Daisies.
Early lifePace is the son of Charlotte, a schoolteacher, and James Roy Pace, an engineer. He has two siblings, a sister named Sally and a younger brother named William Pace. As a child, Pace spent several years in Saudi Arabia, where his father worked in the oil business; the family later moved to Houston, Texas. Pace attended Klein High School in Spring, Texas, a suburb of Houston, with future fellow actor Matt Bomer. Pace temporarily quit high school to act at Houston's Alley Theatre before returning to graduate. At the Alley, he appeared in productions of The Spider's Web and The Greeks. In 1997, Pace was accepted by the Juilliard School's Drama Division as a member of Group 30, which also included actors Anthony Mackie and Tracie Thoms. While there, he acted in several plays, including Romeo and Juliet as Romeo, Richard II in the title role, and Julius Caesar as Cassius. He graduated from Juilliard with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
TheaterAfter graduation, Pace starred in several off-Broadway plays, including The Credeaux Canvas and The Fourth Sister. He also starred in a production of Craig Lucas's Small Tragedy, for which he was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award as Outstanding Actor. In 2006, Pace starred in the two-character play Guardians by Peter Morris, which earned Pace his second nomination for a Lortel Award as Outstanding Actor.
Pace made his Broadway debut in Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart, portraying Bruce Niles. It opened at the Golden Theatre on April 27, 2011. The show ran for a total of 96 performances, with July 10 marking its final performance.
Pace was cast as composer Vincenzo Bellini in Golden Age, which began previews November 15, 2012. The play, written by Terrence McNally, began its official run at the Manhattan Theatre Club December 4, 2012. The previews were originally scheduled for November 13, 2012, but two shows were cancelled as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Pace played the role of Joe Pitt in the Broadway revival of the National Theatre's production of Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. Previews began at the Neil Simon Theatre on February 23, 2018, and the show opened on March 25, 2018.
FilmPace first gained recognition for his role in the 2003 film Soldier’s Girl, based on real events, in which he played the central role of Calpernia Addams.
Of the role, Pace has said:
Pace won a Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor and was nominated for several other awards, including a Golden Globe Award, for his work in this film.
In 2008, Pace starred in the film Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and in Tarsem Singh’s The Fall. The Fall was very well received amongst critics and viewers alike and where Pace starred in one of his most artistic roles. His next film was the movie Possession with Sarah Michelle Gellar. Pace also played supporting roles in The White Countess, Infamous, When in Rome and The Good Shepherd. In 2010, Pace appeared as Phil Winslow in the film Marmaduke.
In 2012, Pace starred as Garrett, the nomadic vampire, in '. Pace was admittedly aware of the reputation linked to the Twilight franchise, and revealed that he "went in to this a little like ‘You know what you’re getting into, just do what you can.’ " However, he enjoyed the experience and only had praise for the director Bill Condon. Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight saga, was very satisfied with Pace’s performance as Garrett, since he "stood out as someone who really was just so much fun and really looked the part." The movie was met with a mixed reception by critics, however, some critics, such as Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times, whose only issue was that he was introduced too late in the series: "Why, oh, why didn’t they introduce him sooner?" Meanwhile, Sara Stewart of the New York Post simply described him as a “standout”.
On April 30, 2011, it was announced that Pace had been cast as the king of the Mirkwood Elves, Thranduil, in Peter Jackson's film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. The announcement was made by Peter Jackson himself, who revealed on his Facebook page that Pace had been his favorite for the part, ever since he saw his performance in The Fall. The character had previously been mentioned in Jackson's ', and had previously been portrayed in The Hobbit, voiced by Oscar-nominated director Otto Preminger, and in the 1968 BBC radio series, voiced by the British actor Leonard Fenton. Pace made three trips to New Zealand, and called it a “fantastic experience”. The character appeared in the prologue of ' released in December 2012, and had a larger role in ' released in December 2013 and in the last film of the series, , released on December 17, 2014.
On July 28, 2011, it was announced that Pace had been cast in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, as the one-time New York City mayor Fernando Wood, an early Confederate supporter. The events in the film takes place in 1865, when Fernando Wood served in the House of Representatives. However, at the time, Wood was 53 years old, which is 20 years senior to Pace’s age when he portrayed him. In a Q&A, Spielberg revealed that he decided to offer Pace the part, after he saw his performance in Ceremony. Of the experience of the film, Pace said that “it was a real pinnacle of what I’ve done as an actor.” The movie was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and was nominated for Best Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Award. However, Pace was not included among the Lincoln ensemble’s nomination, and several bloggers were annoyed by this, including Katey Rich of Cinemablend.com and Nathaniel Rogers of The Film Experience.
Pace played the villain, Ronan the Accuser, in the 2014 Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy. He reprised the character in Captain Marvel.
TelevisionPace played Aaron Tyler in the acclaimed but short-lived 2004 television series Wonderfalls, which was co-created by Bryan Fuller. Later, Fuller cast Pace in the lead role of Ned in the series Pushing Daisies which debuted on ABC in October 2007 and returned for its second and final season on October 1, 2008. Pace received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance.
Pace has also portrayed a child molester in the episode "Guilt". In 2010, Pace was cast in the unsold HBO pilot The Miraculous Year directed by Kathryn Bigelow. From 2014 to 2017, Pace played the role of Joe MacMillan in the AMC series Halt and Catch Fire.
In 2018, Pace was cast as Sam Colin in Hong Kong action crime television series Flying Tiger 2 produced by Shaw Brothers Studios.
Personal lifePace's sexual orientation became a topic of public discussion after he was identified as gay by Ian McKellen, who worked with him in The Hobbit films, in 2012. McKellen's "outing" was described in the press as a blunder and an accident on his part, as Pace had never addressed the subject. Pace stated in a February 2018 interview that he has dated both men and women but did not identify himself with a sexual identity label. In June 2018, he spoke about being a queer actor in an interview with The New York Times.
|2003||Soldier's Girl||Calpernia Addams||Television film|
|2005||The White Countess||Crane|
|2006||The Fall||Roy Walker / The Masked Bandit|
|2006||The Good Shepherd||Richard Hayes|
|2008||Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day||Michael Pardew|
|2009||A Single Man||Grant|
|2010||When in Rome||Brady Sacks|
|2011||30 Beats||Matt Roberts|
|2014||Guardians of the Galaxy||Ronan the Accuser|
|2015||The Program||Bill Stapleton|
|2017||The Keeping Hours||Mark|
|2017||The Book of Henry||David Daniels|
|2018||The Party's Just Beginning||Dale|
|2019||Captain Marvel||Ronan the Accuser|
|2019||Weathering with You||Keisuke Suga||English dub|
|2001||Benjamin Tucker||Episode: "Guilt"|
|2004||Wonderfalls||Aaron Tyler||Main cast|
|2007–2008||Pushing Daisies||Ned||Main cast|
|2014–2017||Halt and Catch Fire||Joe MacMillan||Main cast|
|2015||The Mindy Project||Alex Eakin||Episode: "San Francisco Bae"|
|2015||Robot Chicken||Heinrich Himmler||Episode: "Zero Vegetables"|
|2019||Flying Tiger 2||Sam Colin||Hong Kong TVB series|