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Nicholas Lea is the Canadian actor who portrays the Woodcutter and Michael Tillman on ABC's Once Upon a Time.


Nicholas Christopher Schroeder,[1] professionally known as Nicholas Lea, was born on June 22, 1962 in New Westminster, British Columbia and raised in the neighborhood of Kitsilano[3] in Vancouver.[2] He is the youngest sibling out of his older brother and sister.[4] Following his parents' divorce, he assumed the name Nicholas Christopher Herbert.[5] Nicholas attended Prince Of Wales Secondary School.[citation needed] During his high school years, he was actively into sports and participated in an outdoor camping program.[6]

After a brief period in the Canadian Navy, he wanted to be an professional illustrator and attended art school for three years,[4] but the desire to perform on stage pushed him into being lead vocalist and guitarist of an alternate rock band called Beau Monde, which is French for "beautiful world".[7] A friend of his became acquainted with an acting coach,[6] who Nicholas met in the men's clothing store he was working in at the time[4] and from there, he took a leap of faith to avoid returning to his old job.[8] He received his actor skills training at Beverly Hills Playhouse, Charles Conrad Studios and the Gastown Actor's Studio.[4]

Acting became his real passion with his big break in the 1983 Dorothy Stratten biopic Star 80, but as luck would have it, the young actor's scenes found a permanent home on the editing room floor. Undaunted, he worked steadily in a number of lesser-known television series and films before landing the role of Officer Enrico "Ricky" Caruso on The Commish in 1991. The show turned into a three-year gig for Lea and earned him some valuable on-screen experience, which translated into guest-star spots on other series- including The X-Files. Yes, the handsome club goer who meets an untimely demise in the The X-Files' season one episode "Genderbender" is none other than Nicholas. Rob Bowman, who directed the episode, was so impressed with his performance that he recommended the actor for the part of Krycek. Chris Carter agreed to allow Nicholas to audition, and he was cast for the role in the same day.

Since that time, Nicholas has enjoyed ever-increasing celebrity stature. Turns on Highlander, The Outer Limits, Sliders and Lonesome Dove, not to mention a leading role in the Canadian syndicated series Once a Thief, have elevated him to stardom, but it is his recurring appearances on The X-Files that have won him a loyal following.[7]

In his spare time, Nicholas likes engaging in drawing, golf, skiing, cooking, playing guitar and singing.[4]



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