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Bits and Bobs (Vol. 21): Unsung British actors (Part 2)

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Warrenjosephpeake_l

Warrenjosephpeake_lThe James McAvoy-Angelina Jolie actioner Wanted hits DVD tomorrow in standard, special, and gift-set editions. I say skip them all and Netflix the bugger. It’s a ho-hum film (for James’ best, see Shameless) and it’s painful to see a Brit thesp as remarkable as Marc Warren (known only in the movie as “the Repairman”) go so underused. Pick up any season of Marc’s grifter series Hustle, watch his fab Doctor Who episode “Love & Monsters”  (he dances to ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky”), or check out his key role alongside James in the British State of Play, and you’ll know what I mean. (Just don’t get me started on the casting of the big screen SoP remake. Ben Affleck as David Morrissey’s character? Russell Crowe as John Simm’s? Ouch, my ulcers).

Thus, in Marc, David, and John’s honors, it’s time for another list of British (and Irish) Joes you should know (after the jump) — those actors that nab tiny roles in blockbusters or popular TV, but whom Anglophiles adore. And who are hopefully bound to be huge. You know, like Russell Brand was a year ago. That way, when people say things like, “I’m so sick of Russell Tovey, he’s all over the place,” you can be like, “Dude, I pegged him as the next Doctor, last year.” (P.S. My new favorite, The Seagull actress Carey Mulligan, gets her own column next week).

addCredit(“Marc Warren: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images; Paterson Joseph: Gerard Burkhart/Getty Images; Maxine Peake: R. Stonehouse/Retna”)

1. Russell Tovey. You may remember him: as Gavin’s friend Budgie on Gavin & Stacey or athlete Rudge in History Boys. Look for him: as John Chivery in Masterpiece Classic’s Little Dorrit (premieres March 29th).
2. Dylan Moran. You may remember him as: the Notting Hill shoplifter or Simon Pegg’s doomed nemesis in Shaun of the Dead. Look for him: on DVD in his own brilliant sitcom, Black Books (he’s the boozing owner of an independent book store) or starring in the upcoming Irish dark comedy, A Film with Me in It.
3. Toby Stephens. You may remember him as: Baddie Gustav Graves in Die Another Day (he’s also Dame Maggie Smith’s son). Look for him: possibly outfoxing Richard Armitage as Prince John in Season 3 of BBC America’s Robin Hood next year. 
4. Gemma Arterton. You may remember her as: Quantum of Solace’s Strawberry Fields (who didn’t coo over her five minutes of screen time?). Look for her: opposite Tudors’ star Hans Matheson as the titular heroine in Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Masterpiece Classic’s new adaptation premieres January 4th.
5. Anne-Marie Duff. You may remember her as: James McAvoy’s arm candy at every award show last season (they’re married). Look for her: Being absolutely knock-out brilliant on DVD in Shameless and The Virgin Queen, and alongside her husband in next year’s Tolstoy biopic, The Last Station.
6. Tom Hardy. You may remember him as: Failed Picard clone Shinzon in Star Trek: Nemesis or RocknRolla’s Handsome Bob. Look for him: as Heathcliff in Masterpiece’s Wuthering Heights (premieres January 18th) and Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist (February 15th).
7. Gina Bellman. You may remember her as: Ditsy, lovelorn Jane from BBC America’s Coupling. Look for her: as a sophisticated con woman and Timothy Hutton’s love interest in the new TNT series Leverage (premieres December 7th).
8. Lee Ingleby. You may remember him as: Knight Bus conductor Stan Shunpike in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Look for him: on DVD in George Gently and opposite Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy, and Max Minghella in Beeban Kidron’s upcoming Hippie Hippie Shake.
9. Paterson Joseph. You may remember him as: “NumberWang” contestant Simon on BBC America’s That Mitchell and Webb Look, or from the two-episode Doctor Who reality show farce “Bad Wolf” and “The Parting of Ways.” Look for him: as a rival sleuth when The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency becomes a short series next year. 
10. Rupert Penry-Jones. You may remember him as: brother Piers du Pré in Hilary and Jackie, his eight minutes of screen time as “Henry” (yeah, I don’t even remember him) in Match Point. Look for him: on DVD January 20th as spy Adam Carter in MI-5, Vol. 6 (which never made it to TV in the states).
11. Maxine Peake.You may remember her as: dirty-talking, platinum blonde Veronica in Shameless. Have I mentioned that show yet? Look for her: also in Little Dorrit as Miss Wade, and next summer in Marple: They Do It With Mirrors.

So, who’s on your list? Whom did I miss? And what other works by these actors would you recommend?

Bits and Bobs Calendar:
Monday: Daniel Radcliffe guests on Bravo’s Inside the Actors Studio at 8 p.m. 
Tuesday: Kevin McKidd sits down with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel at 12:05 p.m. Paul Weller at the BBC debuts on on DVD.
Wednesday: Keane stops by Ellen (check local listings),while Tom Jones visits NBC’s Tonight Show at 11:35 p.m. TCM airs a five-film Vivien Leigh marathon beginning at 8 p.m. Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… premieres on Sundance at 9 p.m. (first guest: Elton John).
Thursday: Rhys Ifans stars in Danny Deckchair on IFC at 2 p.m. If you haven’t done so already, start watching MI-5 season 7 on YouTube here.
Friday: Jamie Bell stars in Dear Wendy on Sundance at 7 p.m.
Saturday: DVR Orlando Bloom in comedy The Calcium Kid at 7:30 a.m. on Sundance.
Sunday: Paul McGuigan’s Gangster No. 1 airs on IFC at 10:30 p.m.

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