Monday, November 21, 2011

Male On Monday: Iain Glen

Michelle Styles investigates an actor who often plays men with a dark secret -- Iain Glen.

Iain Glen as Sir Richard Carlisle in Downton Abbey
Edinburgh born Iain Glen is one of those actors who hovers on the edge of your conscience. You have seen him and he can act but you have difficulty remembering his name.. He often plays the villian or certainly someone who is not entirely good, someone with more than a hint of darkness in his soul. But in the second season of Downton Abbey, he played Sir Richard Carlisle, a self made newspaper baron who had a lot to offer Lady Mary Crawley. The darkness in his soul made him more intriguing than Mattthew in my humble opinion. He knows what he wants and doesn't care much for playing by the rules. As my daughter said, he is a bit like Alan Rickman's Snape. You know he is not the hero, but can't help thinking that there is just little bit extra to him, that wound in the soul which needs healing.
Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont in A Game of Thrones
Glen also appeared A Game of Thrones as Ser Jorah Mormont. (the series is very good for finding eye-candy).  Having read the books, his character is not all he seems. However this is true for most of the characters in the series. There is a definite conflict and wound in his soul as you see him falling for Dany against his better judgement and you know he'd give his life for her.

He was also in the seventh season of Spooks as Richard Armitage's nemisis from his past.  And he has had had the lead in the Jack Taylor tv movies.
His distinctive gravelly voice hold the screen and he does tend to dominate any scene that he is in. When you see him, you instnatly know that the quality of acting will be there. He does bring depth to his characterisation. And his most recent characters have shown depth. But above all, it is his voice combined with craggy good looks. Once heard, you remember his voice.
His list of credits is impressive and includes both television, film and theatre -- including Kingdom of Heaven, Pope Joan, Harry Brown,  Into the Storm etc. He has been nominated for many awards including the Olivier. He also has started directing.
Born in 1961, Iain Glen recieved his education in Scotland and did his dramatic training at RADA, winning the Bancroft medal in 1985.  He is divorced and currently married to his second wife. He has two children -- one from each marriage.
So if you are looking for flawed heroes, or heroes who definately have a tortured past. Iain Glen is a candidate. You can read more about Iain Glen on his official website.

Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance for Harlequin Historical. Her latest book To Marry A Matchmaker was out in the UK in July 2011 and will be out in the US next year. Her next book will be published in August 2012. To learn more about Michelle's books visit


  1. Ah, yes, Iain Glen. Definitely worth remembering. I've had him on my radar for years. Thanks for the reminder, Michelle!

  2. I love his acting and he's perfect in A Game of Thrones

  3. Anne -- Yes I thought you'd like him.

    Maria --he was excellent in Game of Thrones. I really liked him in Downoton as well. Okay maybe he is a bit intense but he does care for Lady Mary in his own way.

  4. He was the best good looking guy in Wives and Daughters. A lovable bad boy.

  5. I wish that his role in "DOWNTON ABBEY" had been more complex than his role in something like "WIVES AND DAUGHTERS".