Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Familiar faces in unfamiliar places from the Brits

HALLIE EPHRON: I'm terrible at recognizing people, out of context.

I was once at a reception sponsored by People Magazine at BookExpo, chatting with a man who looked so familiar. “Haven’t I met you somewhere before,” I asked him.

“You might have seen me on television,” he said.

Blank.

“On The Office?" he says.


Doink. It was B.J. Novak, a very distinctive looking actor who played Ryan Howard, one of the misfits at Dunder Mifflin. And I am mortified. But really, who expects to end up chatting with a TV star at a book event, even if it is sponsored by People.

I have that same experience watching British TV shows. I see an actor and I think, You look familiar. Don’t I know you? And in a way, I do.

It's disconcerting when James Norton, who plays the human/saintly detective/vicar Sidney Cambers in Grantchester turns up as psychopathic, ex-con, drug dealer Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley

I got very attached to Honeysuckle Weeks as Foyle’s driver and assistant on Foyle’s War. Now she turns up on Midsomer Murders, Inspector Lewis, and Death in Paradise playing characters who bear no resemblance to plucky Sam.

Amanda Abbington, who plays Watson’s wife, Mary Morstan, in Sherlock (I'm still getting over her death) turns up in Case Histories as Jackson Brody’s former boss, DCI Louise Munroe. Now she's one of the leads in a new series on Netflix, Safe. (Did you know she's married... now getting divorced from Martin Freeman (who by the way played Bilbo Baggins in the movie of The Hobbit) who played Watson?)

Sometimes it seems as if the BBC has about fourteen actors that get recycled in their programs. It’s like subscribing to an ensemble company. And by the way, whenever you see one of those actors whom you recognize turn up on a whodunit like Midsummer Murders or Father Brown or Death in Paradise, you can be pretty sure shedunnit.

Last Tango in Halifax is a good example of a cast who pop up in multiple other programs. I'm a particular fan of Nicola Walker who's now one of the leads on Unforgotten.

Do you find yourself watching British TV shows, pointing to one of the actors and asking, "Don't I know you from somewhere?"

106 comments:

  1. That happens a lot to me, too, and not just with the BBC actors. It’s good to see that those talented actors we enjoy watching in the various shows are working steadily. [Isn’t working steadily what all actors want?]
    I get that same sort of “hello again” feeling when I pick up a favorite author’s newest book to read . . . .

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    1. Yup, I know that feeling. I just picked up an Agatha Christie that I'd somehow missed and had exactly that feeling.

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  2. That's what IMDb is for. We use it frequently.

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    1. Indeed. I paid many trips to IMDb to put this together.

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  3. My mother jokes that there are only 4 working actors in England, and they get all the roles. My latest connect the dots was watching the movie Dunkirk. James D'Arcy was the chauffeur in Agent Carter, but wasn't he also in Master & Commander? And Mark Rylance was Cromwell and the spy in Bridge of Spies, and sheesh, the kid from the boy band, which soldier was he...

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    1. Harry Styles from One Direction, Ramona. I don't know which role he played, but I know he was in it because my head is full of useless pop culture info!

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  4. So funny, John complains about this all the time. The most jarring experience for me was seeing Kyle Chandler as the bad guy in BLOODLINES after many happy seasons of him as "Coach" in my all-time favorite FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.

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    1. I just started Bloodline. He's a bad guy? Thought he was the good guy although I should have expected something since he told Danny he had to go cuz dad said so. But I'm only on season one, episode 2. No. This didn't spoil it for me.

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  5. I do that all the time with British actors I've seen on shows I love and with American actors as well.

    A particular show that I do that with is the HBO series "The Wire". For a British series, I do that with those actors who have appeared on "Doctor Who".

    My mother used to do that all the time with people who appeared on the original "Hawaii Five-0", even thirty years after the fact.

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    1. I've noticed that, too - and on a crime show, if you recognize them, they probably did it.

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    2. That's called "The Economy of Guest Stars". The one that is most recognizable is usually the one that did it.

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    3. It took me a long time to make the adjustment between "The Wire" and "Bosch" for Jamie Hector. He was Marlo on the wire, a coldblooded drug dealer, but on "Bosch" he plays Jerry Edgar, a good cop.

