Pete Postlethwaite Has Died, Aged 64

One of my favourite performances of the year belongs to Pete Postlethwaite's immensely creepy "Fergie" Colm, a Boston 'florist' who acts as one of the biggest crime lords in The Town. I remember vividly an intense scene between he and Ben Affleck towards the end of the movie where I found myself elevated out of my cinema seat and into his shop, as he cuts the lengths of his flowers and explains how Ben is truly fucked if he doesn't continue pulling robberies for him. It's just one of those rare moments where actor, character and material match so perfectly. Only Postlehwaite could give so much with so little screentime, for my money he's more memorable in The Town than Jack Nicholson's wild Oscar nominated performance in the similar fantastical crime story The Departed. If Hollywood worked the way it should, Postlethwaite would be attracting Oscar buzz. I can't believe I'm reading at the BBC that he has passed away, aged only 64, after a recent battle with cancer. I didn't even know he was unwell. I feel like we've been robbed twenty years of one of Britain's great character actors and Chris Nolan probably agrees with me, casting him for the emotional role of Cillian Murphy's dad in the years biggest blockbuster Inception. Again he managed to do so much with so little and it's oddly fitting now that his part as a terminally ill man is one of his final roles. Posthlethwaite filled many of the best supporting roles of the 90's and with a face so odd and memorable, how could he not be 'hey, it's that guy!' whenever he appeared on screen. You always remembered him, whether it was for his Oscar nominated turn as the father of a wrongful convict of the Guildford Four in In The Name of the Father, the mysterious Kobayashi in The Usual Suspects (for the U.S. - his best known part), as Friar Lawrence in Romeo & Juliet, or his superb turns in British productions like Brassed Off and When Saturday Comes. Brassed Off in particular was a stand-out, my personal favourite role in his filmography. Steven Spielberg called him in the 90's - "probably the best actor in the world today" after working with him on The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Amistad. More recently he appeared in visual effects heavy films Solomon Kane and Clash of the Titans, the latter his line delivery that featured heavily in the trailer, made Louis Leterrier's film sound like it was as epic as the Greek tales we heard in school. "One day somebody's going to have to make a stand, one day somebody's gotta say enough"... His last credit is Killing Bono, a British film about two brothers who attempt to form a successful band but watch in envy as their school pals become giants as U2. That movie opens in April and whose betting against Posthlewaite, who has a significant supporting role, being the best part of the movie? Sad day.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.