Actors and Actresses

Canadian Eric Schweig…

o-canada-niagaraWow, can you believe that another rendition of Speakeasy and Silver Screenings‘ O Canada! Blogathon is here. Time sure flies.

For my third year joining in, I’ve decided to pick an actor again (last year, although it feels like yesterday, I looked at The Grand Seduction and the previous year, Donald Sutherland). An actor that I feel is underrated. May I introduce to you Eric Schweig. Born in 1967 (19 June to be precise), his real name is actually Ray Dean Thrasher. Oh, and in case it wasn’t obvious, he was born in Canada. Inuvik, Northwest Territories.

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Now…you’ll probably know where I’m heading with this post…(for those of you new to my Blog, let me just say that The Last of the Mohicans is my absolute favourite movie of all time)…so, yep, I’m heading down the Uncas (Last of the Mohicans route). But what other route should I take? It is, after all, this movie which introduced me to this actor. I’d never heard of him before then (granted, according on IMDB it was only his 3rd movie) and must admit I haven’t seen too much with him in it (although he’s been in a fair amount). It takes quite something to share screen presence with Daniel Day-Lewis and boy, oh boy, does Eric Schweig manage to do this. While he doesn’t have the lead role, he is definitely noticed. Or maybe it’s just that I have a bit of a weakness for the Uncas/Alice love story. But really, I thoroughly enjoy the ease with which he takes on the character of Uncas (and no, here we won’t discuss how true to the book the movie is – this is a post about an actor, therefore a movie). So, for a long time, all I had was the 25 year old Eric Schweig  – back then my parents and I had no TV in the house (by choice) and besides, Video Cassettes were limited. IMDB and the internet didn’t exist, so, unless an actor was making Magazine gossip, you weren’t really aware of who else was out there and what they were acting in. My Quinlan’s Films Stars book also dated too quickly.EricSchweig

Only a number of years later with my own place and a TV, I happened to catch the trail-end of Follow the River (1995). Unfortunately didn’t see too much of Eric Schweig‘s character, however, it did trigger me to go find some other roles I’d enjoyed him in. And I found…

SkinsfilmSkins (2002). Here he plays Rudy Yellow Lodge, a police office in an Indian Reservation. He is joined by Graham Greene (also a Canadian) who takes on the role of Mogie Yellow Lodge, Rudy‘s alcoholic brother. While not always easy to watch it was an eye opener and I did actually enjoy it. The cast also includes, amongst others, wonderful fellow Canadians Gary Farmer, Michelle Thrush and Nathaniel Arcand as well as Gil Birmingham (not Canadian)  It also presented to me an Eric Schweig 10 years older to what I’d be introduced to. In this darker, more serious role, he is still great to watch. In contrast, his smaller role in The Missing about which I’m not going to say too much here other than, I really needed to watch The Last of the Mohicans again.

I’ve got Dead Man’s Walk waiting to be watched and trying to find Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (not only because of Eric Schweig but I want to see it regardless of who’s in it) and Into the West is also proving difficult to find (once again with Eric Schweig but on my to-watch list anyway). He’s been in so many movies and series and I’m embarrassed to say that for such a wonderful actor I really haven’t seen enough of him.

But, that’s not all. As a means of connecting to his heritage, Eric Schweig carves masks (look them up, they are gorgeous), a skill developed from his early childhood days of carving. In fact, I believe he never intended to get into acting but was involved with woodwork and framing work.

So, here’s to a Canadian who really is worth noticing.

 

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A Strong Character…

A few (I think) years back, the following ad caught me eye on TV (and I NEVER notice ads) not because of the brand being advertised…actually…give it a watch…I won’t need to explain:

So, I take it you know where I’m heading…definitely not the car route… 😉

But more specifically…one of these “bad” men…Mark Strong. Until recently, he was typically cast in the villain roles (hence the above appropriate clip). In fact, I’m often drawn to the actors not in the lead. And, don’t think bad of me, the villains are often exactly those that catch my eye. So much more exciting aren’t they? And just possibly a means of “living a little wild” from the safety of my mind…anyway, that’s not the point…but…hmmm….I assume that explains why a particular villain (or rather, the actor behind that villain) caught my eye in Robin Hood (2010). Yes…Godfrey, played so brilliantly by Mark Strong. Cold and calculating, ok, fine, sooooo cliché, let me start again…he was a man with an agenda…and played so convincingly.

