Stephen Graham Should be Way More Well Known

Stephen Graham

There’s no doubt about it that if you’ve been watching gangster movies and TV shows then you’ve likely seen Stephen Graham since he’s been around for a while. One problem though is that he gets overshadowed so easily that trying to notice him at times is just a little difficult, not that bad, since he’s usually surrounded or standing next to very famous people whose careers have been able to overshadow his own. But that doesn’t mean that he’s not famous, quite the opposite in fact. Just recently he played the part of Anthony Provenzano on Netflix’s presentation of The Irishman with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. He also played Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire and apparently will be taking on a role in Venom 2, but there’s not enough information for that as of yet. The point is that Stephen has proven himself time and time again and he’s been nominated and awarded, but he’s still not being seen as a leading man as of yet. There could be a reason for this, and it’s as simple as anything since there are those in Hollywood that are great at being the lead and those that are great at supporting, and Stephen would appear to be one of the latter.

Whatever people think that’s no insult, far from it. In a way it’s a huge compliment since being the supporting character can be one of the hardest jobs in a movie or in a TV show considering that a supporting character has to be just as strong if not stronger in order to make the lead look good and make sure that their own part is solid. Stephen’s had his great roles and his less than convincing ones and he’s rocked most of them since he’s starred alongside some very notable names in the past. How many people remember that he was in Gangs of New York as Shang? Shang was one of the most trusted gang members of Amsterdam Vallon and yet was pushed to the background quite often in favor of Cameron Diaz and other characters. He was great as Tommy as well in Snatch, a movie that sounds dirty enough or obscure enough to some people that have forgotten just what it was about, a diamond heist that turned into a movie about underground boxing that went back to the diamond heist amidst the hubbub of several other stories. Tommy was, admittedly, kind of a pathetic character that didn’t always have the minerals but was loyal at least and tried to do what he was told. By the end of the movie he wasn’t much different but he didn’t need to be since his character was fairly complete as he was. Yet with Graham’s other characters he’s had to undergo development occasionally and change things up as the story goes in order to keep in touch with the character and make everything fit within the guidelines of the story. In a nutshell, Stephen is a very talented man that’s been doing his thing since the 90s and really deserves more credit. As to a lead role, nah, he’s good as he is, but he’s definitely in need of a little more attention and it’s evident that he’s been getting it as of late.

His stint as Tony Pro should make enough people sit up and pay attention to him, and perhaps take a history lesson about the famed criminal. A lot of what went into The Irishman was true enough from certain points of view, but there was undoubtedly enough liberties taken that would make some people wonder just how accurate Scorsese wanted to be. If you doubt this at all take a look at the accounts of Gangs of New York and you’ll see that Scorsese, who is a brilliant storyteller, still needs to tweak and adjust things a bit from time to time in order to make his stories a little more entertaining than history is said to be within the writings that can be obtained. Very few people know what really went on during the time that Frank “the Irishman” Sheeran was alive, but several of those that believe they know the history have spoken up over the years and tried to debunk or support Sheeran’s confessions. As to what happened in his life and to those around him, there’s not much to say aside from what’s been recorded and written down.

Stephen Graham though is someone that you can depend on for a role like Tony Pro, or Shang, or Tommy, and can believe is going to fit into the role in the best way he knows how to do it. He might not always look like the person he’s emulating, if the story is based on real life as in The Irishman, but he’ll do his absolute best to make a person believe that he’s the best guy for the role.

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