by Paulette Reynolds
July 3, 2019
July 3, 2019
We often read about actors who shudder at the thought of being typecast, because to be seen in a formulaic persona multiple times might be constraining to their career path. I would challenge them to watch - and enjoy - Fiona Shaw in a character that's bursting at the seams with possibilities - that of the formidable spy mistress.
Her recent turns in Masterpiece Theater's Mrs. Wilson and AMC's Killing Eve are thrilling to behold precisely because she displays a different facet for each role. Her Coleman in Mrs. Wilson displays just enough of a woman who is weary of her MI6 past and wary about just how much she can - and cannot say - under Mrs. Wilson's unrelenting queries. Is there more to Alec Wilson than she’s letting on? Probably, but in the final equation, the faithful wife has to let go of her fury and move on.
Fiona Shaw is well into the fourth decade of her stellar career, bringing a distinctive touch to film, stage and television roles that include Shakespeare, Harry Potter and True Blood. She’s won six awards, including her 2019 BAFTA win for Killing Eve.
"The energy released by it is enormous and it becomes quite addictive, the power between the audience and the actor." This quote by Shaw might well describe her tour-de-force portrayal of MI6 chief Carolyn Martens, in season two of Killing Eve, where she delights in playing her operative Eve against the ever-inventive assassin Villanelle for the greater good. Chief Martens sweeps in and out of every scene with a naked relish, letting us know - through a sly turn of phrase - that she not only knows what's best for the operation, but that she also knows just exactly how it's going to play out.
Fiona Shaw excels at exploring the many facets of strong characters, whether they be a murderous ruler, a bitter housewife or an American witch. And judging from Ms. Shaw’s fearless choices, there’s no way she’ll allow herself to be boxed into a one-dimensional acting label.
COPYRIGHT 2012/2019. Paulette Reynolds. All CineMata Movie Madness blog articles, reviews, faux interviews, commentary, and the Cine Mata character are under the sole ownership of Paulette Reynolds. All intellectual and creative rights reserved.