Aden Young

Aden Young (born 30 November 1971[1][2]) is a Canadian-Australian actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Daniel Holden in the SundanceTV drama Rectify, for which he was twice nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series.

Aden Young
Aden Young.jpg
Young at the 2012 AACTA Awards
Born (1971-11-30) 30 November 1971 (age 49)
OccupationActor, writer, director, editor
Years active1991–present
Spouse(s)Loene Carmen (m. 2014)

Early lifeEdit

Young was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His father Chip Young, an American born in Missouri, was a well-known CBC broadcaster and children's book author, as well as composer of Canadian classic 'Honky The Christmas Goose',[3][4] while his mother is a nurse from Newcastle, Australia. His family left Toronto for Australia in 1981. Young attended Galston High and Australian Theatre For Young People as a teenager.[5]


As an actorEdit

Young was cast in his first role, as a young Jesuit priest in Bruce Beresford's acclaimed religious epic Black Robe (1991)[6] on his 18th birthday.[7] International acclaim followed and Young was dubbed "the next Marlon Brando" in France and "the next Mel Gibson" in Hollywood but returned to Australia to support the local industry and focus on projects that he was more drawn to.[8][9]

He took the lead role in groundbreaking Australian arthouse noir film Broken Highway (1993), directed by pioneering female filmmaker Laurie McInnes, which screened in competition in Cannes[10] but received polarizing reviews.[11]

Paul Cox's Exile was filmed soon after, described in Variety as "an ambitious, sometimes hallucinatory drama that tackles themes difficult to bring off successfully in the cinema". The two clashed dramatically during filming, but formed a lifelong friendship that led to Young becoming part of Cox's film family (Chris Haywood explains "Working with Cox is not dissimilar to being one of the Musketeers or part of a pirate crew") editing, appearing and helping out on many Cox productions.[12] Exile screened in competition at Berlin Film Festival, Montreal Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and Warsaw Film Festival[13] but did not receive a theatrical release.

Young was nominated for an Australian Film Institute Best Actor award and won a Film Critics Circle of Australia Best Actor award for his role as the "ratty-looking loser"[14] Psycho Joe opposite Ben Mendelsohn in Metal Skin (1994), Geoffrey Wright's examination of suburban hopelessness and revhead subculture, which screened internationally in competition at Venice Film Festival and Stockholm Film Festival amongst others. One reviewer wrote that "Young's depiction of this unsettling metamorphosis is central to the film's success."[15] Geoffrey Wright stated "There could be no dispute that he is one of the best actors in the country."[16]

After making Australian films River Street, Cosi, Hotel de Love and Paradise Road in quick succession, Young portrayed a starving Polish sculptor who spurns his lover Jessica Lange in US film Cousin Bette and as slacker desperado Buck in Under Heaven, a modern reworking of Henry James novel The Wings of the Dove.[17]

The early 2000s saw him starring as a traumatized Canadian soldier in War Bride, a German priest in Serenades, and smaller roles in The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course and a doctor in Cox's Molokai.

In 2004 he signed onto the Sydney Theatre Company production of Hedda Gabler as Cate Blanchett's tortured alcoholic lover Ejlert Lovberg.[18] The production also had a 2006 season at Brooklyn Academy of Music and spawned documentary In the Company of Actors.[19][20]

Compelling film cameos followed, in WW1 drama Beneath Hill 60 and French film The Tree, as Charlotte Gainsbourg's husband before starring as a besieged father dying from tetanus in the Kriv Stenders period gothic western Dark Frontier aka Lucky Country.[21][22]

Young reunited with Beresford for Mao's Last Dancer (2009), based on the 2003 best-selling autobiography of Chinese ballet dancer Li Cunxin, playing a Texan oil tycoon.[23] Beresford stated that Young's "a very cooperative and thoughtful actor."[24]

Young mimed the hit song "Even Though I'm A Woman",[25] by the Australian female indie supergroup Seeker Lover Keeper, in the 2011 music video directed by Natalie Van Dungen. He played American techno geek Meyer in the Jason Statham/Robert De Niro action film Killer Elite and performed a cameo as Dr Victor Frankenstein in I, Frankenstein.[26]

In June 2012, Young was announced as the lead character Daniel Holden in the SundanceTV Southern Gothic series Rectify, which follows Holden's journey when he is released back to his family in a small Southern town after 19 years on Death Row for the murder of his girlfriend, following new evidence.[27] His critically acclaimed performance was hailed as "a haunted wonder"[28] with Variety proclaiming "Aden Young's portrait of Daniel is one of the greatest performances to ever grace any screen, without question. It's a travesty he hasn't been nominated for every single acting award in the TV world. The entertainment industry should make up new awards just to give to him."[29] Rectify was announced as a Peabody Award winner in April 2015[30] and Young has received two Critics Choice Best Actor nominations for Seasons 2 and 3.[28][31][32] Rectify was in the 2018 Guinness Book of Records as "Highest Rated TV Series" for its Metacritic rating of 99.

