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Carice van Houten

Carice van Houten
Carice van Houten in 2015.
Born Carice Anouk van Houten
(1976-09-05) 5 September 1976
Leiderdorp, South Holland, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1997–present
Partner(s) Sebastian Koch (2005–2009)
Kees van Nieuwkerk (2013–2015[1])
Website .comcaricevanhouten

Carice Anouk van Houten (Dutch pronunciation: ;[2] born 5 September 1976) is a Dutch actress and singer. She has played the role of Melisandre in the TV series Game of Thrones since 2012. Internationally, she is also known for English language work in films like Valkyrie (2008), Repo Men (2010), Black Death (2010), and Black Book (2006), the most commercially successful Dutch film to date.[3]

A highly acclaimed 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 Book (2006), The 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.


  • Early life 1
  • Acting career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
    • Television 4.1
  • Discography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

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. He raised Carice with many silent movies, and during a Dutch interview she professed to prefer playing scenes without dialogue.[4] She has a younger sister, Jelka van Houten, who is also an actress. Her paternal grandmother was Scottish.[5] Van Houten went to the St. Bonifatiuscollege (high school) in Utrecht, where she played the leading role in Hugo Claus' Tijl 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.[6]

Acting career

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[7] at the Netherlands Film Festival. Black 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".[8] The international press was also enthusiastic about her role in Black Book.[9] 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".[10]

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.[11]

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 director Martin 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.[12] She appeared in the magazine Vanity Fair in the issue for March 2008, photographed by Wayne Maser.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15]

In July 2011, Van Houten was cast as the priestess Melisandre in the second season of HBO's fantasy TV series Game of Thrones.[16]

In 2012, Van Houten appeared in Antony and the Johnsons' "Cut the world" video, which was directed by Nabil[17] and also starred Willem Dafoe and Marina Abramović.[18]

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

In May 2015, she played Annika Van Houten in the episode of The Simpsons, "Let's Go Fly A Coot".

Personal life

One of Van Houten's best friends in life is fellow Dutch actress Halina Reijn, whom she has known since about 1994.[19] They worked together in movies Black Book and Valkyrie. In 2013 the two published a book together called Anti Glamour, a (mock) style guide and a celebration of their friendship,[20] as well as a candid look into the unglamourous back-stage side of their lives.[21] Although the two occasionally kiss on camera,[22] and have joked about being lesbians, there is no actual romantic involvement.[19]

From 2005 the actress had a relationship with Sebastian Koch, her co-star in Black Book.[23] The relationship had ended by March 2010.[5]

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".[24]


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 Peaseblossom / 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 Miss Broer
2005 Bonkers (Dutch title: Knetter) Lis
2006 A Thousand Kisses Samarinde
2006 Black Book Rachel Stein a.k.a. 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—Online Film Critics Society Award for Breakthrough Performer
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
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[25]
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 Festival: Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film
2011 Vivaldi Julietta
2012 Jackie Sophie Golden Film Award
Nominated—Rembrandt Award for Best Actress
2012 Family Way Winnie de Roover Rembrandt Award for Best Actress
2013 The Fifth Estate Birgitta Jónsdóttir
2015 Incarnate TBA
2016 Race Leni Riefenstahl Filming
2016 Brimstone Anna pre-production


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 Main Role
Empire Hero Award (2015, together with the cast)[26]
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2015 The Simpsons Annika Van Houten Episode "Let’s Go Fly A Coot"


  • Black Book (soundtrack) (2007) – vocals in four songs
  • See You on the Ice (2012)[27]
  • "Fear Not" (2015) - featuring Michael Prins


  1. ^
  2. ^ In isolation, the surname is pronounced .
  3. ^ "Zwartboek beste film aller tijden – Nieuws" (in Nederlands). Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Van Houten, Carice (5 April 2013). College Tour (in Dutch). Interview with  
  5. ^ a b Slater, Lydia (5 March 2010). "Euro star: Carice van Houten". London Evening Standard.
  6. ^ Biography for Carice van Houten. Retrieved 25 November 2006.
  7. ^ Winnaars Gouden Kalveren 2006, 6 October 2006. Retrieved 7 October 2006.
  8. ^ De Wereld Draait Door, 7 September 2006
  9. ^ Stigter, Bianca (4 September 2006). "Carice van Houten slaat in als een bom" [Carice van Houten hits like a bomb] (in Dutch).  
  10. ^ Basisinstinkt: Paul Verhoevens „Schwarzbuch“ in Venedig in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 1 September 2006. Retrieved 7 October 2006.
  11. ^  
  12. ^ "Women of the Year" (7 January 2008) in the magazine New York. Retrieved on 13 December 2008.
  13. ^ Van Houten (February 2008) in the magazine Vanity Fair. Retrieved on 13 December 2008.
  14. ^ Carice van Houten uit Hollywood-film geknipt. 18 September 2008.
  15. ^ Repo Men Madness! Six Interviews, Seven Clips, Plus B-Roll
  16. ^ Hibberd, James (19 July 2011). Game of Thrones' casts sorceress Melisandre and Stannis Baratheon"'".  
  17. ^ Film, Nabil Elderkin's website lists the video. Video at vimeo. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  18. ^ News, webpage, 6 August 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  19. ^ a b "Carice van Houten 'afgewezen' door Halina Reijn" [Carice van Houten 'turned down' by Halina Reijn] (in Dutch).  
  20. ^ "Beroemdemeidenlol: het ‘stijlboek’ van Van Houten en Reijn" [Famous chicks' fun: Van Houten and Reijn's 'style guide'] (in Dutch).  
  21. ^ Anti glamour': Halina Reijn & Carice van Houten"'" (in Dutch).  
  22. ^ ]Linda"Carice van Houten en Halina Reijn zoenen voor fotoshoot Linda" [Carice van Houten and Halina Reijn kiss for fotoshoot in (in Dutch).  
  23. ^ Carice valt voor tegenspeler uit 'Zwartboek' 22 August 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2006.
  24. ^  
  25. ^ "Carice is de vrouw van Leonardo en Jude???". 28 September 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2007. 
  26. ^ "Empire Hero Award".  
  27. ^ "Carice van Houten – See You on the Ice (CD, Album)".  

External links

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