You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

British acting trio ‘Spy’ golden opportunity

Cumberbatch, Hardy, Strong hope to vault to next level

Tomas Alfredson gained international attention with his 2008 vampire pic “Let the Right One In” and for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” his English-language debut that has made some $11 million since its release Sept. 16, he assembled a heavyweight cast, with Gary Oldman taking the part of Smiley alongside Colin Firth and John Hurt.

Yet the second-tier names are no less worth noteworthy. In Mark Strong, Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch, the helmer has selected some of Britain’s hottest emerging actors.

Casting agent Jina Jay has nothing but praise for the trio, emphasizing above all their uniqueness.

The 48-year-old Strong made his breakthrough with the lead role in the 2004 BBC miniseries “The Long Firm,” where his onscreen magnetism caught the eye of Ridley Scott, who later cast him opposite Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Body of Lies.”

Since then, he’s played an icily compelling villain in Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes,” made a brief appearance in “The Guard” as a memorably melancholy thug, and even managed to survive “Green Lantern” with his dignity relatively intact.

Similarly indebted to Britain’s national broadcaster is Cumberbatch, who in the past 12 months has become a household name at home, thanks to his show-stopping turn as Sherlock Holmes in Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s update of Arthur Conan Doyle’s hero for the BBC. He’ll been seen in Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” and is now filming “The Hobbit.” He’s also developed a sterling reputation for his stage work, most recently in Danny Boyle’s “Frankenstein” at London’s National Theater.

Hardy, meanwhile, garnered critical praise for his performance in Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Bronson,” though his entree to Hollywood came a few years earlier, with supporting roles in “Band of Brothers” and feature “Black Hawk Down.”

But it was “Bronson” that made Hollywood sit up and take notice. Hardy was a member of the dream team in Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” and is re-teaming with Nolan for 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises.”

For Jay, who helped cast “Munich” and “Atonement,” the process this time proved an unexpected pleasure. “Given Tomas’ reputation, and Peter Straughan and Bridget O’Connor’s stunning screenplay,” she says, “the actors were all happy to take meetings the old-fashioned way — sitting down for lunch, and over cups of tea, and discussing the material at length with the filmmakers.” How terribly, terribly British.

More Film

  • US actor Donald Sutherland poses for

    Donald Sutherland Reflects in Lyon On A Life And Career Marked By Cinema

    In a loose and free-flowing on-stage interview held at the Lumière Festival this past Sunday, Donald Sutherland reflected on his decade-spanning career with a tone that mixed personal irreverence alongside genuine veneration for the art form that brought him this far. “I love filmmakers, I really do,” said the Canadian actor, who delighted the local [...]

  • Terry Back chairman ACF

    Veteran U.K. Media Investor Terry Back Joins ACF as Chairman

    CANNES — Veteran U.K. film industry investor Terry Back has joined ACF investment bank as chairman. ACF, headed by CEO Thomas Dey, has been at the forefront of the M&A activity around independent TV and film production outfits, mostly in the unscripted TV arena. ACF is in the midst of expanding its activities in the [...]

  • Joker

    Korea Box Office: 'Joker' Remains on Top, 'Gemini Man' Lands in Fourth

    Warner Bros.’ “Joker” remained on top of the South Korean box office in its second weekend. The American psychological thriller earned $5.71 million from 768,000 admissions between Friday and Sunday, for a total of $28.3 million from 3.85 million admissions after two weekends. It accounted for 46% of total weekend box office in the country. [...]

  • dolittle-DRD_Tsr1Sht_1011_RGB_4_rgb-1

    Robert Downey Jr. Embarks on Perilous Journey in First 'Dolittle' Trailer (Watch)

    Robert Downey Jr. is setting sail with some furry friends in the first trailer for “Dolittle,” Universal Pictures’ reimagining of the classic story about a man who could speak to animals. “We have no choice but to embark on this perilous journey,” he says. Set to a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” [...]

  • Parasite

    Bong Joon Ho's 'Parasite' Posts Powerful Opening in North America

    Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, has launched with a spectacular $376,264 at three U.S. theaters.  Neon opened “Parasite” at The Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the IFC Center in New York, where it broke the opening record set by 2014’s “Boyhood.” Its per-screen average of [...]

  • Joker Movie

    'Joker' Dominates International Box Office With $124 Million

    “Joker” is showing impressive traction internationally with a second weekend of $123.7 million on 24,149 screens in 79 markets — a holdover decline of just 29%. Joaquin Phoenix’s psychological thriller has totaled $351.2 million outside North America after only 12 days in release. And with $192 million in domestic grosses, “Joker” has now topped $543 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content