There is a special rung in hell for people who, in the depths of the shadows as the film flickers on, turn in loud whisper (speaking, full blown speaking,) and says “ooooo, that person is from (insert obscure comedy show that aired in 1997 and was swiftly cancelled).” Either that or they whip out their phones (straight after screening, of course. During is the rung way down below,) tormented with the recognition but not the answer, bombard IMDB and scream “oooooooooohhhhhhh” when they realise who it is. I fall into both, I am on this rung and as I pulled out my internet after the latest screening of Pride, I promptly put it down and said “no. fucking. way.”
But no. Mark Ashton is played by Ben Schnetzer who appeared in neither of these things. Because firstly, despite the authentic sounding Irish accent. He is American, born and bred in New York, crafting his talent and appearing in bit shows such as Happy Town and the obligatory Law and Order. What shocked me most, however, was that in my world of cinema, Schnetzer first appeared as Max from The Book Thief. If you are lucky enough to have seen both this film and Pride, I want you to isolate the pair, the hidden and dying Jew and the exuberant Ashton, and tell yourself they are the same person. Apart from the eyelashes, it is a difficult one.
Now turn to Lone Scherfig’s latest outing The Riot Club and Schnetzer appears yet again in a different but great role. Though largely a bit player, levelling up the debauchery to provide a platform for Sam Claflin and Max Irons to toil, Schnetzer’s Dimitri had an intriguing side story wrapped around racism and heritage (a side story that was failed by the writing and directing). The acting of deplorable and hated characters. Placing a plum in his throat and duelling with the antics on screen, Schnetzer adds another level to his acting that places him high on a list of future Oscar contenders. Small but still enticing, Schnetzer excels.
Ben Schnetzer, in such a small amount of time, has proved his mettle as a chameleon. His thespian skill has already given flame for this article; imagine what this talent can do in years to come. A long spanning career, I predict and someone to keep an eye on, especially in up coming films Warcraft and Punk's Dead.