Monday, May 18, 2015

Male on Monday - Mark Strong

Avril Tremayne is back at the Pink Heart Society this week to talk about the rather delectable Mark Strong...

Mark Strong.  If that’s not a name that screams ‘I am hot’, I don’t know what is.

Oh, yeah, on second thoughts, I do. The name he was actually born with: Marco Giuseppe Salussolia. Hot, hot, hot, hot!

Now, there are a lot of names that routinely come up on 'hot' lists: Aidan Turner (AKA Ross Poldark - be still my heart), Richard Armitage, Chris Hemsworth, Henry Cavill, etc, etc – but you don't generally see Mark Strong amongst them.

I therefore decided to fly the flag for him today, and give you ten reasons to join the Mark Strong Fan Club.

1. He has done Austen

And not just any Austen, he remains for me the quintessential Mr Knightley (opposite Kate Bekinsale’s Emma).

Authoritarian yet compassionate. Trustworthy, honest, responsible. Exuding that strength of character that can only exist when a person is completely at ease in his or her own skin. And yet, he’s not beyond a little insecurity when it comes to falling in love. Check out his declaration of love:

2. He can play one hell of a villain. 

In fact, I think I love him just a little bit more when he’s playing the bad guy. That voice. That cold gaze. That suave urbanity that is charismatic and terrifying at the same time. Check him out playing the lethal head of the Jordanian General Intelligence Directorate in Body of Lies

3. He can, actually, play anything

Good guys, bad guys, Brits, Arabs, leads, character parts. He’s stolen just about every scene he's ever been in, and he’s been in a pretty diverse range of movies – just for starters, Green Lantern, Syriana, RocknRolla, Sherlock Holmes, Zero Dark Thirty, The Imitation Game. Seriously, I could go on forever, but I will just add that he’s even filmed a comedy – Grimbsy – with Sacha Baron Cohen, Rebel Wilson and Isla Fisher.

4. He's just as awesome on stage as he in on screen.

He was named Best Actor in the Olivier Awards, courtesy of his performance as Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller’s tragic A View From The Bridge (a play I’ve seen a few times but how I wish I could have seen that particular version).

5. He is 6’2”

And we all know that is THE height for heroes – as well as being gorgeous with or without hair. 

6. He speaks German and a little bit of Italian. 

(Come on, who isn't a sucker for a man who can speak a few languages?)
7. He was smart enough to ditch a career in law to go to drama school.

8. He knows how to wear a suit better than just about any actor in the world.

In fact, he is now a customer of Huntsman, the Savile Row tailor that provided most of his much remarked upon wardrobe for Body of Lies.

9. He named his kids Gabriel and Roman. 

(Definite hero names.)

10. And this perfect quote, from his interview with Edward Douglas for 

“I have a family, so with all of the things that I do, something to consider is how long a job is going to take me away from my family." (and you can read the whole interview here.)

So many writers love to ‘cast’ their novels in their head as they write, including me. 

One thing I am very sure of, is that on the strength of Mark Strong’s look in Day of the Falcon  alone, he’ll be the man I envisage for the cover should I ever write a Sheikh romance.

Oh dear, I have in fact  just had a brilliant idea for a desert romance starring a guy who looks a lot like Mark Strong. 

I hope this is not going to prove too much of a distraction as I am in the throes of finishing the follow on to one of my latest books, The Contract, and do not need to be daydreaming...

Meanwhile, I'd love to know if you have a similar crush on any actor who's often the baddie! Or, of course, Mark Strong...

Learning the art of seduction has never been so much fun. 

Lane Davis has never had time for love. Hard work, dedication and focus got her through uni and now she's a successful economist with qualifications in all areas - except the bedroom.

When a colleague airs those bedroom sheets in public, Lane decides it's time to upskill. She's always studied her way to success, so why not hire a teacher to help her out now? It's just a business deal - three months of private tutoring, no strings attached. Easy - or it would be, if the lessons didn't make her weak at the knees...

Her proposed teacher, Adam Quinn, has his own agenda. His sister - one of Lane's best friends - wants him to scare Lane into giving up her crazy scheme. But once he meets Lane, he can't quite bring himself to reject her.

If Adam's going to teach Lane just one thing, it's that love can get in the way of even the best intentions...

To find out more about Avril Tremayne, you can visit her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.


  1. I'm totally with you on this, he's my favourite Knightley. He was also fabulous in Stardust which you should check out if you haven't seen it. He's on my list for a cover too when I find the right book.
    I'd love to see him playing Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre.

    1. I have GOT to see Stardust. I think people don't realise the astounding breadth of his filmography. He is so versatile and really does steal every scene. A Mark String Rochester would be fabulous.

  2. Oooh yes Stardust is one of my favorites.

    I really like that he shows up when I don't expect it. I could be watching the dullest movie and then it's surprise Mark Strong out of nowhere! Makes any movie, or TV show instantly better. That Jaguar commercial he did with Tom Hiddleston got me through the super bowl a few years ago. I know nothing about football so the commercial was the highlight of the night.

    1. Isn't it wonderful when that happens? You're just sitting there thinking yeah, yeah, yeah and then - bang! - it all changes to something wonderful.

  3. Wow--was not aware of him. He is hot hot hot! What a gorgeous man (especially as a sheik)! Will have to be sure to find some of his movies/TV and watch. My all time favorite is Eric Bana. He played Chopper Reed many years ago and has gone on to play all sorts of characters (mostly the good guy). I love a dark-haired man. He also seems to put his family first, and that's a very attractive trait in a hero!

    1. I lover Erica Bana - in fact, I have a friend in Oklahoma who is crazy about Eric too. I hop you get to check out a a few Mark Strong movies. He's a bit of an unsung hottie, who elevates everything he's in, whether he's the lead or not.