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    4. Ingrid,

      I know what you mean about Jamie Hector. He created quite the indelible impression as Marlo Stanfield on "The Wire". He was more than just a cold blooded drug dealer, he was pure evil. When I saw the first season trailer for "Bosch", I was shocked to see him as Jerry Edgar because I didn't know if I could really see him as a good guy after what he did on "The Wire".

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    5. I think every British actor has been on Doctor Who! LOL

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  6. The ones that startle me are actors who play very different sorts of parts for American TV versus British. The most prominent example of which must be Hugh Laurie. I can't tell you how many episodes of House I watched, waiting for him to start saying, "I say, Jeeves. Jolly tough about old Brimmy," or to go, "La. La, La, La," as the inimitable Prince of Wales in Blackadder Three.

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    1. The ones who get the accents right are pretty amazing. Hugh Laurie is a great example. Also David Suchet.

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    2. We recently worked our way through The Good Wife on Netflix (what a disappointing ending that was!), and it took me a little bit to twig to the fact that Downton Abbey's Henry Talbot (actor is Matthew Goode) was the new prosecutor in the SA's office. His American accent was convincing enough that I was nagged by recognition but not annoyed by a poor accent.

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    3. Hugh Laurie is a great example. He also played a viciously anti-social (and funny ) MI-6 spymaster on the British series "Spooks" (MI-5 here in the States.)

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    4. Speaking of The Good Wife, Alan Cumming is amazing, with no trace of his usual thick Scots accent.

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    5. How about Hugh Laurie in the miniseries based on "The Night Manager"?

      Mary/Liz

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    6. Good heavens: I had no idea that Eli Gold was played by a Scottish/American actor. I didn't like the character but his acting was spot on, as was his accent -- presuming American is acting for him, while Scottish would be real?

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    7. Amanda, this is his real voice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxEKicRPQgk

      He wrote an autobiography, Not My Father's Son: A Memoir, very poignant, and narrated the audiobook. It's wonderful, but you have to tune your ear to his accent.

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    8. Thank you, Karen! I really enjoy memoirs, so I'll look (listen) for this one.

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    9. I read it, and it was great. He can write and act!

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  7. And I am so easy to confuse! Not British, but the very worst one, so far, is there is a guy who plays a Russian spy on the Americans, but he’s actually a good guy. Then the very same guy plays a Russian spy on Homeland , and he’s a really really bad guy!
    I mean, come on! He’s a Russian spy! But I can never remember if I’m supposed to like him or not.
    And Michael Kitchen, who plays the wonderful Foyle is in another show, too, which is completely ridiculous.
    And I got so confused about Honeysuckle Weeks! I kept saying… Who is that actor?? I know her I know her…

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    1. Michael Kitchen! Have a look at his IMDb entry if you want to be truly impressed.

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  8. I totally agree that it seems as though the Brits have a stash of quality actors who can, and do, play every kind of role imaginable.

    We watched SAFE this weekend and I was very surprised that it was set in the UK - given that Harlan Coben wrote the show. But it seems like the funding came from UK companies and with the exception of Michael C. Hall, most of the actors ended up being those British stalwarts we just discussed. (Michael's accent didn't bother me, but I guess some viewers didn't buy into it.)

    I'll probably do a blog post on the show soon, but suffice to say that by the end of the eight episodes, I was satisfied. Nothing ground-breaking, and certainly more than a few leaps of faith and unbelievable coincidences, but enjoyable all the same.

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    1. Did SAFE keep you on the edge of your seat or what? And the ending!

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    2. That's on Netflix, right? Looking forward to watching it.

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  9. While watching Midsomer Murders, I've experienced the whole stable of British crime actors. I enjoyed Nicola Walker in Last Tango and more recently, Unforgotten.

    When we were in London, we saw Martin Shaw (Adam Dalgleish, George Gently) on stage with Robert Vaughn (Man from Uncle) in Twelve Angry Men. What a treat!

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    1. And how could I forget? Laurence Fox (Hathaway) and Jack Huston on stage in Strangers on a Train. Terrifying.

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    2. Sigh, London theatre! We saw Michael Gambon (Gosford Park, Harry Potter's Dumbledore) and Eileen Atkins (Doc Martin, The Crown...) in The Unexpected Man in London. Just the two of them. On a train. They don't actually talk to one another until the final minutes of the play. Even my kids, then in their teens, were transfixed.

