Charles Dance takes a look back at some of his biggest roles
The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) is one of the most popular websites for tracking the work of actors, filmmakers and others in the movie and TV world. We’ve asked some actors to look at their own IMDB page and comment on some of their best known roles.
Charles Dance is best known for playing menacing villains, but the British actor, who has been working for more than 40 years, has quite an eclectic filmography. Dance considers himself open to any sort of role, which has sometimes resulted in unusual career choices.
“I do have fun with most of the things I do purely because I just like working,” the 69-year-old actor says. “Perhaps I’ve not been as choosy as I could be. Unless something is really dreadful or the money is appalling or the people I’m likely to be working with are generally considered to be not very pleasant I just keep working.”
Currently Dance appears in romantic drama “Me Before You,” playing the loving but stoic father to a quadriplegic played by Sam Claftin. For Dance, who also will appear in the upcoming “Ghostbusters” remake and “Underworld: Blood Wars,” it’s yet another addition to an ever-evolving IMDB page. Here, Dance details some of the biggest – and most unusual – entries on his acting résumé.
“Me Before You” Role: Steven Traynor (2016)
“It was directed by Thea Sharrock, who is a rather wonderful theater director and who I have not had the pleasure of working with. She asked me to do it. My contribution to it is really just a cameo role. But also I knew Emilia [Clarke] from “Game of Thrones,” although we never actually had any scenes together – our plotlines never coincided – but she’s a really talented girl. I thought, all things being considered, why not?”
“Game of Thrones” Role: Tywin Lannister (2011-2015)
“When you’re in this business it kind of swings in roundabouts and ups and downs. You can be up one minute, flavor of the month one month and then nobody knows what’s going on the next. That’s just the way the career of a working actor goes. When this came along the quality of the scripts was so good and I had a feeling in my bones it would it be successful. I feel fortunate to have been part of it. Really great story lines. I thought it was a suitably ignominious death for Tywin because nice is not a word you could apply to him.”
“Dracula Untold” Role: Master Vampire (2014)
“When you’re covered in that kind of makeup you can kind of get away with murder, really. I hadn’t done anything like that before. Although it’s just a couple of long scenes in the middle of the film and one right at the end I thought, ‘I can have enormous fun with this and go wildly over the top.’ Which I proceeded to do. I think the expression is ‘Chewing up the scenery.’ I loved it. I had a ball – apart from the fact that it took about 2 ½ hours to put the makeup on every morning and another hour to get it off at night and I had to eat through a straw for the rest of the day.”
“Your Highness” Role: King Tallious (2011)
“I don’t very often get asked to participate in many comedies. And I just thought it would be fun to be part of it. But between you and me I didn’t think it was a very good film. I had a reasonable time doing it.”
“Scoop” Role: Mr. Malcolm (2006)
“[I did this] purely because it was a Woody Allen film. But as I’m sure many other people have told or you’ve read, it’s a very odd experience working with Woody, unless you’re actually fronting one of his films. I provided my own clothes. I went in for a day and Woody hardly said two words to me. I did the job, took the minimum amount of money and left.”
“Ali G Indahouse” Role: David Carlton (2002)
“Michael Gambon and I were doing ‘Gosford Park’ with Robert Altman. Michael came in one day and said, ‘Here, I’ve got this Ali G script’ and I said, ‘Yes so have I.’ He said, ‘Are you going to do it?’ I said, ‘I’ll do it if you do it.’ So we both agreed that we would do it and we had some fun making it. I mean, Sacha Baron Cohen is a very clever guy, but in my opinion I think he tends to play to what is called the lowest common denominator, and the degree of humor in the film was pretty basic. But it was the kind of thing I hadn’t done before. And I think it is the only time I have ever – and will ever – be seen wearing a red rubber leather micro skirt, thigh-high leather boots, a leopard skin crop top and drop earrings.”
“Alien 3” Role: Clemens (1992)
“I’d heard about David Fincher. Word was he was what’s called a ‘coming man.’ And indeed he was. David’s a terrific director and I liked the Aliens films. This script was rather different from the ones that had gone before. Initially Sigourney [Weaver]’s character was a kind of supporting role, which was not a good move considering Sigourney really is the franchise. So what appeared on the screen was quite different from what had been on the page. But to be the only character Ripley had any kind of relationship with was a nice prospect.”
“The Golden Child” Role: Sardo Numspa (1986)
“I thought I’d quite like to do a film with Eddie Murphy because he makes me laugh. The character was villainous, but he was a comic villain as far as I was concerned, and I hadn’t done a film like that before. I don’t think as an actor you should back off from any experience, so I thought, ‘OK, we’ll try this.’ And I did it, and I know that it’s played over and over again and a lot of devotees of that kind of thing say it’s their favorite film. It was fun. I enjoyed doing it.”
“For Your Eyes Only” Role: Claus (1981)
“That was my first big film, really, and to be part of the whole Bond thing was quite exciting. Roger Moore, who was the Bond in that, was an absolute gentleman. I was only playing third villain from the left, as it were, and I had one line, if I remember right, which was, ‘Get in,’ which initially the director wanted to cut. Roger, bless him, said, ‘Oh, no, you can’t cut this line. It’s very important for Charles to say this line in this film. It’s just before he gets killed.’ So he said, ‘Alright, Charles you hang on to the line.’ It was great to be part of a big machine like that, and it was a real eye-opener because I’d done very little film up until that point.”
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