There are character actors and then there’s Peter Sarsgaard

If you want to see great acting, then watch the amazing PETER SARSGAARD.

Peter Sarsgaard in Boys Don't Cry

Peter Sarsgaard in Boys Don’t Cry

Having first become aware of PETER SARSGAARD from his startling turn as John Lotter, the conflicted, dangerous boyfriend in Kimberley Peirce’s Oscar-winning Boys Don’t Cry, I’ve admired his work ever since, watching as he’s made the boundaries blur between good guys and villains with effortless skill.

You’ve been wowed by his performances in everything from heavyweight dramas to blockbusters. He’s been Chuck Lane, the editor trying to figure out the truth of his journalist Hayden Christensen’s stories in Shattered Glass. There’s Carson, the head of airline security who you can’t quite work out is a friend or foe to Jodie Foster in Flightplan. He is stellar as Troy, the marine driven to insanity and tragedy in Sam Mendes’ war drama Jarhead. Let’s not forget his David Goldman, the dubious businessman wooing Carey Mulligan in An Education. Or as scientist Hector Hammond, struggling to match his father’s idea of who he should be in the comic book adventure Green Lantern. And you see a softer side to him as Alan Smith, the politician’s aide striving to do the right thing and help ex-love Reese Witherspoon locate her husband in Gavin Hood’s brilliantly brutal Rendition.

Peter Sarsgaard in the American version of The Killing

Sarsgaard in the American version of The Killing

You may have as easily seen him in movies such as Kathryn Bigelow‘s submarine drama K-19: The Widowmaker, opposite Liam Neeson in the biopic Kinsey, or alongside Natalie Portman and Zach Braff in the romantic comedy Garden State. He’s also squared up to Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in James Mangold‘s actioner Knight and Day, partnered Vera Farmiga in the horror chiller Orphan and recently been part of the terrific ensemble in the American TV version of the brilliant Danish crime drama The Killing.

The common denominator in much of SARSGAARD’s work, and where I think he excels, is in portraying the middle ground of a character, the grey area that could so easily turn them from bad guy to good, or vice versa. And what’s more, you believe him as either – not an easy task. What’s also always a given is that he’s never less than electric to watch on screen.

So, with his new film Lovelace just out on release where he plays Chuck Traynor, the discoverer and mentor of adult film star Linda Boreman, take a look at this recent fascinating interview with him. Reading it, I was reminded of how many stunning performances he’s given but you’ll see he speaks so intelligently about his work. It’s odd that maybe because he’s played his fair share of villains, his voice is often described as ‘creepy’ – no, it’s not, it’s just distinctive! He also talks about working on dark-hearted characters and how his curiosity always leads to discoveries.

Being a curious person leads you to playing villains