Young played lawyer Stephen Roche in the well received Don't Tell, the true story of a young Queensland woman who sued the church over sexual abuse she suffered at her Anglican school. The film also starred Jack Thompson and Rachel Griffiths. Young was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards.[33]

In 2017 Young took the lead in Damnation[34] before departing over creative differences.

He will play villain Cyrus Mendenhall in Canadian indie drama Angelique's Isle set for release in 2018[35][needs update] and stars in upcoming romantic comedy Elsewhere.[36][needs update]

As a directorEdit

Young directed the acclaimed short film The Rose of Ba Ziz (2007),[37] adapted from a children's book written by his father; the film was made over five days on a shoestring budget of $700[38] and featured Hugo Weaving, Roy Billing, Odessa Young and an appearance by his significant other, Australian singer Loene Carmen, who also co-composed the film's score with Jed Kurzel.[39][40] Additionally, Young directed the AFI award-winning 25-minute film The Order (1999).[41][42]

Young edited Paul Cox documentaries Kalaupapa Heaven[43] Tajiri and feature film Salvation.[44][45] He also directed Carmen's music videos for "Everyone You Ever Knew (Is Coming Back To Haunt You" (2015)[46] and "Nashville High" (2007) as well as editing her music video "Mimic the Rain" (2009).[47]

Personal lifeEdit

Young has two sons, Dutch (born 2007) and Chester (born 2011), with his longtime partner, Australian singer-songwriter-musician-actress Loene Carmen. They married in Zebulon, Georgia while filming season 2 of Rectify in 2014.[48]

A portrait of Young by artist James Powditch was a 2008 Archibald Prize finalist. Young also appears in Powditch's 2012 work Berserk Warriors.[49]


As actorEdit


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Black Robe Daniel
1992 Over the Hill Nick
1993 Sniper Doug Papich
Love in Limbo Barry McJannet
Broken Highway Angel
Shotgun Wedding Jimmy Becker
1994 Exile Peter Costello
Metal Skin Joe
1995 Audacious Stanley
1996 Cosi Nick
River Street Ben
Hotel de Love Rick Dunne
1997 Paradise Road Bill Seary
1998 Under Heaven Buck
Cousin Bette Count Wenceslas Steinbach
1999 Molokai: The Story of Father Damien Dr. Kalewis
2001 The War Bride Charlie
Serenades Johann
2002 The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course Ron Buckwhiler
2004 Human Touch George
2005 The Bet Angus
2007 In the Company of Actors Himself/Eljert Lovburg
The Goat That Ate Time Narrator Short film; voice only
Flipsical Unknown Short film
2008 Salvation Gloria's Acolyte
2009 Lucky Country Nat Doole
Shot Open Dodek Short film
Mao's Last Dancer Dilworth
2010 Beneath Hill 60 Major North
The Tree Peter
Kissing Point Mark Logan Short film
2011 Killer Elite Meier
2013 Final Recipe Sean
2014 I, Frankenstein Dr. Victor Frankenstein
Frontera Sheriff Randall Hunt
2016 The Unseen Bob Longmore
2017 Don't Tell Stephen Roche
2018 Angelique's Isle Cyrus Mendenhall
2018 Elsewhere Bruno


Year Title Role Notes
2003 After the Deluge Young Cliff TV movie
2006 Two Twisted Patrick Dempsey/Clone Season 1, Episode 7: "Soft Boiled Luck"
2007 The Starter Wife Jorge Stewart 6 episodes
2011 East West 101 Kendrick Season 3, Episode 6: "Behold a Pale Horse"
Season 3, Episode 7: "Revelation"
2013–2016 Rectify Daniel Holden 4 seasons, 30 episodes
2014 Rake Joshua Season 3, Episode 3
The Code Randall Keats Main Cast: Series 1
6 episodes
2015 The Principal Adam Bilic 3 episodes
2017 The Disappearance Luke Sullivan
2019 Reckoning (TV series) Mike Serrato Netflix mini-series; Main role; (10 episodes)

As director/writer/editorEdit

Year Title Credits Notes
Director Writer Editor
1998 The Order Yes Yes Yes Short film
2007 The Rose of Ba Ziz Yes Yes Yes Short film
Loene Carmen Nashville High Yes No Yes Music video
2009 Loene Carmen Mimic the Rain No No Yes Music video
Salvation No No Yes Feature Film
Kalaupapa Heaven No No Yes Documentary film
2011 Waste Not No No Yes Documentary film

