Monday, October 25, 2010

Male on Monday: Brendan Coyle

Michelle Styles reveals the true reason why she and her daughter watch Downton Abbey -- Brendan Coyle


During the past week, much has been written in the British press about the surprising appeal of Downton Abbey. Some have postulated that it is due to Hugh Bonneville and his ability to set hearts fluttering, but my daughter and I would disagree. It is the character of Mr Bates, Lord Grantham's valet as played by Brendan Coyle who excites interest.  We are both willing the romance between Mr Bates and the upper housemaid Anna to happen. My daughter muttered darkly under her breath that if Bates bringing Anna a tray of food when she was ill was not pivotal moment, she'd be upset.  We are sitting there, willing him on to his Happily Ever After and can totally understand why Anna has a secret crush on him.
He is the linchpin of the series.
You could say that it is the character of Bates with his quiet leadership,  integrity, stoicism and humanity that appeals but that would be doing a grave disservice to the actor Brendan Coyle. He is playing the character of Bates like that.

Brendan Coyle is a long serving character actor who has won many awards, including the Olivier. He played Nicolas Higgins in North & South and Laura's father in Lark Rise to Candleford. And while, he might not have matinee idol looks or the edge of a bad boy, he has heart and integrity. The characters he plays are the old fashioned leaders, good men who do step up the plate when required but don't blow their own trumpet. They make the hard choices and stick by them. He plays characters who give respect when respect is required.
If you ever wanted to see how a quiet alpha hero acts, you could do worse than watch Brendan Coyle in Downton Abbey, North & South or Lark Rise to Candleford. There is just something about his eyes and his manner. You can tell his heart is pure and for those he believes in, he will do his all.
Refreshingly there is little about his private life. He is a mixture of Scottish and Irish and perhaps this explain the quality of his voice. He is the great nephew of Sir Matthew Busby of Manchester United football fame. His father died when he was young and that a production of Richard III had a great influence on him. Hooray that he keeps himself to himself and lets his acting stand alone.

Downton Abbey will be coming to PBS Masterpiece Theatre in January and currently showing ITV in the UK. I have yet to see episode 4 and so shall be watching with crossed fingers that his character continues to display that wonderful quiet integrity. There are many reasons to watch Downton Abbey but Brendan Coyle is surely one of them.
Michelle Styles writes historical romance for Harlequin Mills& Boon Historical. Her next UK release is The Viking's Captive Princess and in North America A Question of Impropriety. Her Online Serial -- His Stand Bride starts on eharlequin on 15 November. You can find out more about Michelle's books on her website.

16 comments:

  1. Michelle, what a great choice...

    I have to admit to a secret addiction to Downton Abbey, which my totally male household (apart from me) does not share. and I think you've just put your finger on the reason why... Seems Anna's not the only one with a secret crush on Mr Bates!

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  2. Oooo good choice. Was just thinking about this last night. I too have a secret crush on Mr Bates ;-)

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  3. Oh I so pleased you both agree!
    It is Bates that makes it for me.

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  4. I'm so glad it's not just me! I was beginning to think I had finally lost it, but he is, quiet frankly, gorgeous and I adore Bates. As to a romance between him and Anna... well you haven't seen last night's so I'm keeping mum.

    Here via searching Downton Abbey on Twitter. :-)

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  5. Totally agree, Michelle. He is a terrific actor and Bates is a wonderful character.

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  6. Cath -- no it is definitely not just you! But I know what you mean, you kind of think well why. And it was when I stopped and analysed about its appeal. Bates is just wonderful and really makes the show. I currently watch with fingers crossed for certain things to happen. Thanks for stopping by!

    Liz -- I am so glad you approve!

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  7. Ok you KNOW I haven't seen this yet (Is it January yet?)but I will confess that Nicholas Higgins was a fave character in North and South. For all the reasons you mentioned. There is a twinkle in his eye. When Thornton says no thinking and Higgins responds he'd do his best to leave his brains at home then...it makes me smile.

    Great post Michelle!

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  8. Donna,
    I know I know it was cruel of me! But it was Brendan Coyle's protrayal of Nicolas Higgins in addition to Mr Bates that really helped seal the deal. The humanity and gentle humour he brings to his characters. It is that wry sense of humour and self deprecation. But he is truly the reason why Iwatch Downton Abbey. It is good to see a character with an inner core of self decency.

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  9. Michelle,
    I first saw him in Amnesia, but he stole the show in North and South. When he took in those kids, my heart melted. Great pick.

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  10. I know I'm a month late, but only just stumbled across this blog. None of you are alone, I am completely in love with Bates and a teeny bit in love with the man who plays him too, seems like a really warm and genuine guy on and off screen. Check out the Mr Bates following on facebook too: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/Bates-Mr-John-Bates-Downton-Abbey/138958589486662

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  11. I think he's very attractive and he has that sexy humorous twinkle in the eye that is so lively and appealing. He is also clearly a very good actor as his Mr. Bates engenders such tender feelings from the audience.

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  12. Downton Abbey is currently showing on Australian TV and we are loving every minute of it. And you all are not the only one who likes Mr Bates. It's his eyes and smile :-))

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  13. I am here waiting to see wot fate brings

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  14. Brendan Coyle is simply the sexiest man ever to be seen on TV

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  15. Started watching Downton Abbey after several friends remarked about it... have since watched everything I can get my hands on with Brendan Coyle in it. I thought I had a crush on Mr. Bates, but it's the same with every character Coyle plays!

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