There was a time when TV was AMAZING. In 1999 the success of a TV drama series for Channel 4 called Queer As Folk catapulted its principal star Aidan Gillen into a low orbit of fame. Though Gillen has been a successful actor since then, his appearance on the Baltimore-set civic drama The Wire was an equivocal experience. In the opinion of this blogger he was mis-cast as a councilman and subsequently mayor, effortfully employing a very different strain of charisma to his American counterparts. His volatility and cheeky-but-urbane charm didn't sit right in his role, even for the leftfield The Wire.
When The Wire finished (in 2008) its profile was at an Olympic high. An international behemoth of TV, its hitherto unknown cast become stars (and quite rightly so, perhaps the most obvious example this side of the pond being Idris Elba). Gillen, comparatively, vanished in abjection.
Well Aidan Gillen returns this month in two roles which look set to slingshot him back into the forefront of British screen acting consciousness. He had already got traction in the British independent sphere with the March release of Wake Wood, a film that resident BBC film critic and horror expert Dr. Mark Kermode liked very much. Now we can look forward to the imminent release of Blitz, a Jason Statham vehicle which Gillen is likely to steal from under his nose as a copicidal psychopath and the even more remarkable Treacle Jr., a distinctly British looking character study. Both films fizz with the narcotic possibility of great fun and high drama, all down to Gillen's ownership of the frame. Here's the Treacle J. trailer: