Monday, January 18, 2010

Male On Monday - Kevin McKidd

Harlequin Presents/Mills and Boon Modern Author Kate Hewitt kicks off the new week with her Male on Monday choice - a selection that this editor highly approves! (Hubba hubba!)

I love a tortured hero. All that angst! How can anyone resist it? Especially when the hero is undeniably gorgeous like Kevin McKidd. He has both the angst and the attraction as his character Lucius Vorenus in the HBO series Rome, which is where he first caught my interest.

My husband I rented Rome on Netflix, and at first I was skeptical. I thought it was going to be some kind of pseudo-documentary, but... it’s not. While the historical aspect (according to my internet researches) is accurate, the story is dramatic and exciting and gory and poigant all at once. Kevin McKidd plays one of the main characters, the Roman centurion Lucius Vorenus. Vorenus is a man bound by his own strict set of Roman ethics, which, back then, included a lot of killing and animal sacrifice and all sorts we might find a little unpalatable today. And that’s actually one thing I like about this series: they don’t modernize it with twenty-first century ethics and sensibilities. Vorenus can be violent and narrow-minded and he definitely has an anger problem, but he’s also trying so hard to do good and love his wife and be the best man he can be. He often falls unbearably short of his goals, and as an Alpha perfectionist, this is incredibly hard for him.

The character of Vorenus got me interested in the actor who plays him[as so often happens... starting with Christian Bale in Swing Kids and more recently, Daniel Craig as James Bond]. I knew I’d seen the actor before, and with he help of google I soon learned where. Vorenus is played by Kevin McKidd, who was born in Elgin, Scotland in 1973, and attended the University of Edinburgh as a student in Engineering. He joined the student theatre company there, Bedlam Theatre, and then dropped out to pursue acting full-time.

His first role was as Father Deegan in a 1996 episode of the British comedy series Father Ted, and would you believe, I’ve actually seen that episode! Too many late nights nursing a baby while we lived in England, watching fairly bad TV, that’s all I can say. And the fact that Father Deegan got lost in a lingerie department was fairly memorable.

His first major role was as Tommy in the independent hit film Trainspotting--unfortunately he was on vacation when they did the photo shoot, so he missed being on the rather iconic poster.

You might have also seen him in a variety of BBC-type dramas, including Mary, Queen of Scots as her lover Bothwell, and The Virgin Queen as the Duke of Norfolk. He was the lead in the TV series Journeyman, which unfortunately only ran for 13 episodes, and more recently he’s had a recurring role as PTSD-sufferer Dr. Owen Hunt on Grey’s Anatomy. And of course you can see him as Vorenus in both seasons of the highly recommended Rome!

Kevin McKidd is married to Jane Parker and has two young children--all this makes him more attractive, frankly. I love the angst on film and in fiction, but in reality nothing beats a stable, happy man.

So, has your interest in a character in a film or TV show ever sparked an interest in the actor? And if so, what character made you do a little google research on the actor who played him? And finally, which tickled your fancy more--the character or the actor? I’m giving away a copy of my latest book, The Greek Tycoon’s Reluctant Bride, to one lucky winner who posts in the comments!

Happy googling,


Kate's current release is THE GREEK TYCOON'S RELUCTANT BRIDE.

Darkly handsome Demos Atrikes wants a wife to provide heirs to his fortune. No emotions, no complications… Catching sight of stunning, intriguing Althea Paranoussis, he has to have her. She may be a society party girl, but he believes she's perfect wife material—and their wedding is arranged. The chemistry between them is all-consuming. But once married, Demos discovers the painful truth of Althea's childhood. She needs more from him than he'd ever planned to give….


  1. I would have to say the character of the TV show MacGyver did spark an interest in the actor Richard Dean Anderson. I have always loved the MacGyver show. Even though I like Richard Dean Anderson, I would have to say that I fancy the character more than the actor. It was the clever and inventive nonviolent hero who solved problems in his own unique way that I really liked.
    "The Greek Tycoon's Reluctant Bride" sounds like a good read.

  2. I am a "Phantom of the Opera" devotee. I love the Phantom in all his incarnations! However, I was quite upset that Michael Crawford did not get to play the Phantom on film, and I initially rejected the idea of Gerard Butler in the role (slap myself). Once I saw dear Gerry as the Phantom, I also became a Gerard Butler devotee. A green-eyed Scotsman with more talent and charm than he really needs : )

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  3. I google actors all the time. I'm even a dedicated fangirl to one.

    I have to say though it is usually the character that grabs my fancy and I'm completely superficial with my adulation. :-)

    Great choice for MoM, Kate. I love McKidd - from his serious role in Rome to his not so serious one in Made of Honor.

  4. Do characters in a film or TV show spark and interest? All the time! Invariably it is the character that tickles my fancy more, but not always. ;-)

  5. Interesting... I have to agree that it's usually the character that sparks my interest. Often the actor is a little bit, well, disappointing might be too strong a word, but he's just a regular person instead of the usually larger-than-life character! Still, I never tire of googling the actors involved after I've seen a film... clearly I have obsessive tendencies!

  6. My interest in some characters in films made me look up the movies that Patrick Dempsey, Josh Lucas and Dermot Mulroney have been in that I liked and wanted to know who they were.

    Both the character and actor made me like them. Josh Lucas from Sweet Home Alabama with his beautiful blue eyes and his easy Southern manners made me like him.

    Patrick Dempsey in Sweet Home Alabama and Made of Honor - he has great blue eyes, the fact that he wasn't a snob like his mom when he met the Smooter family in Sweet Home Alabama and that he loved his friend and wanted to settle down with her in Made of Honor.

    Dermot Mulroney in The Wedding Date- he was funny even when his character got in some tough situations such as the morning after on the boat parked in the driveway and they are seen by her dad.

    Can't wait to read your latest book, I have enjoyed your other books that I own and have read.You are one of about 16 authors that I will buy the latest book that is out before buying another book that I might like at the bookstore.

  7. Oh yes. I have been known to google actors.
    Kevin McKid is a good choice. For obvious reasons, I really enjoyed both series of Rome.
    It provided lots of hero fodder.
    But it is really good when you find they have chosen their roles well and have paid their dues in a number of different roles...

  8. *SIGH* I fell in love with Kevin McKid when I saw him in "Rome". It was enough for me to use him as my hero for the 1st Roman novel I attempted (do you detect a trend here!) Souble *SIGH*.. Great MOM! Caroline x

  9. I think it's the character that appeals to me, rather than the actor - I've watched .North and south' and the BBC Pride and Prejudice umpteen times, but I've never bothered to Google Richard Armitage or Colin Firth. Spoils the illusion!

  10. It is definitely the character that appeals to me. But I have noticed that alot of actors tend to stick to the same time of characters. You never seem to fail when you pick a movie with either Gerard Butler or Colin Firth.

  11. Hey everyone, I'm so glad I'm not the only Kevin McKidd (or really, Vorenus!) fan. Amanda, thank you for your kind words about my books! It's always so nice to hear. Rebekah, I think you make a good point that a lot of actors stick to the same kind of character. I wonder if that is their choice though, or they are continually typecast? I just saw The Proposal and I have to admit I fell a little bit in love with Ryan Reynolds' character. Not so much the actor though after a quick google search.