First, I must give some major props to Guardian writer Anne Billson. Not only has she inspired me to take her topic and run with it here, but she bravely declared her love for Mark Strong in one of the classiest of British papers. You rarely see that kind of passion outside of a fan site, let alone in print journalism! Well done, Ms. Billson.

With that intro out of the way, let's tackle Ms. Billson's topic -- scene-stealing supporting actors. They're the men and women you love and admire so much, you're practically craning your neck over the shoulder of the lead to see a bit more of them. For Billson (and probably a lot of people these days), it's Strong.

I have a very similar affair with Jason Isaacs, an extremely good actor who is generally stuck in supporting or villain roles. I love this guy. I'll watch anything he's in, and I'll always root for him. While I love the Harry Potter films for their own sake, I'm always annoyed by how much Lucius Malfoy ends up on the cutting room floor. I guiltily root for him in The Patriot, hoping every time that he defeats those uppity colonials. (The fact that he's backed by one of my other favorite supporting actors, Adam Baldwin, only makes my Loyalist sympathies stronger.)
But Billson cautions against wanting to see too much of your favorite supporting player, arguing that they lose their edge when handed a lead part. (For the record, she thinks Kevin Spacey, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jude Law are the worst offenders.) I would disagree there -- Isaacs has done a few leading parts (if you haven't seen The State Within, you should) and wouldn't lose an ounce of charisma or talent if he was as famous as Clive Owen. In fact, I still don't know why he isn't, especially after owning every season of Brotherhood.

As always, I'll hand it over to you -- I'd love to hear who your favorite supporting actors are (and let's get some actresses into the discussion) and whether you love them precisely because they're in small doses, or if you think Hollywood is just blind to their A-List potential.

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categories Movies, Cinematical