- Stage name Thewlis is his mother's maiden name.
- At 16, joined a punk-rock band called Door 66. Enrolled in drama school when his fellow band members announced they wanted to study drama.
- After filming Seven Years in Tibet with Brad Pitt, he was banned for life from entering China.
- Originally considered for the role of Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, before he was cast as Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
- Penned the novel The Late Hector Kipling (2007).
- Had to stop doing research for his role as a Nazi in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) because the subject matter was giving him bad dreams.
- Fans sometimes mistake him for Welsh actor Rhys Ifans.
- 2014, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2018, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
- 1993, Cannes Film Festival — Best Actor: Winner
- 1996, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Short Film: Nominee
- 2017, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Supporting Actor in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Nominee
- 2017, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or A Movie: Nominee
- Anna Friel — Ex-significant Other
- Sara Sugarman — Ex-wife
- Alec Wheeler — Father
- Maureen Wheeler — Mother
- Gracie Ellen Mary Thewlis — Daughter
- Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, England (1984)
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