Friday, July 3, 2009

British Actor of the Month

For this inaugural feature (shamelessly ripped off of The Park Bench's "Nerd Man of the Month"), I've decided to present my current British actor obsession. So without further ado, I give you

Eight Things to Love About Paul McGann

1) Withnail and I
McGann stars as "I" (though diehard fans know he's called Marwood) alongside Richard E. Grant's Withnail in Bruce Robinson's 1986 cult classic. Though Grant may get all the cool points--and good lines--for his performance as a self-centered, wittily caustic raging alcoholic, McGann's pensive, slightly paranoid Marwood is the heart of the film. And speaking of hearts, he'll steal yours as well with those blue blue eyes, razor sharp cheek bones, curly tresses, tight jeans that perfectly accent his--*ahem* Where was I? Ah, yes. This film truly deserves its place among the Criterion elite. Harry Potter fans beware, though. Richard Griffiths in this film will make you never look at Vernon Dursley the same way again.

2) Doctor Who (The TV Movie)
Now, McGann has occasionally referred to himself as the George Lazenby of Doctor Who. However, despite the fact that he's only "officially" played the role once, that is hardly an apt description. Despite the fact that the TV movie was pretty awful and created much controversy in the fandom ("The Doctor's half-human?? And kissing girls???") even the most skeptical of Whovians admits that McGann was pretty awesome as the Doctor. His Doctor has the same enthusiasm, eccentricity, and taste for Jelly Babies as Tom Baker's, but tempered by Davison's humanity and Pertwee's ability to dress himself tastefully. Furthermore, the Eighth Doctor had hundreds of more dubiously-canon adventures in BBC Books' Eighth Doctor Adventures and Doctor Who Magazine's comics, and, in not one but two series of audio plays by Big Finish, McGann himself actually reprises the role, giving the world yet another opportunity to listen to that soft, sexy voice of his.

3) He Has Three Brothers Who Are Also Pretty Good Looking
And what's more, Joe, Mark, and Stephen McGann are all actors, too. The four brothers appear together in The Hanging Gale, a miniseries about the Irish potato famine. (Though why the hottest one has to play the priest I'll never understand. *Sigh*) It's not exactly the best thing I've ever seen. For one thing, it was made for a regional outpost of the BBC--and it shows. For another, it becomes obvious which one went to RADA. But it is a good way to objectify four fine male bodies, something the world needs more of. Good luck telling Mark and Stephen apart, though.

4) Lieutenant William Bush
McGann plays Horatio Hornblower's (the also delicious Ioan Gruffudd) right hand man in ITV's movies about the most famous officer of His Majesty's Navy in literature. Now, Bush isn't exactly the most clever of men, and he really, really hates the French, but he's loyal, brave, and have you seen those uniforms??? I'd never be flogged for disobeying his orders!

5) Bristol Silents
McGann apparently is a lover of silent movies and is a patron of this film society. It not only warms my film geek/history buff heart that he supports film preservation and may be a bit of a film geek/history buff himself, but I've also heard that he sometimes sings at certain events. ROAWRR! Anyway... I wonder if he's read Silent Film Sound....

6) He's from Liverpool
You know, that industrial town in the northwest of England located along the river Mersey and known for its shipyards and pop groups like Gerry and the Pacemakers. (And that other one... What were they called again?) Which means that McGann sports one of the hottest accents south of Scotland.

7) He Dated Jane Bennet
Or rather the actress who played her. Now, dating Jane Austen's heroines (or their sisters) makes any man OK in my book, but this means that he's about two degrees of separation away from Mr. Darcy--um, I mean, Colin Firth. Plus, Ms. Harker "appears" alongside McGann in the audio version of "Shada."

8) Lesbian Vampire Killers
Isn't it enough just to have a title like this on one's resumé? Though reviewers over the age of 15 have said that this comic take on those lusty Hammer horror films fails at what the Pegg-Wright-Frost movies do so well, they do agree that McGann's performance as a vicar hell-bent on stopping his daughter from becoming a lesbian vampire is the highlight of the show. Whatever. Sounds funny, so I'm going to see it. If it's ever released here, that is.

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