Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Several glasses of bourbon for John Hurt
Hurt is always wonderful, no matter the quality of the film he's in. His most well known role is probably that of the hapless Kane in Ridley Scott's original Alien who meets an early demise when the titular creature burtst through his chest. My personal favorites of his roles are as Braddock in the little known but great 1984 existentialist thriller (how's that for a genre?) The Hit where he starred alongside Terrence Stamp and Tim Roth. Another is that of bounty hunter Jellon Lamb in the hugely underrated Australian Western The Proposition. Hurt's role is a relatively small one but he does more with the role in those few minutes than most actors are able to do with a leading part.
Hurt is the son of an Anglican clergyman and received a very strict religious upbringing, which included the forbiddance of films and television. His decision to become an actor did not sit well with his family. When he was a young boy studying at the St. Michael's Preparatory school in Kent Hurt was abused by the headmaster there. Later in life Hurt met and fell in love with French model Marie-Lise Volperiere-Pierrot. The couple had been in a committed relationship for 15 years and had decided to get married when Volperiere-Pierrot died in a horse-riding accident. Hurt has been married three times since. With his third wife he has two children. Hurt's signature voice and gravely manner was probably in some (large?) part due to his affinity for alcohol but Hurt has been on the wagon for a few years now. He is currently involved in several humanitarian causes, including being the patron for Project Harar that works for disfigured children in Ethiopia.
Hurt can be seen in the upcoming two final installments of the Harry Potter saga where he returns as the spooky wand maker (I am not enough of an authority - read: nerd - to know the characters name; my apologies to the initiated). According to IMDB he is also slated to star in an upcoming film with Tim Roth entitled The Absinthe Drinkers. If the filmmkars have any sense they will also hire Hurt as a technical consultant.
Here's to a great actor and artist. Skál!