With a handsome visage, but also slightly gaunt and stark features that could suggest menace or intensity at the drop of a hat, raven-haired Englishman Mark Strong essayed a long and surprisingly diverse list of character roles throughout the 1990s and 2000s; many played perfectly off of these physical attributes. Early in his career, Strong remained almost exclusively in Britain, for such efforts as Captives (1994) , Sharpe's Mission (1996), Emma (1997), and Fever Pitch (1997). In time, however, the actor went transcontinental, turning up in fare as diverse as the István Szabó epic drama Sunshine (1999) and American indie helmer Mike Figgis' 2001 Hotel -- thus showcasing his own versatility. Strong's role choice during this period also suggested a strong predilection for cinematizations of classics, from Henry VIII (2003) to Tristan & Isolde (2005). He gained heightened recognition among U.S. audiences (particularly young viewers) in 2007, when he played Septimus, the one of the many heirs to the throne of Stormhold, in Matthew Vaughn's wondrous fantasy Stardust.