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People in Film | Mark Strong

Posted November 10, 2011 to photo album "People in Film | Mark Strong"

A man of many faces and characters, be they supervillains or literary heroes, Mark Strong makes each one uniquely his own.

Mark Strong | Glamour and Sadness
Mark Strong | Becoming an Actor Despite Himself
Mark Strong | A Familiar Face on the Telly
Mark Strong | Great When He’s Bad
Mark Strong | Many Faces, One Heart
Mark Strong | Great When He’s Bad

Mark Strong | Great When He’s Bad

Mark Strong in REVOLVER, OLIVER TWIST, SHERLOCK HOLMES

In David Evans' 1997 soccer drama, FEVER PITCH, Strong got noticed on the big screen as Colin Firth’s friend. (Interestingly, both had just come off playing Austen beaus -- he, EMMA’s Knightley and Firth, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE’s Mr. Darcy). Following his soulful turn as the spiritually-minded prisoner of war in TO END ALL WARS, Strong began to find his groove as a character actor playing the dapper, sadistic gay gangster in the BBC series about London's criminal underworld in the 1960s, “The Long Firm.” The Telegraph wrote that “the success of the series is due to Harry [Starls]– or rather, to the subtlety and power with which he is played by Mark Strong.” Indeed Strong began to redefine complicated villains in a series of roles as memorable film baddies: the suburban father-looking hit man in Guy Ritchie’s 2005 REVOLVER; the colorful crook Toby Crackit in Roman Polanski’s 2005 OLIVER TWIST; the finger nail-pulling henchman in Stephen Gaghan’s 2005 SYRIANA; the cool, inscrutable head of the Jordanian Police in Ridley Scott’s 2008 BODY OF LIES; and the superbad, back-from-the-dead Lord Blackwood in Guy Ritchie’s SHERLOCK HOLMES. As Strong told FirstShowing, “I think with good guys, you never really think, "Why are they good?" But with bad guys, you might find yourself thinking, "What's made them like this?" So, psychologically, I find them really interesting, and I can find different ways to differentiate them.”