By Bad Seed
Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End) was tapped to play Leonard Saber. You have a choice in trying to describe what G-FORCE is. You either go into a very long explanation which gets very technical, and they are more mystified. Or you say Im in a guinea pig movie, which is the quick way. Then, of course, they think youre going to be a guinea pig, or the voice of a guinea pig, and I have to explain that no, in fact, I play an industrialist named Leonard Saber whos bent on world domination. Then it becomes clearer.
BILL NIGHY (Leonard Saber) was born in Caterham, Surrey, in 1949 and trained for the stage at the Guildford School of Acting. He made his professional stage debut at Newburys Watermill Theatre and subsequently gained experience at regional theaters like the Edinburgh Traverse, the Chester Gateway and the Liverpool Everyman. It was in Liverpool that he formed a touring theater company with Julie Walters and Peter Postlewaite, which played at a variety of venues. He made his first appearance in London in Comings and Goings at the Hampstead Theatre in November 1978.
Nighys long association with the work of David Hare began in the early 1980s when he was cast in Dreams of Leaving, a BBC film written and directed by Sir David. They next worked together on Map of the World, which Hare both wrote and staged at the National Theatre in London. When Hare was asked by Peter Hall, the Nationals artistic director, to form a company of actors, Nighy became a founding member of the ensemble that also included Anthony Hopkins.
Hares first production for the new company was Pravda, a merciless satire on the British newspaper industry, which he co-wrote with Howard Brenton. Hopkins played the role of ruthless media tycoon Lambert Le Roux with Nighy cast as his equally unscrupulous associate. The two actors were again reunited for Hares production of Shakespeares King Lear with Nighy playing Edgar and Hopkins in the title role. A decade later, he starred in Hares Skylight, which won him a Barclays Theatre Award and which played very successfully for a season at the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End of London.
Nighy has regularly appeared at the National Theatre in a succession of new plays by leading British writers. In 1993, he starred as an ambitious academic in Tom Stoppards Arcadia in a production by Trevor Nunn. Seven years later he won enormous critical acclaim for his performance as psychiatrist Dr. Robert Smith in Blue/Orange, written by Joe Penhall and directed by Roger Michell. It was a performance that also brought him a Best Actor nomination in the prestigious Olivier Awards.
Other theater credits include two revivals of plays by Harold Pinter: Betrayal at the Almeida Theatre and A Kind of Alaska at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre. Nighy was also seen as Trigorin in a National Theatre production of Chekhovs The Seagull opposite Judi Dench as Arkadina. Nighy had previously worked with Dame Judi on Absolute Hell (BBC), and they were reunited for the critically acclaimed 2007 feature film Notes on a Scandal, also starring Cate Blanchett and directed by Richard Eyre.
In 2007, Nighy starred on Broadway to exuberant critical acclaim in David Hares The Vertical Hour, starring alongside Julianne Moore.
Nighys long list of television credits includes virtually every major drama series on British TV, but it was his work on The Mens Room (BBC) in 1991 that brought him particular attention. More recently, he won a BAFTA Best Actor Award and a Royal Television Society Best Actor Award for his performance as a newspaper editor in the series State of Play, and he has starred in two television films for writer/director Stephen Poliakoff in The Lost Prince, for which he won a Golden Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and the critically acclaimed Gideons Daughter.
Nighys portrayal of Lawrence, a middle-aged Treasury official rejuvenated by love in The Girl in the Café, won him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a miniseries and widespread praise from critics.