Ciarán Hinds on Bleed for This, playing a supervillain in Justice League and asking old friend Liam Neeson for motion-capture performance tips

Just famous enough: that might be Irish actor Ciarán Hinds. With a stage-and-screen career spanning well over three decades, he’s a highly respected player regularly on call for some of Hollywood’s finest directors. But you won’t find him dealing with the pesky business of fame like Liam Neeson, his good friend since they made 1981’s Arthurian Excalibur together. “I’m a character actor,” he shrugs. “People see me as a gun for hire.”

If that’s the case, then those pulling the trigger are the crème-de-la-crème. Along the way, Hinds has worked for Steven Spielberg (Munich), Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood), Sam Mendes (Road To Perdition), Michael Mann (Miami Vice) and, most recently, Martin Scorsese (Silence). “I must have a great agent!” he says. “I sneak in here, I sneak in there, and I get to work with these extraordinary people.”

Ciaran Hinds calls himself a character actor; ‘People see me as a gun for hire’ (Rex)

It’s hardly sneaking: he’s played Julius Caesar in HBO’s Rome, Aberforth Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2, and Mance Ryder in Game of Thrones. Now he’s about to enter into Hollywood’s billion-dollar comic-book universe, facing off against Batman and Superman as the villainous Steppenwolf in Zack Snyder’s DC Comics superhero ensemble Justice League, due in November. “I never read any of those comic books as a kid,” he confesses. “So it’s all fairly new to me.”

Before that, Hinds can be seen in Bleed For This – which is just out on DVD – playing Angelo Pazienza, the father to real-life former world champion boxer Vinny Paz, who resurrected his career after a horrendous car accident. With swept-back dyed blonde hair, a broad Rhode Island accent and an extravagant manner, it’s far removed from the soft-spoken 6ft-tall Hinds, who lives in Paris with actress/designer Hélène Patarot, his partner for the last three decades.

In what must’ve been quite…

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