Date of Birth: December 15, 1972
Born and raised by his golf pro father and model mother, Townsend spent much of his time in the only video rental store in town. With little interest in the game of golf, he spent much of his time watching every movie in the shop while growing up in the small town of Howth, Ireland.
As a teenager, his only plans were to move far away and to not work in an office. Dating a girl attending the Gaiety School of Acting, Townsend decided to give acting a try, and fell in love with the craft. He joined up and started appearing in the school productions. From there he landed major theater roles and student films.
In 1996 he made his feature début in the film Trojan Eddie, with Richard Harris. "I was thrilled to work with him," explains Townsend. "I'd been watching him in movies since I was eight, so I was just amazed and wide-eyed." Pulling out an impressive performance, the gig led him to a London Agent who quickly got him an audition for the film Shooting Fish. Winning the lead role only led to more opportunities, but none with big-budgeted features.
For the next few years his face would remain obscure to the world, having only been seen in festivals and art houses. His biggest break seemed to come when he landed a role in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. His obscurity would have been a thing of the past if he'd been able to keep the role, but days after shooting began, Jackson fired Townsend due to "creative differences."
In summer of 2000 Townsend returned to the stage playing Val Xaxier in Orpheus Decending in London.
Largely playing romantic leads, Townsend continued the trend playing the lead in his first big budget film, About Adam, with Kate Hudson. The following film, however, broke the cycle by casting him as a vampire turned rock star in the The Queen of the Damned, but unfortunately, the movie bombed at the box office. His next big break came when he landed the role of Dorian Gray in the big budget feature The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), starring alongside Sean Connery.
Townsend, who previously dated actress Parker Posey, is currently engaged to actress Charlize Theron.
Chaos Theory (2007)
The Best Man (2005)
Head in the Clouds (2004)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
Queen of the Damned (2002)
The Payback All-Star Revue (2001)
About Adam (2000)
Mauvaise passe (1999)
The Venice Project (1999)
Simon Magus (1999)
Resurrection Man (1998)
Under the Skin (1997)
Shooting Fish (1997)
Trojan Eddie (1996)
Filmography (director):Battle in Seattle (2008)