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even funnier role in Ayoade's debut

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Movie roles Celebrating Paddy Considine

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

This feature contains minor spoilers for The Death Of Stalin and The Girl With All The Gifts.

In British independent cinema, Paddy Considine is a force of nature both behind and front of the camera. He's a magnetic leading man with some impressive dramatic work under his belt, but he's also proven to be a stalwart supporting actor in comedy movies and in slightly gentler films like Miss You Already and Now Is Good. By the same token, he also made a fine foil to Jason Statham's ball-kicking bad cop in Blitz, even though it's definitely something of an outlier in his filmography.

But in many of his very best turns, there's an urgency about Considine's screen presence that almost demands you sit up and take notice of him, no matter what he's doing. That presence has been cultivated across a number of stunning performances, which have helped him to build a well deserved reputation as one of our finest movie stars. On top of that, he's written and directed some cracking stuff over the years.

In the next few weeks, we'll see him as bookshop owner Angus alongside Maxine Peake's 1970s club comedian in Funny Cow, and also starring in his second feature as a writer-director, the boxing drama Journeyman. And with so much of him on the big screen in the weeks to come, now seems as good a time as any to celebrate the astonishing range of some of his best roles to date.

Him – My Wrongs #8245-8249 & 117

 even funnier role in Ayoade's debut

To start off, this is a short film by Chris Morris, in which Considine brilliantly plays a character who is very obviously disturbed. Over the course of the film's 12 minute running time, his character (credited only as “Him”) converses with his friend's dog (voiced by Morris), who convinces him that he is about to be put on trial for everything he's done since the age of 4.

What follows is a hilarious escapade marked by canine legal advice, gross over-reactions and the spectacular gate-crashing of a christening. It's essentially an extended comedy sketch, but it's a great one. This was also the first film ever released by Warp Films, the indie film company with which Considine has worked on several of his later feature projects, most notably his collaborations with Meadows.

Morell – A Room For Romeo Brass

 even funnier role in Ayoade's debut

Considine began his collaboration with Shane Meadows in this striking comedy drama as Morell, an older lad who befriends two 12 year old boys (Andrew Shim and Ben Marshall) gradually unsettling them with his peculiar and domineering behaviour. He becomes something of a father figure to Romeo, who's fallen out with his real dad, but he's essentially a big bully, who flips between harmless belligerence and genuine malice on a dime.

The scene in which he clumsily tries to seduce Romeo's older sister Ladine (Vicky McClure, in her screen debut) encapsulates all of his contradictions. He revs himself up to sit next to her in his dressing gown and Y-fronts, then cockily invites her to feel him up, then has an angry outburst and tries to bar her exit when she refuses, and then seems mortified and embarrassed with himself when she barges out anyway, mournfully howling “LADINE” after her. He's more frightening elsewhere, but as a showcase of his range in just one scene, it's really impressive.

Comrade Andreyev – The Death Of Stalin

 even funnier role in Ayoade's debut

Armando Iannucci's The Death Of Stalin is as horrific as it is hilarious and as much as it is absolutely an ensemble film, the way in which we're introduced to the state of play comes at the end of a live Mozart recital on Radio Moscow, which is being produced by Considine's Comrade Andreyev. At the end of a nerve-wracking phone call with Stalin himself (played in very Alan Sugar-y fashion by Adrian Mcloughlin), Andreyev flies into a frenzy when he realises that they haven't been recording the recital as requested.

The contagious panic that Considine brings to his impotent producer completely sells the absurdity and terror of Stalin's Russia, right at the top of the film. His delivery of the line “Don't you dare defy me”, hollered at the departing audience as he tries to get them to stay for a repeat performance, is hysterical in both senses of the word. Andreyev isn't a major character in the rest of the film, but Considine's extended cameo sets the tone nicely.

Sgt. Eddie Parks – The Girl With All The Gifts

 even funnier role in Ayoade's debut

Sergeant Parks really doesn't like zombies, so he's not best pleased to be in charge of guarding and protecting second generation “hungries” in a top secret government facility. Even in the face of lovely, polite Melanie (Sennia Nanua), he's growling that they're “frigging abortions” and reminding his more compassionate colleagues (like an angelic Gemma Arterton) that their wards are monsters.

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