Ray Stevenson, ‘Rome’

10 Actors to Watch

What makes your show different?

“The scale of it. Basically it’s a movie a week. I think it’s gone further than other TV programs have tried in the past.”

What previous role are you most proud of?

“I did a small film for television many years ago called ‘Some Kind of Life.’ It’s about a guy who suffered head injuries in a motorcycle crash. My wife was played by Jane Horrocks. Her husband’s body survives, but the man she knew died that day. It’s an important issue, and you rarely get a chance to play that kind of human drama.”

What shows influenced you in becoming an actor? Why?

“I have a very clear recollection of going to see John Malkovich in ‘Burn This’ on the West End. I bought a cheap ticket and remembered being absolutely mesmerized by it, and the rest of the audience disappeared for me. It made me feel excited about what drama could do.”

Comedy or drama: Which is harder?

“Truth. That’s what you seek in both. That’s what makes comedy great and that’s what makes drama great. I heard a quote from Spencer Tracy when he was asked what the magic was in acting. He said there is no magic. Basically you just hit your mark, look the other guy in the eye and tell the truth.”

Whose career would you like to emulate?

“Gene Hackman. I could watch him in anything and everything he does. The man is just a tower of strength. He’s ultimately watchable and totally believable. Even if he’s in a project that doesn’t quite come up to him, it’s worth watching just to see him.”

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