Gentlemen of Intriguing Appearance: Paddy Considine
Here is a man whose reputation I knew of before I knew his work or anything about him. A name that seemed to inspire reverence and awe. At first I shrugged it off as hyperbole.
Then I watched a film or three, and I too was a convert.
I was told about Dead Man’s Shoes, probably the best known of his several collaboration with writer/director Shane Meadows, by friends of friends at the pub. They clearly held the film with a kind of reverence only certain films ever have bestowed on them, that this film Meant Something to them beyond just a good night at the cinema or in front of the telly. That Paddy’s name was mentioned several times in the conversation was indication that it was due, in no small part, to his role in the film.
Of course, Paddy does seems to have that effect on men (women too, but you tend to expect it). I was at the Q&A held at the local Arts Picturehouse for his film Tyrannosaur, which he both wrote and directed, and a fellow male audience member practically hyperventilated from being awestruck as he asked his question. My sense wasn’t that this was romantic infatuation, but the draw to a kind of charisma that only few people have. With Paddy Considine, it’s not really surprising; he comes across as passionate about what he does as well as being down to earth, both fierce and kind.
I suspect my interest is more related to his talent than his looks per se; as much as his turn as Porter Nash in Blitz (with past Gentleman Aidan Gillen) had a physical draw, it was how he embodied the character that had me impressed – elsewhere, Paddy appears fairly blokely (in a good way), while in as Nash, he plays a gay cop whose sexual identity is apparent without resorting to cliched campness.
But what is it for me that works? He’s more ‘handsome’ that I would normally be draw to, though not in the square-jawed high cheek-boned way of a major Hollywood. It’s your everyday handsomeness, the fella who you pass on the way to work and look at for longer than others you pass because of that special something. He also has one of those forlorn, slightly hang-dog face that you want to cheer up with a big hug.
And when you do get a smile, it is bright and sunny. But boy, you wouldn’t want to meet many of his characters when pissed off, with perhaps the exception of the more staid Mr Whicher (I still haven’t seen the second of the made-for-TV films The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, but the first is well-worth a look for fans of historical dramas and crime stories). It is the intensity with which he enters his characters and conducts his creative life that above all is so appealing.
This week, I’ll be taking myself off to a screening of the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy at the local cinema. Will be seeing his turn of one of the Andy’s in Hot Fuzz, and will be delighted to be surprised by whatever he does in The World’s End.