The go-to actor for British villains on why the scariest bad guys are the most banal
If you need a dapper, stone-cold gangster, you can’t do better than Mark Strong. Arguably everyone has seen the British actor at least once: As Harry Stark on the British television series The Long Firm, or playing Frank D’Amico in Kick-Ass, Lord Blackwood in Sherlock Holmes, Clive Cornell in The Guard, Archy in Rocknrolla; in the past year alone he has been in Green Lantern, John Carter,and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The man works. And yet, chances are also good you don’t know his name. Despite leading man looks—or perhaps because of them—Strong has carved out a unique niche for himself, marrying sophistication with brute violence. The forty-eight-year-old actor’s villains are world-weary, bespoke bastards who will split your skull just as casually as they will pour another scotch. Strong maps out his typography of terror.