Mark Strong Hollywood's "go-to" villain

Wed May 12, 2010 9:38am EDT
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By Mike Davidson and Mike Collett-White

CANNES, France (Reuters) - British actor Mark Strong is very good at being very bad.

The 46-year-old, who stars in "Robin Hood" which opens the Cannes film festival on Wednesday, has fast become one of Hollywood's first-choice villains, putting the menace into method acting in movies like "Syriana" and "Sherlock Holmes."

"I do love these characters and as an actor you've got a hell of a lot to get hold of, and the challenge is not to make them two-dimensional and to find something in there," Strong told Reuters in a recent interview to promote Robin Hood.

"I've played good guys in the past, I've played comedy roles in the past, I'm looking to do that again in the future. But for right now I'm very happy in this kind of rich vein of villains."

He added that an actor had less control over his career than many would imagine.

"The career tends to happen to you, because all you can do is really say no to certain things, you can't actively go: 'Right, I'm going to be a leading man now.'

"You have to wait for that to come your way and then choose the right one. So really careers tend to happen to actors rather than the other way around."

Ridley Scott's Robin Hood stars Russell Crowe in the title role and Cate Blanchett as Maid Marion in a prequel to more familiar big-screen storylines based on the English legend.   Continued...