MarkStrongRobinHoodIt was also at this point it dawned on me that I’d seen this actor before. In a number of roles. Yes, definitely a familiar face. Yet the person a mystery. But finally, with his role as Godfrey, I could put a name to the face. Off to look him up…and voila….you see…I was right…I HAVE seen him before. He was Wictred in Tristan + Isolde. And yes, at the time of watching this movie I’d also wondered who the actor was (I wasn’t focusing too hard on the leads and, I digress, I didn’t really mind Isolde being won by Mark…but that’s a topic for another day), but, because I never caught the character’s name I had no way of knowing the actor. And once again, a more “unsavoury” character…back-stabing and with a lust for power. One with some “oomph”.

Then came Lord Blackwood a la Jack the Ripper in Sherlock Holmes (2010). Oh what the perfect villain he makes. (cackle, cackle)

So, by this stage, I had a particular, should I say, “expectation”, of Mr Strong. Therefore, when The Way Back came along, I had a preconceived idea that his character Khabarov would be the “usual” up-to-no-good traitor or the like. I won’t, however, tell you if he is or isn’t. That would take all the fun out of this…wouldn’t it?

Now, I must tell you something terrible…I honestly cannot remember Mark Strong being in The Eagle, but apparently he was. I’m so sorry but I just can’t remember. Although, am I forgiven for saying I can’t remember another prominent actor (and I’m not talking about the two “leads”)?

JohnCarterAnd if I’m already on confessions…the only reason I watched John Carter (yes, I cringe too)…uhm…was for Mark Strong (and James Purefoy and Dominic West). And I only got as far as I did because of these supporting actors. Definitely wasn’t because of the story. But, that said, another fine performance by the actor I’m chit chatting about.

I’ll give you points for recognising Mark Strong in the movie Sunshine (he was in two Sunshine movies…here I’m on about the 2007 one, not the 1999 one). While not a big on-screen role, his actions play quite a part in the story. Need I mention that he isn’t the good guy? Oh but what I must mention is that this is such a superb movie that seems to have slipped under the sun radar.

welcome-to-the-punch-pic04Along came Welcome to the Punch, another one that didn’t get many positive reviews, but you know what? I thought it was great! Not only was one of my favourite “villains” back but the entire movie was fun (or at least I thought it was). And somehow, Strong‘s character Jacob Sternwood didn’t feel like such a baddie…

Hmmm…it is quite strange though, that the last two roles I’ve seen him in have not fallen into this “type” (for lack of a better word). Chronologically I know that Body of Lies goes somewhere into the midst of the movies mentioned above, but in my personal viewing history, it comes very recently. Here it has him as Hani, Jordanian General Intelligence Directorate head. I kept expecting him to be the main antagonist. *Sigh*

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And the last, wonderful role I’ve seen him in (to date. More to come)…Merlin in Kingsman: The Secret Service. I absolutely loved this “lighter” role. Oh, the characterisation of Merlin, was, delightful superb. But then, would you expect anything else from such a dynamic actor?

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Born in 1963, more specifically, on the 5th August 1963, this British actor complements any ensemble he joins. Perfect in any role. Be it the good (Merlin), the bad (need we mention roles?) or the ugly (Pinbacker). And, apologies if I have “pigeonholed” this wonderful artist….but oh how I do enjoy a good villain.

Thanks to the hosts of this wonderful Blogathon ( Outspoken & Freckled, Paula’s Cinema Club and Once Upon a Screen). This is my second time joining them and it is always a pleasure. Last year I covered Michael Wincott (here).

 

Happy Birthday Meg Ryan…

Meg Ryan is forever associated with school friends and movie nights. Back in those days she was the girl we all went to see regardless of the movie because she was inevitably in a “good one”. In fact, it was a given that you’d have seen the “latest Meg Ryan movie”. I’m sure many of you know exactly what I mean. Right?

maggie-blogathonI was introduced to Meg Ryan, rather late…that means, NOT with When Harry Met Sally (“oh no, how could you???” you cry), which was most people’s introduction to this star, but, with Sleepless in Seattle. And from then on, we’ve probably all got similar watch lists…although, Top Gun, which chronologically comes before Sleepless in Seattle, is one I only saw relatively late in my Meg-Ryan-movie-watching-timeline. But she isn’t really in a main role here, is she?

Oh, and then came Courage under Fire. Everyone went to see it. I recall it being good. Although, I barely remember what it was about. Sorry 😦

Addicted to Love was another good one. Misunderstood and underappreciated by many I think. Unlike the popular City of Angels (which my aunt from Los Angeles couldn’t stop raving about). Although, and don’t unfollow me for this, I wasn’t the biggest fan.

Ahhh…..then came the most delightful, wonderful, feel-good, sweet, lovely (fine, I’ll stop) You’ve Got Mail. Sigh…what a cute movie that was. As for Meg, she was wonderful (but wasn’t she just always?). I dreamt of running my own book shop for a long time thereafter (but that had just as much to do with my love of books as with this little cinematic delight).

