So recently two of my absolute favorite UK-based actors, both notable for playing slightly unhinged (or worse) characters, have popped into the popular consciousness, big time. I just thought I'd point out that before they were mainstream, they were BBC/ITV idols starring in highfalutin' adaptations of timeless British literature classics.
JAMES FRAIN: Before he was deranged vampire Franklin Mott on "True Blood" he played a closeted, clock-fixated member of the upper nobility, Julius Folyat, Duke of Trevenick, in "The Buccaneers" the Wharton adaptation with which I'm most obsessed, (the character in the book is the Duke of Tintagel, and he's not gay). And Frain also weirded it up playing loving but controlling hunchback Philip Wakem in the ITV production of George Eliot's "The Mill on the Floss," across from Emily Watson's enigmatic Maggie Tulliver. Also, of course, he played Thomas Cromwell in "The Tudors."
TOM HARDY: Before he won American hearts as sassy counterfeit man Eames in Chris Nolan's "Inception," Hardy smoldered and avenged himself across the moors as Heathcliff in Coky Giedroy's "Wuthering Heights." And he terrorized gold-hearted prostitutes and street urchins most magnificently, (along with his dog Bulls-eye) as murderous bloke Bill Sikes in Giedroy's "Oliver Twist."
It was nice to see his lighter side, even in this not-so-lite movie!