I too saw the Sum of all Fears twice on TV, and never even blinked. Putin never really raised the bar very high, did he.
Then, last May, on Dutch television, there was an annual show called the Night of Detectives: viewers get a chance to vote on what programmes they want to see aired, and from 10pm to 5am, you get to watch an array of different detective stories. I had recorded the lot and by mid July, I have seen all episodes.
At the beginning of the 2 week period my kids spend summer with their father. I woke up very early one morning thinking "I dreamed of a voice belonging to someone very nice, I have got to hear it again and I know exactly where!!" As I turned on my TV and player, I knew I was right: in all the past weeks I hadn't erased this single episode of Above Suspicion.
Kismet the Arabs say, I watched that episode with more than keen interest. Then I decided to Google the man's name and loo and behold! there were fan sites. Since ciaranhinds.eu was the only one that seemed "alive" and polished, I thought I'd give it a go and join in. In the meantime I saw Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day (a very lovely film, no violence, how can that be!!) and bought the first ROME box. I even gave myself a good reason to do that, my youngest boy is crazy about all Roman things. And I honestly believed I'd do the kid a favour if I'd let him watch a box full of Romans!! Trust me, to this date he hasn't seen a single minute of it, it wasn't really made for 10 year olds, was it. I on the other hand have seen it twice now and like everyone else was struck by the very impressive way Ceasar's death scene is portrayed. Very few people can portray so many emotions with so little but Ciarán Hinds is one of them.
Last week I saw the film about Veronica Guerin and of course I am really looking forward to the sequel of Above Suspicion, The Red Dahlia. You can safely state I'm hooked but who can blame me?
The first time I ever saw Ciarán Hinds was in of course, Persuasion. I think it was playing on the cable on public television one night, and I couldn't leave the room. I was smitten.
That was about at least ten years ago. I have since watched that movie perhaps 100 times.
I have since tried to collect all the movies Ciarán has made that I can, and go and see what is new. I guess what I am saying is he is really very talented and his roles are so convincing. I saw There will be blood and I was really excited but was then disappointed how Ciarán's character just disappeared.
I thought it was a bit too violent for me. But I can say somethings of a positive nature about it. It put some bucks in Ciarán's pockets, gave him exposure to a vast audience and displayed Daniels ever improving acting skills.
I had to lol when Ciarán's character kicked the stuffing out of Jack Black with his sharp boots in Margot at the Wedding. I liked that film because it was a good example of how careless parenting can hurt a child's progress to being a healthy adult.
Stop Loss was a thought provoking film which candidly adressed an on-going issue concerning American troops and the war we are fighting in Iraq and Afganistan. I commend Ciarán for taking on a somewhat "Political Film." and what an accent! A Drawl! An honest to goodness Drawl... Not a touch of Irish!!! So Excellent!!!
How embarrassing! For someone with an encyclopaedic memory of movies, I only discovered Ciarán playing Caesar in ROME! And I mean discovered by the very impact of the word.
Actually, I was supposed to be doing the Sunday ironing. I like to iron, not for the mountains of clothes I have to handle, but because I can do it alone and nobody would ever think to bother me whatsoever. German TV aired the series in the late evening programme, the "20:15 movie" and I learned later, by watching the complete DVD set, that they put together 2 episodes. That results in a loss of scenes (especially in the beginnings and ends) because the entire TV movie is only 90 minutes long with a very rough music arrangement. Very nice, impressive pieces of Jeff Beal's music were cut off, almost beheaded. (Don't worry, now I have both the soundtrack and the long-version DVD set, thank you very much!)
The first episode I stood by my ironing board and was fascinated by the story. Between that Sunday and the next one, I spent a lot of time on hectic research for those actors' names that I had missed in the first 2 minutes. (I usually miss the introduction while I put up the board, find the iron, and gather the clothes.) Unfortunately the idea that there might be something online in English didn't cross my mind that week, so I only read through the rare German information .
The effect that next Sunday, of course, was that my ironing again remained undone, and my husband had to buy new shirts to wear. I was glued to the telly and grinned my ass off. It was just nice to see all the soldiers, the Roman ladies, the Senate AND Caesar. Just a few weeks ago, I saw an adaptation of the Caesar and Cleopatra story with Timothy Dalton (yes, I think he was Mr. Rochester as well, but I refuse to see that version now ). That was lovely, but it paled in comparison to what I saw here. And I loved Caesar. I had no idea why, honestly! Perhaps it was his classy walk, the nonchalant speech, perhaps the plain implicitness of his very own being. Caesar was great. After the second 90 minutes, I still had no idea about the actor's name , since it was put as "and..." and contained a lot of special characters - my brain stopped trying to comprehend.
ROME only lasted 6 weekends on TV for the first season - what to do now?