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    3. London theatre yes! Haven't been there in 30 years but I saw Peter O'Toole, Glenda Jackson, Derek Jacobi, Susan Hampshire, Penelope Keith, Judi Dench, and so many more. Lovely. Oh and just got up to NYC and saw Glenda Jackson again but in Three Tall Women. Dear me but she is still incredible!!!

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  10. Yup. Count me on the confused when it comes to faces and names and characters! I was in bed with a cold yesterday, amusing myself by trolling through YouTube videos of British shows. Came across 'Dinner Lades', a sitcom from 1998 (!). There was the gorgeous Maxine Peake whom I know from Silk, the wonderful Anne Reid from Last Tango in Halifax, the amazing Julie Walters whom I first 'met' in Educating Rita (which I've just Googled and discovered it was released in 1983), and the resplendent Celia Imrie of, among other things, Calendar Girls and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. There's no question of their talent, I just wonder who else is out there in the British acting world!

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    1. ...and how many American actresses get put out to pasture well before their expiration date.

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    2. Dinner ladies is one of my favorites.

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  11. This is our nightly dinner time/Britbox or Acorn watching conversation. My job is to whip out my phone and check imdb to see where we've seen him/her before.

    Often, not always, but often, American actors play much the same roles: romantic lead, villain, granny, etc. However these British actors, so many of them educated at Oxbridge and groomed in Shakespeare, seem to be able to play any role, many accents, and usually good to excellent. It's impressive.

    If you haven't seen Leslie Manville in "Mum", you have a treat coming. How different was her role in "Phantom Thread"! Or "River". Or "Cranford". No type casting there.

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  12. Last night we concluded, much differently than our first impression, that Doug Henshall was the perfect Jimmy Perez. Last year we were stereotyping, thinking that someone named Perez couldn't be a ginger Scotsman. We were wrong. Wondering how Ann Cleeves was so fortunate to have actors like Brenda Blethyn and Henshall play her characters!

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    1. Yes, I love Doug Henshall as Perez, but it took a bit of getting used to.

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    2. Doug is wonderful but his coloring is wrong. Supposed to look Spanish! And I had one of those I know him moments from Shetland. It was Ciaran Hinds who I had seen in Persuasion years ago and is currently in The Terror.

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  13. It's like the Doris Day/Rock Hudson era, or the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan era, or the Brat Pack era in the 80's--a time when every year seemed to have a movie with the same set of main characters, but in different roles.

    To put the British acting scene into perspective, though, consider the size of the United Kingdom: it's only 57% of the size of the US State of California. They have a far smaller pool of population to draw from, I guess.

    That said, it's kind of remarkable there are so many incredibly fine actors in those islands, don't you think? One of which is Martin Clunes, who not only made Doc Martin into the icon he is, but who has also played a wide variety of other recurring roles on British TV.

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    1. Watching Martin Clunes NOT play Doc Mart is like watching Hugh Laurie NOT play House.

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    2. Actors in Britain are not only properly trained but many do an apprenticeship in reperatory theater where they have to play a different part every couple of weeks.

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    3. Hallie, have you seen him in the movie "Losing It." I think it's on Acorn. And his documentaries are really good.

      Karen, wonder what percentage of American actors are in California?

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    4. We loved Doc Martin, and I loved him in the midwife/undertaker series William and Mary. Wonderful stories of life and death and real emotions.

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    5. Julie Graham, Mary, is the procurer on the Shetland series. (Is procurer the right word? Sounds pimp- like)

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    6. Love Shetland. Procurator Fiscal is the title I think.

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  14. There was a point when I figured that everyone in British theatre had at least a guest role in the series "Spooks," which was re-named MI-5 when it came over here. Nicola Walker, David Oyelowo, Richard Armitage, Robert Glennister, Anna Chancellor, Mathew McFayden, and a gazillion others were in that, who keep popping up in all the other Acorn offerings. And then, if you really want to play "Spot the Actor," check out Simon Pegg's sendup of cop action dramas, "Hot Fuzz," which basically has everyone in it.

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  15. Do you think it might have to do with American type casting, already noted. Or perhaps agents only search for parts where actors have already been successful. Or, perhaps Americans are more tied to appearance = character i.e. an older actress can not play 'sexy' in Hollywood terms. silly Hollywood.

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    1. You see it here with show runners (Shonda Rimes, David E. Kelly) work with a stable of actors and actresses. And I guess the BBC is like a giant show runner.

