Ian McShane in 2018: One of Our Best Living Actors, in Great Projects and Trash Alike

/Film | 5/22/2019 | Josh Spiegel
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With some actors, it’s all in the eyes. Some performers need dialogue to boost their work, and others are able to use their physicality to get across some emotion, whether it’s happiness or sadness or fury or anything in between. But an actor who can just use their eyes to communicate a world’s worth of information is hard to find, and hard to top.

Such is the case with Ian McShane, who’s got himself a couple of major showcase parts out this month that represent the extreme depth he brings to any role, in the gun-fueled fantasia John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and the long-awaited revival of the drama that gave him a breakout part, Deadwood: The Movie.

Actors - Breakout - Role - Force - Life

Most actors, granted, who are lucky enough to have a breakout role get it before they turn 60. But arriving as a force to be reckoned with later in life is how it went for McShane, who’d accrued a series of smaller roles on television and in film throughout most of his career. Science-fiction fans might have recognized him from a part in the Babylon 5 franchise, and viewers from his native United Kingdom might have known him as the title character on a lighthearted detective show called Lovejoy. (Some American audiences, too, might have noticed him in Jonathan Glazer’s nastily entertaining Sexy Beast.) But it took until playing the role of real-life saloon owner Al Swearengen that most people sat up and noticed Ian McShane.

Seeing Al Swearengen again in Deadwood: The Movie is the kind of thing you almost can’t believe even as you’re watching it. (Very light spoilers for the film, which airs on HBO on May 31 and is generally excellent, follow.) In the revival film, set in 1889 as South Dakota celebrates its statehood, Al is still holed up...
(Excerpt) Read more at: /Film
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