Peter Stormare: You Might Not Know his Name but You Love Him

His name is Peter Stormare. Do you know him? I’m going to bet that you and a lot of other people do since he’s been in so many films, TV shows, and made for TV movies that his face is probably etched in millions of peoples’ memories at this point. He’s been one of the most solid actors throughout the last couple of decades that he’s managed to show up for at least a small part in a lot of movies, some that you might not even remember. But he’s been there, since the late 70’s hes been there, showing up in films and producing some of the most memorable characters you can imagine whether they’re good or bad.

For some reason though he’s particularly good at being a bad guy and has come across as a passably good protagonist every now and then as a kind of surprise to people that expect him to be the bad guy. He’s got that look, doesn’t he? He has the cold stare, the long, lean face that says ‘predatory’ in the right light and the mean appearance that gives him the edge when it comes to being one of the most dangerous characters in a movie. When he is the bad guy there’s really not much of an element of surprise with this guy, and that has to be one reason why he’s been so successful in his career. There’s simply no mistaking what part he’ll play, and there are always plenty of roles for someone that can play the bad guy.

Here are just a few clips to drive that point home.

He doesn’t say much in this film but he doesn’t need since Steve Buscemi is more of the talkative type. But when he does talk he’s to the point and doesn’t waste any words. When it comes time to act though he’s scary fast and also doesn’t use much wasted motion since he’s all about that business and isn’t bound to take any half-measures when the job needs to get done. The pairing of him and Buscemi in this movie is kind of comical mostly because they’re so opposite when it comes to who they are.

Dino is that scuzzball that you don’t even want to breathe next to since his very existence seems to taint the air around him. He’s not trustworthy, he’s out for money, and he’ll kill just about anyone that he feels the need to in order to get paid. Plus, as you can see from this clip, there’s nothing that he won’t do, absolutely nothing. He’ll go after a person’s family if he feels the need and will likely make good on his promise. Yet to him the world is still just a stage and he’s one of the many actors that is supposed to have a greater role than others. Even when he dies after being shot in the neck he believes that he was supposed to have a more cinematic ending.

There have been many imaginative renderings of the devil when it comes to cinema. But perhaps one of the most disturbing ways to showcase the famed Christian antagonist is to make him look human, which thereby instills a belief in all of us that evil is in fact rooted in our very core and is inescapable. But Peter’s act is something else as he’s playful, terrifying, and so overwhelmingly hostile, without being physical, that you can almost believe that Satan might actually be the kind of guy that would have a convivial chat with you as you lay dying, just waiting to collect your soul and drag you to the depths. That image alone is enough to give just about anyone the shakes as the civility of it is so increasingly disturbing that you have to wonder just how Stormare didn’t creep himself out doing it.

The legend of John Wick is known very well by now and it’s going to be coming back soon with the third chapter in the series. Stabbing someone to death with a pencil seems to make you a legend in the world that is known only to those who view life as a series of dollar signs, but with John Wick, the act is something that seems to signify that he is so far above the elite that one can’t help but be impressed. Having been called The Boogeyman, or the man that was sent to take out the boogeyman, is something of an honor among assassins since it means that darkness itself would be afraid of John Wick is such a thing were possible. You can just imagine that in the third movie things are going to get a lot more hectic since John will have what amounts to an entire network of assassins coming after him.

You’ll know Peter’s face when you see it, even if you don’t remember his name.

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