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07 September 2014 @ 08:47 pm
Meme (Actors Again)  
While I had three other MCU-verse fic that were in the lead for getting done, Zola and Acantha suddenly raced their way to the front of the line. Typical. The fic is a loose sequel to "Become Death, Destroyer of Worlds" and it only confirmed for me that I really like Zola. Not as a person, obviously. He's horrible and deserves a special seat in Hell. But he's so much fun to write. Especially in the daemon-verse. I think it helps that I thought he was well played by Toby Jones. Zola could have easily just been a stock evil scientist but the little expressions Jones throws in (that sliiiiight smirk he has on his face when Phillips informs him Bucky is dead after the train sequence is now 100x more awful) throughout elevate him well above what Red Skull ended up being.

Anyway, in between writing this fic, I flipped through Jones' filmography. He's done a lot of work, not surprisingly. But the range of what he's done is a little surprising. For instance, I didn't know he was the voice of Dobby in the Harry Potter films. I also saw that I'd seen a lot of his work without really knowing it. So I decided to do that actor meme again for him.

What works of theirs have you seen?
In the interest of space, I'm only including the works where Jones had a named role.
Cadfael ("The Sanctuary Sparrow")
Harry Potter 1 & 7, part one
Finding Neverland
Elizabeth I
The Mist
St. Trinian's 1 & 2
City of Ember
Doctor Who ("Amy's Choice")
Poirot ("Murder on the Orient Express")
Your Highness
Captain America 1 & 2
TInker Tailor Soldier Spy
Christopher and His Kind
My Week with Marilyn
Red Lights

Their best work?
This is actually really hard to say. I find Toby Jones is good in just about everything he's in. He's not overly showy but he's like as solid and dependable as marble when it comes to doing his part. I'm tempted to say his role as Zola since I've been spending so much time with that one but I'm going to go ahead and say his best work in terms of the final product is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. That movie is fantastic on every level with a superb cast who all delivered. If I'm going to go with best work in terms of pulling one's own weight in a movie, I'm going to say The Mist. I feel a little sheepish saying that because this isn't a good movie by any means. It's also really, really, REALLY depressing. It's a horror movie based on a Stephen King novella so you can draw your own conclusions as to the quality of the film. In a nutshell, it's about a bunch of people in a coastal town who after a storm get trapped in a grocery store when a mysterious mist rolls into town. Soon, what looks like prehistoric creatures start surrounding them. Jones plays the assistant manager of the grocery store and is rather heroic in this. I always get anxious watching movies when mob mentality becomes a focus and this movie really shows off how ugly people can become when civilization starts to break down. I like that Jones' character kept his humanity and was rather brave and competent. Plus, the script was pretty poor but Jones sold me on everything he did and said.

Their worst work?
For reasons that were not his fault, Your Highness is the worst thing any actor has ever had to do. Everyone involved in that movie can say it was the worst work they've ever done.

Their special skill?
Probably accents. So far I've heard Toby Jones do an American accent, a Scottish accent, and a Swiss accent. And while I can't confirm the last two were actually flawless to anyone else other than me, his American accent deserves an A+. If I didn't know he wasn't an American, I would not have guessed it based on his accent.

Their weakness?
I'm not sure if this is a weakness but Jones is one of the most invisible visible actor I've ever seen. It's not so much that he looks like an Average Joe but he really vanishes into his roles to the point where I rarely noticed him until he became Toby Jones to me rather than "that guy." The list above is only a list of stuff of his I've seen where his character has a name. I've seen plenty more where he's either the Main Guard or 2nd Priest and he always plays these small yet necessary roles so seamlessly that you don't see him, really. He's like the foundation to a house or that uninteresting but necessary ingredient in soup you need to make it good but take for granted.

Most noticeable feature?
Toby Jones is pretty short. You'd think this might work against him in the acting world but it really doesn't. Obviously sometimes he gets roles where the shorter height adds to the characterization but other times he gets roles where you might note the height at the start but then forget about it as he goes on.

Their upcoming work you're looking forward to?
The Man Who Knew Infinity is a biopic about Srinivasa Ramanujan, the self-taught mathematics genius who entered into a long correspondence with G.H. Hardy at Cambridge University before coming to visit the don who would help Ramanujan cultivate some groundbreaking theories. At the time, Hardy was considered one of Britian's best mathematicians and whose colleague of equal esteem and frequent partner on papers was J.E. Littlewood. There's a quote from a contemporary of theirs who said that the greatest mathematicians worki ng in England are Hardy, Littlewood, and Hardy-Littlewood. Anyway, Jones will be playing Littlewood to Jeremy Irons' Hardy. I've always been fascinated by the story of Ramanujan. For anyone who wants to read a novelized account of Ramanujan in England, I highly recommend David Leavitt's The Indian Clerk.

What role would you most like to see them in?
This isn't terribly specific but I would like to see Toby Jones be in a good comedy role. He had a very small part in the St. Trinian comedy films and was pretty good. He also played his character in the Doctor Who episode with some biting comedy. I'd like to see if he can do more if given the chance.