October 9, 1979
|Current nation of residence||
Los Angeles, USA
6' 3" (1.91 m)
2003 - present
|In The IT Crowd||
Portrayer of Roy
Christopher "Chris" O'Dowd (b. October 9, 1979) is an Irish actor and writer best known for his portrayal of Roy in The IT Crowd as well as his appearances in films such as Festival and The Boat that Rocked.
O'Dowd was born in Boyle, Co. Roscommon in the Republic of Ireland on October 9, 1979. He studied politics at University College Dublin (UCD), where he contributed to the university's newspaper, The University Observer, and was also involved in the UCD Dramasoc and the Literary and Historical Society. Originally, O'Dowd's passion was in speechwriting rather than acting, however, this changed when he accompanied a friend to an audition and landed the part himself instead of his friend. He then moved to Britain to pursue his passion for acting. He subsequently attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA).
Coincidentally, this is where O'Dowd met his future The IT Crowd co-star, Katherine Parkinson. He has admitted that both he and Parkinson were 'two of the worst students'. Neither finished their courses there and left because both of them 'kind of got a mixture of thrown-out and left-of-our-own-volition'. O'Dowd also worked as an impersonator of singer and Live Aid creator, Bob Geldof, and also featured on a Pizza Hut advert, he also appeared in an advert for Daz washing powder, playing Sean, who after cheating on his girlfriend Lisa, gets a large plateful of spaghetti bolognese emptied down his clean white shirt and a huge bowl of trifle tipped over his head, whilst sat in a restaurant .
After his training at LAMDA, O'Dowd went on to land some minor roles in Red Cap as Bertie Maddox and in Festival as Tommy O'Dwyer, until he was noticed by Graham Linehan who asked him to audition for the part of Roy in his new sitcom, The IT Crowd. O'Dowd succeeded in securing the part and went on to film four series of the show, running from 2006 - 2010.
O'Dowd's portrayal of Roy sent him into the limelight and he went on to appear in such films as Hotel Very Welcome, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, The Boat that Rocked, Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, Hippie Hippie Shake Shake, Dinner for Schmunks and a remake of Gulliver's Travels.
O'Dowd has also starred in the 2009 radio station-based sitcom, FM, as DJ Lindsay Carol. He has also made appearances on the quiz panel show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He has also appeared in the David Eldridge play Under The Blue Sky at the Duke of York's Theatre, London.
O'Dowd also makes an appearance on Irish television and can be seen in RTE medical drama The Clinic as Brendan Davenport and in Showbands II as Mervin Mooney.
Awards and nominations
O'Dowd has been nominated for three awards and has won one. These nominations include Best Actor for a Supporting Role in Television for his portrayal of Mervin Mooney in Showbands II at the 2006 IFTA Awards, Best Supporting Actor in Television for his portrayal of Brendan Davenport in The Clinic at the 2003 IFTA Awards, and Best Actor in a Scottish Film for his portrayal of Tommy O'Dwyer in Festival at the 2005 BAFTA Scottish Awards, which he won.
Chris O'Dowd is currently in a relationship with TV presenter and journalist, Dawn Porter. They currently reside in Los Angeles, California, USA, with their dog Potato and their cat Lilu. O'Dowd has a collection of over a thousand chocolate bar wrappers. He is the son of photographer Sean O'Dowd and has a brother called John O'Dowd.
|2003||Red Cap||Drama||Bernie Maddox|
|Conspiracy of Silence||Film||James|
|2004||Vera Drake||Film||Sid's customer|
|2004 - 2005||The Clinic||Soap opera||Brendan Davenport|
|The Year London Blew Up: 1974||Documentary||Dowd|
|3rd Irish Film and Television Awards||Award ceremony||Himself|
|2006||Showbands II||Drama||Mervin Mooney|
|The Amazing Mrs Pritchard||Drama||Headmaster|
|Doc Martin||Drama||Jonathan Crozier|
|Brit Awards 2006||Award ceremony||Himself (presenter)|
|8 Out of 10 Cats||Quiz panel show||Himself|
|2006 - present||The IT Crowd||Sitcom||Roy|
|2007||Hotel Very Welcome||Comedy drama||Liam|
|2008||Never Mind the Buzzcocks||Panel show||Himself|
|How to Lose Friends and Alienate People||Film||Post Modern Review Staff #4|
|2009||Something for the Weekend||Cookery show||Himself|
|The Justin Lee Collins Show||Chat show||Himself|
|Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel||Film||Ray|
|The Boat That Rocked||Film||Simple Simon Swafford|
|2010||Hippie Hippie Shake||Film||Felix Dennis|
|Gulliver's Travels||Film||General Edward|
|Dinner for Schmucks||Film||Marco Blind Swordsman|
Officer Nathan Rhodes
|2012||Friends With Kids||Film||Alex|
Behind the scenes
- O'Dowd once interviewed his future director, Graham Linehan, for Mongrel Magazine years before writing The IT Crowd.
- O'Dowd convinced Linehan to write Roy as Irish instead of British.
- One of O'Dowd's hobbies is tennis and he once played for the National Irish Tennis Team.
- O'Dowd based his portrayal of Roy on his brother-in-law.
- Some of O'Dowd's favourite TV shows include The Wire, Mad Men, Summer Heights High and Peep Shows.
- O'Dowd's great-grandfather, a traveling salesman with a wife and family in Cork, had another, illegitimate family in Birmingham. He claims that George O'Dowd, better known as Boy George, originated from the family.