Andrew James Tiernan (born 30 November 1965) is an English actor & director.

Andrew Tiernan
Andrew James Tiernan

(1965-11-30) 30 November 1965 (age 54)
OccupationActor & Director
Years active1989–present



Tiernan began acting with the Birmingham Youth Theatre and moved to London in 1984 to study a three-year diploma in acting at the Drama Centre London run by Christopher Fettes and Yat Malmgren. His theatre work has included Joe Penhall's The Bullet at the Donmar Warehouse, and a long-term collaboration with the Tony-nominated director Wilson Milam, including Ché Walker's Flesh Wound at the Royal Court Theatre and two critically acclaimed productions of Sam Shepard's plays: A Lie of the Mind at the Donmar Warehouse and True West at the Bristol Old Vic. In 2008, Tiernan returned to the theatre in Dorota Maslowska's A Couple of Poor, Polish-Speaking Romanians at the Soho Theatre.


Tiernan played Piers Gaveston in Derek Jarman's controversial film of Christopher Marlowe's Edward II in 1991, after appearing in Lynda La Plante's award-winning drama Prime Suspect. In the same year, he went on to star as Orlando and Oliver in Christine Edzard's version of Shakespeare's As You Like It playing alongside actors James Fox and Cyril Cusack. He then went on to star in the 2001 thriller, Mr In-Between, directed by Paul Sarossy.

He played Szalas in Roman Polanski's film The Pianist. He worked with Antonia Bird on a number of improvisational film productions, including Safe (Bafta - Best single drama), Face, Rehab and Spooks.[citation needed]

Tiernan starred in Zack Snyder's 300, an adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel, in which he portrayed Ephialtes of Trachis. Filming took place from October 2005 to January 2006 in Montreal. To portray Ephialtes, Tiernan dressed in full body prosthetics which took 10 hours each day to complete.[1] He portrayed the character again in the sequel 300: Rise of an Empire (2014).

He appeared as Captain Martin Stone in Marko Mäkilaakso's Stone's War.


In 1993, Tiernan appeared in the series Cracker in the episode "To Say I Love You". In 1997 played Banquo in the Shakespeare adaptation for BBC (MacBeth on the Estate) alongside James Frain and Susan Vidler. In 1998, in the British TV series Hornblower, he played Bunting in the second episode, "The Examination For Lieutenant". Other credits in television include Victor Carroon in The Quatermass Experiment, Kim Trent in Life on Mars and Lenny Spearfish in the BBC TV series Jonathan Creek (2004) "The Curious Tale of Mr Spearfish". In 2005, he played Ben Jonson in A Waste of Shame, a William Shakespeare biopic presented as part of the BBC's ShakespeaRe-Told series. He appeared in an episode of crime drama Midsomer Murders as Steve Bright, a photography enthusiast who is strangled with his own camera strap and in Dalziel & Pascoe as a lottery winner in the two-part episodes "Fallen Angel". In 2012, he appeared as DS Hunter in BBC's new drama Prisoners' Wives.


Tiernan released his directorial debut in 2015, the feature film Dragonfly. He followed this release in 2017 with; UK18 and then in 2019; Break Clause.


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Edward II Gaveston
Prime Suspect DC Rosper
1992 The Guilty Leo
As you like it Orlando/Oliver
Prime Suspect 2 DC Rosper
1993 Cracker Sean
The Trial Berthold
1994 Middlemarch Dagley
Being Human Cyprion's Man
Interview with a Vampire Paris Vampire
1995 Taggart John Campbell Black Orchid
Two Deaths Captain Jorgu
1996 The Sculptress Gary O'Brien
Ellington Eddie Gilmour Man of Honour
1997 Snow White: A Tale of Terror Scar
Face Chris
Playing God Cyril
MacBeth on The Estate Banquo BBC TV film
1998 The Scarlet Tunic Muller
Hornblower Bunting TV Series
1999 The Criminal Harris
Jonathan Creek Lenny Spearfish - Episode: "The Curious Tale of Mr Spearfish" BBC TV
2000 Small Time Obsession Mr Page
Heartbeat Ray Nixon The Seven Year Itch
2001 Left Turn John Short
In a Land of Plenty Gary
Hawk Freddie TV Movie
Mr In-Between Andy
The Bunker LCpl Schenke
2002 The Pianist Szalas
The Red Siren Koesler
2003 Rehab Dean TV Movie
2004 Whose Baby? Dave
Waking the Dead Don Keech Episode: Anger Management
2005 The Quatermass Experiment Victor Carroon
The Rotters' Club Roy Slater
Spooks Forster
A Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and his Sonnets Ben Jonson TV Movie
2006 Snuff-Movie constable Fred
Life on Mars Kim Trent
Dalziel and Pascoe Jake McNally Fallen Angel
300 Ephialtes'
2007 Midsomer Murders Steve Bright Picture of Innocence
2008 Heroes and Villains Crixus Spartacus
Stone's War Captain Stone
New Tricks Sgt Major Sharratt Mad Dogs
Survivors Gavin
2009 Casualty O'Neill TV Series
Harvest Blue
Murderland Whitaker
The Bill Craig Middleton
2010 Mr Nice Alan Marcuson
Luther Richard Henley
Whitechapel II Steven Dukes
2011 Doctor Who Purcell Night Terrors
Injustice Michael Bankes
2012 Prisoners' Wives DS Hunter
Merlin Osgar
2013 Foyle's War Geoffrey Helliwell Sunflowers
Dragonfly DS Blake
2014 300: Rise of an Empire Ephialtes
Dark Souls II Chancellor Wellager (voice) Video game
Common Pete O'Shea
Autómata Manager
The Great Fire Vincent
The Messenger Dad
2015 Code of a Killer Geoff Taylor
No Offence Michael Docherty
2016 Moving On Rob
2017 Safe House Roger Lane
Us and Them Tommy
Bounty Hunters Smith
2018 Marcella (series 2) Nigel Stafford
2019 Death in Paradise (series 8) Paul Raynor


External linksEdit

  • Andrew Tiernan on IMDb
  • Dunn, Josephine M (28 March 2018). Jimmy McGovern's Cracker. Amazon: KDP. ISBN 9-7819-8062-5452.