Everyone had come to think of Meg Ryan in that rom-com manner when along come Proof of Life. And my girl friends just wouldn’t watch it. I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed it. And to be honest, while the overall genre and feel of this movie might have been different, Meg‘s character was still that wonderful woman who could hold her own. After all, isn’t that what she did in You’ve Got Mail and Addicted to Love? 

Sadly, the last movie I remember having watched with our birthday girl was Kate and Leopold. Another one I thoroughly enjoyed. After this, somewhere along the line, ever so quietly, Ms Ryan slipped off the movie radar. Maybe, I should say “my movie radar”. Yes, granted, we all grow older but still, I miss that youthful “bubbliness” that was Meg Ryan in her prime. OK, fine, maybe I’m wrong and just haven’t kept up with her movies but I will forever have her in mind as I had back then.

Whatever the case, here’s to a wonderful actress who was such a big part of my high-school movie days. Those fun nights out at the cinema with friends. Wonderful days. Wonderful movies. So, dear Meg Ryan, here’s wishing you a very happy birthday. You brought that special touch to romantic comedy that few others managed.

Thanks Pfeiffer Films and Meg Movies for your Meg Ryan Birthday Blogathon.

Now for the last few entries of the Now (and Then) Blogathon…

With the Now and Then Blogathon officially over, we’ve still had some posts coming in. No problem…life happens after all. So, keep coming back to this page to see additional Now entries with the Then ones over here co-hosted by Realweegiemidget Reviews…alternatively click the links below for the various posts.

Diary of a Movie Maniac tackles two oldies…and still more than a 20 year gap. Here‘s from the year 1959 as the Now entry is The Bat.

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Pure Entertainment Preservation Society gives us a James Cagney in Mister Roberts. A huge apology for missing your post…it hid itself in my Spam folder.

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Looking back…here are the Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 Now entries. And don’t forget to pop past Realweegiemidget Reviews (there’s a link on each of my day links above to keep things easy) for the corresponding Then entries.

 

Now that’s a wrap (almost) of the Now (and Then) Blogathon…

Fours days of Now and Then Blogathon have already flown by. Thanks so much for everyone who participated. It has been great fun. I’m listing all the Now entries below and they’ll all have a corresponding Then entry here over at Realweegiemidget Reviews…alternatively click the links below for the various posts.

VinnieP reviews The Stud right here. That’s his Now entry for Joan Collins.

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Now we head on for some Christopher Lee in The Resident with Cinematic Catharsis right over here.

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With one of his favourites (if not THE favourite), here‘s a post on Titanic by Movierob.

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And closing off the day (we’ll add some late entries tomorrow or so), another one right here from Movierob. The Jackal it is.

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Thanks so much for all of you who participated, read, commented on or simply liked the posts. It is greatly appreciated. To my co-host, Realweegiemidget Reviews, a thank you and another thank you for your patience with me while I’ve been juggling everything.

Now, now, we’re on day 3 of the Now (and Then) Blogathon…

Wow, things are flying past so quickly…and another day of entries is almost over. Our Now and Then Blogathon has been fantastic. Once again, I’m listing all the Now entries below and they’ll all have a corresponding Then entry here over at Realweegiemidget Reviews…alternatively click the links below for the various posts.

My co-host Realweegiemidget Reviews gives us one of her favourite actors, Michael Caine, in Interstellar right here.

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Moon in Gemini picks my favourite Genre and has a look at the remake of a classic over here…being The Magnificent Seven.

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Robert Redford is Crítica Retrô‘s choice in Our Souls at Night which she reviews over here

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Join us again tomorrow for the 4th and final day. If you want to you can still join in. Check out the original announcement by clicking the banner below:

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Now then…let’s see what we have Now…day 2 of the Now (and Then) Blogathon

Wow…day two is already here with the Now and Then Blogathon. As per yesterday I’m listing all the Now entries below and they’ll all have a corresponding Then entry here over at Realweegiemidget Reviews…alternatively click the links below for the various posts.

Co-Host Realweegiemidget Reviews presents Robert Downey Jr in Captain America: Civil War right here.

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The Humpo Show tackles an iconic reboot with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull here.

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Movie Reviews from the Dark greets us from the darkness (here) with The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

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Cinematic Scribblings gives us an interesting view of Louis XIV right here with The Death of Louis XIV.

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Old School Evil gives us his dreaded review of Transformers: The Last Knight here and hurries back to watch the first one…

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Once again, the wonderful entries keep coming in. We’ll be back tomorrow for day 3. And if you’re still keen to join, click the banner below for the original announcement.

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