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  16. Funny out of context story: when I worked in BBC drama (yes, the same actors were in everything) an actor friend was walking along Buckinham Palace Road and passed a man who looked familiar. In the acting profession you know so many people. She smiled and said, "Hello, haven't seen you for a while." Then she walked on and realized IT was Prince Phillip!
    And in those days there was no security!

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  17. I did know that about Amanda Abbington.

    My father and I have long understood that the BBC has only 12-14 actors who all have some sort of role in *everything.* It's weird - and hilarious at the same time.

    Mary/Liz

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  18. I am loving Nicola Walker on Unforgotten. She has such an expressive face. Great stories and anecdotes, Hallie and everyone. (I just realized I never read the blog today! It's my last full day of solo retreat on the Cape and I'm, you know, aiming for another 6k words...)

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    1. Did you see her in "Scott and Bailey," Edith? That was a very creepy, disturbing role.

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    2. I LOVE SCOTT AND BAILEY - and can't find it anywhere to stream.

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  19. Hallie, this is a great post! I was watching Hamish MacBeth and I recognized several actors from Monarch of the Glen. And some of the actors from Monarch of the Glen appeared on Midsomer Murders.

    Someone told me that John Nettles from Midsomer Murders also was on Poldark. And I remembered Nigel Dudgenon (sp?) from Midsomer Murders in Mrs. Bradley Mysteries. I wonder if Diana Rigg will ever appear on Midsomer Murders?

    I love these British shows. Yes, it's like an ensemble company. Judi Dench from As Time Goes By was the mother in BBC's Love in A Cold Climate. Judi Dench and Geoff Palmer from As Time Goes By teamed up again in one of the James Bond movies with Pierce Brosnan.

    Charles Shaughessey from American television show The Nanny was in BBC's Tommy and Tuppence. His father was part of the team that produced the original Upstairs Downstairs.

    Jenny Agutter from Call the Midwives was in Midsomer Murders.

    Amanda Redman from New Tricks was in The Good Karma Hospital.

    Robert Carlyle from Hamish MacBeth is now on an American tv series Once Upon Again (if I recall the title).

    There are many wonderful British actresses and actors.

    Diana

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    1. I think there were two versions of Tommy & Tuppence. I started watching one on Acorn, and after a break, ended up watching the other one. Very confusing!

      I loved Robert Carlyle in Hamish MacBeth, so will look for him. Thanks, Diana.

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  20. What a great column! My husband and I just finished watching Unforgotten and I would tell him where he has seen most of the actors before. I also had to explain the British slang to him. He has become a big fan of Nicola Walker also.

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    1. Oy, that British slang. And sometimes the accents are so thick I"'m tempted to turn on subtitles.

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    2. Agreeing with Gigi--if you like Nicola Walker, watch Spooks from the beginning. She is fabulous as Ruth.

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    3. A relative has a hard time deciphering British accents. I always turn off the sound when watching tv or streaming movies and watch them with English subtitles. If the bad American accents bother you, you always have the option, Teri, of turning off the sounds and watching with subtitles or captions.

      Diana

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    4. I always have subtitles on, Hallie. It started out to help my husband, who is totally deaf in one ear and slowly losing hearing in the other, but it also makes an enormous difference with accents. Now it's a permanent fixture, although sometimes what they say does not match the subtitle. Sometimes this is unintentionally hilarious.

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    5. My problem is my eyesight's not good enough to read the subtitles from my bed, and that's the only TV we have in the house and it's not all that big.

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  21. Yes, like many others here, Bob and I subscribe to both Acorn and BritBox and about 90% of our viewing is British television. We have often remarked that it's like watching repertory theater, where an ensemble puts on a variety of shows in rotation. It's reached the point where we almost always pop open a laptop and spend the first few minutes of a show identifying the roles from which we know the cast. It's like once we've identified the connections, it becomes easier to put them aside and immerse ourselves in the show.

    I also agree with some others who have commented -- the biggest shock to the system is when I see one of those British actors in an American show, using a completely credible American accent. (Though I notice when a British show calls for an American, it is often played by a Brit doing a really BAD American accent. Basically, British with super hard R's.)

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    1. On accents, makes me wonder how dreadful our actors sound to a Brit when they try to sound British or Irish or Welsh, uppah clahss or cockney.

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    2. Susan,

      I love Acorn TV and Britbox. So worth it!

      Diana

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    3. We’ve added PBS Passport, available for a small contribution, and that’s about 99% of our viewing. Check it out. Chances are most of us contribute to PBS anyway.

