An intense character actor adept at portraying a wide variety of roles, Rory Cochrane first caught people's attention as Slater, the resident high school stoner in Richard Linklater's cult comedy, "Dazed and Confused" (1993). Taking on the dramatically different role of Tim Speedle on the hit CBS spin-off "CSI: Miami" (2002-2012), Cochrane found a new audience on mainstream television. On film, Cochrane found consistent work by appearing in a number of films, including "Empire Records" (1995), "The Low Life" (1995) and Gregory Hoblit's "Hart's War" (2002) opposite Colin Farrell. Cochrane had made such a memorable impression on Linklater, the director cast the up-and-comer in his rotoscoped sci-fi film, "A Scanner Darkly" (2006), while the actor continued making a name for himself on TV and in film with prominent roles on "24" (Fox, 2001-2010), as well as in "Public Enemies" (2009) and "Argo" (2012). Whether in roles large or small, Cochrane always brought the same intensity to the characters he played while elevating both the material and his own status.
Born Feb. 28, 1972 in Syracuse, NY to an Irish-American father and an Indian-American mother, Cochrane was raised in the idyllic village of Grantchester, England, where he spent most of his childhood. Returning to New York as a teenager, he lived in Queens and attended the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts in Manhattan where he began to study acting. While still a student, Cochrane was cast in a docudrama segment about drug use for the news magazine program, "Saturday Night with Connie Chung" (CBS, 1989), which he followed with a small role in an episode of the short-lived cop drama, "H.E.L.P." (ABC, 1990). Making his feature film debut, Cochrane appeared in a small role in James Dearden's remake of "A Kiss before Dying" (1991), and he landed his first substantial role in "Fathers and Sons" (1992), portraying Jeff Goldblum's estranged teenage son. Cochrane went on to receive critical praise as the perennially stoned, analytical Slater in Richard Linklater's cult comedy "Dazed and Confused" (1993), a period film that boasted future stars Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey.
Appearing as a trigger-happy biker in "Love and a .45" (1994), the versatile Cochrane won praise for his dramatic range and earned a bit of tabloid exposure to boot over rumors of dating co-star Renee Zellweger. He reunited with Zellweger the following year in the ensemble comedy "Empire Records" (1995), where he played a record store clerk who steals the manager's nest egg in a misguided attempt to increase it in Atlantic City. That same year, Cochrane hit the festival circuit in George Hickenlooper's independent flick "The Low Life" (1995), portraying a repressed Ivy League graduate attempting to start a career in Hollywood. Teaming up with Hickelooper once more, Cochrane appeared in the indie drama "Dogtown" (1997), before moving on to portray Dante Santadio in the television miniseries of Mario Puzo's "The Last Don" (CBS, 1997). From there, he landed small roles in a number of films; he appeared in the independent flick "The Adventures of Sebastian Cole" (1998), Joel Schumacher's "Flawless" (1999) and "Hart's War" (2002) opposite Colin Farrell and Bruce Willis. Turning to television in 2002, Cochrane landed the role of Tim "Speed" Speedle on the crime drama "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 2002-2012). Though the show was successful, Cochrane was dissatisfied with the grueling schedule and opted out of his contract after two seasons on the series.
While his character was killed off rather heroically in the third season opener and his departure from "CSI: Miami" amicable, Cochrane later expressed disappointment with the manner in which his character exited the show. Returning to film, he went on to appear in "Right at Your Door" (2006), a disaster thriller about a dirty bomb detonated in Los Angeles, and reunited with Richard Linklater for "A Scanner Darkly" (2006), a rotoscoped examination of an undercover narcotics cop (Keanu Reeves) with a split personality, which was based on Philip K. Dick's popular novel. After playing a Russian spy in the TV miniseries about the CIA, "The Company" (TNT, 2007), Cochrane joined season seven of "24" (Fox, 2001-2010) as the murderous right-hand to the head (Jon Voight) of a contractor firm, before he was an FBI agent helping Christian Bale's determined Melvin Purvis hunt down notorious bank robber John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) in Michael Mann's "Public Enemies" (2009). From there, Cochrane starred alongside Milla Jovovich and Bill Pullman in the indie drama, "Bringing Up Bobby" (2012), which was directed by first-timer Famke Janssen, and he joined an all-star cast that included Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, and director Ben Affleck for "Argo" (2012), the latter's widely hailed espionage thriller about the real-life rescue of American hostages from Iran in 1979 by CIA agents disguised as a film crew.
By Shawn Dwyer