Over the last week, the film world has lost two titans: actor Ian Holm and director Joel Schumacher. Here are our thoughts on what they brought to our industry…
Ian Holm found a new legion of fans when he appeared as Bilbo Baggins in the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, but with other roles in such films as ALIEN, THE FIFTH ELEMENT, THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE, and BRAZIL – not to mention an Oscar-nominated turn as Sam Mussabini in CHARIOTS OF FIRE – his career was a long and memorable one.
Looking back through his film credits, it’s hard to know where to start. But that’s precisely the point with an actor like Ian Holm. He was an extremely malleable and versatile actor, capable of playing a huge range of roles.
For screenwriters, you can’t ask more of an actor than than to fully inhabit your character. Ian Holm was not a flashy actor who brought his own ego into a role, but someone who brought it to life as a fully-realized person in their own right.
He’s a great loss to our industry, and we can only hope that many more actors are inspired by his work.
Not all of his projects were as well-received as others – with many disliking the direction in which he took the BATMAN series in the 1990s – but having started out as a costume designer, he had a great sense of style that always came through and played an important part in many of his best films.
It’s also impossible to ignore the other ways he impacted the world of film. He had a keen eye for talent, and was notable for launching the careers of actors such as Kiefer Sutherland, Rob Lowe, Matthew McConaughey, and Colin Farrell.
Taking chances like these on lesser-known actors who are right for the part is a sign of a great director – and is a credit to the story and characters that writers work so hard to create.