Sharlto Copley

Active - 2005 - 2020  |   Born - Nov 27, 1973 in Pretoria, South Africa  |   Genres - Science Fiction, Action

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Biography by Cammila Collar

South African filmmaker Sharlto Copley is best known for producing and starring in the short film Alive in Joburg, which the feature film District 9 was based on. He would also star in the adaptation, playing the role of Wikus. Named after a character on a radio show his mother listened to, Copley dabbled in acting in high school, but later cofounded a media production company. It was there that Copley hired a 16 year old computer-graphics designer named Neill Blomkamp. Over the years the pair developed a fruitful working relationship, and after starring in both Alive in Joberg and District 9, Copley struck out on his own as Howling Mad Murdoch in Joe Carnahan's big-screen take on The A-Team.

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Factsheet

  • Named after a character on a radio show his mother listened to.
  • Was such a huge fan of The A-Team television series while growing up that he formed an A-Team gang.
  • Acted a bit in high school, but decided to pursue an off-screen career as a writer-director-producer. 
  • Cofounded a media production company after high school; also helped start a TV channel, a talent agency and a visual-effects house.
  • Hired future District 9 director Neill Blomkamp to work for his media company as a computer-graphics designer when Blomkamp was 16.
  • Improvised his dialogue in District 9.