Friday, April 16, 2010

Accents of a villain

Why are foreign actors (but not too foreign) always asked to fill the roles of some of the best baddies/sidekicks/turncoats/sadistic killers/wise teachers? On the surface some may believe it's the accent, makeup or clever lines but it could be something more... Burning up the celluloid with their genuine depth of emotion they inject much needed dimension into even the most badly written characters.

Best of the Best

Jeremy Irons
Reversal of Fortune, Dead Ringers, Brideshead Revisited, The Lion King, The Merchant of Venice, Die Hard III
Actor's studio interview here

Die Hard, Galaxy Quest, Robin Hood, Truly Madly Deeply, Perfume: The story of a Murderer, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Harry Potter(s), Dogma, Sweeney Todd.

Ian Holm
Alien, The Sweet Hereafter, eXistenZ, The Madness of King George, Brazil, From Hell

Ian Mckellan
Gods and Monsters, X-men (&2), Lord of the Rings 1-3, Apt Pupil, Last Action Hero
Actor's studio interview here

Up and Coming?
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers: Matchpoint
Javier Bardem: No Country for Old Men: Die another Day,

Honorable mention.
He's not even "foreign" and perhaps reknown as having an "eccentric" personality but Joaquin Phoenix held his own in Gladiator. It simply wouldn't have the same chill without his talent.