Rome: Ray Stevenson, the Irish actor, known for playing the villainous British governor in SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster ‘RRR’, an Asgardian warrior in the ‘Thor’ films and a member of the 13th Legion in HBO’s ‘Rome’ , died on Sunday. He was 58 years old.
Stevenson was born in Lisburn in 1964. After attending Bristol Old Vic Theater School and years working in British television, he made his film debut in Paul Greengrass’ 1998 film ‘The Theory of Flight’. In 2004, he appeared in Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur as the Knight of the Round Table and several years later starred in the pre-Disney Marvel adaptation Punisher: War Zone.”
While Punisher isn’t the highest-rated movie, he would get another glimpse of Marvel in the first three “Thor” movies, in which he played Volstagg. Other prominent movie roles include the “Divergent Trilogy,” “GI Joe: Retaliation,” and “The Transporter: Refueled.”
A looming presence at 6ft 4in, Stevenson, who has played his share of soldiers past and present, once said in an interview, I guess I’m an old warrior at heart. On the small screen, he was the mischievous Titus Pullo in Rome, a role that really launched his career in the United States and earned him a SAG card, aged 44.
The popular series ran from 2005 to 2007. It was one of the main years of my life, Stevenson said in an interview. “It made me sit in my shoes and say, just do the work. The work is enough.”
In Rome’s Variety magazine, Brian Lowery wrote that the hulking Stevenson certainly stands out as a brawling, prostitute and not too brilliant warrior, a force of nature who, despite his excesses, somehow continues another to land on his feet.”
He was Blackbeard in the Starz series Black Sails, “Commander Jack Swinburne in the German TV series Das Boot” and Othere on Vikings.
Stevenson has also done voice acting in Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars, as Gar Saxon, and has a role in Star Wars’ upcoming live-action series, “Ahsoka,” in which he plays a villain, Baylan Skoll. .
The eight-episode season is due out on Disney+ in August.
In a 2020 interview with Backstage, Stevenson said his acting idols were, like Lee Marvin (and) Gene Hackman. Never a bad performance, and brave and fearless in this caliber, Stevenson said. It was never the hot young main man; they were men I could identify with.
Stevenson has three sons with Italian anthropologist Elisabetta Caraccia, whom he met while working on Rome.
(with PTI inputs)
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