International Star You Should Know: Richard Rankin

Richard Rankin has been steadily building a varied resume, from comedy sketch show “Burnistoun,” which ran for three seasons on BBC One; to legit hit “Black Watch,” about a group of Scottish soldiers stationed in Iraq; to BBC/PBS’ World War I medical mini “The Crimson Field”; and indie horror movie “The House of Him,” in which he plays a serial killer. He currently stars in BBC crime drama “From Darkness,” and has a minor role in John Wells’ “Burnt,” starring Bradley Cooper, which the Weinstein Co. is set to release Oct. 23.

HARD-DRIVING PLANS: The 32-year-old studied acting at Glasgow’s Langside College after a trip to Los Angeles inspired him. “My brother and I had dreamed of being singers or being in a boy band,” he says. “Then I went into IT for a while. … I wanted to build computers, which I still enjoy doing.”

HORSING AROUND: The actor, who still calls Glasgow home, had to learn to ride a horse for the BBC show “The Syndicate,” in which he plays a stable boy. “I absolutely fell in love with it,” he confesses.

NO JOKING: Rankin’s biggest influence is Heath Ledger — specifically as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” “It was so far removed from him as an actor,” he says. “The transformation and performance he gave as that character has inspired a lot of actors. It made me believe we all have the potential to think more outside the box. He took a well-known character and made it his own.”

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