Sunday, January 15, 2012

Voices VIII: David Harewood, Sam Neill, John Simm - A Twitter World

One of the wonders of the Internet is being able to interact with people around the world you wouldn’t otherwise get to know.  Also a wonder that you can interact with people you wouldn’t meet in real life if not for Facebook or Twitter. Such a wonder is following the three actors featured below who I have long watched and much admired and now through the wonder of Twitter can get a small glimpse of them as people. My Voices post today features David Harewood, Sam Neill, and John Simm.

What I try to do with my Voices posts is maybe show a slightly different glimpse of some of my favorite actors and actresses as well as highlighting the importance of the actors voice in a performance, or a poetry reading, or even in making us laugh. 

David Harewood

If you watched the first season of the thrilling Showtime series Homeland you may not know that David Harewood, the actor playing American intelligence chief David Estes, is an Englishman and was recently awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2012 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to Drama.  You have to wonder if in between filming scenes he and fellow Brit Damian Lewis exchange tips on the fine points of achieving a successful American accent. 

Harewood is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and has had a distinguished career on stage, screen, and television in the UK.  I know him best for his roles in two television series, as Friar Tuck in BBC’s Robin Hood (2009) and as Colonel Tshuma in Sky’s Strike Back (2010).

David Harewood has a deep, powerful, and musical voice that can command authority or convey gentle caring. Below are clips of Harewood as Macduff in a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and as Tuck in Robin Hood with Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne:

Macbeth on the Estate (1997) 

David Harewood and Richard Armitage:

Sam Neill

I first saw Sam Neill in the wonderful Australian film MyBrilliant Career (1979) and at the end of the film I waited for the credits to make sure I remembered his name.  Not too long after I succumbed to his charms in what is still my favorite of his characters in Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983).  Neill played real life master spy and rake Sidney Reilly to perfection and with a dash of humor.  Since then whenever I see his name attached to any project, movie or TV show, I know regardless of the genre or the script that Sam Neill will give a masterful performance.

But in recent times it has been my true pleasure to get to know him as The Proprietor of Two Paddocks Vineyards in his native New Zealand.  Who knew that Sam Neill was also a fabulous raconteur and humorist!  If you haven’t visited his Two Paddocks website and blog you are really missing out.  Oh, and allegedly he makes fabulous New Zealand wine at Two Paddocks, but because they don’t have a US distributor I haven’t had  the pleasure of actually being able to taste the lovely wine.  If there are any US wine distributors reading this it would be a good business decision to bring Two Paddocks wine to the USA.

Sam Neill is one of the hardest working actors in the world and one of the best known voices. Below are clips of Neill auditioning for a job (I’m not sure what Beached Whale is), dancing in a commercial, and as Sydney Reilly.

Sam Neill stars in the new Fox TV series Alcatraz that premieres this Monday, January 16 at 8:00pm EST in the US.

Sorry vegetarians!

John Simm

I definitely have a “thing” for Northern British men and one of those Northern men is John Simm who was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire.  Simm is the “guy next door” with a boyish charm and a voice that can be sexy, magnetic or menacing. I first noticed him in the great British TV series State of Play (2003) and loved him as Sam Tyler in Life on Mars (2006-2007).  In both series he was not only the heart and center of the story, but also someone both men and women could readily identify with.  I must definitely see him soon in The Devil’s Whore (2008).  

Simm trained at Blackpool Drama College and at the Drama Centre London and is an award winning actor of stage, screen and television.  
In the two videos below Simm reads A letter from Passchendaele and a Few Minutes of Crime and Punishment:

Are you a fan of any or all of the actors I've featured today?  I would love to have your comments about a favorite performance or memory of Harewood, Neill or Simm. 


  1. Thanks Baur! Thanks for your comment.

  2. I never realized how beautiful David Harewood is. That whispery voice he used to talk to Guy, very nice. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Jael,

      So glad you liked the Harewood post, and I agree with you :) Would love to see him on stage one day.

      Thank you so much for your comment.

  3. Huge Simm fan who knows that, even though John was born in Leeds, he and his family moved from there to the Manchester area when John was very young.

    Still, John is well worth your attention. Best actor around today.

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and for the information about John Simm. Being in the US I don't have the opportunity to see as much of him as I would like, but look forward to seeing more if Public Television or BBCAmerica would bring more Simm to our screens.

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...