Actors You Should Know

British Actors You Should Know: John Simm

At work and with my friends, I often find myself recommending British series and movies wherein I spend the majority of my time just trying to explain who the actors are. Even people who are familiar with shows like Downton Abbey, for example, may still draw a blank when you mention the name Hugh Bonneville. You know…the 5th Earl of Grantham.

British telly looms large in my life, but I realize that’s not the case for everyone. Therefore, I’ve made it my self–appointed mission to bring the existence of many fine British actors into the mainstream consciousness of American TV and movie watchers. For this installment, my choice is the talented English actor, John Simm.

Why? Read on.

British Actors You Should Know: Benedict Cumberbatch

Really, you all knew this one was coming, right?

This particular British Actor You Should Know is probably someone you’ve at least heard of at some point in the past year – Benedict Cumberbatch has won many (well-deserved) accolades for his performance on Sherlock, but after playing That Bad Guy Whose Name We Won’t Mention in Star Trek Into Darkness, suddenly the entire world seems to fancy that British guy with the great cheekbones and amazing voice. It’s okay. We do too. (Yours truly especially. Obviously.)

However, it seems worth mentioning that Cumberbatch’s career encompasses a lot more than Sherlock and Star Trek – this versatile actor has done a little bit of everything, and done it all awesomely. You should watch all of it. Here's a look at why.

British Actors You Should Know: Peter Capaldi

We figured: You get cast to play the Doctor, you get bumped up our British Actors You Should Know List. It seemed fair.

After much speculation and trepidation on the part of Doctor Who fans worldwide, the announcement has been made that Scottish actor Peter Capaldi will take on the 12th regeneration of the Doctor. I, for one, am quite chuffed about this choice as I have been an admirer of Mr. Capaldi’s work for some time.

Also, I’m interested to see how Steven Moffat and company will handle the necessary changes as they transition from Matt Smith, the youngest actor to play the Time Lord, to Capaldi who, at 55 years of age, ties with First Doctor William Hartnell for oldest actor to inhabit the part. Come to that, how will his companion Clara take the news?

Anyhow, it’s very exciting times indeed.

Now, if at this point you’re saying “Who is this Capaldi chap?” I’m willing to bet you’ve seen at least one of his wonderful performances over the past 30 years. But if you actually don’t know Peter Capaldi, whether you’re Whovian or not, I’m here to say he really is a British actor you should know and here are some reasons why.

British Actors You Should Know: Ben Whishaw

Welcome to the second installment in our series on some of our favorite British actors and actresses. You all totally thought I was going to do a Benedict Cumberbatch one first, didn’t you? Don’t worry. We’ll get there. You know it.

British television is often full of what one might term “Hey, It’s That Guy!” actors and actresses – performers you’ve seen probably a dozen times, but maybe aren’t quite sure who they are or where you’ve seen them before. While actor Ben Whishaw’s professional star is rising rapidly, thanks to a couple of recent very high-profile roles (thanks lots, James Bond!), he probably falls under that category for a many of you. But he shouldn’t, because he is the real deal.

Frequently referred to as one of the best British actors of his generation by various members of the press, Whishaw has been nominated for multiple awards for his various performances on stage and screen, and is generally just amazing.

Why? Read on.

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