Ian McShane may be an unfamiliar name to many in the United States, but he”s definitely one splendid man.

Paul Wong
Veteran actor Ian McShane is ready for his close-up.<br><br>Courtesy of Fox/Searchlight

Starring in Jonathan Glazer”s upcoming film “Sexy Beast,” McShane plays Teddy Bass, a merciless gangster, whose evil demeanor permeates the atmosphere of the entire film. In real life, however, McShane is refreshingly charismatic and friendly. After sharing his views on “Sexy Beast,” acting and the entertainment industry in general, it”s no wonder that McShane has been so successful.

McShane says that “Sexy Beast” is a wonderful film. “When you see a film that you”re part of, you enjoy it on such a level that you take yourself away from it, you just watch the movie. Glazer has such a great command of the material. It”s shot so well and the soundtrack and effects are good. It”s one complete movie and it has its own life for an hour and a half.”

The script for “Sexy Beast” came from the talented minds of Louis Mellis and David Scinto, whose stageplay “Gangster No. 1” garnered wonderful reviews around England. Due to its success, it was made into a screenplay, but Mellis and Scinto hated what was being done to it. McShane said “They walked off and took their names off it, blew off the director, and wrote “Sexy Beast” as a PHFFFT to that.” Ironically, “Sexy Beast” was soon picked up by the same film company.

“Sexy Beast” came out in London early this year and was fabulously reviewed, but poorly distributed but due to the reaction it got in the States, it will probably be re-released later in the year.

“I think Glazer did an extraordinary job from an extraordinary script. There wasn”t one word of improvised dialogue or paraphrasing in the entire movie. It was as writtenthat”s how good Scinto and Mellis are,” McShane said.

When asked how McShane viewed the role of Teddy, he credits Glazer for really knowing what he is doing. “Teddy Bass is really a minimalist part. “Sexy Beast” is really a love story and I think that the sexy beast is the money.” “Sexy Beast” is in its own genre, and it”s uniqueness makes it function on many levels. McShane agrees, “The whole thing can be explained in one man”s nightmare it”s a journey and he (Don Logan) comes through it. It”s really a metaphor for life.”

McShane”s teachers inspired him to be an actor. At 17, he auditioned for the Royal Academy in London and he has been acting ever since. McShane is well known to UK viewers as the lead character in the TV series “Lovejoy,” for which he also produced and directed some of the episodes. McShane came up with this idea himself. “I found a short novel called “Lovejoy,” so I met with the author (Johnathan Gash) and wanted Ian LaFrenais (who wrote “Likely Lads”) to write it.” The show was about a stylish antique dealer who is a divvy meaning he”s blessed with a gift of knowing whether something is the real thing or not.

McShane”s other credits include “War and Remembrance,” “The Grace Kelly Story,” “Columbo,” “Perry Mason,” “Miami Vice” and “Dallas.” And that”s just television. He”s been in several plays, including “The Promise” and “The Glass Menagerie” and his last role was the lead in Cameron Mackintosh”s London stage production of “The Witches of Eastwick.”

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