Mark Strong (born 5 August 1963) is an English film and television actor. He is best known for his roles in films such as RocknRolla, Body of Lies, Syriana, The Young Victoria, Sherlock Holmes, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Kick-Ass, Green Lantern, Zero Dark Thirty, Robin Hood, and John Carter. He often portrays villains or antagonists.
Strong was born in London, the son of an Austrian mother and an Italian father. His father left the family soon after his birth, and he was brought up by his mother, who worked as an au pair. His English name is not a stage name; when he was a child, his mother changed his name by deed poll to help him fit in with his peers. He was baptised a Catholic. He speaks fluent German and some Italian.
1. I’M VERY ORGANIZED AND TIDY IN MY HOME LIFE AND I GENERALLY DO SOMETHING MYSELF RATHER THAN FARM IT OUT TO SOMEBODY ELSE. I DON’T HAVE AN ASSISTANT OR ANYTHING BECAUSE I THINK I CAN DO IT MYSELF.
2. AND I THINK IN YOUR 40S, YOU LAND A LITTLE BIT, PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY, YOU ARRIVE AT A PLACE WHERE YOU FEEL YOU’VE LEARNED SOME STUFF. HAVING CHILDREN AT THAT POINT MEANT I HAD SOMETHING VERY USEFUL TO DO FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS.
3. THE IDEA OF TRANSFORMATION – PLAYING SOMETHING I’M NOT – IS THE BIT I ENJOY MOST ABOUT ACTING.
4. IT’S GREAT TO HAVE THE CHANCE TO PLAY A CHARACTER BEFORE HE GOES TO THE DARK SIDE, OR THE YELLOW SIDE IF YOU WILL. NORMALLY, YOU DON’T GET THAT OPPORTUNITY. THE NARRATIVE OF A MOVIE USUALLY DEMANDS THAT YOU ARE THAT GUY FROM THE START.
5. IN THE PAST, IF I DIDN’T WORK, I DIDN’T EAT BUT NOW I FEEL I CAN NOT WORK AND I WON’T STARVE.
6. I HAD THIS EXTRAORDINARILY BIZARRE MOMENT WHEN, TWO FRIDAYS AGO, MY MISSUS GAVE BIRTH TO OUR SECOND CHILD AT 11AM AND BY THE SAME TIME THE FOLLOWING DAY I WAS SITTING AROUND A TABLE WITH RIDLEY SCOTT, RUSSELL CROWE AND LEONARDO DICAPRIO IN RABAT IN MOROCCO, REHEARSING A SCENE WE WERE GOING TO SHOOT THE NEXT DAY.
7. IF YOU THINK ABOUT SHAKESPEARE, YOU REMEMBER RICHARD III AND MACBETH BEFORE YOU REMEMBER FERDINAND, WHOSE ROLE IS JUST TO FALL IN LOVE AND BE A BIT OF A WIMP. I LOVE THE BADDIES. MORE IMPORTANT, THOUGH, IS MAKING THE BADDIES SOMEHOW, WEIRDLY, UNDERSTOOD.
8. YOU SIGN FOR A SEQUEL FOR EVERYTHING THESE DAYS, JUST IN CASE, OPTIONS. IN THE PAST, YOU AVOIDED THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE BECAUSE IT MEANT SOMEWHERE DOWN THE ROAD YOU COULDN’T TAKE A JOB BECAUSE YOU HAD TO DO A SEQUEL. NOW IT’S A FEATURE OF PRETTY MUCH ANY FEATURE YOU DO.
9. BECAUSE I HAD CHILDREN RELATIVELY LATE – IN MY 40S RATHER THAN IN MY 20S – IT WASN’T ANYTHING I EVER KNEW THAT I WOULD DO. IT KIND OF HAPPENED TO ME: I MET THE RIGHT WOMAN AND WE HAD CHILDREN. IT WAS A REVELATION BECAUSE IT SUDDENLY MAKES ME REALIZE, ‘OH, I GET IT. NOW I KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THE REST OF MY LIFE.’
10. MY MOTHER MOVED ABROAD WHEN I WAS 11, MY DAD WASN’T AROUND FROM THE TIME THAT I WAS A BABY, SO I WAS NOT THE PRODUCT OF A FAMILY, BUT A PRODUCT OF OBSERVATION – OF WATCHING WHAT WENT ON AROUND ME, OF WATCHING WHO I LIKED, WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS GOOD BEHAVIOR AND WHAT I THOUGHT WAS BAD BEHAVIOR AND TAILORING MYSELF ACCORDINGLY.