Those of us who are fans of the British Office have known it for years.
Ralph Inerson, who plays Chris Finch (the travelling salesman) on The Office (Gervais's), will be playing Amycuss Carrow in the final two Harry Potter movies. If anyone else has seen The Office Christmas special (again UK), and read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, you'll appreciate that I now have a very clear picture of Professor McGonagall telling Amycuss Carrow to "Fuck Off"
Now I know some people are going to say "Liz, by bringing up his role on The Office, while talking about his newest casting project, you are just encouraging people to see Ralph Inerson as his character and not an actor". Well maybe you aren't saying it, but I still want to weigh in on this particular acting issue.
Personally, if I do ever become a famous actor and I have one particular role follow me around the rest of my life, I will take it as a great accomplishment to have so embodied that part that people are so attached to. Granted I do kind of feel sorry for Mackenzie Crook getting called "Gareth" on the street, but he should know that it's because he's fricken awesome.
I was thinking about this last night as I watched Family Guy. Something I don't make a big habit of doing, but there was nothing else on. James Woods was the guest star, and the plot was that he had taken over Peter's identity (props to Family Guy: they had James Woods say "it's just like that time..." and Peter go into a rage that he was stealing his "cut scene" jokes). The whole time I was listening to James Wood's voice on his animated body being evil...
I'm sure that James Woods does not consider this the pinnacle of his acting career, but it's my favourite thing he's done... possibly apart from being a clerk at the Kwicki Mart.
I love character actors. Even actors who have a great "range" have at least one character that they are often identified with- A recent favourite character of mine has become Dr. House played by the incomparable Hugh Laurie (are you listening David Yates? Rufus Scrimgeour!). Yes, Hugh Laurie is a remarkable actor with a lot of range, but House will probably follow him everywhere from now on. I have a sneaking suspicion that he'll still get work. He's a pretty amazing actor. Plus I want him to look at my charts and figure out what I'm allergic to. I'm sure he can.
Shortly I will be weighing in on the Oscars, and I'm sure the topic of acting will re-surface. The question of whether or not an actor has stretched themselves, created a memorable character, and whether they maintain that character without slipping into THEIR character (*cough Sweeny Sparrow* cough*) always surfaces amongst critics around Oscar season. I am renting Elizabeth this week, and hoping to get out to see There Will be Blood before Sunday. By Saturday I ought to be well versed enough to make a few predictions. Until then!