Click here to enter my other blog: Jane Austen's World.

Friday, May 8

Where Are They Now? Mark Strong

As the new Emma is being filmed, we recall Mark Strong, Emma 1996's dark and forceful Mr. Knightley. Mark has since made a career as a 'bad' man. His latest project is as the villainous Lord Blackwood in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes. He also did a memorable turn as Archie in Rock n Rolla and as Prince Septimus in 2007's Stardust.

In Mark Strong Reveals Sherlock Holmes Secrets, Mark discussed not only his naughty, naughty character but also how the film will climax. Strong’s villainous role is as Lord Blackwood, a Satanist who uses fear to manipulate and grasp power. Strong says of the scowly bad boy, "There’s a touch of Dracula about him. He needed to have an element of showmanship about him by virtue of the fact that he’s trying to persuade everyone around him that he’s so in league with the Devil that he’s able to conquer death. I just wanted to make him an equal adversary of Sherlock Holmes."

We learn in My Secret Life: Mark Strong that Mark was born Marco Giuseppe Salussolia in Islington, north London, in 1963, to an Italian father and Austrian mother. He first came to prominence in the acclaimed Nineties BBC serial Our Friends in the North.

Sherlock Holmes will be released on Christmas Day in the States, and (perhaps) on Boxing Day in the UK. Read about Mark as Archie in Guy Ritchie's Rock n Rolla in this link. He also played Sir John Conroy in Young Victoria (2009) (with Amanda Richardson at right.) See his 40 sec. YouTube interview below.

See this YouTube Video of Mark as the evil Prince Septimus (To David Usher's Black, Black Heart.)

Read more about Mark in this post: Mark Strong: A Darkly Handsome Mr. Knightley


Heather Carroll said...

I love Mark Strong! I'm glad to hear that I'll be seeing more of him!

Ruth said...

I really sat up and took notice of Mark Strong when I saw the film Stardust. At the time, it'd been a while since I'd watched Emma, so I was shocked to realize Septimus was also Mr. Knightley! I also enjoyed seeing him in the film Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. I'm really looking forward to Sherlock Holmes, and Young Victoria - do you have any info on when Victoria might open in the US?

Vic said...

No U.S. release date yet for the Young Victoria. We'll post it as soon as the grapevine lets us know!

Stephanie Perkins said...

I thought he was wonderful in Stardust too! Stole every scene he was in. And I can't wait for Sherlock Holmes.

I was the most surprised to find him in Danny Boyle's Sunshine. He played the last act villain, Pinbacker. (And if his name hadn't been in the credits I would have never, EVER guessed it.)

And yes! Miss Pettigrew! Although I was a wee distracted by Lee Pace to notice poor Mark ;)


Good investigation! Loved this post!

Anonymous said...

I too love Mark Strong! For me, he is the perfect Knightley. Sometimes Austen heroes are cast as rather wimpy, but he has real strength combined with sensitivity.

He makes any film better. He was great in "Body in Lies" and I think he'll be marvelous in Sherlock Holmes.

Lynn said...

I've been a fan of his for awhile now and he is such talented actor, happy he is getting the notice he deserves !

Deb said...

Thank you for this post on Mark Strong - he has a Richard Armitage as Guy Gisborne quality about him! [does Mags at Austenblog know this?!] - he was fabulous in Pettigrew, the perfect creepy boyfriend. On first viewing Emma years ago, I did not like him as Knightley - thought him too harsh, almost cruel (perhaps why he plays such a bad guy so well!) -but on subsequent viewings he has grown on me and I now think he will remain the Knightley to outdo- I am not feeling very hopeful about Jonny Lee Miller in the role - Strong could actually REDO the role!-he looks more mature and fits the part better now [though we all know that Richard Armitage is the man, hands-down...] Strong, by the way, was terrific in Body of Lies, a movie you do not mention [though is that picture from the movie?]- he brought the only real class to an otherwise disappointing movie..