Posts by Carmen Croghan

British Actors You Should Know: Tom Hollander

While you may not know his name, I would wager most of you recognize the diminutive bloke with the dog collar in the center of the photo to your left. Don’t let his stature deceive you because at 5’5”, Tom Hollander is probably one of the most talented actors of any height working today. He’s played proper villains, spies, royalty, politicians and clergymen. He can menace and belittle with the best of them and then in the blink of an eye be as bumbling and endearing as you please. His secret weapon is his unpredictability and he uses it to great effect.

A working film and TV actor since the early 1990s, the demand for Hollander’s dramatic and comedic skills seems to increase with every passing year. And each time I see him on the screen, big or small, I know I’m in for a quality performance.

Let’s look at a brief sampling of Hollander’s work below and perhaps you’ll get a better idea of what I mean.

Finally Coming to Hulu: BBC Comedy 'The Wrong Mans'

It seems as though a year has gone by (and it almost has) since Hulu announced they were producing this particular new comedy in partnership with the BBC. Co-starring and co-written by James Corden of Gavin and Stacey fame and Matthew Baynton (Spy and Horrible Histories), this original series called The Wrong Mans is billed as a spy thriller within a sitcom.

British Romantic Comedy 'About Time' Is Coming to Theaters Nationwide Soon!

It’s been months since I first saw the trailer for director Richard Curtis’ newest film and I’ve been waiting more or less patiently for its release. But I’m happy to finally announce that it’s almost time for About Time! Corny I know, but I had to go there.

Curtis, writer of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, ascended to the status of king of the British romantic comedy when he wrote and directed the consummate standard of the genre, 2003’s Love Actually. Now Curtis is back with a time traveling love story that looks like it might rival his earlier masterpiece in terms of humor and heart.

About Time is currently playing in limited release in select cities, but will be opening everywhere on Friday, November 8. (Editorial note: If you’re a DC-area local, this film’s actually already at the AMC Courthouse and the AMC Georgetown 14, so if this piece convinces you to check it out – you don’t have to wait long!)

Watch the trailer below – along with some reasons why you should see it!

British Actresses You Should Know: The Many Faces of Catherine Tate

Normally when we do these British Actors You Should Know installments, Lacy or I choose a talented British performer and then introduce you, the readers, to a sampling of their TV and film work. This time I’ve selected Catherine Tate as my featured actress.

Sure she’s played my favorite Doctor Who companion Donna Noble, appeared as James McAvoy’s mother in the delightful comedy Starter for 10 and even crossed the pond to join the cast of the American Office for their final two seasons. But I’ve elected to highlight her sketch comedy work from The Catherine Tate Show. This wide range of characters display Tate’s talents for memorable catchphrases, comic timing and a hilarious ability to transform into characters of any age, class or gender. Let’s meet a few, shall we?

Get in the Halloween Spirit: A Suggested Playlist for a Creepy British Telly Marathon

Once upon a time Doctor Who was the standard bearer for British telly that made viewers want to hide behind the sofa. In recent years though, tales of vampires, werewolves and other paranormal beings have risen in popularity and by the look of UK television schedules, British networks have obviously picked up on the trend.

Always at a disadvantage over American horror series with much bigger budgets, the Brits have been able to figure out a way to be scary with more suggestion and less CGI. They also have a tendency to employ strategically placed humor to counter the tension and violence; thus making it more palatable to slightly sensitive audience members like me, for instance.

Seeing as Halloween is fast approaching, I’ve compiled a list of eerie series perfect for putting you into a spooky mood. So turn off the lights and settle in for a creepy telly marathon.

British Actors: The Next Generation

It used to be a common expectation that, in terms of occupation, children would follow in their parents’ footsteps. After all, mums and dads do have the tendency to pass along their own talents and aptitudes to their offspring. And while for many reasons sticking with the family business doesn’t happen nearly as much these days, in the acting world, at least, the practice of carrying on the family profession is alive and well.

Let’s have a look at a few of the up and coming British actors out there who have a parent or two to thank for getting them a good start in the world of the dramatic arts.

British Actresses You Should Know: Tamsin Greig

The British actresses I like to watch most are the funny ladies. I have an affinity for British comedy anyway, but comediennes tend to show that awkward, less- than-perfect side that make them endearing; the type of woman you’d befriend rather than consider a rival.

The actress I’m introducing you to today is one of those funny ladies who isn’t afraid to look a little clumsy or less than lady-like. It just so happens I’ve copied her trademark pixie-esque hairstyle more than once. Odd how I never look anything like her afterwards…

Her name is Tamsin Grieg, and you may not know who she is. But she's an actress who's worth checking out.

Having Withdrawal Now 'Broadchurch' Has Ended? Here’s What to Watch Instead

It is done. The final episode of Broadchurch: Series 1 aired on BBC America this week. After eight weeks of multiple dead ends and a few red herrings, we finally know who killed Danny Latimer. And quite a bombshell it was!

Understandably you might be experiencing a bit of withdrawal now that all the suspense and excitement is over. But never fear! The detective mystery is a genre that the Brits basically own. Just consider how many times the stories of Agatha Christie alone have been dramatized.

The next series of Broadchurch isn’t set to return until sometime next year so if you’re feeling a bit out of sorts and need a little whodunit pick-me-up, may I suggest a few series that might fit the bill?

Ricky Gervais’ 'Derek' is Coming to Netflix

When I say Ricky Gervais, what comes to mind? Attention seeking, somewhat delusional Wernham Hogg Regional Manager, David Brent from The Office ?

Or the always controversial, sometimes snarky, host of the Golden Globes?

If so, then prepare yourself for a whole other side to this edgy writer, director and comic. It's my pleasure to introduce you to the heart of Gervais’ most recent series, Mr. Derek Noakes, star of the comedy-dramaDerek, which is coming to Netflix beginning September 12.

Get your first look below - and learn more about why you should give this series a try.

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