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    4. One of my favorite parts of British and Australian TV is figuring out what part of the world the accent is from. They are similar, but not the same, and it fascinates me. (And I have a Welsh brother-in-law, who keeps me on my toes!)

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  22. The weird thing is that in many of these British series, the same actors always play villains -- so if you see one of them, case solved!!

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    1. Denise, that is hilarious! In American shows, that is true too. Bradford Dillman often played the villain.

      Diana

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  23. Hallie, what a great post! I had this happen last week. I was watching Pie in the Sky, the series from the nineties starring Richard Griffiths (Uncle Vernon from Harry Potter) as the detective turned chef, and there was an actor in a guest role that I knew was familiar but I could not figure out who he was. IMDB'd--It was Jim Carter, who played Carson the butler on Downton Abbey. So fun to see him more than twenty years ago.

    And here's one that was really jarring for me. Stephen Dillane, who played the English detective in two seasons of The Tunnel, which I loved, is the horrible Lord Halifax in Darkest Hour.

    But my theory about all of this is that British actors are just that--working actors. They aren't "movie stars". So they work all the time at all sorts of different parts, and they have no trouble switching from TV to film to stage.

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    1. That is so true that they are not movie stars. I remember reading an interview about an actor from Brideshead Revisted being surprised that he was approached by fans while grocery shopping in Los Angeles.

      Keep in mind that the USA does not have a Royal family while England has a Royal family.

      Diana

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    2. Just read an article about that. British actors are pretty much all trained in theater, as In Shakespeare, and not groomed to be “stars”, as in Hollywood. They tend to work all the time and don’t object to going to the back of beyond to do summer repertory

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  24. I have purposefully not watched Happy Valley because I didn’t want it to ruin James Norton as Sidney Chambers for me!

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    1. Oh, Jenn. Happy Valley (while far from happy) is outstanding drama and a must-see. Sarah Lancashire (Caroline from Last Tango in Halifax) is brilliant as a copper with a lot of heartache in her life. Subtitles are essential for those northern accents, however.

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  25. That's why I love IMDB. You can look up any episode of a tv show, find the actor, and look up all the other credits they have. Always fun to see who is murdered in Midsummer because chances are they went on to be "somebody famous" LOL

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    1. I use IMDB all the time for just that reason! I was so sorry they did away with the message boards as it was great fun to read about other's opinions of things, not that I necessarily agreed with them. I'll never forget the "jerk" who said of The King's Speech "literally the worst movie ever!" Guess he never saw "Cabin Boy" for instance.

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  26. Well saintly James Norton is now becoming part of the Russian mafia if you watched McMafia! My husband is a Midsomer addict and can always recognize actors from that show. I love watching Graham Norton's talk show on BBCAmerica. One actor appeared some time ago complaining that he was one of the few who hadn't been in a Harry Potter movie yet. I love spotting familiar faces in PBS programs (Aidan Turner is mine; hands off) and all the wonderful shows on Acorn. My sister recognized Jared Harris who plays Francis Crozier on The Terror as the character on Mad Men who was from their English headquarters. Damn he's good!

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    1. Sigh. Poldark. Be still my beating heart. Robin Ellis was great zin that role the first time around, and I think he plays a character in the new series.

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    2. Pat, do you like McMafia? I watched the first show and just wasn't feeling it. Should I give it more of a chance?

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    3. Hallie, I loved the Robin Ellis version of Poldark, in fact, I read every single Winston Graham novel because of the series. And I LOVE Aidan Turner--discovered him in a show called Being Human where he plays a vampire--but the new series just never clicked for me. I was bored!!! Too many gorgeous shots of Aidan galloping gorgeous horse along same gorgeous coast, lol.

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    4. Kathy, McMafia got more and more interesting. I didn't see all of the shows but it paralleled the Michael Corleone character from the Godfather. He starts out an honest investment banker and gets sucked in due to other characters' actions.

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  27. Oh, dear. I had a whole bunch typed out and lost it. OK, maybe a shorter version now. I love this topic, as I love British TV, movies, actors. I think Last Tango in Halifax is an example of six degrees of separation. Nicola Walker is such a favorite of mine, and learning that she and Hugh Laurie are in the show Spooks/MI-5 makes that a must-watch show for me. Martin Clunes and Doc Martin have been mentioned, and I just love that show and Martin Clunes. I enjoy his nature shows, too, especially the animals. He is such a dog person that the bit in Doc Martin where he hates the dog hanging around is hilarious.

