Joaquim de Almeida is a Portuguese actor who was born on 15 March 1957 in Lisbon, Portugal. Over the course of his career, which has lasted over four decades, he has worked in several films, television series, and stage productions in several countries. His fluency in several languages including Portuguese, English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German has enabled him to perform for a variety of audiences.
Almeida’s career began with roles in stage productions in New York including several Shakespeare productions and appearances in soap operas. He then gained prominence in the 1980s and achieved international recognition in the 1990s. Almeida often portrays antagonists in films, especially in films for English-speaking audiences. Over the years, he has received awards both in his home Portugal, and internationally for his performances. This article highlights a selection of Joaquim de Almeida’s top performances in movies.
Clear and Present Danger (1994)
Clear and Present Danger is an action thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Tom Clancy and stars Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, Anne Archer, and James Earl Jones. It is the third film in the Jack Ryan franchise, with Harrison Ford as the second actor to play the character.
Joaquim de Almeida portrays Félix Cortez, a high-ranking aide to a drug kingpin, in the movie. His performance in the film served as his breakout role to audiences in the United States. Clear and Present Danger was received positively by both audiences and critics and was nominated for two Academy Awards. The film was also a financial success, earning over $20 million on its opening weekend in the United States.
The Honorary Consul (1983)
The Honorary Consul is a British drama film based on the 1973 Graham Greene novel of the same name. The film was directed by John Mackenzie and follows a half-English doctor in Argentina during the period of the Dirty War. The film stars Michael Caine, Richard Gere, Bob Hoskins and, Elpidia Carrillo.
Joaquim de Almeida appears in the movie as Leon, an old friend of the doctor from Paraguay. Leon was a priest but is now involved in a group of militant activists. The Honorary Consul was Almeida’s first important movie role. However, the film received mixed reviews from critics.
Che is a two-part biographical film about the life of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the Argentine revolutionary. The film was directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Benicio del Toro in the title role. The film focuses on the Cuban Revolution and Guevara’s attempt at revolution in Bolivia.
Joaquim de Almeida is introduced in the second part of the film. He portrays René Barrientos, a military officer and politician who was the president of Bolivia between 1964 and 1969. Barrientos suppressed the guerrilla group led by Che Guevara and was instrumental in his eventual demise. Che received mostly positive reviews and won several awards including the Best Actor Award at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.
Sandino is a Spanish-Nicaraguan biographical film about the life of Augusto César Sandino, the Nicaraguan revolutionary. The film was directed by Chilean filmmaker Miguel Littín. Although it was initially released as a full-length film in cinemas, the film was later broadcast on television as a three-episode miniseries. Joaquim de Almeida stars as the film’s title character, Augusto César Sandino. The film also stars Kris Kristofferson, Ángela Molina, and Dean Stockwell.
Fast Five (2011)
Fast Five, is an action film that serves as the fifth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. The film was directed by Justin Lin and written by Chris Morgan. Several stars of the franchise feature in the film including Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, and Dwayne Johnson.
Joaquim de Almeida appears in the movie as Hernan Reyes, a drug lord who is passing himself off as a legitimate businessman. Fast Five was released on 29 April 2011 to positive reviews, notably for the use of practical stunts in place of computer-generated imagery. It is widely considered the best film in the franchise.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is an action comedy film directed by Patrick Hughes. The film follows a bodyguard tasked with protecting an imprisoned hitman who is on his way to testify against a dictator. The film was released on 18 August 2017 and stars Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson in the lead roles. Joaquim de Almeida portrays Jean Foucher, an Interpol officer who acts as a mole for the dictator. Upon release, the film was praised for the performances of its cast.
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