I was redeemed by finding some Internet information via Yahoo - Hey, hello, here I am - and made friends there. AND I spent the next 2 months getting every DVD I could find with that Ciarán Hinds bloke. There was some special French source that found me. No, Sylvie, I won't mention your name here and expose you in front of all the readers, but you are a mind-reader and a life-saver. Yes, you would call it a first-aider now and persist in having taken some real training for it, and -ROTFLMAO- by putting it that way. Fine with me - I got my revenge with Rapunzel chocolate. Revenge is sometimes sweet and not bloody. And yes, I might have moved on to, for example, Alan Rickman (good joke, isn't it?) or say David Strathairn (let's stick with someone with style in acting). But we had these "Ides of March" in February and let's finish my thought with some Dumas: four musketeers forever!
The first time I saw Ciarán in a movie, it was in The Sum of All Fears, since I thought it was as good as The Hunt for Red October and I believed that the cast would be the same. It was not. The whole stuff was rather disappointing, serie B-like, and far from the Clancy novels I used to read. I did not notice Ciarán really, but I remember having told my father that the Russian President was less ugly than in other movies, almost too attractive to be the villain. And I forgot him.
In real life, I am a kind of almost professional Egyptologist and wanabe writer (unpublished of course), too undaring to earn my daily crust with what I'd really love to do because it's a bit risky (This uncertainty of future career makes young Egyptology students apprehensive, so what of a middle-aged autodidact?) Strangely enough, Ciarán remembers me as a "computer expert" rather than a hieroglyph-reader (hence I infer that he thinks dealing with computers is more puzzling than deciphering the Rosetta stone!)
I was writing a novel situated in Ptolemaic Egypt and I wanted to extend my knowledge to Roman history. I became fascinated by Julius Caesar, even though some of my ancestors were probably among the Veneti defeated by Decimus Brutus in 56 BC. My family still live where the battle is supposed to have taken place (the toponymy perpetuates over the centuries the memory of this event, with names like "Caesar's camp", "Caesar"s Rock" and the main city of the region is named Vannes from the Veneti).
I started to read all the books I could find about Julius Caesar, and watched all the movies I could see (documentaries as well as fictions and, of course, Shakespeare's play) and when I heard about HBO's Rome, I absolutely wanted to see it. I liked Rex Harrisson in Mankiewicz' masterpiece Cleopatra, I found that Jeremy Sisto in Uli Edel's Julius Caesar was too young, and I thought that Timothy Dalton was better as Mark Antony than as Caesar (he is known to be the only actor having played the two characters in movies).
And I discovered the best Caesar I'd ever seen, reserved, dignified, with a charm of his own, a very subtle touch of humour and a smile one cannot easily forget. Yet, Ciarán does not look like Caesar: his eyes are green and not black and he has too much hair. According to ancient writers, Caesar was a balding man, and his soldiers made fun of it in the ribald verses they sang during his Gallic triumph:
Home we bring our bald whoremonger;
Romans, lock your wives away!
All the bags of gold you lent him
Went his Gallic tarts to pay.
Nevertheless, he was perfect in the role and I found the last episode of the first season absolutely heartbreaking (in spite of the interference with a somewhat boring Vorenus' domestic mess).
The violent and silent scene of the assassination, without any of the usual commonplaces...
The unspeakable pain of betrayal in Caesar's eyes (I still had to find out that Ciarán's eyes are his best asset)...
Out of curiosity, intrigued by the exotic spelling of his first name (I did not know that "Ciarán" was an Irish name and I did not have a clue what it sounded like), I began to search the Internet and I discovered his fansites and the Yahoo Board (which did not belong to me in those times). Then I became a big fan, (hopelessly "ciaranized" I daresay), I started to watch every movie which I knew Ciarán was involved in, and, doing this, I learned many interesting things, because he is a versatile and intelligent actor, generaly cast in good projects, even though he also did things like The Life of Stuff (horrible) and Lara Croft (deadly commercial - I assume it was more fun to be part of it than to watch a siliconed Angelina displaying her sexiness).
As a person of Celtic origins, I am very sensitive to the Irish question, and Ciarán was in a lot of good Irish movies (Who Bombed Birmingham?, The Lost Son)... and as an amateur of period movies and English literature, I liked Persuasion, The Mayor of Casterbridge and Jane Eyre.
And I'd be a hypocrite if I denied that I highly enjoyed his lovely performance in Getting Hurt (even that gasping "moose call" I use as an alarm sound for my computer)!
In February 2008, I decided to see Ciarán on stage in The Seafarer and I went to NYC (I did not make the trip especially to meet him but it was a good incentive to live an old dream and at last, cross the Atlantic). I carefully chose the date so that I could be there to wish him a happy birthday. Since my hotel was in the same block as the Booth Theatre, I met him several times and enjoyed it very much, but, as would say Rudyard Kipling, "that's another story..."
Copyright © 2008 Ciarán Hinds! All rights reserved.