Almost byÂ definition, being aÂ character actor means you should beÂ able toÂ play pretty much any role. However, while one ofÂ the British greats, David Suchet confesses that when approached toÂ take part inÂ Roger Donaldsonâ€™s crime thriller The Bank Job, heÂ just couldnâ€™t see himself inÂ the part.
â€śRoger took meÂ for lunch,â€ť recalls Suchet. â€śAnd said â€™I want you toÂ play this role and Iâ€™m not thinking about anyone else. Read the script and ring meâ€™. IÂ went home, read itÂ and said toÂ myÂ wife, â€™I have noÂ idea how toÂ play this manâ€™. SoÂ IÂ told himÂ I didnâ€™t know howÂ I was going toÂ doÂ it. And heÂ said â€™thatâ€™s whyÂ I want you. Youâ€™re aÂ character actor and you always find aÂ way into the truth ofÂ the person you play. IÂ donâ€™t want toÂ typecast the role, IÂ want you toÂ become it.â€™â€ť
The role inÂ question isÂ LeÂ Vogel, aÂ nasty piece ofÂ work who, while based onÂ aÂ still active Soho figure once dubbed the king ofÂ porn, isÂ also anÂ amalgam ofÂ several dodgy names from the 50s and 60s, notorious slum landlord Peter Rachman among them.