'Cruella' Star Mark Strong on Working With Emma Thompson and His Long History of Playing Villains [Interview]

Mark Strong‘s real role in Cruella is a bit of a spoiler. Then again, the appearance of the always-busy English actor in an apparently minor role is something of a tease – this guy is going to be important, but how?

As John, the dependable valet to Emma Thompson’s Baroness (the real villain in this Disney villain origin story), Strong does what he does in so many other movies: he classes up the joint. The dependably great actor has left his mark on audiences via his work in films like Shazam!, 1917, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, so his appearance in Cruella is amusing to movie fans. This isn’t just some background character. You’re waiting for him to reveal something.

And Strong is very aware that he’s being tasked with lending gravitas to a minor role. I spoke with the actor over Zoom about his work in Cruella, becoming a recognizable face, whether he’s tired of playing villains, and if he hopes to return for a future Shazam! sequel.

Cruella hits theaters and Disney+ Premier on May 28, 2021.

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