Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Pip Torrens

Pip Torrens, British actor

Pip Torrens: 

Bromley-born actor Philip 'Pip' Torrens has a really very extensive body of work in his résumé, stretching back to the mid-'80s, with literally dozens of roles in a range of films and television, including some pretty big titles. Despite this, you'll probably recognise his suave good looks, but perhaps not be able to come up with the name. Early casting made much of his classic young Englishman vibe, while latterly this has transformed into something of the wry sophisticate, with a plethora of professional, military, or villainous complexions.    

As newbie copper PC Monkhouse, with his well-crucial
nemesis Delbert Wilkins in the 'Lenny Henry Show'

His cinema career seems to begin with the horribly-clichéd Rob Lowe teen movie 'Oxford Blues' (1987), but continues with the likes of the epic 'Little Dorrit' (1987), 'A Handful Of Dust' (1988), 'Eminent Domain' (1990), Patriot Games (1992), War Horse (2011), The Iron Lady' (2011), 'Tomorrow Never Dies' (1997), 'How To Get Ahead In Advertising' (1989), 'Remains Of The Day' (1993), 'Longitude' (2000), the Keira Knightley 'Pride & Prejudice' (2005), 'My Week With Marilyn' (2011), 'Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens' (2015), and 'Darkest Hour' (2017). A fair cross section of a few decades there.  

As Egyptologist Howard Carter  in the enjoyably far-fetched
'Young Indiana Jones: Treasure Of The Peacock's Eye' TV movie,
seen here with William Osborne playing EM Forster   

Although his CV is heavier on the serious, literary, and historical material, there are a few light comedy and comedy-drama roles on television. For example, 'The Lenny Henry Show', 'Murder Most Horrid', 'Yes, Prime Minister', 'Up The Women', 'Jeeves & Wooster', latterday 'Minder', and 'The Brittas Empire' among the comedies. Add to that some gentle detective/mystery fare such as 'Rosemary & Thyme', 'Lovejoy', 'Marple', 'Ruth Rendell Mysteries', 'Midsomer Murders', 'Van Der Valk ' and 'Maigret'. Not to mention the generally well-liked David Tennant era 'Doctor Who' stories 'The Family Of Blood' and 'Human Nature'.       

Back-lit and inscrutable as the royal adviser, Sir Alan 'Tommy'
Lascelles, a stern presence in the TV series 'The Crown'    

There are a few potboilers too, parts in the sort of shows that make up many actors' bread and butter. Among these we might consider popular schedule-filler such as 'Heartbeat', 'The Bill' (five roles, all different), 'Casualty' and a courtroom lawyer stint in 'Coronation Street'. 

As Colonel Kaplan in 'Star Wars: Episode VII -
The Force Awakens' (2015), somewhat in the
tradition of Michael Culver as Captain Needa.    

But it's in the semi-heavyweight division that Pip Torrens has been most notable. See, for example, his strong role in 'The Crown', and several other historical dramas such as 'Shackleton', 'Versailles', 'Fleming', and 'War & Peace'.

As the amusingly evil and perverse Herr Starr in the 
extreme comic-book TV adaptation 'Preacher'

Recent appearances of interest include 'Deep State', 'Black Mirror', and the playfully OTT comic book-based 'Preacher' in which he achieves the difficult job of stealing the show from a cast of fallen angels, saintly superheroes and God himself, with his portrayal of the hilariously ruthless Herr Starr.

To judge by his record thus far, there are many excellent roles in store for this accomplished actor, so hopefully this small salute will mean that a few more people will be able instantly to put a name to the face.

 Pip Torrens-imdb     

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