Carice Anouk van Houten (Dutch pronunciation: [kaˑˈris ɑˈnuk vɑn ˈɦʌu̯tə(n)]; born 5 September 1976) is a Dutch actress and singer. She is best known for her role inBlack Book (2006), the most commercially successful Dutch film to date.[1] Internationally, she is also known for English-speaking works such as Valkyrie (2008), Repo Men (2010), Black Death (2010), and the TV series Game of Thrones in which she has played the role of Melisandre since 2012.

A very popular actress in the Netherlands, she has won five Golden Calf Awards for Best Actress for her roles in Suzy Q (1999), Undercover Kitty (2001), Black BookThe Happy Housewife (2010) and Black Butterflies (2011). In the US she received two Saturn Award nominations.

As a singer, Van Houten released a pop-rock album entitled See You on the Ice in 2012. She is the older sister of fellow actress Jelka van Houten.


 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Van Houten was born on 5 September 1976 in Leiderdorp, the Netherlands. Her mother, Margje Stasse, is on the board of Dutch educational TV, and her father, Theodore van Houten, is a writer and broadcaster. She has a younger sister, Jelka van Houten, who is also an actress. Her paternal grandmother was Scottish.[2][3] Van Houten went to the St. Bonifatiuscollege (high school) in Utrecht, where she played the leading role in Hugo ClausTijl Uilenspieghel, directed by Ad Migchielsen. Van Houten studied briefly at the Maastricht Academy of Dramatic Arts but continued her professional education after one year at the Kleinkunstacademie in Amsterdam.[4]

Acting career[edit]Edit

[1][2]van Houten at the premiere of Dorothy, 2008

van Houten played her first leading role in Martin Koolhoven's TV film Suzy Q. Van Houten won a Golden Calf for her part as Suzy. She also won the Pisuisse Award and the Top Naeff Award for her stage acting and another Golden Calf for her part as the kitten that becomes a girl in Undercover Kitty (2001). The first time she could be seen in cinemas in the USA was when Martin Koolhoven's AmnesiA (2001) got a small theatrical release.

Van Houten won a Golden Calf for her performance as Rachel Stein in the 2006 film Black Book[5] at the Netherlands Film FestivalBlack Book's director Paul Verhoeven says about her in a television interview: "Never in my life I have worked with an actress this talented", and when asked to compare her with Sharon Stone he said "Carice can really act".[6] The international press is also enthusiastic about her role in Black Book.[7] Dick Schümer wrote in his review of the film in the Frankfurter Allgemeine that Carice van Houten is "not only more beautiful, but also a better actress than Scarlett Johansson".[8]

In December 2006, Van Houten withdrew from a theatre production of Alex van Warmerdam due to personal reasons. According to a theatre spokesman it was because of a work overload.[9]

Carice's first English spoken movie was Dorothy from French director Agnès Merlet.

Her performance in Black Book led to roles opposite Tom Cruise in Valkyrie and Jude Law and Forest Whitaker in Repo Men. She has acted in three movies directed by Dutch directorMartin Koolhoven.

In 2008 she starred in the non-commercial short movie Zingen in het donker (English: Singing in the dark), a drama on domestic violence. In January 2008, Van Houten was named Woman of the Year by New York Magazine.[10] She appeared in the magazine Vanity Fair in the issue for March 2008, photographed by Wayne Maser.[11]

In 2008, Van Houten had a role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Body of Lies, but her scenes did not make the final cut of the movie.[12]

On 4 October 2008 filming began on From Time To Time directed by Julian Fellowes. It is based on the children's literature classic The Chimneys of Green Knowe by Lucy M Boston. Van Houten is attached to star as Maria Oldknow.