    Doctor Who has a great six degrees of separation theme going, too. I'm a fan of Jodie Whittaker, the new doctor, and I first, that I'm aware of, saw her in Broadchurch. David Tennant also starred in Broadchurch, and, of course, he was also the "doctor." His connection to Doctor Who is really interesting. While in grammar school, he wrote an essay stating that his greatest desire was to play Doctor Who. He was a big fan of Peter Davison playing the part. Tennant is married to Georgia Moffatt, whom he met on the set of Doctor Who, and Georgia Moffatt is the daughter of Peter Davison, the Doctor Who so admired by Tennant in his youth. Now, one more David Tennant note. One of my favorite older movies stars David Tennant and Kelly MacDonald (another favorite). It's called Decoy Brides, and I recommend it if you want a good laugh.

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    1. Kathy, I love the Davison/Tennant/Moffatt/Doctor Who loop, too. But I have not seen Decoy Brides so will look it up.

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    2. Wow! I like David Tennant too and watched him happily as the Doctor and on Broadchurch. Didn't know all that other stuff about him. I remember Peter Davison best as Tristan on All Creatures Great and Small.

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  28. And a credit to their acting that each plays such different parts so credibly.

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  29. The king of British actors mastering American accents to the point you don't believe they are actually English has to be Idris Elba.

    When he played Stringer Bell on "The Wire", it was near the end of his run on that show before I even learned he was reportedly British. I didn't believe the person who told me this news, thinking there's no way someone who sounds so darn much like a Baltimore drug dealer could be British. Imagine my shock when I learned it was true.

    Then I saw him as John Luther on "Luther" and had a hard time believing he was ever Stringer Bell.

    Of course, then he goes and plays a Norse god in Heimdall, so I guess he really can do anything.

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  30. You've just described our evening television watching. I can't tell you how many times we've gone through the entire Midsummer Murder series (the latest just became available.) And Morse and Lewis and so many more. Our latest is Death in Paradise. I drive my husband crazy by saying things like "that's the woman from Father Brown who..." I don't think I'd watch tv at all if it wasn't for Acorn or PBS. I haven't tried Britbox yet.

    And look at who will be in the new tv series based on Deb Harkness' A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES! Many familiar faces.

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    1. Sounds like that's going to be worth watching.

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    2. Ooh. A Discovery of Witches? Where will that be showing?

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    3. Pat, there's no US distributor announced yet. It's due for Sky in the U.K. this Fall.

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  31. Just so everyone knows, “Scott and Bailey,” which is a fantastic British crime drama, is on Britbox and is the main reason we recently subscribed. Nicola Walker is superb in her role as Helen, but the two lead detectives, played by Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp, are just outstanding. I highly recommend it. I loved Nicola in Last Tango, and have watched the first episode of “Unforgotten” but will have to catch up when we’ve finished watching all the seasons of “Scott and Bailey.” I have public TV’s “passport” but it doesn’t have everything I want. Good for catching up with past shows shown on PBS, though. After I’m done watching TV for the evening, I am reading the Mrs. Pollifax series that was recommended here. . .

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    1. Oh, Mrs. Pollifax! I haven't read one of those in ages. After Miss Marple, those were my first cozies.

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  32. We, like many have dropped cable and only watch Acorn, Britbox and Netflix. Hubby has a worse time than I and have to get the closed caption, if we can read it fast enough. We comment on, I've seen her or him before and also that the same actors are on so many shows. With seeing many have been or are stage actors, I can see why it's all so much better than USA tv. Rambling, but it's all we watch, get the (fake) news on the internet, lol!! After watching, I go to bed and read, so don't quit writing, ladies!

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    1. Karen, I get what you mean about the closed captions. It takes practice. When I started watching closed captions, it went very fast. It meant it needed my full attention! It took me a while before I could follow the speed of closed captioning.

      Diana

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  33. A friend who had an internship with BBC in London told us that when people pay for TV licenses, the money goes to the government and the government sponsors television programmes.

    Unfortunately we do not have that in the USA. PBS used to get more money from the government and now it is like only 8 percent and the rest of the money is made up by viewers like us and a few foundations giving money to PBS.

    Please correct me if I got my facts wrong.

    Diana

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