Pete Postlethwaite, acclaimed British actor, died on Jan. 2 after a long battle with cancer. The 64-year-old is well-known for his appearances in such films as “Alien 3,” “In The Name Of The Father,” “The Town,” “Inception,” “The Last of The Mohicans” and many others. Postelthwaite was born in Cheshire, Great Britain, in 1946. The actor began his career as a teacher before moving on to television shows such as “The Profesionals.” Postlethwaite’s career took off after he turned to acting in films. Stephen Spielberg was quoted as saying Postlethwaite was “the best actor in the world.”
Postlethwaite’s long battle with cancer did not prevent this remarkable actor from playing a remarkable role in four of 2010’s best movies: “Clash of the Titans,” “Inception,” “The Town,” and “Ironclad.” His acting was better than anyone could expect from someone suffering under a deadly illness, and it is time that he be recognized.
“The Town” is a crime drama adapted from the novel “Prince of Thieves” and features Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, and Rebbecca Hall. Postlethwaite’s role is that of Fergus “Fergie” Colm, a smalltime florist with a sense of humor and a little more history then most give him credit for. Fergie is the “bad guy” of the film, and Postlethwaite plays the part to the hilt while still managing to look and act like the local barber (or in this case florist).
As the movie plot twists, Doug (Ben Affleck) tries to leave Fergie’s gang, and Fergie lets down his gentle facade to reveal that he addicted Doug’s mother to drugs after she tried to leave. This caused her eventual suicide. Then, with the phrase “Do I hear you got a sweet new girlfriend?” Fergie tells Doug that he will kill Doug’s girlfriend if he should decide to leave.
This is probably the best scene from the movie. Postlethwaite’s acting is a touch dramatic but still completely down to earth and in bounds with his character. He adds just enough fright to his acting without going over the top and being yet another Joker from “Batman.”
Fergie’s pure complexity and depth of character as well his ability to turn from friendly florist to ruthless killer while still keeping his personality intact is something that very few actors could manage. Postelthwaite’s acting skills are well documented in this 2010 box office hit, though it should be noted that his past works should not be forgotten.
Postlethwaite’s rough-hewn face, deep voice, and acting skills will sorely be missed in movies to come. Rest In Peace to a great man. 1946-2011.