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20 April 2014 @ 10:18 pm
Meme (I'm Doing the Actor One Again Because)  
I know it's a bit bonkers but I spent a chunk of time today catching up on Those Who Kill (nothing like a little murder and serial killer profiling to celebrate turning a year older!) and it made me revisit bits of James D'Arcy's resume.

So once again, taken from somewhere on Tumblr:

Pick an actor or actress you like and answer these questions. All questions are in reference to their work, not personal life.


What works of theirs have you seen?
Dalziel and Pascoe ("An Advancement of Learning")
The Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
Sherlock
Dot the I
Master and Commander
Poirot ("The Mystery of the Blue Train")
Marple ("The Moving Finger")
Rise
Inspector Lynley Mysteries ("Know Thine Enemy")
Virtuality
W.E.
In Their Skin
Cloud Atlas
Hitchcock
Those Who Kill (up to current episode)


Their best work?
I'm going to pick two because while Cloud Atlas was a flawed film, I thought D'Arcy's portrayal of Rufus Sixsmith was everything and more than I could ever have hoped for with that character. Sixsmith was just developed well enough in the novel that I cared about him but not enough so that I felt like I understood him inside and out. I thought D'Arcy's take on the character was wonderfully romantic and nuanced given the film and its tendency to dumb everything down. However, I recognize that D'Arcy's role was quite small (he didn't even get two lines as Young Sixsmith) so I'll also put down Marple's "The Moving Finger" as his other best work.

Their worst work?
Poor James D'Arcy. I like him so much as an actor (and as a person based on his interviews) but he's done some terrible stuff. But of the stuff I have seen, Rise probably wins. It's a vampire story starring Lucy Liu as a newly made vampire trying to figure out who killed and turned her. D'Arcy plays the main vampire villain and...well, the less said the better. Rise nearly ties with In Their Skin for the worst work but In Their Skin allowed a handful of its actors (including D'Arcy) some room to actually act rather than fail on camera.

Their special skill?
Hmm. James D'Arcy himself is quite charming and I think he is able to put that into just about every character he's portrayed. Not necessarily in a flashy sort of way but there's always this undercurrent of likability that he gives his roles. He's played characters who are pretty reprehensible (watch Dot the I as an example) but he manages to portray them well enough so that I always feel conflicted about them. "Oh, you're so witty. Wait, you're terrible."

Their weakness?
I'm tempted to say selecting roles but that doesn't seem fair. Acting-wise, based on what I've seen, I'd say he's not very good at doing accents. Or rather, he's not that good at doing American accents. I've heard him do this twice now (In Their Skin and Those Who Kill) and while he is getting better, it really does feel like he's having to concentrate about 40% of his brain on maintaining the accent. Those Who Kill is an interesting show, though difficult to watch for a variety of reasons. I'm interested in D'Arcy's character but I really get the feeling he's so preoccupied with trying to sound American, his acting gets compromised. He's at his best in the show when he's doing silent acting with his face. Then he's really good.

Most noticeable feature?
His height. He's not the tallest actor ever but there's something about him whenever he appears on screen I'm struck by how tall and lanky he is.

Their upcoming work you're looking forward to?
I'm so excited for Enemy of Man. Not just for D'Arcy's Banquo but for Sean Bean's Macbeth. I've yet to see D'Arcy to Shakespeare so I'm quite curious.

What role would you most like to see them in?
Again, this is never going to happen but if they ever made Nicole Krauss' Man Walks Into a Room, D'Arcy would make a very good Samson Greene. The novel is about a man (Samson) who has an emergency surgery to get a brain tumor removed. Unfortunately, in doing so he loses all his memories after the age of 12. He still acts and feels like an adult but he can't remember any of his life events after 12. The rest of the novel is his attempt to re-enter his life, teach at his university, reconnect with a wife he doesn't even remember, piece together the last two decades or so that he's missing, etc. It's a rather poetic, somber piece of work about the nature of identity which I think can translate quite well into a small quiet film. I pick D'Arcy for this role because I think he can continue to make Samson sympathetic even as the character begins to make bad choices. He'd have to get a lot better at his American accent though.
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The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on April 21st, 2014 03:47 am (UTC)
I was going to say 'James D'arcy wasn't in Sherlock', but then I realized you were talking about the one where he fights dinosaurs or something with Ianto. I think that's how it goes. I haven't seen it.

I had such a crush on him in Master and Commander when it came out. Mr Pulling for the win. I've always wanted to write the sequel where The Surprise races after the French ship to save Pulling from the pretend French Doctor-Who's-Really-the-Captain and just have Pulling being all 'oh, no, we took care of that on the first day, everything's cool'.

I've seen The Moving Finger as well, and it's my favourite Marple. I think that Inspector Lynley is the only one I've seen of the series. I seem to remember randomly watching and going 'ooh, someone I know', but I can't remember if it was him, or another actor. Was it the one with the Internet sex camera thing?
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on April 21st, 2014 03:54 am (UTC)
but then I realized you were talking about the one where he fights dinosaurs or something with Ianto. I think that's how it goes. I haven't seen it.

You know what's really sad? It's not even that terrible one. It's this OTHER terrible one where they did a young Sherlock Holmes thing where he first meets Watson. That might have been the very first adaptation that had Sherlock very flagrantly having sex with women and doing drugs. I can't even remember the mystery now.

Pulling being all 'oh, no, we took care of that on the first day, everything's cool'.

Jack would be so impressed/annoyed.

I seem to remember randomly watching and going 'ooh, someone I know', but I can't remember if it was him, or another actor. Was it the one with the Internet sex camera thing?

I can't remember if the Internet was heavily involved with this crime. All I can recall was teenage girls were going missing and James D'Arcy playing an abusive husband who works as a motivational speaker.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on April 21st, 2014 04:00 am (UTC)
You know what's really sad? It's not even that terrible one. It's this OTHER terrible one where they did a young Sherlock Holmes thing where he first meets Watson. That might have been the very first adaptation that had Sherlock very flagrantly having sex with women and doing drugs. I can't even remember the mystery now.

Poor Sherlock Holmes. Everyone gets a chance with him.


I can't remember if the Internet was heavily involved with this crime. All I can recall was teenage girls were going missing and James D'Arcy playing an abusive husband who works as a motivational speaker.


I don't think that was the one I saw. *researches* Nope, It was Chinese Walls. Which had Joe Armstrong, who was in the Robin Hood series Mum and I were watching at the time, so that's why I went 'oh, I know this person'.

formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on April 21st, 2014 04:06 am (UTC)
I know I've seen all the Lynleys but it was years ago so "Chinese Walls" doesn't even ring a bell.