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Mark Strong

Mark Strong
Born Marco Giuseppe Salussolia
(1963-08-05) 5 August 1963
London, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1989–present
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Spouse(s) Liza Marshall
Children 2

Mark Strong (born Marco Giuseppe Salussolia; 5 August 1963) is a British film and television actor. He is known for his role in the television series Our Friends in the North and films such as RocknRolla, Body of Lies, Syriana, The Young Victoria, Sherlock Holmes, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Kick-Ass, Green Lantern, Zero Dark Thirty, Robin Hood, John Carter, The Imitation Game, Mindscape and Kingsman: The Secret Service.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
  • Video games 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Strong was born in Walthamstow, Clapton, Stoke Newington and Edmonton, as well." His English name is not a stage name; when he was a child, his mother changed his name by deed poll to help him fit in with his peers.[2] He was baptised a Catholic.[3] He speaks fluent German and some Italian.[4][5]

Strong attended Wymondham College, where he sang in the punk bands the Electric Hoax and Private Party (the name of the latter was based on the idea that the band's shows would not be attended, due to prospective audiences thinking that the event was a "private party").[6] His original ambition was to become a lawyer, but after studying German constitutional law at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich for one year, he returned home to London[7] and studied English and Drama at Royal Holloway, and later attended Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.


Strong is a familiar face on British television. He appeared in two Mr. Knightley, in the 1996 ITV adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Emma. In feature films, Strong played Steve in the 1997 film adaptation of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch opposite Colin Firth.

At the beginning of the 2000s he appeared in Heartlands and in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at the Donmar Warehouse, for which he was nominated for the 2003 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role. He was later featured in Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist (2005), played Mussawi in the film Syriana, and played an assassin called Sorter in Revolver (2005). Strong portrayed the traitorous Wictred in Tristan & Isolde, showing his talent with swordplay, and since 2006, he has provided the narration in the BBC's genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?.

In 2007 Strong was one of the final two actors considered for the part of Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men; despite the persistence of rumours, he claims he was never offered the part.[8] Strong was Pinbacker, the insane captain of Icarus I, the first ship that was sent to reignite the Sun in Sunshine (2007). Pinbacker was inspired by the character of Sergeant Pinback from Dark Star.[9] The character's disfiguring burns were influenced by the injuries suffered by F1 driver Niki Lauda.[10] Boyle described the character of Pinbacker as a representation of fundamentalism.[11] The director also described the potentially unrealistic presence of Pinbacker as an example of something that breaks the pattern of realism, similar to his scene in Trainspotting (1996) in which Ewan McGregor's character dives into a toilet.[12] Strong played prince Septimus, the youngest of the seven Stormhold princes, in Stardust (2007).

In 2008 he played Nick Calderelli in Kick-Ass. Strong says he is drawn to playing the antagonist. He tries to "understand the purpose of the character", and then work on building a believable individual.[19]

Strong with the cast of Green Lantern at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International.

He then played Thaal Sinestro, a Green Lantern and Hal Jordan's mentor, in the superhero film Green Lantern (2011).[20] Mark Strong affirmed that the film will follow the origin story, "the film closely follows the early comics. Sinestro starts out as Hal Jordan’s mentor, slightly suspicious and not sure of him because obviously Hal is the first human being who’s made into a Green Lantern. He's certainly very strict and certainly unsure of the wisdom of Hal becoming a Green Lantern". Strong said the character "is a military guy but isn't immediately bad. It's the kind of person he is that lends himself to becoming bad over the course of the comics being written, but initially he’s quite a heroic figure.” He also revealed that the outfit and other aspects of the character very closely follow the character's early days, “That widow's peak and thin mustache was for some reason originally based on David Niven.... So I would like to do justice to the Sinestro that was conceived for the comic books”.[21]

In 2011 he was the voice Pod of The Secret World of Arrietty and the voice of the character Captain Titus of the Ultramarines Chapter in the video game Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. The same year, and most notably, he played the role of Jim Prideaux in the remake of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which was earlier played by Ian Bannen in the iconic original 1979 BBC series starring Alec Guinness. The film premiered in competition at the 68th Venice International Film Festival on 5 September 2011.[22] The film received generally positive reviews. The film holds an 83% 'Fresh' approval rating from 203 reviews collected by review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a dense puzzle of anxiety, paranoia, and espionage that director Tomas Alfredson pieces together with utmost skill".[23] Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating in the 0–100 range based on reviews from top mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 85 based on 42 reviews, equating to "universal acclaim".[24]

Strong at the Sherlock Holmes premiere in Berlin, 2010.

The next year he played Clive Cornell in The Guard which is the most successful independent Irish film of all time in terms of Irish box-office receipts, overtaking The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) which previously held this status.[25] The film has a 95 percent positive rating according to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.[26] Strong began filming the role of Jacob Sternwood in the British thriller, Welcome to the Punch.[27] He played Matai Shang, the leader of the Therns in John Carter. He then starred in Kathryn Bigelow's action thriller film Zero Dark Thirty with co-stars Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt.[28][29] It was independently financed by Ellison's Annapurna Pictures. The film had its premiere in Los Angeles, California on 19 December 2012 and had its wide release on 11 January 2013.[30] The film received wide critical acclaim and was nominated for five Oscars for the 85th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Chastain) and Best Original Screenplay. The film won one, for Best Sound Editing. Zero Dark Thirty earned four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Actress – Drama for Chastain. On 31 October 2012 Strong joined the cast of the film.[31]

In November 2012, Strong and sociopath or the victim of trauma. The film came to cinemas in 2014.[32] In North America, the film has been retitled Anna.

Jaguar Cars produced an advert in 2014, initially shown during Super Bowl XLVIII and later online and on television. The advert, which featured Strong alongside fellow British actors Ben Kingsley and Tom Hiddleston, was themed around their recent film roles as villains, and used the tagline "It's good to be bad".[33]

Strong co-starred in the 2014 historical drama film The Imitation Game, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, in which he played MI6 chief Stewart Menzies.[34] On 24 April 2014, Strong joined Sony’s spy action comedy Grimsby.[35] The story of the film centres on a British black-ops spy (Strong) whose idiotic brother is an English football hooligan (Sacha Baron Cohen).[36]

In 2015, Strong won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role in A View from the Bridge, which he starred in as Eddie Carbone at the Young Vic. The play won a total of 3 Olivier Awards including Best Revival.

Personal life

He lives in London with his wife, Liza Marshall, and their two sons, Gabriel & Roman.[37] In an interview he said he is content living a relatively normal life in London: “I’ve got no desire to live anywhere else. I was born here, my wife was born here, my kids were born here and this is where we’re going to stay,” he says. “I feel like I have a lovely balance. I’m able to keep my head below the parapet. I get on with my work, I have a family and I get on the tube. It just so happens that I’m doing this job.” [38][39][40]

He is a longtime friend of actor Daniel Craig, a co-star in Our Friends in the North, who is the godfather of Strong's elder son.[41] He dubbed Craig into German, as German with an English accent was required for Obsession (1997).[42]

In an interview he said that his style icon is David Bowie, and when he was a child he wanted to be the French actor Alain Delon: "I remember watching him in films and though I couldn't understand a word he was saying I remember thinking he looked great. Failing that, an astronaut, after watching the moon landing on a tiny, portable, black-and-white TV at my gran's house".[43] Strong was named one of GQ's 50 best dressed British men in 2015.[44]

Strong's greatest inspiration is Nelson Mandela: "I made a film this summer about the end of apartheid in South Africa – his suffering, coupled with his ability to remain tolerant, is staggering".

Just like his character in Fever Pitch, Mark Strong supports Arsenal F.C..[45]


Year Title Role Notes
1989 After Henry Roger TV series
1993 Buddha of Suburbia, TheThe Buddha of Suburbia Television producer
1993 Prime Suspect 3 Inspector Larry Hall
1993 Century Policeman
1994 Captives Kenny
1996 Emma Mr. Knightley TV film
1996 Our Friends in the North Terry "Tosker" Cox
1996 Sharpe's Mission Colonel Brand
1997 Fever Pitch Steve
1997 Gold Ed Smithson
1998 Spoonface Steinberg Father
1998 Man with Rain in His Shoes, TheThe Man with Rain in His Shoes Dave Summers
1999 Trust Michael Mitcham
1999 Births, Marriages and Deaths Terry
1999 In the Name of Love Chris Monroe
1999 Elephant Juice Frank
1999 Sunshine István Sors
2000 Bomber Colonel Chris Forsyth
2000 Anna Karenina Oblonsky
2001 To End All Wars Dusty Miller
2001 Hotel Ferdinand
2001 Martins, TheThe Martins Doug
2001 Superstition Antonio Gabrieli
2002 Fields of Gold Dr. Tolkin
2002 Heartlands Ian
2002 Falling Apart Pete
2003 Some Place Safe Dad Short film
2003 It's All About Love Arthur
2003 Henry VIII Duke of Norfolk
2003 Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness Det. Chief Supt. Larry Hall
2004 Long Firm, TheThe Long Firm Harry Starks Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
2005 Revolver Sorter
2005 Oliver Twist Toby Crackit
2005 Walk Away and I Stumble Andy Spader
2005 Syriana Mussawi
2006 Tristan & Isolde Wictred
2006 Low Winter Sun Det. Sgt. Frank Agnew
2006 Scenes of a Sexual Nature Louis
2006–2012 Who Do You Think You Are? Narrator
2007 Sunshine Pinbacker
2007 Stardust Septimus
2008 Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day Nick
2008 Flashbacks of a Fool Mannie Miesel
2008 Babylon A.D. Finn
2008 RocknRolla Archy
2008 Body of Lies Hani Salaam Nominated – London Critics Circle Film Award for Best British Supporting Actor
2008 Good Philipp Bouhler
2009 Endgame Dr. Niel Barnard
2009 Young Victoria, TheThe Young Victoria Sir John Conroy
2009 Sherlock Holmes Lord Henry Blackwood Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (shared with Robert Downey, Jr.)
2010 Kick-Ass Frank D'Amico Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (shared with Chloë Grace Moretz)
2010 Robin Hood Sir Godfrey
2010 Way Back, TheThe Way Back Khabarov
2011 Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Titus Voice
2011 Story of Earth, TheThe Story of Earth Narrator
2011 Guard, TheThe Guard Clive Cornell
2011 Eagle, TheThe Eagle Guern
2011 Green Lantern Sinestro
2011 Secret World of Arrietty, TheThe Secret World of Arrietty Pod Voice (United Kingdom dub)
2011 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Jim Prideaux Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Georgia Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
YouMovie Award for Best Cast
2011 Black Gold Sultan Amar
2012 John Carter Matai Shang
2012 Zero Dark Thirty George
2013 Welcome to the Punch Jacob Sternwood
2013 Justin and the Knights of Valour Heraclio Voice
2013 Low Winter Sun Frank Agnew TV series
2013 The Great Martian War 1913–1917 Narrator Voice
2013 Blood Robert Seymour
2014 Unity Narrator Documentary
2014 Closer to the Moon Max Rosenthal
2014 Before I Go to Sleep Dr. Nasch
2014 Mindscape John Washington Also known as Anna
2014 The Imitation Game Stewart Menzies
2015 Kingsman: The Secret Service Merlin
2016 The Brothers Grimsby Filming

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Kick-Ass: The Game Frank D'Amico Voice
2011 Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Captain Titus Voice
2013 Total War: Rome II Silanus Voice
2016 Squadron 42 TBA Voice / Motion Capture


  1. ^ Imogen Edwards-Jones (14 March 2000). "Brightest star in Mamet's plow". Peter Gill, playwright and theatre director (from The Times). John Pavel. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Olga Craig (20 December 2009). "Mark Strong: how I put the fear factor into Sherlock Holmes". The Telegraph (London). 
  3. ^ Vincent, Sally (16 April 2005). "Hard man, soft heart".  
  4. ^ Day, Elizabeth (9 May 2010). "'"Robin Hood star Mark Strong: 'Real knights would have needed tea breaks. The Observer (London). Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Griffin, Susan (13 May 2010). "Interview: Mark Strong".  
  6. ^ Wymondham College Remembered (15 August 2012). "Rock & Roll Performers". Wymondham College Remembered. Wymondham College Remembered. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  7. ^ John Preston (18 February 2009). "Mark Strong: the strong, violent type". The Telegraph (London). 
  8. ^ Total Film (25 February 2009). "Mark Strong refutes No Country casting rumour". Total Film. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Mark Kermode (25 March 2007). "2007: a scorching new space odyssey". London: The Observer. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  10. ^ John Horn (1 July 2007). "Danny Boyle feels the heat with 'Sunshine'".  
  11. ^ Benjamin Crossley-Marra (19 July 2007). "Interview: Danny Boyle". Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  12. ^ Michael James Allen (23 July 2007). "An Interview with Danny Boyle". Lumino Magazine. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  13. ^ Ebert, Roger (2013-06-19). "Body of Lies Movie Review & Film Summary (2008)". Roger Ebert. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  14. ^ "Accidental anti-hero". The Independent ( 
  15. ^ Ignatius, David (2009-12-13). "Jordan's ex-spy chief wasn't too good to be true". Washington Post (MTV). Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  16. ^ Hemley, Matthew (26 March 2008). "C4 season to feature apartheid thriller Endgame".  
  17. ^ Knolle, Sharon (13 January 2010). "Hey, 'Sherlock' ... Who's This Mark Strong Fellow?".  
  18. ^ Rich, Katey (23 December 2009). "Exclusive Interview: Sherlock Holmes Villain Mark Strong". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 23 December 2009. I like him. He's a really nice man. He's an ego-free zone. I've never known anybody to have such a different evaluation in the press as the person they are in real life. It's very odd that he's seen the way he has been, because he's incredibly easy to work with. 
  19. ^ Truitt, Brian (23 April 2010). "Mark Strong can do a 'Kick-Ass' bad guy". USA TODAY (Gannett Co. Inc.). 
  20. ^ Rob M .Worley (18 January 2010). "Mark Strong Circling GREEN LANTERN?". Mania. Mania. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  21. ^ Truitt, Brian (April 6, 2010). "Mark Strong will channel his inner David Niven for ‘Green Lantern’". USA Today. Archived from the original on July 4, 2011. Retrieved April 7, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Venezia 68: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Tomas Alfredson".  
  23. ^ Staff (2011). "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  24. ^ "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy".  
  25. ^ The Guard' Topples 'Barley' to Become #1 Indie Irish Film"'". IFTN. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  26. ^ "The Guard". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  27. ^ "'"James McAvoy Heads to 'Welcome to the Punch. The Wrap. The Wrap News Inc. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  28. ^ Child, Ben (January 6, 2012). "Kathryn Bigelow's Bin Laden film to star Joel Edgerton".  
  29. ^ UPI takes territories on Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty; Screen Daily; May 15, 2012
  30. ^ "Zero Dark Thirty" premieres in Los Angeles CBS News, December 11, 2012.
  31. ^ "Mark Strong set for ‘Sleep’". 31 October 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  32. ^ "Jorge Dorado shoots Mindscape for Jaume Collet Serra". Cineuropa. 2012-12-21. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  33. ^ Walker, Michael (28 January 2014). "Super Bowl: Jaguar Previews Ad Featuring Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Strong (Video)".  
  34. ^ "Mark Strong Joins THE IMITATION GAME, Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson Lead LEARNING TO DRIVE". Collider. 
  35. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (24 April 2014). "Mark Strong Joins Sacha Baron Cohen In Sony Comedy ‘Grimsby’". Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  36. ^ "Mark Strong joins Sacha Baron Cohen in cast of upcoming comedy Grimsby". Grimsby Telegraph. 
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Welcome to the Punch: interview with Mark Strong". 
  39. ^ "Interview: Why actor Mark Strong is an accidental anti-hero". The Independent (London). 19 October 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  40. ^ Preston, John (18 February 2009). "Mark Strong: the strong, violent type". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  41. ^ Fitzherbert, Henry (10 March 2013). "Mark Strong: Thankfully, my wife saw evil in me...". Daily Express. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  42. ^ "Mark Strong Webchat". Empire. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  43. ^ "My Secret Life: Mark Strong, Actor, age 45". The Independent. 13 September 2008. 
  44. ^ "50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2015". GQ. 5 January 2015. 
  45. ^ [2]

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