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Creator / Mark Strong

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"If you think about Shakespeare, you remember Richard III and Macbeth before you remember Ferdinand, whose role is just to fall in love and be a bit of a wimp. I love the baddies. More important, though, is making the baddies somehow, weirdly, understood."

Mark Strong (born Marco Giuseppe Salussolia on 5 August 1963 in Islington, London) is a British actor of Italian and Austrian descent.

He is especially known for his villainous performances — such as Prince Septimus in Stardust or Lord Blackwood in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes — though he's been impeccably playing the Knight in Shining Armor, a morally gray hitman, and pretty much everything in between as well.

If Guy Ritchie or Matthew Vaughn is working on a new project, it's safe to say that they will at least consider their friend for a part in it.


Tropes associated with his works:

  • Awesome, Dear Boy: He's made clear that he loves playing villains, saying they're always the most fun.
  • Bald of Evil: He's bald and has played a lot of pretty rotten characters. He's even said going bald improved his career, allowing him to go from the generic leading men to juicier villain roles.
  • British Teeth: Strong's teeth are a bit crooked, particularly one of his front incisors, which is put on particular display in the opening scene of Sherlock Holmes. The funniest thing is that he has no British ancestry.
  • Death Glare: The man can pull off some truly terrifying stares.
  • Evil Brit: He even provides part of the page quote.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: By virtue of playing villains and having a very deep voice.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Some of his villains can be very charming in a way which only enhances their evil nature.
  • Playing Against Type: He's so associated with villains that viewers are often surprised when he plays good or simply neutral characters. Tár (2022) even has him play a fairly wimpy investment banker and composer who gets utterly trounced in a fight by Cate Blanchett.
  • Plays Great Ethnics: This Austro-Italian Englishman has portrayed Jordanian and Lebanese men.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Archie in Rock 'n Rolla takes the cake. So does Merlin in the climax of both of his Kingsman films.
  • Smoking Is Cool: A few of his characters fall under here, but particular notice goes to Dr. Neil Barnard from Endgame, who snaps the filters off of his cigarettes before lighting up.
  • Star-Making Role: Septimus in Stardust, the role that kick-started his career as a villain actor.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He's 6'2" and quite ruggedly handsome.
  • Those Two Actors: With Colin Firth in Fever Pitch, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Before I Go to Sleep and Kingsman.