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Willem Dafoe, born in 1955, is an actor with more than 80 titles to his name from a career spanning over three decades. In 1985 he starred in 'To Live and Die in L.A.' and the following year in Oliver Stone's 'Platoon' (1986), the latter earning him an Oscar nomination, which cemented his position as one of Hollywood's most talented character actors. He is known outside of the US for his collaborations with Lars von Trier.
He was a henchman in the underrated Timothy Dalton Bond vehicle 'License to Kill' (1989) and became better known thanks to his hilarious portrayal of Fenster in 'The Usual Suspects' (1995). He had also impressed – opposite Kevin Spacey for the first time – as an ambitious film exec in 'Swimming with Sharks' (1994). His Dr. Gonzo in Terry Gilliam’s take on Hunter S. Thompson’s 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' (1998) somehow manages to outdo Johnny Depp’s most extreme excesses. But it is his sensitive portrayal of a Mexican cop staying afloat amidst the mire of police corruption and drug smuggling in Steven Soderbergh’s 'Traffic' (2000) that made him a star. It also won him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. He worked again with Soderbergh, playing the eponymous rebel and hero of the revolution in the filmmaker’s two-part epic 'Che' (2008). It is a stunning performance in a complex, intelligent and overlooked film. He is solid in '21 Grams' (2003), odd but amusing in 'Sin City' (2005), out of place in the big budget misfire 'The Wolfman' (2010) and amusing as The Collector in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' (2014). As Alejandro in 'Sicario' (2015), he offers up one of his finest roles. A mystery who is revealed as a monster, Del Toro nevertheless imbues his character with enough sympathy for us to initially side with him. It’s a masterclass in understated acting and evidence of Del Toro’s unique screen persona.
Judi Dench, born in 1934, has not only defied all of the traditional strictures dogging the employment of actresses of a 'certain age', but has done most of her screen work from her sixties onwards. Despite her small stature, she has never had problems playing the 'grande dame'; she can be flighty, romantic, and terrifying. She is a ten-time BAFTA winner and was appointed Dame of Order of the British Empire in 1988.
Andrea Arnold's 'Red Road' (2004) firmly established Katie Dickie as one of the country's most striking actors. She plays a CCTV operator whose past collides with the present when she sees a man walking the streets. Dickie has continued to appear in television dramas most notably 'He Kills Coppers' (2008), 'The Pillars of the Earth' (2010) and as Lysa Arryn in 'Game of Thrones' (2011-14). She was one of the ill-fated crew members in 'Prometheus' and excelled as a emergency call responder in the BAFTA-winning short 'Operator' (2015). Two recent roles, in 'Couple in a Hole' and 'The Witch' (both 2015) highlight her versatility and daring.