Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Familiar Faces: Mark Strong

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies With Abe! There are plenty of actors out there who people recognize by face but can’t identify because they just don’t tend to get the leading roles. There is a fantastic book (and website) dedicated to this phenomenon, appropriately titled “Hey! It’s That Guy” and touting the fantastic J.T. Walsh as the ultimate recognizable everyman.

This series will spotlight an actor or actress who has recently turned in a notable or scene-stealing performance and showcase some of their best cinematic appearances. More than other any feature, this series will merge the worlds of television and film as needed to highlight a performer’s best and most recognizable work.

Mark Strong

Where you’ve seen him most recently: As villain Matai Shang in “John Carter,” loyal agent Jim Prideaux in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” and an intellectual criminal in “The Guard”

Where you might have first seen him: A number of roles since the early 1990s in England, and probably “Syriana” or “Sunshine” in terms of productions that made it over to the United States

Other notable appearances: A hilarious part as a henchman in “RocknRolla,” an AFT Award-winning performance as Jordanian Intelligence agent Hani Salaam in “Body of Lies,” and as villains Lord Blackwood and Sir Godfrey in “Sherlock Holmes” and “Robin Hood,” respectively

What you might expect from him: A serious, deep-voiced gangster or other villain not held back by conscience, most often extremely intelligent, cunning, and eager to outwit his rivals.

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