In April 2009, it was announced that Van Houten would star in Black Death by UK director Christopher Smith and in the highly anticipated Dutch film Komt een vrouw bij de dokter (English title: Stricken), based on the celebrated novel of the same name by Ray Kluun. She also starred in the Science-Fiction thriller Repo Men.[13]

In July 2011, Van Houten was cast as the priestess Melisandre in the second season of HBO's fantasy TV series Game of Thrones.[14]

In 2012, Van Houten appeared in Antony and the Johnsons' "Cut the world" video, which was directed by Nabil[15] and also starred Willem Dafoe and Marina Abramović.[16]

In late November 2012, the video for "Particle of Light", the second single from her album, "See You on the Ice", was debuted on YouTube. This song was written by Howe Gelb of Giant Sand.

Personal life[edit]Edit

She was in a relationship with actor Sebastian Koch, her co-star in Black Book.[17] The couple announced they were separating in August 2009.

Van Houten has stated that Hollywood makes her unhappy: "I have seen Hollywood, and although I have nothing against it, it's not my kind of life. My agent is shocked that I want to stay in Europe," adding, "If Hollywood offers me a great part, of course I'll take it, but I just don't want to live there".[18]


Year Film Role Notes
1997 3 ronden Emily
1998 Ivory Guardians unknown
1999 Suzy Q Suzy Golden Calf for Best Acting in a Television Drama
2001 Storm in mijn hoofd Erwtenbloesem/Titania
2001 AmnesiA Sandra
2001 Undercover Kitty Minoes Golden Calf for Best Actress

International Children's Film Festival: Children's Jury Award for Best Actress Carrousel international du film: Camério for Best Actress

2002 The Wild Boar Pandora
2003 Father's Affair Monika
2005 Black Swans Marleen Nominated—Golden Calf for Best Actress
2005 Lepel Juffrouw Broer
2005 Bonkers(Dutch title: Knetter) Lis
2006 A Thousand Kisses Samarinde
2006 Black Book Rachel Stein/Ellis De Vries Golden Calf for Best Actress

Rembrandt Award for Best Actress Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated—European Film Award for Best Actress Nominated—German Film Award for Best Actress Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Breakthrough Performer

2007 Love is All Kiki Jollema Rembrandt Award for Best Actress
2008 Dorothy Mills Jane Van Dopp
2008 Valkyrie Nina Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
2009 Stricken Carmen Golden Film Award

Platine Film Award Award Rembrandt Award for Best Actress

2009 From Time to Time Maria Oldknow
2010 Repo Men Carol[19]
2010 The Happy Housewife Lea Golden Film Award

Platine Film Award Award Golden Calf for Best Actress Rembrandt Award for Best Actress

2010 Black Death Langiva Nominated—Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress
2010 Satisfaction
2011 Intruders Susanna
2011 Black Butterflies Ingrid Jonker Golden Film Award

Golden Calf for Best Actress Rembrandt Award for Best Actress Tribeca Film FestivalBest Actress in a Narrative Feature Film

2011 Vivaldi Julietta
2012 Jackie Sophie Golden Film Award

Nominated—Rembrandt Award for Best Actress

2012 Family Way(Dutch title: Alles is familie) Winnie de Roover Rembrandt Award for Best Actress
2013 The Fifth Estate Birgitta Jónsdóttir
2014 Incarnate TBA


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Het Labyrint Mariek TV series
1999 Suzy Q Suzy TV film

Golden Calf for Best Acting in a Television Drama

2000 Goede daden bij daglicht: Op weg Carola TV film
2001 De acteurs Ellie TV series
2002 Luifel & Luifel Roos Episode: "De Krottenkoning"
2004 Russen José Machielsen Episode: "De zevende getuige"
2004 Kopspijkers Georgina Verbaan Episode: "Dance-4-Life"
2006 Koppensnellers Georgina Verbaan Episode: "1.16"
2009 Gewoon Hans Herself TV film
2010 In therapie Aya 3 episodes
2011 Human Planet Narrator Dutch dubbing
2012–present Game of Thrones Melisandre of Asshai 11 episodes

Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series


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