John malkovich

In praise of character actors

The star system is a false hierarchy: the best rarely make it to the top. I thought of this recently when it was announced that David Warner had died. Few outside acting could name him, though you may have seen his head flying off in The Omen, a film in which heads are cheap. Warner was a Manchester-born jobbing actor: a character actor, better defined by what he is not, which was a star. I could write pages about why a star is a star, and a character actor remains a character actor, but the most significant reason is simple. Warner was brilliant but he was not handsome. Yet he