Skip to main content

The Daily Beast: "Ben Whishaw, The Hour's British Invader"

Q in Skyfall goes back in time to the 1950s newsroom in Season Two of The Hour, beginning tonight. I explore the range and appeal of talented British actor Ben Whishaw.

Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The Hour's British Invader," in which I write about the astonishing range of 32-year-old British actor Ben Whishaw, who held his own against Bond as Q in Skyfall and returns to television tonight with Season Two of BBC America's The Hour.

You know Ben Whishaw.

Or rather, you should know precisely who the British actor is, even if he isn’t yet a household name. You may have seen him as doomed poet John Keats in 2009’s Bright Star or as doomed playboy Sebastian Flyte in the remake of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. In this autumn’s Cloud Atlas, he plays five distinct roles, from a classical composer and a record-store clerk to a cabin boy and even a woman. And you definitely saw him in the most recent James Bond flick, Skyfall, in which he plays Q, the youthful quartermaster for Daniel Craig’s aging 007.

Bespectacled and dressed in a cardigan and cravat, the whisper-thin Whishaw epitomizes the casual arrogance and dubious irony of the very young; he’s the brains to Bond’s rough-hewn brawn. Their meeting is a collision of the old and the new, technology versus humanity. Whishaw and Craig share several scenes together, but the most telling is perhaps that set in the National Gallery. As Q and Bond stare at a painting of an old frigate being dragged out to sea, Q tells the supersuave superspy, “I can do more damage on my laptop, sitting in my pajamas, before my first cup of Earl Grey tea, than you can do in a year in the field.”

It’s no surprise that the quote became embraced immediately on Tumblr, where Whishaw has quite a fan presence. In fact, it’s hard to swing a techie’s radio transmitter without hitting a comic strip of Whishaw’s Q or numerous fan pages devoted to the 32-year-old actor whose roles demonstrate not only versatility and raw sentiment—he’s a tousle-haired poster boy for emo actors everywhere—but also a penchant for playing impassioned, ill-fated characters.

Whishaw reprises his role as crusading journalist Freddie Lyon in Season 2 of British period drama The Hour, which launches stateside tonight on BBC America. The first season of the critically beloved drama from creator Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady) found Freddie enmeshed in a love triangle with ambitious producer Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) and debonair news anchor Hector Madden (Dominic West) as they set out to create an evening news program in ’50s London.

Continue reading at The Daily Beast...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas