Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News. Posted by Lexi Schwartz
Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
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Some actors will spend their entire careers doing guest spots until they’re able to secure a role that really helps them to stand out. One show that was able to make stars out of a lot of these types of actors is “Game of Thrones”, which helped a lot of people know just how good of an actor Charles Dance is. Even in his early 70s, Dance seems like he’s just starting out the best years of his career, adding blockbusters in recent years since his “Game of Thrones” role.
Dance comes from Redditch, England, where he was born on October 10, 1946. Dance remained in England throughout his childhood, and trained at an early age to start acting. Dance took to the stage during his early years, becoming a Shakespearean actor like many hopeful stars from England. Dance performed in London, and this helped him to get his name out there.
It wasn’t always easy for Dance while growing up as an actor. “I had a stammer through adolescence,” Dance said. “Any fun I’d had performing in school plays disappeared and only came back at 18, when the stammer started to go. Then I thought, ‘Well, perhaps I can show off now.’”
“I’ve done maybe 12 of Shakespeare’s plays,” Dance said. “I was with the Royal Shakespeare Company for years. Whatever influence that has never leaves you. If you learn to drive a car, and you learn the right way if there is ever a right way. You learn the good aspects, you learn to drive properly. And that never leaves you.”
Dance’s first on-screen acting appearance came in 1974 on an episode of the series “Father Brown”. He continued to be a guest star for the remainder of the 1970s on shows including “Edward the Seventh”, “Raffles” and “The Inheritors”. In 1981, he’d make his film debut in the James Bond film “For Your Eyes Only”.
During the rest of the 1980s, Dance would be in several more films such as “The Golden Child”, “White Mischief” and “Hidden City”. Meanwhile, on television, Dance continued his career as being a guest star while also having multiple miniseries and TV movies such as “Out of the Shadows” and “The Secret Servant”.
Dance wasn’t in many TV productions during the 1990s as he focused more on film, but did have a few TV movies. Dance was in 1990s movies like “Last Action Hero” with Arnold Schwarzengger, as well as “Hilary and Jackie” and “The Blood Oranges”. The first decade of the new millennium added roles for Dance with “Swimming Pool”, “Scoop” and “Intervention”. He also added several more TV movies with “Henry VIII” and “Looking for Victoria”.
One of Dance’s most well-known roles came in 2011 when he took on the part of Tywin Lannister on the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones”. His character was a ruthless one that appeared in nearly 30 episodes over the course of four years. Ultimately, Lannister was ended by his own son that show him with a crossbow in both the television series and the book series.
Outside of “Game of Thrones”, Dance has had a lot of recent appearances on television in recurring roles. This includes “Hang Ups”, “And There There Were None” and most recently with 2019’s “The Widow”. Some of the more recent films for Dance include “Ghostbusters”, “Underworld: Blood Wars” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”. Coming up, Dance has several more projects such as “The King’s Man” and “Viy 2: Journey to China”.
Dance’s favorite role does appear to indeed be on “Game of Thrones”. “If you get a bad script, then you start expending energy trying to make a silk purse of a sow’s ear,” Dance said. “When the script’s as good as those on ‘Game of Thrones’, say, I don’t think there was a single occasion where any of us thought there was a bad scene.”
“I don’t like watching television too much,” Dance admitted. “It tires me out for some reason. But I saw a fair bit of ‘Game of Thrones’ because it was so good. I mostly watched episodes that I wasn’t in.” He’s also touched on the followers of the series, saying that “There is a huge fan base; they’re very knowledgeable and very loyal. I was astonished - before I started working on the series, I didn’t know anything about ‘Game of Thrones’. I hadn’t heard of the books.”
Talking about his career, Dance does feel that there are certain roles that he’s offered. “When you have a label stuck on you, people tend to believe it,” he said. “If someone calls you suave and debonair, you only get offered parts in a suit and a collar and tie. It just so happens I wear them reasonably well…My face lends itself to austere characters, and unless they’re two-dimension, I will do them. Any actor will tell you that an interesting villain is much more interesting to play.”
Dance also does offer up some advice for the TV scene in his home country. “We have to take risks in British television,” he said. “It has to stop playing to the lowest common denominator and patronizing people…We need to look to our laurels a bit with television in this country. I don’t think enough risks are being taken in drama television in the U.K., and I think a lot of program makers are underestimating the intelligence of the viewing public, basing it all on ratings.”