Bill Nighy

  1. Nicholas Ball, Lifeforce, 1984.   
  2. Richard E Grant, Withnail and I, 1986.     Actor turning auteur Bruce Robinson saw many friends and colleagues but Grant beat ’em all to the seminal 80s’ British film by arriving soaking from rain and bellowing: “Fork it!” “Well, Granty,” said Robinson, “we’re gonna make a fucking masterpiece.” For Bill, his time was Nighy… Hefinally broke through in The Men’s Room, TV, 1991. “I’m only an actor because I’ve been putting off being a writer for 35 years.”
  3. Jason Isaacs, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2002.   Richard E Grant as also in the Lucius Malfoy mix. So was Nighy who had to wait a further eight years to join the franchise as Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour in the penultimate chapter: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, 2010.
  4. Christopher Eccelston, Doctor Who, TV, 2005.
  5. David Tennant, Doctor Who, TV, 2005-2010.
  6. Colin Firth, Mamma Mia, 2007.   One super-smooth Brit for another as as one of  three possible fathers of Meryl Streep’s  about-to-wed love-child – Amanda Seyfried in the hit Abba musical – and the ten-years-after sequel,  Mama Mia: Here We Go Again.  The first plot of a mother not knowing which of three lovers fathered her daughter had already been spun  for Gina Lollobrigida in Buona Sera Mrs Campbell… 40 years earlier! 
  7. Helen Mirren, State of Play, 2008.     At first, Scots elebn Mirren, State of Play, 2008. director Kevin Macdonald could only think of having Nighy repeat his TV role of the newspaper editor. He then changed Cameron’s sex and Helen did her stuff – inand out, done ’n’ dustedinside four days.
  8. Pete Postlethwaite, Killing Bono, 2010.   The first title tells all:  I Was Bono’s Doppelganer… Nighy, Charlie Cox and Romolo  Garai were set to enact the tale of  two wannabe Irish rockers. One is Paul Hewson, who becomes  Bono – and one is not. He’s Neil McCormick, who wrote this book but not, alas the tepid  film… starring Ben Barnes, Krysten Ritter…  and Postlethwaite’s finale as “a lovable, double-entendre-spewing queen,” said Village Voice critic Michael Atkinson.
  9. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Hobbit  trilogy, 2011.
  10. Tilda Swinton, Doctor Strange, 2015.  Nighy, Morgan Freeman and Ken Wantanbe were in the Marvel mix for the Ancient One – the usual old guy cliche in the comics. But the name was a  title rather than a person, argued director Scott Derrickson – deciding on  a (great) female to help Stephen Strange become Sorcerer Supreme. (Pity, Nighy opposite Benedict Cumberbatch would have been colossal!). 
  11. Steve Carrel, Foxcatcher, 2014.    The Faustian wrestling drama took so long to hit the mat that the cool Brit had been in the loop to portray the (real life) twisted zillionaire trying to create – and control – Olympic wrestlers at his Foxcatcher Farm in Philadelphia. Carrel wore tons of make-up and prosthetics, more disconcerting than convincing.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  11