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ a b "Aden Young, Celebrity". TV Guide.
  2. ^ a b "Aden Young, Biography". Rotten Tomatoes.
  3. ^ "Aden Young of "Rectify"". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  4. ^ "'Honky the Christmas Goose' was a Johnny Bower record that wasn't made to be broken". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Steve Dow, journalist". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  6. ^ Kempley, Rita. "Black Robe". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  7. ^ "'Rectify': Aden Young on the Fourth & Final Season and Leaving Daniel Holden Behind". 25 October 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  8. ^ "How the Aussie brat pack made history". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  9. ^ "'I'm attracted to the discarded things in life'". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  10. ^ "BROKEN HIGHWAY - Festival de Cannes". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Laurie McInnes's Broken Highway (1993) • Senses of Cinema". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  12. ^ "To the point on point • Senses of Cinema". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Exile (1993) - The Screen Guide - Screen Australia". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Metal Skin". Archived from the original on 18 July 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Movie Review – Metal Skin". 1 January 1994. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  16. ^ Young and Restless, The Sunday Age, Peter Wilmoth 24 April 1994
  17. ^ Levy, Emanuel (26 January 1998). "Under Heaven". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  18. ^ "Hedda Gabler, STC - ArtsReview". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  19. ^ "In the Company of Actors". Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  20. ^ Rooney, David (3 March 2006). "Hedda Gabler". Variety. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  21. ^ Parke, Henry C. (26 January 2014). "Henry's Western Round-up: 'DARK FRONTIER' REVIEW, PLUS ANTHONY MANN RETRO, AND TARANTINO PULLS THE PLUG!". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Lucky Country Review". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Aden Young on the red carpet for the Australian premiere of Bruce Beresford's latest epic, Mao's Last Dancer, which had a successful world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival – Sandra Lee". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Director Bruce Beresford on "Mao's Last Dancer" | Culture". Mindfood. 7 September 2009. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  25. ^ Dungen, Natalie van den (12 May 2011). "Seeker Lover Keeper - Even Though I'm A Woman". Retrieved 18 July 2018 – via Vimeo.
  26. ^ "First Trailer for I, FRANKENSTEIN Starring Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto and Yvonne Strahovski". 4 October 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  27. ^ "Aden Young Snags Lead in Sundance Channel's 'Rectify' (Exclusive)". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  28. ^ a b Montgomery, Daniel (5 May 2016). "'Rectify': From Peabody Awards winner & Critics' Choice Awards nominee to Emmys?". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  29. ^ Ryan, Maureen (15 December 2016). "'Rectify' Series Finale Recap: A Perfect Farewell". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  30. ^ "Rectify should put SundanceTV and star Aden Young on the map".
  31. ^ Hipes, Patrick (14 December 2015). "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'Mad Max' Leads Film; ABC, HBO, FX Networks & 'Fargo' Top TV". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  32. ^ "Rectify". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  33. ^ Kuipers, Richard (20 May 2017). "Film Review: 'Don't Tell'". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  34. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (28 September 2016). "'Damnation': Lead Aden Young Exits USA Pilot". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  35. ^ "'Rectify' Star Aden Young Joins Julia Jones in Indie 'Angelique's Isle'". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  36. ^ "Parker Posey, Ken Jeong to Star in Indie Dramedy 'Elsewhere'". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  37. ^ "St Kilda Sees New Talent – Movies". Citysearch. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  38. ^ "Homebake 2011 - Film (& Performance) Line-up - Music Feeds". 10 November 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  39. ^ "The Rose of Ba Ziz". Vimeo. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  40. ^ "The Rose of Ba Ziz (2007)". IMDb. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  41. ^ "The Order". Vimeo. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  42. ^ "The Order (1999)". IMDb.
  43. ^ "KALAUPAPA HEAVEN (D) 2007". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  44. ^ "A remarkable life - Film". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  45. ^ Heide, Jonathan auf der. "Life lessons from the editing suite of Paul Cox". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  46. ^ "New Music". 13 March 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  47. ^ Sargeant, Jack (February 2010). "Keeping It Reel". Film Ink.
  48. ^ "Aden Young, star of US series Rectify, on the dark role that sometimes haunts him". 3 January 2015.
  49. ^ "About". Art of Music. Australia.
  50. ^ "Film Critics Association of Australia - 2017 Awards". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  51. ^ "Aden Young". IMDb. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  52. ^ "Rectify - Aden Young Earns Critics' Choice Television Award Nomination for SundanceTV's "Rectify"". Archived from the original on 7 May 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  53. ^ "Rectify - Awards - IMDb". Retrieved 27 April 2015.

External linksEdit