Posted at 2:03 PM on January 26, 2007
by Euan Kerr
About two-thirds of the way through Alfonso Cuaron's "Children of Men" Theo Faron (Clive Owen) meets a crooked prison guard called Syd. Syd talks about himself in the third person, and gives off the air of being an easy-going psychotic. He adds three or four notches of tension to an already over-tight situation.
"Syd" is played by Peter Mullan, an actor who is always worth a look, and often enough to make picking up any DVD where he plays even a bit part.
Check out his performance in the Mike Figgis adaptation of August Strindberg's "Miss Julie" where he plays a truth-speaking butler to the aristocratic Saffron Burrows, or the Channel-swimming obsessive in "On a Clear Day." Then there's his performance as the cuckolded barge-captain in "Young Adam."
Mullan also wrote and directed "The Magdalene Sisters," the horrifying story of abuse in Irish convent homes for young women. It is an amazing film, which demonstrates the true power of cinema.
So see "Children of Men," see Syd, and definitely watch Peter Mullan.