The first time I was introduced to the acting work of Mark Strong, it was when I watched enjoyed the 2008 film RocknRolla from writer/director Guy Ritchie. Strong’s character in RocknRolla was ‘Archy,’ the right-hand man of old-school mobster Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson). In the film, “Archy” had to track down Lenny’s drug-addicted “rock-n-roll” musician stepson, who believed that if he faked his death–he would sell more records. In Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy, Strong is Jim Prideaux, is a dedicated operative of the Circus, an intelligence officer who’s role in the film is as much a reserved thinker as his character “Archy” in RocknRolla, however, as Prideaux he finds himself under surveillance and eventually finds himself on the shallow end of the law–succeeding into a worrisome, former agent.
Strong is most familiar on British television, but has had memorable roles here in America: in Kick-Ass, he’s crime boss Frank D’Amico; and as the fictional character Thaal Sinestro in Green Lantern (2011). Strong is also the voice of “Pod” in the UK version of the animated film The Secret World of Arriety. Versatility spans Strong’s character profile, and it isn’t any wonder why Alfredson chose him for the role of “Jim Prideaux.” It seems he makes his home where ever he performs; whether it’s in theater, in television, and in film.
In the interview with Jonathan Josell, Strong discusses how he met director Tomas Alfredson. Already a fan of Let the Right One In, he appreciated being cast as a more emotional character, and unlike many of the characters he has played in his career. He also felt privileged to work with Gary Oldman, and the other cast members in the film.
Video source used with expressed permission: ArcLight Cinema