David Mark Rylance Waters (born 18 January 1960) is a British actor, theatre director and playwright. He was the first artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe in London, from 1995 to 2005. His film appearances include Prospero's Books (1991), Angels and Insects (1995), Institute Benjamenta (1996), and Intimacy (2001). Rylance won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Rudolf Abel in Bridge of Spies (2015). He played the title role in Steven Spielberg's The BFG (2016), a live-action film adaptation of the children's book by Roald Dahl. He will appear in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk (2017) based on the British evacuation in WWII, and as James Halliday in Steven Spielberg's 2018 film adaptation of Ready Player One.
After training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Rylance made his professional debut at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow in 1980. He went on to win the Olivier Award for Best Actor for Much Ado About Nothing in 1994 and Jerusalem in 2010, and the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for Boeing Boeing in 2008 and Jerusalem in 2011. He won a third Tony Award in 2014 for Twelfth Night. On television, he won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor for his role as David Kelly in the 2005 Channel 4 drama The Government Inspector and for playing Thomas Cromwell in the 2015 BBC Two miniseries Wolf Hall. For Wolf Hall, he also received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
Rylance is a patron of the London International Festival of Theatre. He is also a patron of the London-based charity Peace Direct which supports peacebuilders in areas of conflict, and of the British Stop the War Coalition. In 2016 he was named in the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.