Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tom Wilkinson- Actor of the Week

Tom Wilkinson is one of those actors who pops up all over the place and you spend 15 minutes trying to remember his name and which other films you have seen him in. And I mean that in the best possible sense. He melts into a role and you forget who the actor is while you are watching him at work.

Tom Wilkinson as the dying Mr. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility
Although it is a small role, as the dying Mr. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility, Tom Wilkinson made quite an impression on me. How could John Dashwood not fulfill his promise to his dying father? For shame!

Tom Wilkinson with his friends and his gnome in The Full Monty
As the garden-gnome-loving Gerald in The Full Monty, Tom Wilkinson is hysterical and tragic all at the same time. When he is in the "dole queue" as the Brits say, I always burst out laughing when he starts his dance routine with the twirl at the end. Donna Summers Hot Stuff will always make me think of Gerald and his garden gnomes!

Gaz: Y' know Dave, it's a thought...
Gerald: Ha! I could just see Little and Large prancing around Sheffield with their widges hanging out. Now that *would* be worth 10 quid...
Gaz: Don't be so bloody daft. We were just saying...
Gerald: Widges on parade! Bring your own microscope! 

Tom Wilkinson as Hugh Fennyman in Shakespeare in Love

Tom was brilliant as Hugh Fennyman, "the money" in Shakespeare in Love, and he is the ultimate theatre groupie. His money buys him a role in the play, that of the apothecary. In the role of a very serious but very bad actor, his small part is unforgettable.

Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Hugh Fennyman: How?
Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.

Tom Wilkinson as Dr. Chasuble and Anna Massey as Miss Prism
In The Importance of Being Earnest, Tom Wilkinson plays Dr. Frederick Chasuble, the romantic interest of Miss Prism.

Dr. Chasuble: Charity dear Miss Prism, charity! None of us are perfect. I myself am peculiarly susceptible to draughts. 

Tom Wilkinson as Pieter Van Ruijvin in Girl with a Pearl Earring
Tom Wilkinson was wonderfully evil as Vermeer's patron in Girl with a Pearl Earring. He looked like he was having some fun with this character and in fact was one of the best parts of this lovely but rather uneven film.

Van Ruijven: (Leering) Ripe as a plum, still unplucked.

Tom Wilkinson as Benjamin Franklin in John Adams
OK, case in point. Who amongst you would have recognized Tom Wilkinson from this photo alone? He brings Benjamin Franklin to life in John Adams.

Benjamin Franklin: You are a guest in Philadelphia. Fish, and guests, stink after three days.

Tom Wilkinson as Joe Kennedy Sr. in The Kennedys
In The Kennedys Tom was great as the hard nosed, hard driving head of the Kennedy clan. Don't mess with Joseph P. Kennedy.

Tom Wilkinson as Graham in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Tom seems to be channeling his inner child in the new film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I can't wait to see this when it comes out in a few weeks. His wife, actress Diana Hardcastle has a small role in it as well (as Carol) so it must have been fun to take a trip to India as a family.

Jean: How can you bear this country? What do you see that I don't?
Graham: The light, colours, smiles...all life is here.

So all I can say in conclusion is that Tom Wilkinson is HOT STUFF BABY! Any other films that you really enjoyed him in? He's been in quite a few...

P.S. Couldn't find a good photo of him as Seth Pecksniff in Martin Chuzzlewit, but that was one of his best! And he is now filming The Lone Ranger as bad guy Latham Cole, with Johnny Depp as Tonto. I don't know whether to be thrilled or worried about the latter!


  1. Aww, he's so hugg-able. Also he looks perfect as Benjamin Franklin. You should see him in "Piccadilly Jim" - a film adaptation of a P.G. Wodehouse novel and he. is. hilarious in it. He plays a stressed father who hates society but loves his son, but he's trapped with a wife who's obsessed with social ladder climbing.

    1. Hi Lady Disdain, I'd love to hug Tom W. too! And thanks for the heads up about Piccadilly Jim. Sounds like just my cup of tea.

  2. Did you ever see Tom Wilkinson in a movie called Oscar and Lucinda? It was my first exposure to Tom W., Cate Blanchett and CiarĂ¡n Hinds. It's from 1997 and also stars Ralph Fiennes in a brilliant and very uncharacteristic role. I loved watching these actors in this movie, but alas, it's not a feel good movie. That, however, still didn't stop me from watching it 3 times! Here's a link:

    1. Hi Olga- I haven't seen that one but it must be good if you have seen it 3 times!

  3. I love Tom Wilkinson. I loved him in The Full Monty and The Importance of Being Ernest and Shakespeare in Love. (I'm the money," a line my husband uses all the time.) He's absolutely a terrific actor.

  4. I love Tom Willkinson - he is truly a great actor - think my favouite role is as Pecksniff in the BBC's adaptation of Martin Chuzzlewit - brilliant!

  5. He was such a great Benjamin Franklin! He's so versatile - can do slapstick as well as serious villainry. I was very moved by his performance as the bereft father in "In the Bedroom."

  6. @Mary, Sarah and Beth- You all have wonderful taste in actors! So many great roles.

  7. Love him in The Full Monty! :D xx

    1. "The Governess". It's my number one. I love colours in this movie, i love music and i love Charles Cavendish. My second beloved Tom is fox in "The Gruffalo". JUST LISTEN! And my other beloved Toms: Tom in "Shakespeare in love" (wonderful team: Geofrey, Imelda and Judi), "Burke and Hare" (wonderful cast again: Andrew, Christopher, Hugh and Tim), "The Best Exotic..." (great cast again: Billy, Celia, Judie, Queen Maggie and Penelope), "Oscar and Lucinda" (and my firing squad: Cate, Ciaran, Geoffrey, Ralph and Richard), "In the Bedroom", "The Conspirator", "The Debt', "The Ghost Writer", "44 Inch Chest", "John Adams", "Dedication", "The Full Monty"... i could write Tom's filmography. YOU'D BETTER NOT MESS WITH MAJOR TOM

    2. Hi E-V-N! You are a true Tom Wilkinson fan for sure. Thanks for giving us your top picks. I did love the look of The Governess when I was researching this post. Now I will have to find it and I'll do a post on that after I watch it. I'll look out for some of the other ones too- can't wait for Marigold Hotel next week.

    3. "Marigold" is very nice, and Maggie is amazing. She's the best. It's her movie. And of course Tom's. But i see i forgot about one movie: "The Exorcism of Emily Rose". And one more thing that i love about Tom: he's not a member of "Potter Family".

  8. I think he first came to my notice as Pecksniff in Martin Chuzzlewit - he was just wonderful of course; just so perfectly... delicously awful. He just positively OOZED hypocrisy off the screen... One couldn't wait for him to get his comeuppance - at the same time enjoying every minute he was on screen.:)

    Actually, there was some good & memorable acting all around in that one - pity it doesn't seem to be all that well known...


    1. Hi LRK- I will have to review Martin Chuzzlewit as well. Apparently I have lots of films and miniseries to keep this blog going for ages!

    2. And long may it so remain!:) (Naturally "they" must keep making more - just to ensure you do not run out. ;))

      And I'd utterly adore a review of Martin Chuzzlewit - looking forward to it.:)






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